back to article The Lazarus Effect: Saved by Linux and Cash Converters

I was recently stuck in a quandary, when, having just moved to Portugal, my trusty MacBook Pro departed this mortal coil. No time to mourn those sweet memories with a deadline fast approaching and replacement to be sought. I’d no intention of buying a new machine with a Portuguese keyboard so I went in search of something …

  1. Roq D. Kasba

    Random pricing

    CC and ilk seem to have a few actual bargains with an overwhelming balance of dreadfully overpriced tat, in my region at least. Must say I've always found the laptops to be of the cheapest quality with spec-for-spec pricing higher than new (if such low spec is even possible to buy any more). I assume they make their deals with people who can't buy online/no credit card and are banned from PC World.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe time to go to proper Debian

    Kali Linux looks like it's doing the job for now, but you may want to give proper Debian a look.

    You may be able to bring in the desktop environment and other tools via the repositories, however installing Debian Jessie is probably going to be easier. Alternatives to consider would be Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Mepis…

    For the moment though, that machine and OS has got you out of a hole, if nothing else.

  3. wolfetone Silver badge

    Welcome to Linux Dear Sir. You may use our boutiques to get what you need until you can get back on your feet.

    Obviously, we wish you never leave, but we'll be here. Doing what Apple-don't. :)

    1. getHandle

      Absolutely

      Ironically iTunes was a major factor in driving me to try Ubuntu. Never looked back. Even learned to love unity.

      Now when friends go "windows had just started telling me that it isn't genuine!" I make sympathetic noises.

      I guess apple users are a bit different, but anyone pliant enough to learn how to use a track pad differently can't be too fussy.

  4. kryptylomese

    You can customise most distributions to look exact enough a copy that will fool most people, to look and work like a Mac or Windows whatever version desktop.

    My personal preference for desktop use is Ubuntu Mate (Redhat for all Server Work because their support really is second to none, and no, I do not work for them!)

    You choosing a penetration testing distribution and complaining that the UI is not polished seems a little naive on your part.

    1. John H Woods

      "You choosing a penetration testing distribution and complaining that the UI is not polished seems a little naive on your part." -- kryptylomese

      Although I was impressed at the author's flexibility and open-mindedness, this did seem a weird choice for my-first-linux. I would agree Ubuntu Mate or Linux Mint would make a much more obvious choice --- but maybe the author needed to use someone else's "secured" hotspot :-)

      1. Not That Andrew

        I remember that I chose Slackware because at the time it was the only distro where the installer recognised my perfectly standard USB keyboard. All the other installers worked fine with PS2 keyboards but not USB, even though the distro's worked fine with them once installed. Maybe he had a similar issue?

        1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

          "perfectly standard USB keyboard"

          Sounds like a trip to the BIOS to tick/untick the "Legacy USB support" option is in order. It also sounds like that was quite some time ago.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I always keep a current image for Kali (and before that, BackTrack) although I add a few more to my current image repository: up-to-date-patched Windows, UBCD, etc. Of course keeping those Windows images current is a bitch, but saves a ton of hands-on time rescuing machines. Kali could be likened to having a rather large gun in the sock or underwear drawer.

  5. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    Similar to my situation

    I moved to Portugal recently too (in fact I was in that very branch of Cash Converters a couple of weeks ago).

    Anyway, last October my keyboard died. Fortunately there's a Worten round the corner (think Dixons / PC World but with a red colour scheme) and I bought a new Portuguese keyboard for about 7€. Took me about a day to get used to a Portuguese layout and now British or US layouts annoy the heck out of me. First thing I do - change the layout! :)

  6. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    Kali?

    An odd choice. I use Mint XFCE 32 bit on our old computers at work and home. We changed towards the end of XP and the transition was painless.

  7. Tim Worstal

    I'm a lot further south in Portugal (if you're coming down to the Algarve over the summer, drop me a line and organise a beer) but yes to Worten. Bought an entirely workable new laptop (hey, not great, but it works 8 months later) for €250 or so.

    And Portuguese keyboards aren't that bad. I switch between UK and P no problems. Can't get the hang of German or Czech tho;

  8. Chris Hawkins
    Linux

    Portugal / Debian

    Great Article!

    I've been living in Portugal for many years.

    There is plenty of second hand kit available, (see for example: http://olx.pt/ ) but I prefer to buy new as Portuguese Govt. legislation requires purveyors of hardware, white goods and many other items to offer a minimum two year guarantee.

    Worten.pt is part of the large national SONAE group and, in fact, took over the old Dixon's operations in Spain a couple of years back. Economies of scale are now such that prices are very competitive on a EU basis. However, there are a good number of excellent IT retailers nationwide most with their own online shops.

    One thing I like about Portugal is that 48hr Cash on Delivery is available here via the Post Offfice and offereed by most on-line retailers. This avoids having to use credit/debit cards and reduces fraud risks.

    I also only use Debian on my three laptops(jessie) and my VPS(wheezy).and have been doing so for 10 years. I love rehabilitating "ex laptops" that people intend to dispose of with Linux.

    I am writing is on an ex-Dixons UK, Advent Eclipse E300 (Intel Celeron SU2300 (1.20GHz)) which a local Expat was flogging 12 months ago. All the advice on the web was that it couldn't be upgraded. I managed to use a credit card to slide the case open, installed 4GB (supplied by http://chipsite.pt) instead of 2GB RAM, fitted a 120GB Kingston SSD ( http://chip7.aeiou.pt/ ) and did a fresh Debian 8 Jessie install. The UK keyboard remains, but I have a portuguese usb keyboard plugged and a language keyboard changer installed on the lower dock to allow use of both languages.

    The machine boots in 20 seconds. It is lighweight,(no dvd), and ideal for travel. All for under 180€!

    With my Portuguese smartphone 3G package providing hotspot access and the excellent national mobile coverage ( +-95% of the geographic area), I essentially have reasonably good quality internet access 24/7.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Portugal / Debian

      "Portuguese Govt. legislation requires purveyors of hardware, white goods and many other items to offer a minimum two year guarantee."

      FWIW that is EU wide legislation. See the big Apple kerfuffle in Italy recently when they were trying to force Applecare onto buyers.

  9. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Gimp

    For the desperate

    One quick search and here is how to get the MacBuntu look. I just use Unity 'cos I'm too lazy to change anything other than the wallpaper.

    http://www.noobslab.com/2013/05/mac-os-x-theme-for-ubuntu-1304-raring.html

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kali not a good choice for a beginner!!!

    Errmm... Kali is for serious high end security users. That is people who can configure a computer to be secure. I.e. Out of the box, Kali runs as root with everything easily accessible to any malicious user/script/person who doesn't know what they are doing.

    This isn't a toy distro by any means...

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      Re: Kali not a good choice for a beginner!!!

      You mean that accidentally typing

      rm -rf / & echo "Oh, fsck ME!!!"

      would be a bad thing with Kali?

    2. PNGuinn
      Linux

      Re: Kali not a good choice for a beginner!!!

      Personally i've never tried it - think I'll give it a go now, when i've got time to play. The article's whetted my appetite.

      I would agree though that it the author's position it's probably one of the last i'd try. As a now Linux diehard - driven there by the kind folks at microsoft - I'd have bunged in a Puppy (Fatdog if you've got a 64 bit cpu) live distro, checked the hardware out, then gone for Debian or Mint in that order. But that's me - other opinions are available.

      **The point I take from this though is that, in the hands of a Linux newbie a somewhat specialised distro basically "just worked".**

      I was in the same position many years ago, with a crashmatic "running" win98. Despite thorough hardware checking, reinstalls, all combinations of drivers I could think of I just could not get it stable. And I needed to get real work done.

      In desperation I tried a pre release copy of Mandrake off a magazine cd. Rock stable. Ran like a scalded cat. Everything worked. Install a breeze, all the options I wanted. Thanks microsoft, you converted me.

      Regarding the keyboard - I've no idea of the differences but with my excellent typing skills (both fingers) I'd have been tempted to relabel a few keys and install with the uk keyboard, and then perhaps look into swapping a few keycaps if that helped.

      Good article, thanks.

  11. Edward Clarke

    Use what you have

    While Kali isn't the best distribution for new users, it might have been the distribution that he had with him. His machine was crashing at random intervals between thirty seconds and half an hour. Trying to download a Linux distribution to windows and then burn a CD or copy to a USB stick on a machine that crashes that frequently does not sound enjoyable.

    At this point he was only using the machine for fun and Kali served his purpose. Once he gets home he can try a more "new user" oriented distribution. He certainly doesn't need penetration testing unless he's going to compete with GCHQ.

  12. x 7

    so.....why would a nooby user just happen to have a stick with Kali on it? More to this than we are being told. To my mind the article is on the lines of a newly qualified driver voicing his views on driving a chieftan tank.....

    1. Antonymous Coward
      Pirate

      Methinks the self-confessed penchant for sniffing about other peeps' WiFi goes a long way to explaining it

      >:-)

      1. e^iπ+1=0

        Sniffing

        "self-confessed penchant for sniffing about other peeps' WiFi"

        Were I to profess a penchant for using "aircrack-ng" or something similar I would certainly use 'AC' or some other such anonymity cloak so that nobody could track me.

  13. Wensleydale Cheese

    "dissuaded more than once by the appearance of Ubuntu"

    I once set out to change Ubuntu's initial splash screen and desktop background because it was too garish for my taste.

    Much Googling later and having tried what seemed like a gazillion different suggestions I found one that worked, but that was wrapped in words like "If this doesn't work, try the next method on the list".

    All bets were off for the next release of course. I then tried Linux Mint and the first comment from my boss on seeing it was "That looks very professional".

  14. Mikel

    Kali + Adobe + Java

    A wonder it didn't collapse into an irony singularity.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    Gated garden?

    The Apple "ecosystem" feels a lot more like "Wayward Pines" (2015-)[1] (look Ma! Matt Dillon!) but to be honest, I rather think "The Prisoner" (1967-1968)[2] describes it much better...

    [1] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2618986/

    [2] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061287/

  16. phil dude
    Linux

    asymmetric fud...

    It has been 10 happy years since I have had a need for Windoze-X.

    But I can still use the M$ HackaDay product, as if I never stopped using it.

    This is the asymmetric FUD of any ProprietaryProduct that somehow its "specialness" lays in its hidden workings.

    By moving to Linux you only lose the aggravation of Windoze not the functionality, as the workings are there to be seen by anyone (with the patience...).

    I agree with the view that the Linux distribution and desktop diversity causes perhaps more noise that is good for such a complex environment, and for corporate use you need an enterprise version (Redhat,Suse,Ubuntu..).

    But at no point in the process of using Linux do you lose the ability to use Windoze (I'll ignore MacOs as it is a *nix variant under the hood).

    And remember kids, Linux is the only fully-functional piece of software you can install on your hardware without needing an internet connection to "phone home".

    Carry on reviewing Linux as if it was found on a usb stick growing wild in a field of barley...

    P.

    1. Loud Speaker

      Re: asymmetric fud...

      I moved to Linux around the time of the Y2k kerfuffle.

      OK, I can use XP with no trouble, but my productivity with Win7 is not very good. At work, I persuaded them to let me put Debian on a old Dell that was abandonned because of its slow CPU, HD and lack of RAM. It is now as fast as anything else there (only normal office typing and browsing barely a spreadsheet)., and my productivity is fine. Also, the printer that had lain unused for years because of lack of Windows drivers worked fine with Debian out of the box.

      I suspect that when the treat of Win 8 becomes a promise of 10, I will be asked to plug my magic USB stick into all the other machines.

      I will, of course explain that NVidia graphics kit has to be binned, and it is probably easier to replace certain Wifi cards than get the firmware their manufacturer insists on hiding. .

      1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

        Re: asymmetric fud...

        > ... that NVidia graphics kit has to be binned, ...

        Careful: try things out before buying hardware.

        Here (Debian jessie) I had to replace an ATI card and am now using a (cheap) NVidia card. Whilst I am even a bit of an AMD fanboi the frustration with the specific card I had was just to much.

      2. Chemist

        Re: asymmetric fud...

        "I will, of course explain that NVidia graphics kit has to be binned"

        ??

        Strange that mine works then including video acceleration using vdpau admittedly with the NVidia binaries. Not had a WiFi problem for ~10 years and I've got all sorts of kit.

    2. keithpeter
      Windows

      Re: asymmetric fud...

      "And remember kids, Linux is the only fully-functional piece of software you can install on your hardware without needing an internet connection to "phone home"."

      If you have the patience to download* and burn the DVD1 and DVD2 and just possibly DVD3 images of Debian (Jessie/Wheezy/Squeeze) before taking a long trip you can later install a 'fully-functional piece of software' without needing an Internet connection of any kind. The result will be a fully performant desktop (actually a choice of around 5 desktop environments and umpteen window managers) with the ability to subsequently install a huge range of applications from the DVDs after the initial installation.

      This includes the Debian 'main' repository only however so you might need to download a proprietary wifi firmware (a single deb package) for a laptop. I accept that support for the more exotic graphics cards using binary drivers could be problematic as a result of the dependencies needed for the kernel modules they require.

      To my knowledge, Debian is the only distro that caters for offline installation of a significant selection of desktop software in this way. I'd be delighted to hear of alternatives.

      *Or simply buy/borrow a DVD set from somewhere - don't underestimate the bandwidth of a jiffy bag in the post.

      PS: doing a DJ live mix on Kali linux does strike me as a little - er - odd but then we are a broad church.

      1. Chemist

        Re: asymmetric fud...

        "To my knowledge, Debian is the only distro that caters for offline installation of a significant selection of desktop software in this way. I'd be delighted to hear of alternatives."

        OpenSUSE repositories can be almost anything including CDs, DVDs, Hard drives, local iso images, UBS directories/images/isos as well as lots of networked sources.

        1. Chemist

          Re: asymmetric fud...

          Must mention too the excellent Studio service that lets you build an entire distro to your own requirements.

          https://en.opensuse.org/Portal:SUSE_Studio

          https://susestudio.com/

          1. keithpeter

            Re: asymmetric fud...

            "Must mention too the excellent Studio service that lets you build an entire distro to your own requirements."

            Looks interesting but you need to know what you want before you make the distro image. The Debian dvd1 and dvd2 just let you install a basic one then install packages subsequently.

            1. Chemist

              Re: asymmetric fud...

              "Looks interesting but you need to know what you want before you make the distro image."

              It's certainly not for the first time user but is truly an excellent resource.

        2. keithpeter
          Windows

          Re: asymmetric fud...

          "OpenSUSE repositories can be almost anything including CDs, DVDs, Hard drives, local iso images, UBS directories/images/isos as well as lots of networked sources."

          Excellent - where do I download a good selection of packages in DVD image form? It would be good to have an alternative to Debian in case they decide to go all cloudy.

          1. Chemist

            Re: asymmetric fud...

            "Excellent - where do I download a good selection of packages in DVD image form?"

            http://software.opensuse.org/132/en - Download DVD will get you most common packages in iso form for 1 bootable DVD

            https://en.opensuse.org/Package_repositories gives links to download lots of official and other repositories that you can install on a HD/USB stick or burn to DVD ( why DVD in this day and age) or more usually instal on-line using YAST package manager

            They warn :

            If you have enough disk space, you can also download a repository snapshot, but be advised that this can take up to 20Gb or even more.

    3. e^iπ+1=0

      bsd?

      'And remember kids, Linux is the only fully-functional piece of software you can install on your hardware without needing an internet connection to "phone home".'

      BSD springs to mind also.

      However, I know that some open source platforms are configured to "phone home" out of the box for updates.

      Don't forget, if you trust nobody you can just build your own hardware and software.

  17. saif

    Limited RAM Linuxes...Puppy or Bodhi

    Sure Linux will run well on <1GB RAM...but it will run much better without KDE or Gnome Desktop Environment. Certainly a fully loaded hacker distro like Kali is perhaps not pre-configured for general purpose computing. I go Puppy Linux on my 12 year old laptop with 384MB RAM...with 20GB hard drive and certainly never leave home without bootable puppy on a stick

  18. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    " spec-for-spec pricing higher than new (if such low spec is even possible to buy any more)"

    Well, yeah. The machine usually gets down to like $400 and just disappears off the market, even though one with 1/4 the spec or less is perfectly usable. So, to get 1/4 the spec for 1/4 the cost, you have to buy used.

    Kali? Interesting choice. I just played with it recently, and although it's an unusual choice as a general-purpose distro (since it's a security/hacking distro), it *is* Debian-based so you can install any normal apps that it's missing out of the box.

  19. Stork Bronze badge

    Portuguese keyboards

    I am in PT too (Algarve, near Olhão) and prefer PT keyboards as I find it difficult to remember the PT special characters, I remember shortcuts for DK and DE characters (yes, I need that). Main issue is if the machine for some reason assumes you have a US kb....

    On shopping here: Computers may be ok priced, but as soon as you want some less common gear it is often hard to find or eyewatering expensive. Good thing Amazon works, but compare UK and DE prices.

  20. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Happy

    Personal preference

    I know everyone has their personal preference for an OS, and within the LInux world for the specific distro and desktop. (Mint with Cinnamon desktop for me--sounds like an odd dessert to non Linux folks)

    I have been using Linux for years. While I am still much more of a Windows "guru" since I deal with it and support it and its aps daily at work, I like to get home and use something that truly "just works" most of the time. (or at least gives me less, and different errors) And I surely don't miss messages like "Do you trust this printer?" --well, I wouldn't leave it alone with sharp objects, but... It's ridiculous how much fewer resources Linux uses than Win 7 on my machine. On Windows, it's also usually click and wait.. and wait.. On Linux, it's more like "Already done that sir, what next?"

    Re. Nvidia, I did have a bit of grief getting the drivers to install properly when I went from ATI to Nvidia, but it wasn't that bad and all features incl. hardware acceleration work flawlessly with the NV driver. Mint installed my color laser printer without blinking--was a headache on Win 7, and even streaming Netflix and Amazon content works great after a bit of consulting the web. Better than Windows actually, which requires frequent cleanouts of the Netflix cache.

  21. A Ghost
    IT Angle

    If you like Kali..

    ...you might like to try another utility type distro like Knoppix. A real life saver distro if ever there was one. It pretty much detects all hardware out there and gets you online in no time (though ymmv). It is meant to be run off a usb stick, though you can install it to disk but it's hassle and not really recommended. You can use various cheatcodes on bootup to run either the 32bit or 64bit version and also with the 'toram' cheatcode it writes the entire OS to RAM for super fast operation (once loaded).

    Kali is based on Backtrack which was based on Knoppix iirc (don't quote me on this), and Knoppix itself of course being vaguely based on Debian itself. So it's kind of come full circle.

    And Knoppix really is a Swiss Army Knife type of distro, with a great wealth of programs, though you pay for that in distro size, no biggie really in this day and age. It also includes virtual box and with a bit of tweaking of privileges (again iirc) that I had to look up coz I'm a total Linux noob, I was mounting WinXp from it on a separate partition on the laptop HD. Lightning fast and worked perfectly. Also the smallCD Debian install that I have as an image as well.

    If you like sniffing WiFi then Knoppix also has quite a few tools for doing that too. It's free as well.

    Another non-standard and utility based distro I wouldn't be without is PartedMagic. It has an absolute wealth of tools for disk checking, partitioning, extracting, etc. etc. It also loads to RAM automatically and is super fast, and has always detected whatever hardware I have for an instant no frills internet connection. It was my very first distro (they say you never forget your first time).

    I was so impressed that I donated a fiver to the cause. It's payware now and I do believe you have to spend something like 5 dollars to get an up to date copy, but that's more than fair enough for what you get.

    Just some suggestions to counter the usual Mint/Ubuntu recommendations (nowt wrong with that - I have LMDE on a second partition on my laptop on a dual boot setup via grub), but if you like to push your boundaries and play outside your safety zone, both Knoppix and Parted Magic have a plethora of bread and butter and also esoteric (to me anyway) tools to keep you amused.

    Not sure if Kali can be written to a RAM disk like Parted Magic and Knoppix, but don't knock it till you've tried it - it's a revelation in speed (well maybe not so much if you are used to SSD).

    If your penchant is for writing your OS to RAM, and you have a 64-bit cpu, then I also highly recommend the aforementioned Puppy variation - FatDog64, and it's pretty easy to set persistence up on the same usb stick via another partition if you want to save stuff as you go along.

    But yeah, Linux Mint! Can't go wrong, it's just a shame it doesn't run the thousands of pounds worth of software I've bought for audio apps, so I'm lumped with Microsoft and that's that.

    If nothing else, no self-respecting computer bod should be without Knoppix or Parted Magic. They both have tools that could really save your day one day, and like the fabled Mac - they just work!

    Try it, you might like it. And don't forget to google 'knoppix cheatcodes' for a whole new world...

    1. Gulraj Rijhwani

      Re: If you like Kali..

      As a long time user of Knoppix as a LiveCD "Linux desktop on a box I don't own" distro, it is great. I would not recommend it for full installation, though. There are better distros for that.

      1. A Ghost

        Re: If you like Kali..

        Yes, I think I did make that point. It's not really meant to be built to HD. Klaus Knopper himself states this.

        It was as much to draw comparisons with the heritage of Kali and Backtrack.

        I forget now but I think Knoppix has some pretty useful sniffing tools itself.

  22. Gulraj Rijhwani

    Wrong distro

    I have to say - as a user of Kali for legitimate professional reasons - that it seems an odd choice for general desktop usage. Like you I can't abide the direction Ubuntu have taken with the desktop, and Unity is attrocious, but it is odd that you complain about a 90s era UI. The tiles and gestures interface only makes sense for a touch screen, otherwise your basic task bar/drop-menus interface is way the most user-efficient interface there is (short of a plain text console for people who know exactly what they want, and how to make it happen).

    For first time/novice Linux desktop users there are plenty of ways around the problem which don't require you to lumber yourself with the arcane tools that Kali provides. If you don't like Ubuntu's default desktop interface, you can always over-load it with something else, or take the basic Ubuntu server and add your choice of desktop and tools to it (as I do for daily use machines). Neither method is particularly onerous. Or you could try out Linux Mint or even - as someone else already suggested - the parent Debian distro. Your penchant for wifi sniffing (naughty!) is easily satisfied, because all the tools, if not installed by default, are immediately available - aircrack-ng, Kismet, etc... Adding leisure facilities to a strongly-purposed distro like Kali seems a tad back-to-front.

  23. A Ghost
    Boffin

    To be fair, the author does explicitly admit to a bit of sniffing, and what better than Kali for that purpose. Who are we to question or judge his higher or baser motives? It may be that he likes to inform his not so learned neighbours that their WiFi is wide open to less than scrupulous crackers.

    He might just be a good neighbour. He might like to win friends and influence people by knocking on their doors at 7:30 am sharp and saying: <best robot nerd voice> Hello. You do not know me. But last night I sniffed your network and couldn't help but notice you visited alt.dot.lick.my.heels.com 32 times within the hour, every hour. An outside adversary may be able to use this information against you. Just thought you might like to know. </best robot nerd voice>.

    At which point he will either be taken inside for a bacon butty and a bit of bonhomie, or taken to task and headbutted with a bit of a hospital visit. If he's done it before, I'm sure he has it down to a fine art and knows what he is doing. Who said the art of intrigue was dead?

    It's one thing to clock or ping or find an open WiFi point, it's another to use air crack ng or metasploit or wtf it's called to gain entry. Besides, there are other ways in even with those that have WPA enabled that may be using the router default 4 digit wireless password thingy. Forgive me, I could look it up but it's late. There's many that think they are safe using this protocol as opposed to WEP was it? When in fact WPA with this option enabled on the router can be cracked even quicker iirc.

    It may also be for emergencies only. Some setups don't even alert you to the presence of other networks, be they open or not. I know that windows has stopped showing all other networks around me even though there are a dozen or so where I am, and some of them are even open via pay (BT). Not sure why this is. One day they were there, the next they were gone. When I'm in Linux they magically appear out of the ether.

    I would say if the author has been transparent enough with us to share his 'predilection', we should at least grant him some good will in return. Also, Kali is one of those distros like Parted Magic and like Knoppix that are known to work with a massive subset of wireless cards, by their very nature, so compatibility and getting up and running quickly may also be a concern.

    True, today, if you run the latest version of Mint, that will probably find your card and do the same, but it wasn't so long ago where it really was hit and miss to get wireless drivers up and running. I know coz that was around the time I came into Linux 2010 or so Mint Julia kind of epoch. And if you are running an old laptop, it's quite feasible it has an old wireless card, and hence needs older drivers, that may only be available out of the box from a wider database, such as those installed with Kali.

    Then again, I might have totally misunderstood all that at a fundamental level.

    It may even be that the author is a hopeless romantic and just likes the name and the desktop that comes with Kali - I know I had that on my win7 machine for about 6 months! Kewl, as they used to say, before it became unkewl to say it. And even unkewler to write it.

    We may never know the author's true motivations for his esoteric choice of distro, but I for one, don't feel as if an explanation is necessary. That was it and he documented it. The reasons I've laid out are all plausible excuses for choosing this distro. No, it's not a desktop/office distro, it's a straight out of the box/get up and running quick in compatibility mode, kind of distro.

    And I for one, again, applaud those that do not follow the Linux Mint Everything root. The 'what does this do', and the 'what happens if I do this' school of computing is slowly being lost, watered down by standards, that we feel we must adhere to, when we need not. That's the old spirit of computing in my book, and no one need be brought to book for displaying that kind of attitude.

    I say all this of course, as a hopeless romantic myself. Long shall we reign. Or, err, at least hang around on the peripheries, sniffing whilst we still can. It's the world's oldest sport! Ok, maybe the world's second oldest sport.

    Definitely time for bed now. Going into lockdown... 5.4.3.2.1... Confirm no open ports being sniffed... Do not respond... Do not respond... Stealth mode...

    Goodnight.

  24. buckyball

    Diversity is good

    A few random thoughts after the article and comments:

    The definitive bazaar for browsing Linux distros: http://distrowatch.com

    IDIC - Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations (Star Trek) seems to apply to Linux as well.

    Oracle VirtualBox is your friend when browsing the bazaar, since an ISO can be assigned as a boot device without needing to burn to actual media. Zippy boot times...

    Booting (natively) from DVD is not necessarily evil, what with all of the aggressively portable malware out there. Infecting a USB stick is easy. Write-once media, less so, though not impossible. (I really wish a physical write-protect switch was available on flash drives. I had one long ago so equipped.)

    And let is not forget to say "THANKS!" to all of the hard-working and generally altruistic members of the FOSS community who make this wonderful kit.

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