I got my desktop upgraded all the way to Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr. Everything was fine. Then I read a few websites on how to “tweak” (i.e., personalize) your system and tried a few of them. I wound up with something I didn’t like… and could not get back to what I had. I tried repairing the system, no good. I tried reinstalling Ubuntu from scratch, apparently had errors on the disk. I didn’t want to go back to Karmic and go through the whole upgrade process again, so I tried Mint.
I tried a few other 64-bit operating systems, and then remembered I had been asked to try out Lighthouse 64 6.02 B2 Mariner, a derivative of Slackware Linux in Puppy style (basically a 64-bit SlaxPup informed by FatDog64). I know that for some of you this is gibberish, but for others you’ll want the most exact language I can use.
Mariner looked great and was easy to use. I knew that Puppies save a config file to the hard drive for faster boots, and went to reboot to save the file. It wouldn’t save, said there wasn’t room.
It turns out that somewhere in the disk installs of either Ubuntu or Mint, my hard drive got formatted to a disk format I’m not ever aware of. So all I had toi do was run GPartEd and reformat that giant partition to ext4. Now I’m good, and very happy.
I still need to run it through its paces, find out what I need to do for Skype (I have a non-standard microphone and cheap webcam, but they worked in Ubuntu), maybe check out the Messenger (though I rarely use that these days), stuff like that.
I did lose one important file in all this, but it’s nothing I don’t have a moderately recent backup of and nothing I can’t construct from scratch if I have to.
Anyone out there who is looking for a fast, simple, beautiful version of Linux should give Mariner a try. The forum implies that the guy working on this might be sick — it has been a long time since the B2 and there’s no Final and he hasn’t commented for some time. Even so, the forum shows a large number of desktops and laptops this has run on, including the Dell Optiplex 740 Enhanced that John Noggoel gave me to get me back into the Desktop world.