Bananas had a dead linux distro to deal with, it was very much a niche distro but it worked, but then it went stale. Most of the updates where proposed and done in paper and blogged about, a movement from ubuntu to debian hit a dead end and since it was based on ubuntu 9 and getting updates was a hopeless cause and needing extra time and effort, things although still available needed other things and since its been a couple of years a refresh of sort was on the agenda.
I also don’t like Ubuntu’s extra requirements on each release, but I do like Debian and use it for servers being somebody who likes a challenge i went for the debian mint distro which is an attempt at a rolling release on a desktop. That was the idea. Getting stuff of the old distro was rather painfull, and when that was eventually done i could reformat the disk and start from scratch not necessary but worth it.
Usually messing with hardware is not something I do a lot of, To my surprise a lot of the things i was expecting trouble from did not exist, wired networking worked, and the screen displayed. To me teats a good start. the webcam, wireless where hardware issues though.
After apt fixing at command line (too many updates for the gui, after loading from usb stick) things started moving, the cam worked through an update, and the sticky keys for sound/brightness worked as well. So with mint 10 my only real issue was with atheros 9285 wireless lan which was there but disabled doing the enigmatic thing.
rfkill (a new command in linux for me) worked, and changing the user permissions to allow networking seemed to free up the wireless adaptor for work A bit of preference setting got a desktop more suited to what the old distro was like.
Debian Mint has a few more prompts on updates than Ubuntu does [debian testing], criticisms i make of it is too much mono, it took a couple of goes to remove the crud mono and virus threat (microsoft) it probably is, and yes i can do without f-spot. The terminal prompt is quite amusing on the live dvd. Be nice i had /sbin in the path on default – i might have a ether net wire but is it connected not a major gripe.
Most of the technical issues with the ‘niche’ hardware where sorted with three packages.and i have no complaints. Impressed with Debian Mint.