Garrett Fuller
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Mint Machine

The Mint Machine is an Asus Essentio Series desktop tower computer. I used it daily from 2011, when I received it, until October 2014, when the hard drive finally failed. Despite being a good computer, it did have its issues (though mainly minor.) Now it is being used to run Linux Mint.

The History

I originally received the Mint Machine in 2011, as a birthday present from my grandparents. It was my first Windows 7 Home Premium machine, which gave me my first look into full-fledged Windows 7, instead of the Windows 7 Starter edition I had previously experienced on an overworked netbook. The Mint Machine came originally packed with Microsoft Office 2003, but I eventually upgraded it to Microsoft Office 2010 Home, which faithfully served me until the hard drive died.

Things ran fine until around the summer of 2014. The machine's 1TB hard drive was nearly full. This came as a surprise, until I thought about the amount of pictures and hour-long videos consumed the disk space. I ran disk utilities almost daily, until the computer started acting up that fall. In around October, it was almost like playing a game of roulette. Some days the machine would boot fine, others not so much. Eventually, in late October, the hard drive finally failed. I thankfully backed up important files on a thumb drive about a week prior to the machine failing, but I could not save everything due to limited space on other drives. At the time, I was also in my internship at the Boonville Daily News. There, I was becoming experienced with Mac OS X (on an original PowerPC-based MacMini from 2005) and how intuitive and user-friendly it was. In November, my family purchased a MacMini new from the Apple Store in Kansas City, and ever since I've been a fan of Mac OS.

I was able to bring home two 40GB SATA hard drives to place in the machine. (Since these were surplus items from the Computer Networking class at our school, I was able to procure them for free.) I loaded Linux Mint on the machine, and it ran fine. Eventually, I had intentions of selling the machine. After loading the machine on Craigslist, I had completely disassembled the machine and cleaned the case and all of the dust out of the case and motherboard, including the plastic bezel that seems to collect dust. The machine fit back together nicely, and the original buyer backed out. I gave up on selling the machine, and ordered a 250GB SATA drive to insert into the machine, as a slave drive. I use the machine to burn discs (it is my only machine with a DVD burner) and store video files. I use a 40GB drive for the OS and the 250GB for actual files.

The Specs

My intentions were to upgrade the memory from the stock 4GB of RAM to 8GB of RAM, but I never got around to it. The following specs reflect the original and current specifications.

Processor:

Intel Pentium @ 2.8GHz

Memory (RAM):

4GB DDR3

Storage:

  • 250GB Western Digital HD* (files)
  • 40GB Seagate HD* (OS)
(originally 1TB Seagate HD)

Graphics

On-board Intel

Sound

On-board RealTek

Networking

Ethernet (twisted pair)

Display Outputs

VGA (commonly used), DVI, HDMI

Other Ports

8 USB ports, 1 PS/2 Keyboard Port

Other Drives

Opitcal Drive (DVD Burner)

Operating System

Linux Mint "Rebecca" 64-bit

*Mechanical Hard Drive

Mint Problems

This was the first computer I ran Linux Mint on, and I was surprised at the cleanliness and the look and feel. However, Linux Mint had its issues. I've had to reinstall Linux Mint at least twice now, due to networking problems and other issues. The last time I had to reinstall Mint was caused by the computer refusing to connect to the internet, despite it working before, and other computers on the network being able to connect. I tried to reload the network configuration, but (dumb me) I forgot to follow the second part of instructions. When I rebooted the machine, it would not let me into the GUI, but rather stuck me into a terminal display. Reloading Mint partially fixed the issue, but I have to select the correct version of Mint through the GNU-GRUB Loader. I could not imagine using Linux Mint on a daily basis, as it is much more buggier than Windows and Mac OS X.


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