The short version: Over the weekend, I finally got around to trying to install Linux Mint.  It torched my computer, smashed my partition table, and led to quite a few hours of frustration, as well as nuking the spare time that would ordinarily have gone to reviewing and bookliking.

Some related issues will mean that I won't be on much until this weekend.

I do not advise installing Linux Mint.

 
The ranty, TLDR version: 
Whenever I start thinking I might actually be comfortable with technology, life interferes with my complacency.
I've been doing the Fedora KDE thing for a while, but I've become increasingly frustrated by the Adobe-Fedora war.  Fedora will grudgingly allow you to install adobe stuff, but as far as I can see, you cannot get full functionality without creating skeevy hacks* and I don't do that.  I've had an assignment from my volunteer place sitting on my plate for a month that is in pure and egregious Adobe: flash video + some sort of weird slide setup (I didn't even know that was a thing) inside a pdf for god-knows-what horrific reason.** After spending a few frustrated hours on it, I decided that I'd either have to get VirtualBox up and running or add a new OS.
 
Mint has a rep for being a little better with non-OSS--it's a flavour of Canonical's, but also has removed the whole Ubuntu spyware setup. I'd never tried Mint before, so I decided to install it on a separate partition.  No prob, right? I've done the coexisting OS thing a few times; I've installed Fedora Gnome and KDE, CentOS, many flavours of Windows, and a few versions of Ubuntu in various configurations with one another.  At this point, I do the whole data partition thing and it all works pretty well.
 
I burned myself a DVD Iso, checked my md5's, cleaned up my computer, put everything I wanted into my data partition, and slotted in Mint.
Mint started up cheerfully, but (I think, because I can't figure out what else could have gone wrong) it didn't like the data partition at all.  The GUI went ahead without a murmur, although I was a little concerned to see some permissions errors on the terminal. Then it got to the last step and suddenly complained, crashed, and froze.  Before it went BSOD, it told me that there was something wrong with my cd player and to clean my optical drive, despite the fact that the error it reported in the terminal was a permissions error. Of course, being Mint, it decided this was an issue only after it had wiped out Fedora.  Okay, I thought.  I cleaned off the optical drive, and was unsurprised to find that I no longer had an OS.  Mint install time again.
Yet again, it got all the way through to the end, then complained.  
This time, it was a partition table error.
A little freaked, I decided to try to reinstall Fedora.
Only then did I discover that I was royally screwed: the partition table was well and truly botched. So botched that there wasn't sufficient room to install gparted.  A bit of fdisk and I semi got it working, enough to try to reformat my drive.  I'm not tech-savvy enough to really want to mess with fdisk too much.  I clearly wasn't having enough fun yet, so my disk started complaining that it was overheating.
 
At this point, I started praying to the god of tetchy computers.
And Saint Jude, just for good measure.
 
It took a few days, but I finally managed to clean up the harddrive via a Fedora install.  After wasting this much time, I wanted *something* to show for it, so I swapped back to Ubuntu, Amazon spyware uninstalled.  Meh. I use Ubuntu at work. 
It's familiar, and we have a love-hate thing going.
Plus, at this point, I kind of never want to deal with nitty-gritty technology ever again.

 

I have never been so pissed off at an OS in my life--and considering I've used 32b Win7 with 1G RAM and Windows 8, that's saying something.  Even apart from the whole security flaw thing (look it up), who the hell writes software to do a hardcore installation without freaking simulating it first?  Who leaves a freaking partition table in shambles?
 

Anyway, I now have Ubuntu and much adobe and I still can't open the damn PDF-Flash-Pres-Thing.***  I ended up having to go to the library and using an ancient Windows machine, and I have 3 hours of training left, which will basically kill my booklikes time for the rest of this week.

 

So unless I finish early, see you this weekend!

 

*Look up fakelibhal if you want the details.
**Please, volunteer places, please do not make your volunteer programs dependent on having a windows machine! It is very cruel.
***Ubuntu, understandably, gives a security warning for Adobe Reader, so I won't install it.  Argh.