I decided to
waste spend my hard-earned l’argent and play around with linux on a cheap laptop. I ordered a Gemini Lake-based Chuwi Lapbook SE from GearBest which takes some…courage?…if you are a typical American shopper unaccustomed to Chinese storefronts translated by committee. Three weeks after ordering, I opened a support ticket because it hadn’t shipped yet and it was suddenly on its way! Three weeks later (a cheap laptop, remember? I wasn’t going to pay for shipping faster than cargo ship and a well-trained donkey to bring it to my house) it arrived.
Hilariously, it came with a Chinese-compatible wall plug. I made do with a cord I had that fit into the supplied transformer.1
It took two tries to staart it up under Windows 10 because I moved too quickly at one point and confused the system. Also, Microsoft makes it so Cortana tries to lead you through setting up a new system and who the fuck thought that was a good idea: speak my WiFi password? Cortana, die in a ditch with your terrible sistren.
Once I had that working I downloaded the Linux Mint iso (64-bit, Cinnamon, version 19) and, using goat’s blood sanctified in the skull of a virgin rattlesnake2, I made a bootable USB stick.
Then a trip to the BIOS on reboot to choose the inserted, bootable USB as the first boot device and installation from the live USB.
I regret to inform you that I did not have to flash my EFI, and so far everything is working out of the box. This page will update if I run into problems.
This is considered a bad idea. DO NOT DO THIS. It is relatively safe because I only charge it on a hard, nonflammable (not inflammable - that comes via Latin and the in- means “cause to” and not “not”) surface and the transformer won’t supply more power (volts or amps) than it is designed to. But it is still a bad idea to play mix-and-match with power adapters. ↩
This step is personal preference - you do you. ↩