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[tlug] Help with Mint

Thomas Blasejewicz writes:

 > For reasons I do not understand has the Mint mailing list died on me 
 > too. I get:
 > ----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----
 > <>
 >      (reason: 550 Host unknown)

As Jim points out, the registration of is expired.
Evidently the registrar doesn't provide any grace period, so they
removed the DNS records, and it is now impossible to lookup the host
and find its Internet address.  It may or may come back up by itself
depending on human factors (payment of fees, moving the list to
another host).

General advice on the crashed machine:

If I were you, since evidently want to get the machine running "as
is", I would post an offer of lunch, dinner, and beer some Saturday
afternoon in hope of getting somebody with admin skills to "lay hands"
on your machine and "resurrect" it.  Debugging by email is likely to
be hopeless since you haven't yet developed bug reporting skills.

The second-best option is to reinstall from scratch, getting advice
here as you go.  I would consider either a multiboot configuration or
use of virtual machines (abbreviated "VM").  I'm not sure if the
Optiplex is sufficiently powerful to make the VM strategy pleasant.
Setting either of those up will require some care, but the benefit is
that you'll have a working machine if your experiments fail

 > A while ago I installed Mint 17.1, 64-bit on a Dell Optiplex 745 (I 
 > intended to make this a "production machine" ...)

This is a mistake.  A production machine has a known configuration
tuned to a specific set of applications.  Using a machine for
experiments with unfamiliar software or unfamiliar applications of
software you have experience with means it's not "production" by
definition.  However, you *can* use the same physical hardware for
both a production host and an experimental host if you have a
multiboot or VM setup as mentioned above.  Such a multipurpose setup
isn't recommended, but if your budget for hardware is constrained it
might be your best option.

There are plenty of people on this list who can help with either

 > ( I had to do THAT a million times already, because I do not know
 > all the fancy computer techniques ...)

There's nothing so fancy about the techniques necessary to avoid
reinstalling at every difficulty.  You just need to learn to work step
by step, and to keep detailed notes on every change you make to the
system so you can undo things that don't work, or report to those who
are more experienced in the case of more complex problems.

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