Quote Originally Posted by Duncan J Murray View Post
PS I haven't tried 12.04 with MATE, but I figure that you might as well go for linux mint mate rather than faff around with installing mate on 12.04. I also wonder if linux mint mate will be a bit leaner, as it won't have all of the G3/unity baggage with it (maybe that was what was slowing down 12.04 fallback?).
I recommend and install Linux Mint to newbie friends because it is easy to run and has good multimedia support out of the box. I have found that Mate is faster than Cinnamon, which might be important on older computers. Cinnamon feels more modern but has fewer tools in the box, so it is a good idea to install both to have a choice of both desktop environments as well as tools to tweak the system.

But, as I described earlier, I run Ubuntu 12.04 flavours myself.