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Is Linux Better For Old Computers?


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#1 333nnn

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 10:00 PM

Compaq Presario 5000, Windows XP, 631 MHz, 15 Gig C drive, 37 Gig E drive, 192 MB RAM, Intel Celeron processor


My computer came with ME. A friend installed XP Professional years ago. I believe for a while my computer was running ok, but for a while I've been experienceing a lot of problems. So I went through a bunch of antivirus programs on another site. We found at least one virus, but I'm still having a lot of problems. I posted the problems on another site and a couple people recommended that I install a Linux o/s because my configuration is too small and old for XP to run properly on my computer no matter how much RAM I add. Is Linux a better o/s for my computer, and which Linux o/s should I try? Someone recommended PCLinusOSTinyFlux. My understanding of computers is very rudimentary. Thanks for any replies.

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#2 Trio3b

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 10:19 PM

Hmmm..... There are too many variables to give you a "pat" answer, or guarantee that Wxp will work on any particular amount of RAM, but I recommend 256mb. If I gather the gist of your question, in considering Linux you may want to consider that KDE and GNOME desktops will be most familiar to ex Windows users. These are full featured desktop ENVIRONMENTS and generally will run on 256mbRAM (512mb preferred). Xfce, fluxbox and others are more akin to window managers and will run on as little as 128mbRAM, but may be foreign to Windows users, so be aware of this. One of the first things you will want to do is decide which desktop environment you prefer and act accordingly.

Most distros will allow you to pick and choose the desktop you want, but for the new user I recommend sticking with the defaults.
Of course you should always check compatibility with your hdwr. Best way to do this is to run a Linux LiveCD.

Distros using lighter windowing environments are SAM, Tinyme, Vector (which hauls *ss) and Zen which run well on 128mbRAM. DSL and PuppyLinux will run on even as little as 64mbRAM, but the interface may be too foreign.

Distros using full featured desktops are PCLOS2007, Mandriva, Xandros, *buntu, , Mepis , LinuxMint, Suse, Kanotix, Fedora and CentOS, which are good distros for the newb in general order of ease for the new Linux user. ( I say general loosely).

The great thing about Mandriva, PCLOS and SAM Linux is that they provide a centralized GUI administration center that is very similar to the Windows control center.

I converted to Mandriva (upon which PCLOS and SAM linux are based) about 3 years ago and haven't looked back. There are tons of "trying linux tutorials" . Here is one spread out over several posts beginning with the second post here.

hope this helps

Edited by Trio3b, 26 March 2008 - 11:11 PM.


#3 Billy O'Neal

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 12:06 PM

@Trio3b
Nice post!
@333nnn
It all depends on your intended use of the system. If you are simply using it for web browsing and email, Linux ought to do you fine. If you are using it for playing games (hope not on that system) or editing PDFs, linux will be a pain. There are several very large holes in application support for the linux platform at this point, but there is plenty there for the average user, I.E. Office Suite, Web Browser, Notepad.

Good luck!

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#4 Foster Grant

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 01:39 PM

333nnn: I agree with most of this post (I disagree on one specific point that you don't need to worry about). If a client brought me those specs, I would install Xubuntu (Ubuntu with Xfce rather than GNOME). You should be able to get everything you need running in about a 100MB RAM space, so it won't feel "cramped." (And that memory stack will get smaller when Firefox 3 hits the repositories in about a month.)

Trio3b: Nice post. Maybe a little too much information? :thumbsup:

Billy: Have you looked at PDFedit?

#5 Billy O'Neal

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 02:01 PM

Billy: Have you looked at PDFedit?

Yes. Converting all my pdfs to postscript and back again with the command line seemed a pain...

Also, PDF edit does not support my scanner. (Well, nothing in linux does)

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#6 Trio3b

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 09:21 PM

Trio3b: Nice post. Maybe a little too much information? :thumbsup:


Yes, just a habit I've gotten into to help ME remember stuff!
:flowers:

FWIW - Foster Grant is correct in that it would take too long to list all the ins and outs of openapps vs winapps although I will say that the momentum of development in the Linux community has been breathtaking over the last 18 months.

Edited by Trio3b, 27 March 2008 - 09:37 PM.


#7 333nnn

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 08:52 PM

I want to get more RAM because I want to use KDE or GNOME or whatever environment that most resembles Windows. Where is the best place to buy more RAM? I bought my computer 11/1/00. Compaq Presario 5BW220. Thanks.

#8 Foster Grant

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 10:22 PM

I want to get more RAM because I want to use KDE or GNOME or whatever environment that most resembles Windows. Where is the best place to buy more RAM? I bought my computer 11/1/00. Compaq Presario 5BW220. Thanks.


http://www.memory.com/item.asp?item=CQ0772

Do you already have both RAM slots tied up? Not that it matters ... get two 256MB memory modules and don't look back.




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