I'm helping my friend with an office computer optimization (it's for a small company, only one computer in use).
The computer is around 10 years old (AMD Athlon XP 2000 +, 1 GB RAM, ATI Radeon 9000). The IDE disk is dying (SMART data is quite critical), he already made the backup, now he'll be geating a cheap used replacement HDD from the flea market.
All he needs is a computer with which he can send e-mails, writes documents in Word, watch/print DWG (CAD), PDF and similar files. Motherboard is old - Asus A7V8X-X, he also uses the LPT port to print with an older printer (HP Laserjet 4) and to access the Internet he uses a HSDPA USB modem.
He has to buy licensed Windows XP and Office because he has an unlicensed version on atm (he has a license for Windows ME which is useless).
But then I thought of it - for his basic needs he could have it all for free - with Linux! Right? If only the drivers for all of these things (USB modem, LasterJet 4, etc..) exist. A nice Linux distribution which is suitable for commercial use, a Free/Open Office and a free AV - that's all.
Do you have any experience in setting up an old office computer like that with Linux based OS and all-free programs? Would it work?