There's not really much difference between the Dell Dimension 3000 & the 2400 that I have in the closet.
It should run lightweight Linux OS's fine, but the heavy ones (such as Linux Mint MATE 13) the latest Mint version you can run, will slow the computer, though it'll run MInt 13 Xfce fine.
Would be great if you could find a used Dimension 4600 motherboard for it, they're cheap (maybe $20) & provides two more RAM slots, and a perfect fit. Those type of RAM sticks & CPU's are also dirt cheap, many are $10 or less, I've bought a couple of the CPU's for $8 or so with free shipping. I wished I knew of that motherboard upgrade when my 2400 was in use, it was retired over 13 months ago.
However, as long as the computer runs, we'll find something that'll run on it.
Oh, and to keep you Linux ISO's from becoming corrupted, install & use Firefox for the download. Once FF is installed, go to the Menu, those three vertical lines in the upper right hand corner, and click add-ons. Search for "Down Them All", and install it, it's a download manager. This keeps the download from breaking up, preventing corruption & speeding things up at the same time. Once you have Down Them All installed, it becomes a choice to use when downloading. Use it for these type of files.
The cool thing about a download manager is that even if the connection breaks for a bit, it'll pick up where left off & it'll be complete.
Hopefully you'll get a little more time out of the system, however please don't make the same mistake I did. I sunk over $100 in trying to make something out of that 2400, and by the time it was said & done, maybe gained 20% in performance. Had I known about the 4600 motherboard, I'd have gone that way, but still, don't spend a ton of cash on that PC thinking you'll have a powerhouse, you'll be disappointed, and that cash could buy a nice used PC. Many of which can be found for $100 or less & run the latest titles. Sometimes folks will give away a 6-7 year old computer, Vista PC's make great Linux ones & can run the latest.
So, if my expensive lesson can assist anyone, I see it as not so bad of a loss. The PC is what it is, and even with the 4600 motherboard, it's not going to set the woods on fire, and still won't run the latest versions.
And of course, I'm more than happy to assist, where I can. Unfortunately, I'm experienced with Puppy, so I'll let those who knows it guide you. Lubuntu, Linux Mint Xfce, those type is where I can assist.
BTW, Linux Mint is often referred to as the perfect drop in replacement for Windows XP. This goes for version 13 also. Again, if you're interested in that one, 13 Xfce is the one you'll want.
And don't forget what I advised on Firefox & using Down Them All, it's the best free download manager that I've used that was available as a browser add-on (also called extension). Don't hesitate to ask questions when needed. We've all been in the same place you are today, and most of us learned from the teachings or guidance of others. There is no shame in asking for help, and no such thing as "dumb" questions, except for the one not asked when in need. In other words, we're here for you.
Good Luck & to the Linux section of BC Forums!
We're happy to have you abroad.
EDIT: That PC should be able to boot from a Flash drive by pressing F12 at boot, but it may have to be enabled in the BIOS, which can be accessed with F2 at boot. If so, make sure that the Flash drive is installed when Windows is running, and reboot into the BIOS, it'll "see" the Flash drive to enable booting from it. With some models, it's an automatic deal, with others it has to be activated. You'll see the option when going through the menu. Make sure to press F10 to save the setting & reboot.
The Flash drive will then be available, if it wasn't before. I've been a Dell user for nearly 14 years, having one or more models all the time during that span. Currently have three, if the Dimension 2400 in the closet counts.
Edited by cat1092, 22 November 2014 - 11:48 PM.