Mmm. Well, I think the last 2 or 3 posts have hit the nail on the head. You're probably better off buying a 'new'/refurb machine with Windows already installed (for PhotoShop, at any rate.....although it depends on the version that you use.)
Then, with the old machine, scrap the Windows install, and I would second Nick's advice. Something lightweight, like Puppy Linux, which is designed to keep older hardware useful (and run at a good speed!), would be well worth trying. You can try it out in the same manner; download the .iso image, burn to CD (DVDs won't be necessary, Puppy will easily fit onto a CD), and then run Puppy from the LiveCD.
(You'll find that pretty much all my posts include some reference to Puppy, as it's the only OS I run.....although I do run over a dozen of the little darlings..! I also agree with Nick, in that with the right distro, you won't recognise your old Gateway as the same machine, it'll run that much faster & smoother...)
Puppy is chock-full of 'tooltips' & 'wizards'; one reason why many Windows 'refugees' find it so easy to get used to. It comes supplied, OOTB, with pretty well all the applications most people could want, and those that aren't, are either available via Puppy's Package Manager, or available through the Puppy Forum:-
And one advantage of Puppy is that it can be run, full-time, from a flash-drive. At boot, Puppy is loaded, in its entirety, into RAM, and runs from there.....and RAM is the fastest component on your machine (with the exception of the CPU's built-in memory caches.) Which is why Puppy runs so fast!
The other advantage to this, of course, is that you then have a totally portable OS that you can take anywhere with you, and run from any machine (as long as it supports 'legacy' MBR booting from USB.)
I myself run Photoshop CS2 on many of my Puppy installs under WINE. It runs flawlessly, too; it actually runs better than it ever did under XP! I've written a tutorial for doing this in Puppy in the Linux & Unix How-to & Tutorials section of this forum.
The main caveat here being that my tutorial only works, as is, for that particular elderly version of Photoshop (which is still very powerful, even so.) WINE is a somewhat hit-and-miss proposal, I'm afraid; some Windows stuff works perfectly under it, but many will not. This is why the WINE HQ website maintains a database of what will, and won't, work with it.
(I also run the GIMP, too, and switch backwards & forwards from one to the other. I've been using both for some years, and while the interface is rather different, they both perform pretty much the same tasks.)
So yes, it is possible. However, you may be more comfortable using one of the other suggested distros; Puppy, even by Linux standards, is a bit 'off-beat', and does things in its own very unique way. It's biggest advantage, by far, is what's called the 'frugal' install. It runs from 3 or 4 compressed, 'read-only' files, which de-compress into RAM at boot. Every time you boot Puppy, you get a brand-spanking-new, squeaky-clean copy of Puppy!
And if anything ever goes wrong, as long as you keep backup copies of everything, you can restore Pup with a simple copy/paste operation. Puppy is the only Linux distro there is that can do this. This won't work with any of the others.
Which is why I use it. It's pretty much foolproof, and means that a dozy old codger like me has less chance of things going wrong..!
We should be able to help you get something sorted out; there's plenty of knowledgeable individuals here on BC, and while none of us is expert with everything in the Linux world, between us we have a fairly broad span of experience.
Edited by Mike_Walsh, 24 August 2016 - 07:23 AM.
Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1
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Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub
Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.