I just bought a new computer, and went with Windows. It seems to be working fine (although I should have put more thought into it since I had trouble moving my old files over to the new computer). I got thinking about trying Linux, and that maybe buying a new(er) computer with a Linux distribution already installed, and with the GUI already working might be the way to go. Any comments on this? Who has earned your trust locally to sell you a computer that works out of the box with Linux? I am considering an Athlon 64 X2 with enough RAM to work comfortably. I'm not into graphics intensive games (unless you count games like "Sim City"), and am more interested in being able to go on the Internet, download/upload files to Flickr, Picassa, and YouTube. Since I would be starting out from "zero" I wouldn't be interested in transferring most of my data files (such as I made with MS Access) to the new computer, but I would be interested in developing some of my own databases. I looked at "Open Office", but I could "look" at my old files, but couldn't add any new records to the table that I had. That isn't a problem since I bought an upgrade of Office 97 Professional at Sam's Club that allowed me to continue working with my old files. But looking to the future it might be better for me if I switched over to "freeware" or "cheapware" since I'm on a fixed income.
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From the way it sounds, you want a Corvette when an Escort will do just fine.
You're not using any graphic intensive programs, or any media that will put demands on a system, so IMHO, just your basic computer is going to suffice.
I'm not sure, but I think Linux is open source and free for the download. If you want to try it, that's what I'd suggest.
Install Linux on your old system and try it out for free.
I recommend Ubuntu! It's free.
Also, check out this section of their site...
You can dual boot most linux distributions and many of them can operate live, that is you can run them from a CD and not install them on your hard drive.
It doesn't take much technical savvy to get linux to work. I have a linux craptop that non tech people have no issues with.
Kubuntu might look a little better. The stock wallpaper is like Windows, atrocious.
I think the founder of Ubuntu is challenging the community to make the OS as slick looking as Mac's OS X, without being a resource hog.
There's gutted versions of XP out that can on around 40MB of RAM and run faster than new Vista computers on PII processors.
I like Ubuntu, but do suggest a duel Boot, because there are some things that I can only do in windows. But Ubuntu is very easy to use and to set up and is better than windows for 90% of the stuff I do on a computer.
make sure the version of linux you use supports your video card, in years past that has been an issue. Don't know if it still is, as Linux versions are much easier to install nowadays.
Pretty much any computer from and old 386 to a mainframe can run linux well.
The only time I've had issues in the 12 years I've been using it is on some laptops.
Try Ubuntu, you can boot it off the CD/DVD drive and test it out w/o even having to install it.
You can also try dual booting. Meaning you can have Linux and Windows installed at the same time and just boot into which ever one you want. If you ever have any questions feel free to ask. Toledo also has a great user group (TALUG, Toledo Area Linux User Group) with a mailing list that's active.
prime3end: Video cards aren't as big an issue as they were in years past. Companies are wising up to helping or even release drivers for linux now.
AMD bought out ATI and they offer ok drivers, hear they are even better now.
There is native open source NVidia drivers, but Nvidia makes their own binary (and very good) drivers for free.
Intel has very good and open source drivers for their line of cards, which tend to be the ones integrated on lower-mid sized consumer computers.
As an example a friend of mine recently was able to setup World of Warcraft and play it 100% from within Linux even though it's a Windows program. The graphics looked just as good :)
I can give you some ideas, but before acting, I would do some research.
Dual Boot works, but this may take some technical expertise. If you ever decide you really want it go to virtual PC's location, or some other consultant. (I have absolutely no connection to Virtual PC's. I will say that they are knowledgeable and inexpensive.) Assuming that you value your time, paying an expert to set this up will be worth it.
If I were you, I would go to propertyroom.com, and buy a system for next to nothing. That could be your Linux machine.
Ubuntu is probably the best free version out there, and from my limited exposure is more user friendly than Open Suse. Red Hat, and Suse Enterprise are good Linux flavors. You would have to pay, but not much$$$.
Open source is a developer philosophy, and does not mean that the software is free.
If you want to try (different desktop than standard Ubuntu) Linux on your Windows system, look into Knoppix. You can run this from a CD without having to install onto your hard drive.
thanks jshriver, I had noticed things getting better on my last (years ago) Red Hat install, but am glad to hear the video driver issues for the gui are resolved.
I "installed" Ubuntu but then got an "Initializing GRUB controllers...Error 17". I couldn't get either the old drive, or the new one to "boot" either Windows or Ubuntu. I was able to get Ubuntu to work from the CD I made of Ubuntu, and I am satisfied with the programs I have used so far (I am using the Mozilla Foxfire browser right now). I am trying to partition for a dual boot on my C:\ drive for both Windows Vista and Ubuntu. Hopefully that works.
At present I fear that I have lost what I have done in the Windows for the last couple of years (got complacent about backups), and I didn't do a recovery disk for Vista. Hopefully, the partition program will do what I think I did, and I will have a larger partition for Windows Vista, and two smaller ones for Ubuntu (a swap file, and an emt? file). Maybe I shouldn't be writing this while I am partitioning the drive, but it seems to be working, and I get bored while this goes on for ...5+ hours). Last night I went to bed thinking it would be done, but it seems that when the monitor blanked out then the partition program stopped its progress so I have been doing chores, and hitting any key when it blanks out to keep the process going.
Do you have the power management in the bios set to spin down the hard drives?
oldsendbrdy if you need help I'd be willing to help you IRL, but if you have data that needs recovered I could help you as well.
crosses fingers spam bots dont hit this site lol
Thanks, J. I think I might be getting the hang of some of it. Since I can only use Ubuntu from the CD (CDLive) I know that most of the files are probably there and recoverable (I looked at photos, videos, and documents). So far I haven't found a way to play my .wma files (I prefer "Windows" for my music player). I haven't managed to get the PC to boot from the old EIDE drive (now formatted, and installed with only Linux stuff). Still getting "Error 17" there. I am going to try to set up the drive that came with the new computer as a dual-boot or have a partition for Linux on it. I haven't made any deadly errors to the operating system yet but I should have done what I learned 20 years ago: back up regularly, and don't venture into new territory without backing everything up. Well, I needed a little excitement in my life, and installing a new operating system fit the bill.
Should of played with linux on the old puter. Nice thing about anything other than Windows is the lack of need for super high hardware requirements.
Took the hard-drive out of the "Thermaltake" enclosure, and put it back into the old computer (an H-P a646c with an Athlon 64 3200+ and 512 MB RAM). I used the Live CD to boot up, and then installed (again) the Ubuntu onto the drive. This time it took it, and it works fine. In fact, I am having less trouble with it than using the CD on this one (I tried to make the resolution finer, but it stays at 600 × 400). I do see why people like Linux (especially if you're on a fixed income), but I can also see why people like Windows (when it is first purchased it runs very well). Well, I guess I'll try both, but not on the same computer (too much trouble for a newbie).
I bought a copy of "Windows Vista Ultimate", and restored my operating system on my new computer. It now shows dual boot for Windows and Ubuntu but the Ubuntu still doesn't (although it works just fine on the old computer where I installed it in a drive by itself). The new computer didn't recognize the ethernet or DSL modem, but the old computer (with Ubuntu) did. I suppose I'll get everything back to semblance of order in the next few days, but it is nice to see that Ubuntu works very well on an older compute (Athlon 64 rather than Athlon 64 ×2). Well, at least I'm back on the Internet with Ubuntu as my guide.
Everything on my new computer seems to be working but the DSL. Get a message about the ethernet. I do like Ubuntu on my old computer (which now connects to the Internet just fine). Knowing what I know now if I were buying a computer I would buy a "cheapie" (probably $200) without an operating system, and get the latest distro (?) of "Ubuntu".
In fact, I just remembered that I bought a CPU without an operating system at a garage sale. I'll probably load that with "Ubuntu" and give it to a nephew for schoolwork. If I want to keep the kid's nose to the grindstone I don't want Windows with all the games available on it (although I have played, and lost, chess to my "new" Ubuntu computer).