I tried upgrading it from Windows XP to the latest Windows 7 (Vista just refused to install claiming the laptop wouldn’t be able to manage) but even the latest and greatest Windows seems to be lagging and gives my poor old ‘top a 1.0 in the experience test.
So what else is there?
Well, some would have us believe that Linux is the way to breath new life into an old machine. Allegedly Linux based operating systems a much less resource intensive and will run much more comfortably than the clear market leader. I intend to find out!
To clarify before we begin, I have never used Linux, at least not intentionally. Nobody has ever been able to convince me that it is worth my time installing over Windows. I know people will say that it is much more customisable than Windows and can be adapted to do whatever I want, but what do I want to do that I can’t do in Windows? I spend a lot of time looking at photos, listen to music, I visit websites, write blogs, organise my finances on spreadsheets, even edit home movies from time to time, and all this happens really quite well even on Windows XP.
To me when somebody talks about how flexible and customisable something is, especially when we’re talking about software, all I think is that I’m going to be spending an entire weekend just trying to get it working. My trusty iPhone comes with absolutely no flexibility whatsoever, and because of that everyone I know can pick it up and use it straight away. Word is though, there is now a version of Linux that has all the flexibility of Linux but that can finally rival Windows at ease of use. They call this miracle: Ubuntu.
So, on to the mission at hand. Here are my objectives in this delightfully geeky exercise:
- Install Ubuntu onto the laptop.
- Get the basics working (keyboard, touchpad, sound, wireless, internet).
- Find suitable (free) replacements for essential apps (Word, Excel, Outlook, iTunes, Picasa, Photoshop, VLC, Windows Movie Maker).
- Look around for limitations- what can’t I do that I could do in Windows.
- Find out what I can do on Ubuntu that I couldn’t do with Windows.
- Establish (somehow) whether the laptop is actually working better than before.
- Decide whether I like Ubuntu or want to go back to Windows XP.
Anyway, I have some objectives to be getting along with.
Continue on to part two: Installation