[SATLUG] Switching to Linux from Windows XP

Chris Montgomery chrisncats at gmail.com
Sat Aug 1 00:58:32 CDT 2015

Peter, Travis, and Al,

Thanks for your replies and for a couple of recommendations for distros/desktop 
environments to check out. I've actually started checking out some articles 
online that review linux distros and associated desktop environments (didn't 
know there was a distinct difference between them before, but now I do).

Here is some hardware information about my Dell computer. Let me know if you 
were looking for something else.

Dell Computer Corporation
System Model: Dimension XPS Gen 2
BIOS Version: Dell Computer Corporation A02

Operating System
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Version: 5.1.2600
Service Pack: 3.0
Location: C:\WINDOWS

Memory (RAM)
Capacity: 2 GB

Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.20GHz
Version: x86 Family 15 Model 2 Stepping 9
Speed: 3192 MHz

Local Disk
Total Capacity: 111.70 GB
Sum of Hard Disks: (C: D: E: )
  Used: 82.99 GB
  Free: 28.70 GB

Video Card
Model: NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200

Regarding software that I will still need to run under Windows, this would 
include financial programs (MS Money, Quickbooks), tax software (H&R Block), and 
a few other windows based software programs. I wouldn't need to run these often 
but would need the ability to boot to Windows and run them as necessary.


Alan Lesmerises said the following on 7/31/2015 11:21 PM:
> I know the rest of the list can (and probably will) confirm or refute this, but
> my experience has been that when it comes to older hardware (slower CPUs, less
> RAM, less capable graphics cards, etc.), the main driver behind whether you will
> have a positive experience with any flavor of Linux will be the choice of
> desktop environment you use. Unity was mentioned before, but Gnome & KDE can
> also place a load on older hardware (again, that's been _my_ experience). I've
> had good luck running LXDE or XFCE in those cases, and they are definitely quite
> usable and don't feel like you're giving up anything.
> However, I would say that in the long-term, having hardware that can support a
> 64-bit operating system will become a more significant concern. It seems that
> several of the more major, mainstream distros have already dropped support for
> 32-bit versions, or will soon do so. To me, that has implications as far as
> long-term support (patches & updates) for whatever distro you go with.
> However, I would bet that the various versions or derivatives of Ubuntu will
> probably continue to package 32-bit versions for quite some time to come. For
> nothing else, I think that doing so is entirely consistent with their main
> philosophy of trying to bring affordable computing to the masses (including the
> 3rd world), and older platforms like yours are the kind of tech they would want
> to be compatible with.
> As far as one that has a generally similar look and feel as XP, I really like
> Mint, especially since it looks like they put a lot of emphasis on desktop
> usability for people who are switching from Windows.
> As always, YMMV.
> Al Lesmerises
> On 7/31/2015 6:12 PM, Travis England wrote:
>> I'm curious, what type of software running on Windows XP have you not been
>> able to find a decent replacement for?
>> I agree with Peter, in that we'd need to have a better idea of your
>> hardware before making any solid recommendations. I will, however, throw
>> out some love for elementaryOS. I've always had good luck getting it to
>> work well, even on old hardware (my old gaming desktop I built around the
>> same time as your Dell XPS was released).
>> On Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 5:58 PM, Peter Cross <pjcrux at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> What are the HW specs on the XPS? You may not enjoy Unity or other new
>>> GUI's due to hw limitations. YMMV.

Best regards,

Chris Montgomery

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