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Trying out Ubuntu

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Ubuntu

I've recently liberated an old Inspiron 4000 laptop and turned it into a PC for the wife and others. It's a 700MHz Pentium 3 with 310Mb of memory. Just about everything in it is now outdated from USB 1.0 to ATI Mobility M3 graphics. The good bit is an 80Gb disk from when I upgraded it a year or so ago. However apart from programs being a bit slow to load it runs Windows XP fine and actually using it, it's pretty responsive. At least good enough for general web surfing and email along with background downloads using BitTorrent et al. It even runs Skype well and can handle voice calls. It's got a PCMIA ethernet card and a Buffalo Wifi card.

So after cleaning the disk it's got 15Gb or so used and plenty of free space. So it seemed like a perfect opportunity to try out Ubuntu and experiment to see how close Linux is to me being able to make the switch.

Loading Ubuntu

Downloading the latest Edgy Eft 6.10 was easy (and surprisingly quick). The Dell has a DVD player but can't write CDs but my other laptop made short work of burning the CD using Infra Recorder. So now the fun begins.

Full Story.

Interesting Observations...

I found this user's article interesting. I am using a Compaq Armada M700 laptop with a 700MHz P3 and 256MB, only slightly less than the system they're using. I had been running Edgy on it for over a month, and have experienced none of the problems that they say they have been having. I've also found that even with 4MB of memory free after bootup, Edgy's still way more responsive than XP Home ever was. The slightest actions don't set off a spasm of hard drive access that locks things up for over five minutes, unlike XP.

I recently replaced Edgy with Suse 10.2 to see if it could handle a heftier distro. It could, but it was not as responsive, so 48 hours later, I was back to Edgy. It's not quite a Vista-killer, but it'll certainly kick the crap out of XP any day of the week. And not having to spend $250 to get effects just as good if not better than Aero Glass doesn't hurt, either.

Now, lest anyone think I've leaped on the Ubuntu fanboy bandwagon, I had used several versions of it on my home system, all of which were uninstalled within a week. I was not impressed with Ubuntu on the desktop, but I intend to kick XP off of my laptop for good very soon. I'm also willing to give it another try on the home system as well, because as much as I like SuSE 10.2, I don't like Novell's politics, and I'm starting to see more and more why people like Ubuntu. It's a great deal more than "Linux for Dummies," as I heard someone refer to it.

Ok I installed, Edgy

Ok I installed, Edgy (Xubuntu) on total low end ntb of Duron 1200 (800Mhz), 256MB ram, 40GB disk and a SIS 740 graph.card, it was running pretty well, but 4 programs running it became hell. I compiled specific kernel for it it begun run better, made some tweaks to ext3fs (changed journaling to write_back) still with firefox and openoffice running it was slugish. Then I decided, I put a 512MB ram module, oh dear the thing changed it is really nice fast, you can work wit openoffice, firefox, watch dvd listen to music and there are no mouse problem (My wife doesnt want part with this notebook, so now she is very satisfied). I even compiled the new XFCE 4.4 with composite and this baby has transluency, shadows with no perfomance penalties. I think if you can invest some money for memory, you can with small windows managers like fluxbox, xfce, icewm have a old machine with a newest os... I think 256Mb ram is not enough.... That's all...

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