Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
A lot of us have old PCs stuck in the corners of classrooms, machines we just can’t afford to replace and whose owners just can’t do without. At the same time, a lot of us are acquiring netbooks and inexpensive hardware instead of investing in the latest and greatest “Vista-capable” computers. Normally for FOSS people like me its a YEHEY think to put in Linux in those running Boxes.
Some people have issues however if indeed there appears to be a need to install Xubuntu on a 7-year old computer when it’s running just fine on Windows 98 or Windows 2000? From a security point of view , there are risks in running these dated operating systems, however,what matters to us is just to keep people who are using these computers functional (since they have grown used to it, considering that many people in these spaces are creatures of habit). Perhaps the machines are only used for word processing or accessing specific applications with minimal Internet access (if a computer only hits your student information system and sits behind an adequate firewall, chances of a breach are pretty low).
There are time that Students or even your teachers bought netbooks for themselves and had XP Home installed, no matter how many times you suggested they buy the Linux model. To that end, there is some very lightweight software available to maximize the utility of aging machines or low-end netbooks (and it runs on Windows!).Chris Dawson and Tech Radar featured a cool roundup of ultra-light applications for aging PCs. We will highlight some of the apps that would be most appropriate for educational settings: