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Linux Ubuntu question for my older windows laptop.
4-6-14 | Me

Posted on 04/06/2014 1:04:45 PM PDT by Mad Dawgg

I got an older Compaq Presario Laptop and I've been toying with the idea of putting Ubuntu on it. I was wondering if I would need to totally wipe the HD to get Ubuntu to run properly or can I install it while leaving Windows 7 on and it will still run OK.

I am going to get a new laptop eventually but am in no hurry so it would be nice to still keep windows But I can manage for now without it being I use my Entertainment System Computer most of the time.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions and tips.


TOPICS: Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: linux; ubuntu; windows7
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Oh and are there some versions better than others? I just want Ubuntu to use "open office" and a bit of internet surfing.
1 posted on 04/06/2014 1:04:45 PM PDT by Mad Dawgg
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To: Mad Dawgg

One way to dual boot is to use Linux (Mint, for instance) on a USB Flash drive.

FYI, I completely overwrote XP with Mint on my FIL’s laptop and it works fine. I stopped trying to get it to connect to the printer, however. He never prints anyway.


2 posted on 04/06/2014 1:10:16 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
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To: Mad Dawgg
Get Wubi.

It will install Ubuntu along side your Windows and modify the boot.ini file so you have a choice of operating system at startup.

You will need about 5gb of free space to do this...though more is better.

Be sure to backup all data you can't afford to lose. An image od yor current drive is best. That way you can restore it back if something goes wrong. But it won't.

3 posted on 04/06/2014 1:10:30 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (Truth sounds like hate...to those who hate truth.)
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To: Mad Dawgg
Ubuntu is no longer the best choice for an older laptop. I really like http://crunchbang.org/
4 posted on 04/06/2014 1:10:56 PM PDT by gura (If Allah is so great, why does he need fat sexually confused fanboys to do his dirty work? -iowahawk)
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To: Mad Dawgg

Of course, od yor=of your.


5 posted on 04/06/2014 1:11:45 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (Truth sounds like hate...to those who hate truth.)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

Wubi is like strapping a Ferrari to the top of your Cobalt and making VROOM noises. :-)


6 posted on 04/06/2014 1:12:02 PM PDT by gura (If Allah is so great, why does he need fat sexually confused fanboys to do his dirty work? -iowahawk)
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To: Mad Dawgg

should not be a problem I duel boot with mint. Although I’m never in windows.


7 posted on 04/06/2014 1:12:19 PM PDT by sopwith (LIVE FREE OR DIE)
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To: Mad Dawgg

If that is all you are doing, consider the Mint distribution. It will look and feel a lot like XP. http://www.linuxmint.com/

Under the concept of try before you buy (or commit), I would run from a liveCD first. If you like it, you may be able to install as a USB or dual boot on your laptop hard drive if you have enough room.


8 posted on 04/06/2014 1:15:03 PM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: gura

Yeah...but it’s an option for the people who don’t want to lose Winders and aren’t up to the task of doing a dual boot partitioning and install of Ubuntu. Ease of use does have its price.


9 posted on 04/06/2014 1:16:12 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (Truth sounds like hate...to those who hate truth.)
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To: Mad Dawgg

Ubuntu says you can keep Win 7 but I have doubts


10 posted on 04/06/2014 1:18:32 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: Mad Dawgg

M4LwhenXPdies


11 posted on 04/06/2014 1:18:43 PM PDT by Scrambler Bob (You can count my felonies by looking at my FR replies.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; martin_fierro; ShadowAce

from Mad Dawgg.


12 posted on 04/06/2014 1:19:22 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Mad Dawgg

I recommend Linux Mint. The installation process will leave windows on if you want and take care of the partitioning.


13 posted on 04/06/2014 1:23:08 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("A man who damns money obtained it dishonorably; a man who respects it has earned it." --Ayn Rand)
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To: gura
Pretty happy with it on my Dell Insp E1505. It is completely compatible and this laptop would have ended up in the trash if it weren't for Ubuntu. Had failing XP before.

I use it mostly for web browsing and some minor network and occasional open office work.

14 posted on 04/06/2014 1:27:35 PM PDT by dhs12345
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To: Mad Dawgg

It is possible to install Ubuntu on a machine that already has Windows on it (dual-booting), but the difficulty is in making the space available for the linux partition.

I read that the Windows disk management can handle shrinking the Windows partition in order to make room for Linux.

This article explains how to do it with Windows 7 Disk Management.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/gg309169.aspx

Here is an article about how to install Win 7 and Ubuntu side by side.

http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/dual-boot-windows-7-ubuntu.html

Although the article recommends using linux’s GPARTED, I would avoid using a linux tool because I consider Microsoft’s own tool to be safer.

If all you’re looking for is Open Office and websurfing, probably 20 GB should be sufficient for a partition size, but if you have more that you don’t mind Windows 7 losing it.

I would recommend that you do a full backup of the computer before attempting the disk shrinking and Ubuntu install. I generally would trust Windows and Ubuntu to play nice together, but you never know how things work out.

While installing Ubuntu, avoid using full disk encryption. I had that backfire on me once before and lost a linux machine when the private key got corrupted.

The Ubuntu disk manager on the installer should be able to detect the Windows 7 partition and give you the option to wipe or install on the now vacant partition.

In the installer, you can tell GRUB (the linux booter) to make Windows 7 available as a boot option. Linux has to be in control of the boot options.

Ubuntu is probably the best version of linux to use if you’re new to linux. I’ve been using linux since 1993, and even as a pro, I would use it.

And let me reiterate: make a good backup.

Good luck!


15 posted on 04/06/2014 1:30:03 PM PDT by thmiley (Penguin lust! Nothing but urges from hell!)
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To: thmiley

For a desk top, I’d just buy a second drive. Of course, that isn’t as easy for a laptop.


16 posted on 04/06/2014 1:41:28 PM PDT by dhs12345
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To: Mad Dawgg

If you put Ubuntu on a windows machine the two versions will engage in a death match with each other until all that remains is a molten bubbling ooze of former plastic computer molecules.


17 posted on 04/06/2014 1:42:41 PM PDT by Mr. K (If you like your constitution, you can keep it...Period. PALIN/CRUZ 2016)
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To: dhs12345; All

Just go get a 64+GB USB stick and run everything from it.


18 posted on 04/06/2014 1:44:23 PM PDT by gura (If Allah is so great, why does he need fat sexually confused fanboys to do his dirty work? -iowahawk)
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To: Mad Dawgg

I’d recommend something a little more lean than Ubuntu for older machines. I played with several distros several years ago, and I found Ubuntu as much of a resource hog as MS Windows.

If it’s a really old machine, you might try Puppy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puppy_Linux


19 posted on 04/06/2014 1:44:29 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: gura

Good idea. Although, I wonder about the reliability of flash media.

A lot of laptops use flash drives versus disk drives. Means less power but how does the failure rate compare?


20 posted on 04/06/2014 2:07:50 PM PDT by dhs12345
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To: gura

Good article on SSDs versus harddrives.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404258,00.asp


21 posted on 04/06/2014 2:15:37 PM PDT by dhs12345
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To: PAR35
I’d recommend something a little more lean than Ubuntu for older machines. I played with several distros several years ago, and I found Ubuntu as much of a resource hog as MS Windows.

Last night, I needed a fresh Linux virtual machine. So, I decided to give Ubuntu 14.04 Final Beta a whirl. I was using Virtual Box, hosted on a seven-year-old Windows box in the basement and accessed from my laptop via Remote Desktop. Definitely not a high-performance graphics environment!

It sucked. They've added some fancy visual window transitions to Unity, and they were making the system crawl. Running top in a terminal window (after patiently waiting for it to open in response to Ctrl-Alt-T) showed compiz taking a lot of time. Allegedly, there are tools to turn off the graphics hacks, but they didn't do anything. I'll have to try it again in while, using the release version when it becomes available.

So, since fancy graphics wasn't really my focus, I deleted the new VM and made another one using the Ubuntu 12.04 Desktop ISO. It runs fine.

I also have 12.04 on a $300 low-powered real machine (Intel D-525, 2mb RAM, 40g SSD). I used the Alternate Install CD and set up a Flex-based window manager with a highly customized menu. It is very snappy and plays videos nicely. I suspect it would also run 12.04 Desktop just fine, but that wasn't my need.

22 posted on 04/06/2014 2:15:59 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: cynwoody
low-powered real machine (Intel D-525, 2mb RAM, 40g SSD)

Duh! That should be 2gb RAM.

23 posted on 04/06/2014 2:20:07 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: dhs12345
Good idea. Although, I wonder about the reliability of flash media.

Current Apple laptops are pretty much all SSD. Checking the lineup, it looks like only the bottom end MacBook Pro still has a hard drive (500gb, 5400 rpm). The other MacBook Pros and the two MacBook Air models all have flash storage.

Once you have adequate RAM on a machine, the best way to boost its subjective performance is to substitute an SSD for a hard drive. Next time you visit an Apple Store, bring a stopwatch and time the various models rebooting.

24 posted on 04/06/2014 2:32:22 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: Mad Dawgg

I have two on Ubuntu and one running Mint.

Ubuntu is easy, no hassles but wants you to update all the time. I enjoy Mint on my laptop....but see some others here that sound interesting.

BTW...Ubuntu seems to get slower as you go...just my experience.


25 posted on 04/06/2014 2:36:15 PM PDT by sayfer bullets (“I didn’t leave the [---] party, the [---] party left me.” - Ronald Reagan)
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To: cynwoody
Please check out post #21.

My primary concern is reliability of SSDs versus a hard drive. Notice that they recommend true SSDs for reliability versus a thumb drive.

In a related story....

Most media will only last a few years. 10 years if you are lucky. That means all of those baby pictures or wedding pictures will be gone in a few years if a person isn't vigilant. So much for our modern world. DARN IT!

26 posted on 04/06/2014 2:42:58 PM PDT by dhs12345
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To: dhs12345
My primary concern is reliability of SSDs versus a hard drive.

I cited Apple because they are high profile and stand a lot to lose if their laptops start crapping out from bad SSDs.

Limited write endurance is inherent to how SSDs work. However, a lot of work has gone into mitigating that problem through algorithms in the drives' firmware. They work well enough now, that you will probably retire the machine long before you hit its drive's write limit. See for example techreport.com/review/25320/the-ssd-endurance-experiment-22tb-update.

Most media will only last a few years. 10 years if you are lucky. That means all of those baby pictures or wedding pictures will be gone in a few years if a person isn't vigilant. So much for our modern world. DARN IT!

That's why you need to copy such stuff over to fresh media from time to time. Digital copies are bit-for-bit perfect. That means, in 100 years, your photos and other media will look just as good as they do now. You can't say the same for paper or film.

27 posted on 04/06/2014 3:26:32 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: Mad Dawgg; rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; JosephW; Only1choice____Freedom; amigatec; Still Thinking; ...

28 posted on 04/06/2014 3:41:34 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: cynwoody

Actually, photographs and film has been more reliable (so far). I have family photos that are 100 years old and are still reasonably good. Same with documents. And 50 year film movies. BTW, I kept the projector and used it to convert to AVI.

As a test, I tried to read some CDs and then DVDs that were 7 years old. Half of them failed. And I stored them in a dark, dry place.

Recordable media, DVDs, etc. are not that reliable. Certainly the manufacturers will claim to last 20 years but will only offer a replacement disk if if it fails.

The good news is that I had backed up the important pictures on a raid drive and then a back up of the raid drive to an external drive. At some point in the future, I’ll have to migrate the files to the newest technology. Hopefully, mpeg2 and jpeg are still standard formats in 20 years.

Also, a certain level of technology is required to recover the files on my disk server which can fail, too. Not so much with photos where only a pair of eyes is needed.

Keep those old pictures and store them away in a dark dry place!!!


29 posted on 04/06/2014 4:07:13 PM PDT by dhs12345
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To: Mad Dawgg

I’ve done every possible variation of this exercise and done it many times. Agree with all the comments. Yes shrinking the windows partition is the sore spot. Yes Linux (Ubuntu or any other flavor) will behave when installing on top of windows (but not vice versa).

All things considered I’d get another drive. It’s actually easier on a laptop on a desktop. You can exchange drives on a laptop in a matter of seconds. And then your linux environment is your linux environment and same for windows. A laptop harddrive should set you back somewhere in the $50 to $100 range and it’s probably well worth it for piece of mind and freedom to explore.

If you decide you need to redo your linux install, then boom - you can do that all day long and there won’t ever be a worry of corrupting the other drive.


30 posted on 04/06/2014 5:04:54 PM PDT by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
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To: Mad Dawgg

As many others have stated, go with the “Live” version of Ubuntu on a USB drive first, to see if you like it. In many cases, running from the thumb drive is preferable if you’re running on an older disk bus (i.e. EIDE).


31 posted on 04/06/2014 5:31:59 PM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: Mad Dawgg

I run linux mint 15 (getting ready to upgrade to 16) on my old laptop. I had an old external usb drive knocking around so I just put mint on it. When I want windows, I unplug the mint drive and boot windows. When I want Linux, I plug the mint drive in and boot to linux. I almost never use windows anyway.

I ran ubuntu for a while, but I like the mint philosophy of careful and reliable upgrades.


32 posted on 04/06/2014 6:43:22 PM PDT by Tom Bombadil
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To: Mad Dawgg
Xubuntu would be better for an older laptop, i concluded after trying a number of distros made for low ram older laptops.

Most likely you have a 32 bit system. Try the live CD first (use ImageBurn to born the iso) Do not use the whole drive but choose to use the free space.

33 posted on 04/06/2014 8:51:58 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: Mad Dawgg

What are your specs? Run dxdiag on the Run command and give the CPU and Ram info.


34 posted on 04/06/2014 8:54:39 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: daniel1212

Machine name: HAL
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1 (7601.win7sp1_gdr.130828-1532)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: Hewlett-Packard
System Model: Presario CQ62 Notebook PC
BIOS: Default System BIOS
Processor: Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU 900 @ 2.20GHz, ~2.2GHz
Memory: 2048MB RAM
Available OS Memory: 1978MB RAM
Page File: 1784MB used, 2173MB available
Windows Dir: C:\Windows
DirectX Version: DirectX 11


35 posted on 04/07/2014 4:04:42 AM PDT by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: Mad Dawgg; ShadowAce
ShadowAce if you would be so kind to notify your pingees to the above post.

And thanks all for the info you have bestowed. Lots of fun stuff to try now!

36 posted on 04/07/2014 4:17:39 AM PDT by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: Mad Dawgg; rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; JosephW; Only1choice____Freedom; amigatec; Still Thinking; ...

Pinging to post #35

37 posted on 04/07/2014 4:35:56 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: Mad Dawgg

I just loaded Mint onto an older Toshiba laptop. It works great and my son’s can even play Minecraft on it. It would never run that while it was a Windows system.


38 posted on 04/07/2014 5:21:21 AM PDT by raybbr (Obamacare needs a death panel.)
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To: Mr. K
"If you put Ubuntu on a windows machine the two versions will engage in a death match with each other until all that remains is a molten bubbling ooze of former plastic computer molecules."

Damn I hope that is true cuz I wanna do it and make a vid so I can upload it to youtube as computernerd porn. I should be able to retire on the google adsense income!

39 posted on 04/07/2014 6:11:20 AM PDT by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: dhs12345
Most media will only last a few years. 10 years if you are lucky. That means all of those baby pictures or wedding pictures will be gone in a few years if a person isn't vigilant. So much for our modern world. DARN IT!

Vigilance is the key. Back up your stuff!

It's unfortunate but most folks have no idea how to keep what's really important to them safe.

 

 

40 posted on 04/07/2014 6:35:11 AM PDT by zeugma (Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened - Dr. Seuss (I'll see you again someday Hope))
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To: zeugma

And make backups of the backups.


41 posted on 04/07/2014 7:04:19 AM PDT by dhs12345
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To: Mad Dawgg
Here's my current Ubuntu experience:
42 posted on 04/07/2014 8:30:49 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Mad Dawgg
20 other flavors of Ubuntu
43 posted on 04/07/2014 8:43:23 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Mad Dawgg
That is not that old a machine, nor OS. Why would you want to try Linux? You can, and Linux Mint would run on it, though Xubuntu would be faster.

But besides the learning curve sometimes needed even for some things you can easily do in Windows (despite hype to the contrary: spend some time reading Linux forums), know also that many multimedia codecs are proprietary, and thus are not included by default in some Linux distros, and are illegal to use in the USA and some other countries (even W/8 does not play DVDs natively except by buying the prop pack), though this is a contentious issue , with some holding that if you have a valid Windows copy on your PC then you are covered. Most just dismiss any concerns, as if writing code is not a profession fit for recompen$e.

You can but them and a DVD player from Fluendo .

44 posted on 04/07/2014 9:54:48 AM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: Mad Dawgg

No so fast .

45 posted on 04/07/2014 10:04:08 AM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: Mad Dawgg
Machine name: HAL

Model please.

46 posted on 04/07/2014 10:05:54 AM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: Mad Dawgg

At least that’s what I heard


47 posted on 04/07/2014 10:15:47 AM PDT by Mr. K (If you like your constitution, you can keep it...Period. PALIN/CRUZ 2016)
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To: daniel1212
So goggle is a bunch of libtard leftists who want to discriminate against conservatives?

Now I want their money even more so I can use it against them! (Guerrilla warfare 101!)

48 posted on 04/07/2014 10:22:45 AM PDT by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: Mad Dawgg
I've got a REALLY OLD Acer 730TXV(PIII450/512mb mem.)running XP(slow).

Thinking of either trying Linux(just to mess with it)...

...or just take it to Best Buy for their current recycle promotion($100 towards a new 'puter for turning in a working XP/laptop...looking at a $99+tax Chromebook/after promo discount).

49 posted on 04/07/2014 10:25:17 AM PDT by RckyRaCoCo (Shall Not Be Infringed)
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To: daniel1212
I will be buying another Laptop in the near future. I want to use this one for research and writing. All I need is open office and a decent web browser. If I can get it to work with a printer great, but I have 5 other computers in the house hooked to my network that can do the printing if need be.

The idea is to have a bare bones laptop that is lean with no extra programs other than what is needed to get my work done AND if it gets stolen or damaged beyond repair it is no great loss. My research job takes me into some fairly bizarre situations like going down in a coal mine or crawling inside a cement mixer truck once (I'm never doding that one again!), or into a sewer system etc...

I never worried so much about it in the past because I had strong legs and good balance and rarely had problems getting about but Arthritis is getting the better of me and I finally had to admit I was headed for a heartbreak if I kept dragging an expensive laptop around in those situations.

This one I have now is slowing down a bit and I don't want to buy a new one just to get more speed if I can instead put Linux on it and get the job done.

50 posted on 04/07/2014 10:46:32 AM PDT by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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