I take care of my friend's computers. There are two at their small business (XP and Vista) and two at their home that are used primarily for the nonprofit organization she runs. Those two are XP and Windows 2000. My friend is typical of many users in that she knows how to do what she has to do and is not interested in learning anything else, and she has no interest in computers as such.
I was at her house today to do some software work on the computers and noticed that the W2K computer is so slow as to be practically unusable. It takes at least 10 minutes to boot up and get to the point that W2K is usable. It shouldn't be that bad. The computer has a PIII 966-or-so CPU and 256 megs of RAM and a 40-gig hard drive of which about 26 gigs are empty. This is a secondary computer that my friend doesn't use much, but she is disgusted with the slowness, too.
I told her that if she used VectorLinux, the computer would be much faster and she wouldn't have all the virus and malware threats to deal with. She is in no way a computer person and does not want to learn to use a new OS and software, but the idea that the computer could run other than glacially does appeal to her.
I told her that I could resize her Windows partition and set aside 12 gigs for VL. It's very unlikely that she would ever need that space for Windows. I told her that I could set up a dual boot and she could try out VL without destroying W2K.
She spends a lot of time on the computers but does a limited number of things: e-mail, Web browsing, word processing, not much else. She unfortunately uses AOL for e-mail and has so many thousands of messages stored on AOL's servers that she would never change that. She doesn't use AOL software, just Firefox to log in and manage her e-mail. Tonight I tested logging into her account with Firefox and VL 6 and it seems to work perfectly. She could use OOo Writer for DOC word processing (the other home computer has MS Word). I don't think she uses any other programs that don't have Linux equivalents.
I'd have to set up Samba at her house because the Windows and Linux computers would have to communicate (I've never been able to figure out Samba or get it working). One possible problem would be her Lexmark all-in-one printer. Lexmarks are not exactly Linux friendly, though many of them will work with the z600 driver. The scanner might work. In my printer stable is a Lexmark X1270 all-in-one which has no Linux drivers. The printer does work with the Z600 driver, though rudimentarily. The scanner was unsupported until VL6 with xsane, and now there is scanning support. However, the scanner doesn't work well at all. Scans have vertical shadings that are not there when the scanner is used in Windows.
I'm always trying to get friends and family to give Linux a try. This is the first time I may have a shot at actually getting someone to do it. So keep your fingers crossed because I KNOW this computer would not be a slug with VL installed.