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Author Topic: A good candidate for VectorLinux  (Read 1786 times)
GrannyGeek
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Vectorian
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Posts: 2567


« on: March 11, 2009, 09:42:28 pm »

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.
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
overthere
Vectorian
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Posts: 1281



« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2009, 09:59:06 pm »

best of luck..I just gave away my 5.9 install to a friend who was running win 98...it was p3-700 with 384 on 6gig...ran very nicely, they seem to like it...recently installed vl6 to p3-600 with 256 on 10 gig and I like it..so installed to 1.4 ghz with 512 on 80 gig as a home...never attempted to get the brother mulifunction unit to scan and print...will have to check the bubble jet....hope they like it as much as I do.
cheers
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Everything Is Relative
caitlyn
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Vectorian
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Posts: 2876


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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2009, 10:06:08 pm »

GrannyGeek:  Since you are going to keep at least one computer running Windows exclusively you could attach the Lexmark to that machine.  Do the printing through samba since you're going to get that running anyway.  That way you'd have the Windows drivers and wouldn't have to worry about inadequate Linux drivers for the Lexmark.

If you have problems with samba you know folks here would be happy to help.

Before shrinking their Windows partition I'd defragment it.  Less chance of loss that way and it may help with the speed a little.  The rest of the speed problem is probably malware as I'm sure you know.

Good luck with this.  VL6 is now easy enough to use that anyone with even half a brain shouldn't have too many problems once it's installed.  Thanks to slapt-notifier keeping it secure and patched is a no-brainer too.

All the best,
Cait
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eMachines EL-1300G desktop, 1.6GHz AMD Athlon 2650e CPU, 4GB RAM, nVidia GeForce 6150 SE video
CentOS 6.5 (will try VL64-7.1 soon)

Toshiba Satellite A135-S4727,  Intel Pentium T2080 / 1.73 GHz, 2GB RAM, Intel GMA 950

HP Mini 110 netbook, 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 2GB RAM, Intel 950 video, VL 7.1
tomh38
Vectorian
****
Posts: 913



« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2009, 12:05:09 am »

I'm always trying to get friends and family to give Linux a try.

Y'know, whenever I try this I end up either one friend fewer or one family member telling me to shut up.

But seriously, GrannyGeek, this sounds like a good idea, and caitlyn gave some good recommendations about things to do if your friend decides to give it a shot.  I have a number of friends who dual boot Windows and Linux, and it seems like most of them use Linux more and more over time until they only boot into Windows when they really have to.

I would like to hear how this goes in general.  Also, if you do end up using Samba I would like to hear about that specifically.  In the near future I'll probably be helping a friend set up a mixed Windows/Linux environment and would like to know how it goes for you.

Tom
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"I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones." - Linus Torvalds, April 1991
wcs
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1144


« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2009, 02:23:00 am »

Quote
Do the printing through samba since you're going to get that running anyway.  That way you'd have the Windows drivers and wouldn't have to worry about inadequate Linux drivers for the Lexmark.

I was reading about printing with samba the other day. I don't have the magazine with me here, and can't remember the exact procedure, but it was a matter of single line in a configuration file, and a couple of clicks in Windows.

So I'll see If I can find it.
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rbistolfi
Packager
Vectorian
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Posts: 2284


« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2009, 06:29:17 am »

Nice project GG. Good luck!
I have w2k at work in a box with similar specs, it takes about 10 mins to boot too, and to start software is also something to think about. I throw all the ram I could find in the factory on it though, and once everything is running, multitasking is ok. I have a hardware firewall. I decided to turn off antivirus, because oh my g0d, they are worst than viruses in this machine, they turn it unusable.


Quote
Do the printing through samba since you're going to get that running anyway.  That way you'd have the Windows drivers and wouldn't have to worry about inadequate Linux drivers for the Lexmark.

I was reading about printing with samba the other day. I don't have the magazine with me here, and can't remember the exact procedure, but it was a matter of single line in a configuration file, and a couple of clicks in Windows.

So I'll see If I can find it.


So when you are not at your computer, you are reading about it. Ummmmm, sounds familiar... Grin
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"There is a concept which corrupts and upsets all others. I refer not to Evil, whose limited realm is that of ethics; I refer to the infinite."
Jorge Luis Borges, Avatars of the Tortoise.

--
Jumalauta!!
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