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I live in a small town (population 375) in southwest Missouri. Today I volunteered to help the chamber of commerce sort out some problems with Windows 98 and ended up discussing a migration to linux.
Our chamber is a one person operation (a woman in her 70s). Her job consists of answering emails, typing letters, and pestering local businesses to join the chamber of commerce. The only computer is a donated pentium II with 128MB of RAM. Norton antivirus has the thing running at a crawl and it STILL HAS SPYWARE anyway! When she tries to run MS Office she gets an error message that says, "Not enough memory. Please close your other programs." Defragging helped a little but not much.
I explained how Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, and the Windows OS are the 3 main targets of spyware and virii and then I set her up with Firefox, Thunderbird, and AbiWord. She was really impressed by the google search bar in Firefox and also the "right-click/ open in new tab" feature.
When I commented that Windows felt alien to me because I haven't used it in so long, she asked what I have on my computer. So I told her a little about linux. Just the basics, tho. Designed by volunteer programmers all over the world. It's free. No viruses or spyware. You can boot from a live CD to test hardware without installing anything. She said she wants to try it and asked if it will work on her computer. She is aware that support has ended for Windows98 and that viruses will keep getting worse.
I promised to check in on thursday and see if there are any problems with Firefox/Thunderbird/AbiWord and to show her a linux live CD. WooHoo!!
I'm thinking probably SAM linux or maybe Xubuntu. I don't think her computer will run Gnome or KDE.
Last edited by cycletourist; 04-16-2007 at 07:09 PM.
I've moved this to the General forum because there wasn't any technical question in your post. I think you are right that XFCE would be better for a PC with low specs. I personally am not an *buntu fan, but I think Xubuntu would be an appropriate choice. I think you should try OOo2 because its not as slow as OOo1.
Too bad I don't have a server to upload my live cd that I made, this would be the perfect opportunity to have someone test and install it. I made it from slackware 11 and have made it with the new user home/small business in mind. Although it does use KDE so it maybe a bit heavy for a PII.
I've just installed a few workstations of similar specs with xubuntu 6.06, and OOo was irritatingly slow on them. I've been using Abiword for a few months on .doc files, no interoperability problems so far as I can remember.
If all she does is light work, go for XFCE, but install IceWM to if you can.
All she does is a little web surfing, reading and writing email, and typing and printing letters. That's it. Xfce seems perfect for this.
I just read that Xubuntu 7.04 goes public this Thursday. I will probably use that since it has a migration assistant. I will preconfigure it with one virtual desktop and simplify the panel to get rid of pager, etc. She doesn't have speakers so doesn't need volume control. Three icons on taskbar: firefox, thunderbird, abiword. I can use synaptic to remove excess programs that she won't use.
Last edited by cycletourist; 04-17-2007 at 09:18 PM.
Distribution: Fedora, Knoppix, Slackware, openSuse, and SystemRescueCD
I've had a lot of luck with these distros on ooooooolllllldddd hardware (K6-II ~375Mhz and a Pentium II 350Mhz... 256M of ram...)-- Vector SOHO and Beatrix (but I think it's been a while since their last update). Ran OO and firefox no problem.
If you don't mind me asking... which small town in southwest Missouri? I'm in SWMO also, I'd be happy to help if I can.
Beatrix, SAM, and Xubuntu all failed to load. Not enough ram. We didn't have enough time to try a text install but that would probably work. The problem is, we want to try a liveCD first so we make sure the printer and modem work.
Time for plan B. Whatever that is. Maybe add a second hard drive and do a text install on that, then work out any hardware problems and then move the data over once everything is working.
I think the dialup modem is going to be a problem. They are talking about getting DSL which means switching to an ethernet card. Maybe the linux install should wait for that.
Also, she is really happy with Firefox and Thunderbird and has commented that the computer seems to run faster now.
Last edited by cycletourist; 04-18-2007 at 01:05 PM.
I have an old 80 gigabyte Western Digital PATA Hard Drive that you'd have to write zeros, and pay me for shiping but I'd be happy to donate it to your cause, I'll charge yo 10 bucks for standard 3*-5d=day USPS shipping.