OT - Old PC - Free Operating System Ideas

I have an old desktop PC - AMD Sempron 2300+ with 1Gb RAM and XP
I want to get rid of XP and try a free OS to see if I get an improvement to make it worth donating it to my grandson for web browsing.
Suggestions please (I guess some experts here on this group). What system should I go for. Do I have to download it onto the Desktop - or should I make a CD on my Laptop.
How do I delete Windows?
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On 01/02/2016 01:59 PM, DerbyBorn wrote:

I'm using a box of that vintage for Web browsing(+Debian Linux)... it's a bit sluggish The gfx drivers are often problematic in Linux.

I believe you have to get a cd image from their website or use a program to assemble the install image .iso from pkg files on the web. Then write it to a CD. I think their minimum installer requires you to setup internet connectivity to be able to complete the installation.

The installer will do that for you. The real question is if it can boot again after the installation.
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On Sat, 02 Jan 2016 14:44:43 +0100

I have done several Ubuntu installations, and that has never been a problem.
Go for it. Make a CD or DVD on your desktop, and install to the 'new' PC using that. It can also be done from a USB stick nowadays, I believe.
Try the newsgroup uk.comp.os.linux for more detailed and targeted help.
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On 02/01/16 14:13, Davey wrote:

I think that the simplest install would be Linux Mint, if the system can boot from DVD.
Cinnamon is perhaps the easiest for an ex windows user.
As far as graphics goes, if you cant get the thing to work at a decent speed, a new GFX card is not that expensive,
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Mint with the MATE desktop would perhaps be a better choice for older hardware as it's not reliant on all the pretty effects that Cinnamon offers.
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On Saturday, 2 January 2016 14:54:21 UTC, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Mint will at least grant him access to brain stultifying internettles. I don't think it will allow him to use his stock of peer pressurised games.
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The reason these older amd chipped machines are slow is because they do not support sse2 instruction set and hence the slower old code has to be used. I found this out a while back when I found some software in windows just did not work when it ran on an older Pentium chipped machine of the same vintage. I obviously cannot say if Linux cares about his, but it would be worth checking.
Brian

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As a matter of interest why get rid of XP? Seems to still work here - I have one machine which is dual boot XP/Win7 - to use some older XP only progs.
AVG Free and Spybot seem to still be working, so it's as well protected as my Win7.
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On 02/01/2016 14:19, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

+1
I suspect part of the problem is that modern web pages have got to complicated and needs lots of processing. I am not sure that changing the OS will address this issue. I would point out that installing from a USB stick may be an alternative. Use Pendrive Linux to load an iso file onto a stick.
Likely you could also boot the old desktop from a CD/DVD or stick loaded with say Ubuntu. It might run a bit slower than when running from a hard drive, but you would get an idea of what a full linux installation would be like.
Another option to improve performance would be to fit an SSD if the PC has a sata port. Small SSDs are not so expensive these days.
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Michael Chare

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Michael Chare wrote:

complicated - my phone is miles quicker than my otherwise reasonable Netbook - but that PC browsers get bogged down in updates introducing ever more un-optimised coding. Chrome, which was nippy when it first came out, runs like a dog these days on the same hardware.
Hardware that was sold with XP is, sadly, only good for chucking these days as far as anything web related goes.
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Scott

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On 02/01/16 15:43, Scott M wrote:

Not at all.
Ive got linux machines running happily on XP hardware that perform totally adequately. CPU performance platueaued about 10 years ago and although its got a BIT better, its not that much better.
the only significant stuff that's happened since then has been - SSDS and a ten time upspeed in disk access. - More cores and 64 bits - well that's been a fair bit faster, but not 10 times. - better graphics cards at saner prices. If that is an issue for you. For most people it=f it runs a flash video without being jerky, its fast enough. Only gamers and 3D renderers need more.
Of course we expect bags more RAM and disk, but that doesnt beyond a given point make stuff faster.
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I've got a similar specced machine here (might have 2G RAM, occasionally used when DD2's friends come round and they play minecraft.). Running Win7
I sometimes use it for web/email etc. and it is absolutely fine. (as long as I'm sensible and don't have 30 tabs open if Firefox or whatever.)
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The machine in question was put together from various bits, I can't remember if it ever ran XP (though the hardware is of XP age). The win 7 licence is one of a few purchased sometime ago.

Yes, I wasn't particularly suggesting the OP use Win7, more disagreeing with Michael and Scott that the hardware was insufficient.
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On Saturday, 2 January 2016 17:31:37 UTC, Chris French wrote:

I was looking for Tiny XP around the time this thread got to here but failed miserbadably.
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"Weatherlawyer" wrote in message writes

Enough about your entire life. Tell us about Tiny XP.
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Twaddle.
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Bullshit. I have an ancient celeron laptop running XP that does the web fine.
Quite slow to do a full restart, but otherwise fine.
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"jack" wrote in message
Fuck off Rod
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+1
XP on a 2G RAM, 1.5GHz solo Mac Mini here and (still) used daily for everything. ;-)
The only time I really boot the box I built a while ago as it's replacement is if I need to use an optical drive (the one in the Mac died a while ago) or when doing something that needs a bit more 'ooomph'.
No bluescreens, no lockups, runs Firefox V 43.0.3 and that seems to work on all the websites that I need and is a pretty mature system (so much so that the Start menu is bigger than the screen). ;-) I can't remember the last time I booted into OSX.
The 'other box' also boots Ubuntu and I can't remember the last time I booted into that either. When I do it's generally only to see if it can also do something I can do in Windows.
When going though a load of older PC's that I was hoping to give away (Freecycle) that were happily running XP I found most had issues of some sort running any of the more recent (and therefore 'up to date') Lini. It was either that it would install but then not boot, couldn't properly see the sound, video or some other facet, and I wasn't sufficiently skilled (interested) in doing much of the 'programming' that may have been required to make it work.
*If* you are lucky with the hardware support (as a non Linux guru I mean) and are happy with just the basics of Web browsing (and don't mind getting Flash working) and just a bit of email and basic WP (Libre Office) then you could be fine.
I set my BIL up with Mint as his primary OS and does indeed use it for most his Web and Email needs. We even managed to get his financial program (Money Manager 2000) running via PlayOnLinux (Windows Emulator) but has to boot into W7 to run a Train Spotter package.
*Most people* I've installed Linux dual boot with Windows (even if I set the Linux as the primary OS) never use it, often because they can't do something they need and can do what they need (or find someone to help them) under Windows.
I've just been given a Ricoh colour laser printer and I *know* I'll be able to get it printing and scanning (over the network) on XP, W7/10 (because I've seen it working under them). It should also work on OSX (as there are drivers for it here):
http://support.ricoh.com/bb/html/dr_ut_e/ra/model/spc250sf/spc250sfen.htm
... but it would really be 'fingers crossed' if it will work on Linux. That's not to say there haven't been instances where Linux has picked up some hardware 'automagically' that needed a driver installing manually under Windows or OSX, just that when it doesn't work 'automagically' on Linux, making it work can often involve quite a bit of skill and patience (assuming you aren't very familiar with the underpinnings of Linux or know someone who is (I don't)).
Therefore, even 'giving' someone a free PC running Linux may not be the most productive option for them (and *certainly* so if they use the iTunes store). ;-(
Cheers, T i m
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Mine doesn't even have that, just 256MB RAM essentially to give a longer time on battery until I put a double celled battery in it and never got around to adding more ram to it because it ran Access fine and I only use it in the kitchen and when bottling the beer, updating the beer database.

Mine only gets used in the kitchen and for the beer bottling. I used to play recorded free to air video on it when bottling the beer but don't do that anymore, listen to podcasts on the iphone instead when bottling the beer and doing other boring stuff like that around the house. Much more portable than the laptop and I do that when walking for exercise too.
I have been considering putting the test machine in the kitchen instead, essentially because Access needs to be stopped and started again to allow XP to sleep and it would be more convenient to have instant access to the database in the kitchen at times, particularly when using stuff from the freezer etc.
The main machine is a much better i5 quad core desktop that does everything else, including the PVR. I don't bother with a separate PVR anymore. I used to use the previous main machine for that.

I do it the other way, use the main machine I built a while ago most of the time and only use the XP very limited laptop in the kitchen etc and then only as effectively a terminal for the main machine.

Don't get any of those either, but do have to do a full restart every few months because I just sleep that machine normally.

I run them all, mainly because some do some thing better than others. I use IE too, mainly for the very deep screens like in the facebook buy sell swap groups where the right mouse button menu in the vertical scroll bar can be handy. For some reason no other browser has that and I so use it quite a bit on stuff like Access so its handy in the browser too.

Yeah, don't use it at all. Have been considering getting it just for doing iOS apps.

I normally only do that on foreign machines which have got their drive comprehensively scrambled. Can be handy for recovery of those.

I don't bother, just let them pile up. Hardly anyone wants to use a desktop anymore, they are all into at least laptops and quite a few don't even have one of those anymore, they use their phone exclusively.

Yeah, particularly wifi that so many use now to the router.
I do myself on the old XP laptop and obviously do with the tablets and phones.

I'm quite capable of doing that but have much better things to do with hardware I am discarding. Essentially because I would be the one who has to keep it working even if I could find someone who actually wanted one of my obsolete desktops.

I can do all that stuff myself but have better things to do with my time.

And you'd be the one who has to fix it when they fuck it up.
Its bad enough getting them going on their new laptop and then eventually whining about it being too slow now.
Fortunately they are now so cheap that few turn a hair about replacing it with a new one, even those on benefits etc.
A bigger problem is kids dropping their tablets and phones, particularly the ones like the Samsung Galaxy Tabs which need almost a complete disassembly with a heat gun to replace the screen which doesn't cost much for the screen itself. Bet that was done like that deliberately to encourage people to just dump it and buy a new one.
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