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?
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
I have done several Ubuntu installations, and that has never been a
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.
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,
You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a
kind word alone.
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
I obviously cannot say if Linux cares about his, but it would be worth
This newsgroup posting comes to you directly from...
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
AVG Free and Spybot seem to still be working, so it's as well protected as
*If horrific means to make horrible, does terrific mean to make terrible?
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW
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
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.
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.
Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?
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
- 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.
Those who want slavery should have the grace to name it by its proper
name. They must face the full meaning of that which they are advocating
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
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
XP on a 2G RAM, 1.5GHz solo Mac Mini here and (still) used daily for
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
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):
... 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
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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