My Old Computer Died

The original hard-drive in my old 500 MHz PC sounds like a record player stuck in a grove, which is probably what has happened – the control arm failed. It was the drive with the operating system (Windows 2000), so I now have a good excuse to try Linux, although it has to be user-friendly since it’s my wife’s computer now.

I’ll post the agony of installing Linux and its associated programs that I’ll need: OpenOffice, FireFox, etc.

For now, though: where do I start? What version of Linux should I get? Anyone have any suggestions while I do some research?

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15 Responses to My Old Computer Died

  1. Jordan says:

    I’ve heard Ubuntnu (or some such spelling variation) is good, as well as Xandros. You could always do a Live CD of a distro as well, most have a version now that can be booted right from the CD Rom. That way you can try a few out before doing a HD install.

    Good luck.

  2. Jody says:

    I’ve read a lot of good reviews of Mandriva Linux, which I’m downloading now. I’ll look for those other too, though. Thanks.

  3. Will says:

    I’ve setup Ubuntu for my girlfriend on a PII 266 with 256Meg memory and she doesn’t even realize she is run linux. The computer just works for everything she need and is relatively fast and very safe. I’ve been running Ubuntu on my laptop for three years now and have had great success migrating my digital live to linux.

    “Jump on in — the water is fine”

  4. Phillip says:

    That lyric reminds me of this Tom Waits lyric:

    “Come down from the cross — we can use the wood!”

    – Come on Up to the House

  5. Phillip says:

    I remember now: That’s from the guy in “O Brother, Where Aren’t Thou?” He jumps in the water to get baptised and says to George Clooney: “Jump on in, the water is fine!”

  6. Chriso says:

    I’ve also heard many good things about ubuntu. next time i get stupid enough to try linux, that’s what i’ll be trying. supposed to be great for the womens too.

    http://www.ubuntulinux.org

  7. Jody says:

    > great for the womens too

    Ouch. What’s your girlfriend’s email address?

  8. Phillip says:

    By the way, Jody, while I’m living in Riverview for the next month, I’ll be hooking up my computer in your basement, connecting to your wirelessly. If you don’t have a wireless box, you can use mine.

  9. Jody says:

    I don’t use wireless.

  10. Jody says:

    Slashdot posted Windows User Experiments With Linux for 10 Days, which is an interesting read about one persons experiment doing the switch. DistroWatch lists Ubuntu as the most popular Linux distribution. After I try to fix the hard-drive that borke, I’ll try it. I’m looking forward to this now.

  11. Phillip says:

    You will… You will… ha-ha-ha-ha!

  12. Phillip says:

    Man, you just ruined my menacing ‘You will’ comment!

  13. Jody says:

    I ran Ubuntu on my old computer last night from the Live CD download they provided, which allows you to boot to Ubuntu without installing anything on your computer. It took 10 minutes to book, but it’s user-friendly once it gets going. Firefox and OpenOffice was installed, along with lots of other applications. I’m definately going to install it now; I have to remove the defective hard-drive and make the good, working slave drive the master drive first.

  14. Gezzo says:

    If you don’t mind telling, what brand harddrive was it? I just had the same failure and that is the third IBM/Hitachi HDD that failed in my hands in last 4 years. They were all less that 1yr old.
    I’m sure you worked out your Linux question by now, but to leave a mark, I ran Knoppix DVD live distro during the HDD blackout (mainly to please my toddlers appetite for kid’s games) and was happy with it. Now I put Ubuntu on the new HDD and am firmly determined to make everything I need work.

  15. Jody says:

    I don’t remember, although it wasn’t IBM/Hitachi. Maxtor sticks in my mind, though I’m not sure. I threw it out. The drive was over 5 years old.

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