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  1. #1
    Senior Member pctek's Avatar
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    Default Old Age and Linux

    Husband borrowed my keys cause he'd locked his in garage today.
    After opening it back up he found his keys in his pocket.

    Did the same in the car last week up at shops, walked home to get my keys....found his in pocket..

    Always losing things I then find in 5 seconds.

    So OK, he is older than me. But alas, brain rot has struck me too. I put a pie in oven yesterday, went off to check emails and came back in 1/2 hr to see how it was doing.

    I'd grilled it, on high.
    Total FU.



    And:

    I have found my PC is obsolete now.
    This is not yet an issue as nothing has died yet.
    But I can no longer get suitable ram, not even Trademe and motherboard, well.....


    I really don't want to go Win10 when I am forced to get new hardware so was thinking Linux.

    However it's something I have never had much to do with,.

    How hard is it? A new install, drivers etc? This is the main worry, that I will have no idea what I am doing.

    Can I reuse all my old software?
    In particular Office? Don't really want to go Libre or such...

    Any traps, things I should do after....the main thing with Win installs, is all the after tweaking, much of this required in Linux?

    What would be a nice beginner flavour to use? Any websites with How Tos you can recommend? Remembering the brain rot has struck , I'll be the no clues novice again in Computerland...
    Last edited by pctek; 18-08-2017 at 02:38 PM.
    wipe your paws.

  2. #2
    amateur expert dugimodo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Age and Linux

    Linux MINT XFCE - download it, use Rufus to burn it to a flash drive, boot off the drive and have a play - it's pretty much fully functional without installing and works with most hardware. One exception is some wifi drivers, can be a bit problematic.
    Comes with Libre office but you should be able to install WINE and run office under that. If you decide to install pick the 3rd party apps option when it asks, just makes life easier. XFCE is my personal pick, but the other versions are all good too so you could try all of them.

    https://portableapps.com/apps/utilities/rufus-portable
    https://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

    So basically the default setup is pretty good and any apps that are available through the app manager are quickly and easily installed, MINT has the advantage (or disadvantage for some people) of being pre configured with most common apps etc.
    Where it gets curly is when you need non standard drivers or apps, then you have to learn how do drive the command line and do a bit of typing.

    The true beauty of Linux is you can freely download multiple versions and play with them until you find one you like, I recently installed Fedora on an old C2D machine and gave it to a computer illiterate friend to use for youtube and music on the TV - She's figuring it out with no help from me just fine. Fedora is a bit less featured than MINT but it looks really nice using the Gnome desktop and has nice big icons to see across the room.

    Elementary OS is another one I hear good things about but I haven't got around to trying it yet.

    I'm not a Linux guru, and I stick with windows 10 for my main daily computing, but I do like playing with it on old hardware. The reason I suggest MINT is mainly because you are less likely to run into hardware support issues and there is a large support community what with it being the most popular version of Linux (MINT in general not XFCE)

    Edit: if you want streaming services like netflix or lightbox to work the easiest way is to install chrome but that's as easy as googling chrome and clicking the link on MINT at least - Fedora makes it slightly harder.
    Last edited by dugimodo; 18-08-2017 at 03:46 PM.
    Ryzen 2700X, 16Gb DDR4RAM, 512GB M.2 NVME SSD, MSI GTX1070

  3. #3
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Age and Linux

    Blimey,- the age statement -nothing you can do about that, we all get older.

    The Linux Lets say that's a running through the minefield question.

    Linux is free ( in most cases) some are paid versions. Which Version will depend on you ??

    Well lets see -- Linux has some good points, BUT some of its good points are ALSO its bad -- there are a LOT of different versions, now depending on what you want to do in the way of learning -you'll get multiple answers.

    Not all versions are the same in the way you do things.

    For STARTERS -- Forget just about everything you know and how you do things in Windows (adjustments etc) , they way Linux works is not how Windows works, sure some are similar but others are completely different -There WILL be a learning curve, and sometimes its VERY frustrating trying to get help. If you go looking on line you'll get many answers, and not all will be the same, ask how to do something and you'll get several different replies as well as contradicting answers.


    Many suggest Linux mint - and here's the first WTF-- There are 4 versions, Cinnamon, MATE, Xfce & KDE. Depending on who you talk to will depend on who says which is the better

    People like Rod can steer you in the right direction most of the times, other times you get a political answer -- In other words say a lot but give no actual real help.

    Most of the times Linux will pick up drivers, But others you are up the creek without a paddle -- no Drivers available unless you want or know someone who can write them for you.


    SOFTWARE -- Windows based software will not run natively on Linux, you need either a Linux version OR run the windows software in something like WINE. Not all Windows based software will run in WINE either. B.M. has had some "fun" trying to get some programs working, Eg A web Cam Software.

    In reply to the Windows 10 comment -- You can use a Current Licence, and as for operating -Most of the problems people have is they don't have a clue how to tweak it to work better. I do it all the time, takes about 2 minutes to tweak and runs perfectly. Window's interface --- Apart from some minor changes you'd be hard pressed to notice the difference in day to day usage compared to Windows 7.

    Its funny -- I have people here sometimes and a few are amazed at how well W10 runs even on old sh1tters, in fact there's been a couple I've had to prove they were using W10, I had them killing time playing on one of my workshop W10's while I finished their computers, they thought they were on 7.

    On a side note: Relating to Ubuntu -- I was at a place and they had installed Ubuntu 17 with the hopes of using it as a Storage server -- it couldn't see the LAN (internet was fine). After installing the samba so it should work, it still didn't -- Looked on line got 10+ different answers, nothing worked as they all related to earlier versions.

    Rang A guy who uses Linux all the time, and has done for years, he tried to talk me through the setup, problem was some of the options he suggested were not there. He came around and opened a terminal, ran a lot of commands that were all ??? to me and even he was dumbfounded In the end I wiped the drive and setup the Computer with NAS software ( Linux based) that I know how to use. Problem solved.


    Good luck Ya gonna need it
    Update / Upgrades = Replace old bugs with new ones.

  4. #4
    amateur expert dugimodo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Age and Linux

    There is definitely a learning curve, but then again a lot of stuff simply works and the installer is no harder to use than windows. I initially had trouble figuring out how to make a shortcut to my NAS share but it was easy once I got there - and works very reliably.

    Nothing wrong with windows 10 either, learning curve is a lot shorter because it's still windows. I prefer it (W10) myself but with Linux being free there's no harm trying out a few versions. I actually have virtual box running on Windows 10 with a 64 bit Linux MINT install in it that I play with and I find it handy if I want to check out a dodgy E-mail link or go to a suspicious website - no risk to the host OS that way

    And as to MINT versions - they are all much the same in terms of functionality and just have different desktop environments. XFCE is a bit simpler and cleaner looking in my opinion and runs a little better on older hardware due to lower resource usage, Mate and Cinnamon are both a bit more graphically intensive but it doesn't matter on modern hardware. KDE I haven't tried much as I didn't like it as much as the other 3 but I'm sure it's fine too.

    One advantage of XCFE if you want to spend a lot of time learning how to customise it you can make it look like almost any OS, there are tutorials on youtube of people making it look like Mac OS, Chrome OS or windows XP, etc.
    Ryzen 2700X, 16Gb DDR4RAM, 512GB M.2 NVME SSD, MSI GTX1070

  5. #5
    Senior Member 1101's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Age and Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by pctek View Post
    And:

    I have found my PC is obsolete now.
    This is not yet an issue as nothing has died yet.
    But I can no longer get suitable ram, not even Trademe and motherboard, well.....


    I really don't want to go Win10 when I am forced to get new hardware so was thinking Linux.
    .
    what RAM do you need ? DDR400 ? DDR2?
    maybee someone can help out .

    Ive installed win10 on a 12 year old XP laptop, that only had 1Gb Ram (as a test)
    10 does run quite well on some old systems

    My work PC is at least 8years old , obsolete but still runs just fine.
    old workshop PC was just replaced with a i3, the i3 runs win7 slower than the old PC (Old pc did have USB issues though)

    Do you really want to learn a new OS (Linux) , or stick with something you're familiar with :MS

    or just get an ex lease PC . used Win7 PC's are dirt cheap , resellers sometimes sell ex lease for under $200

  6. #6
    Senior Member fred_fish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Age and Linux

    Asking "what distro should I install?" is pretty equivalent to asking "what should I have for dinner?" and the answers are generally about as useful. Really, "try some out" is the only way.

    As long as you try to apply your lifetime of Windows know-how to it, it will just piss you off - once you get past that stage, it'll be a revelation

    And probably best to let go of your "usual programs" and learn the native alternatives and how they work - fighting with WINE for progs that just aren't going to work (either partially or at all) is guaranteed frustration (some work well, but usually the smaller and simpler the better - anything talking direct to hardware will definitely be out).
    Last edited by fred_fish; 18-08-2017 at 07:05 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member pctek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Age and Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by 1101 View Post
    what RAM do you need ?

    Ive installed win10 on a 12 year old XP laptop, that only had 1Gb Ram (as a test)
    10 does run quite well on some old systems


    Do you really want to learn a new OS (Linux) , or stick with something you're familiar with :MS

    or just get an ex lease PC . used Win7 PC's are dirt cheap , resellers sometimes sell ex lease for under $200
    The point is not that I need anything as yet.
    My brother just got some DDR3, it's hard to find (cheaply) now. It's obsolete.

    My motherboard is now 7 years old.

    Specs are:

    Operating System
    MS Windows 7 64-bit SP1
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 750 @ 2.67GHz 29 C
    Lynnfield 45nm Technology
    RAM
    16.0GB Single-Channel DDR3 @ 666MHz 9-9-9-24
    Motherboard
    ASUSTeK Computer INC. P7P55 LX (LGA1156)
    Graphics
    Generic PnP Monitor on NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
    Hard Drives
    1000GB Western Digital WDC WD10EZEX-00BN5A0 ATA Device (IDE) 24 C
    Optical Drives
    ASUS DRW-24D5MT ATA Device

    So when I get a hardware failure, no not RAM, more likely the motherboard, I will have to do MB, RAM and CPU in one go.
    Son has more or less the same, he is upgrading end of year, and will no doubt go Win10. But he still games extensively.


    I don't want Win10, but I think it unlikely to find drivers for Win7 on a new MB. See?
    The issue si NOT the other way round.

    I don't game much anymore, this is the reason I stuck with Windows for so long.

    Hence, when the need for new hardware arrives, I thought Linux as I don't need nor want the new WIndows.

    As for some cheap ex-lease piece of **** hardware, shudder.....

    Hardware has always been my thing, more than the software on it, I love the new hardware, the higher end the better.

    Random cheap crap, no way.
    Even if I can't justify the need for high end anymore....I still prefer quality.

    Thanks for those who have provided suggestions, links etc.
    wipe your paws.

  8. #8
    Wrinkly Member! B.M.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Age and Linux

    As a very happy convert may I suggest the following.

    1: Get an old but sound Hard Drive and install on that for trial purposes as I found just using the disk and not installing slow.

    2: I took the advice I was given HERE and went with Mint – Ver 18.0 (Sarah) – Cinnamon.

    3: Keep your Win7 Drive separate and disconnect it from the Internet to prevent Microsoft declaring your installation of Windows not genuine and stuffing things. You can hook it up later and boot from which ever disk you like, but you won’t have Internet on the Windows disk.

    4: You get a complete Libre Office Suite as well as the OS which can handle files produced by Microsoft Office including some quite complicated Spread-Sheets with Macro’s.

    5: Make sure you install “wine” and “winetricks” from the Packet Manager and you’ll be surprised just how many programmes designed for Windows work fine with “Mint”.

    I have only had trouble with two programmes, one which is a specialised Security Programme and the other with a specific Samsung Mobile. I haven’t pursued the issue because they both work fine on an old XP Computer with Updates turned off. The Security programme loads but seems unable to address the function which E-Mails me photos of what triggered the camera, and in the Case of the Mobile Phone I can see the SD Card but can’t open it. However the card views fine in a card reader. I’m sure there will be an answer to both should I be bothered pursuing the matter.

    Anyway you’ll find a lot of answers in the link I provided and you won’t regret the changeover.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by B.M.; 19-08-2017 at 09:14 AM.
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  9. #9
    Apple free in Appleby KarameaDave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Age and Linux

    B.M is making a good suggestion to just have a separate drive for Linux and you could try Mint or Ubuntu or PCLinuxOS or whatever you please.
    Your present hardware is plenty strong enough to run any of them.
    The beauty is they cost nothing but the data to download and maybe a blank DVD or a flash drive to install from.
    If you are going to install from USB flash, I would humbly suggest you use Unetbootin rather than Rufus
    this is because I have struck an issue with some Linux distros when using Rufus, they get so far and then
    spontaneously reboot over and over, yet the same flash drive and distro done with Unetbootin does not do that.
    Specifically the distros were LinuxLite and Lubuntu as well as the x64 version of OpenWRT.
    So I only use Rufus now for making bootable Windows USB flash drives, which it is excellent at.
    FTW

  10. #10
    Where is Metla these days Chilling_Silence's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Age and Linux

    Blow me down, that's actually a good / constructive / helpful post by B.M.!?! :O

    Agree with Mint, it's nice. Their main flavours are Cinnamon / MATE, but any will suffice really. You seem to be well aware it's going to be a little bit of a learning curve, though not too much of one, so that's half your battle won already.

    If I was in your shoes, I'd look at spending $60 on a small SSD though to keep it separate, if you can spring for the extra speed. You'll not believe the new life it'll breath into your PC, and especially as you're trying something new, why not?

    Good luck!
    I mostly do Bitcoin & DigiByte things these days, feel free to say hi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dgb_chilling

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