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Linux Contemplating Getting Back with Linux

Discussion in 'Software' started by stuartwood89, 20 Jul 2010.

  1. stuartwood89

    stuartwood89 Please... Just call me Stu.

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    Hey, my laptop is starting to get really slow under Windows XP now (it is quite old), and I'm toying with the idea of reigniting my brief love affair with Linux. The laptop is by no means high-spec, but I don't see why it couldn't handle Linux any worse than it is handling Windows right now.

    Laptop Spec:

    - Intel Pentium (Centrino) M 1.73Ghz
    - 512Mb DDR RAM
    - Intel onboard graphics, not sure how much memory.
    - 160GB HDD (IDE)

    As far as usage goes, it's mainly internet surfing, watching stuff on YouTube, a bit of photo editing, iPod synchronising, hardly any gaming (just Stepmania and my fiancee likes those Facebook games) and web development. I've actually run Ubuntu 9.10 on here before, but I found it to be a bit sluggish and video playback was awful compared to that on Windows. I'm looking for something that's quick on its feet, but will still do what I want it to do. I need decent wireless networking ability (9.10 seemed to work fine with my built in wireless adaptor). I was thinking of maybe using an older release, unless you guys can suggest otherwise, but I need Linux alternatives for some of the Windows programs I'm using right now if I'm going to commit.

    - For photo editing I use Photoshop, but for Linux I can use GIMP with no problem.
    - I use Dreamweaver for web design, but I'm not sure what to use under Linux - any suggestions?
    - Stepmania has its own native Linux release :)
    - What should I do about my iPod? I know of Linux alternatives, but which one is the best?
    - Firefox for web browsing.
    - I use Thunderbird for email. Is there anything better for Linux?
    - There is, of course, WINE for a few other programs.

    Not too worried about fancy looking bits and bobs, but I want to retain a bit of user friendliness so that my fiancee doesn't get too lost with the whole thing.

    So what distro (and appropriate settings) would you guys recommend? I have a little knowledge with Linux, but not much, and help would be appreciated :)
     
  2. Loafers

    Loafers What's a Dremel?

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    Upgrade to 1 GB of RAM and you should be able to run Ubuntu fine. If not, I'd recommend using Xubuntu if you're hardware is old.

    As for Dreamweaver alternatives I've read that Kompozer and Bluefish are pretty good. As for email client, Thunderbird works on Linux too, but if you're looking for more options check here.
     
  3. stuartwood89

    stuartwood89 Please... Just call me Stu.

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    I have tried upgrading, but the price of DDR RAM is just silly. I need PC-2700 and I can barely find any second hand.
     
  4. Loafers

    Loafers What's a Dremel?

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    Go with Xubuntu then.
     
  5. Yslen

    Yslen Lord of the Twenty-Seventh Circle

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    My mate has a laptop from a few years ago lying around in his house. The HDD died, followed swiftly by the mobo, so it's gathering dust in a cupboard somewhere. It has 1Gb of DDR in it (2x512, I think) - either PC2700 or PC3200; can you make use of the latter if that's what it turns out to be? If it's of use and you're willing to pay the postage I'll grab it for you, as it'll likely never be used ever again otherwise.
     
  6. murraynt

    murraynt Modder

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    I have a dell Inspiron 1300 running very similar specs bar the HDD.
    I installed Ubuntu Netbook Edition and i can safely say that i will never go back to windows (On the lappy).
    This is the version that somebody recommended to me on the forums and is the one i am using
    http://www.ubuntu.com/netbook
    Hope this helps
    EDIT: I would also like to add that i only use it now for browsing,Music/Video playback etc so i can not comment on the other softwares.Although i here that amarok is an excellent piece of software for syncing with iIods ,might give it a go my self
     
    Last edited: 21 Jul 2010
  7. The_Beast

    The_Beast I like wood ಠ_ಠ

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    I put ubuntu 10.04 on my laptops with these specs:

    Pentium M 2Ghz
    1.5 Gb Ram (upgraded from 512Mb)
    80Gb Sata

    Video and flash run pretty good, the only thing that slows it down is scrolling while the video is playing or if the flash has loaded. Firefox runs great and rarely ever crashes, wine works just fine, sketchup runs ok for those specs, gimp is again ok for those specs.


    Overall I would recommend it, considering that it would have cost me $90 to have XP Pro put reinstalled, ubuntu was the clear option
     
  8. Kumo

    Kumo What's a Dremel?

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    With that specs you should be abble of running regular ubuntu, Mint or Debian without problems. Anyway, more ram, better perfomance, but it's Ok by the moment.

    I have a Debian+XFCE running fine in an old PIII 500 ;)

    If you want more control and lightweightness, try Arch Linux (complex installation, but well documented).
     
  9. stuartwood89

    stuartwood89 Please... Just call me Stu.

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    If you could find out the type for me, then I'll be happy to take it off your hands :)

    I forgot about the netbook edition! I'll give that a go before trying Xubuntu. I'm in the process of compressing and backing up all of my music as I type this.

    Thanks for the replys so far guys! :rock:
     
  10. Gryphon

    Gryphon What's a Dremel?

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    I found the netbook edition to be no lighter than the full ubuntu. If anything the heavy interface made it lag a bit more :(

    One of my mates uses Xubuntu on his laptop, and glancing at it, i wouldn't know it wasn't ubuntu. I've been meaning to give it a try on my netbook.
     
  11. stuartwood89

    stuartwood89 Please... Just call me Stu.

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    Downloading Xubuntu now :) I'll probably get round to installing it tomorrow, once I've found a DVD to put it on, and my external hard drive to put my backups onto. Let me know of any other recommendations.
     
  12. murraynt

    murraynt Modder

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    Oh i might have a go of that :D
     
  13. stuartwood89

    stuartwood89 Please... Just call me Stu.

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    Well I changed my mind and started downloading Ubuntu 10.04 in the hope that it'll be better than 9.04. If it's too slow then I'll just turn off the fancy visuals and keep things basic, after all I don't need a flashy desktop environment if it's going to steal my RAM and slow down my work.

    Yslen: If you can get hold of that extra RAM and let me know, then I'll be most grateful.
     
  14. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    If you're going for the up-to-date distros with the latest shells, then that extra gig of ram is really recommended IMO.
     
  15. Yslen

    Yslen Lord of the Twenty-Seventh Circle

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    He's given me the go-ahead to plunder his old machine for salvage, I just have to go fetch the darn thing... I'll have a hunt around the web for the model and see if I can find out what kind of RAM it is before I go all the way over there...! :)
     
  16. Yslen

    Yslen Lord of the Twenty-Seventh Circle

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    If anyone is interested, I'm currently running Ubuntu 10.04 and it's using almost exactly 300mb of RAM. I have chrome open (1 tab only, I had 8 a minute ago and it added another ~150mb) and compiz enabled, with dropbox running in the background. Oh, and gnome-do and docky also, not that they're particularly resource heavy.
     
  17. Spongeblunt

    Spongeblunt Captain of Your Face

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    I use Ubuntu 10.04 (Standard x86 edition) on my Netbook and although I upgraded the RAM to 2GB prior to installing it it sits in 220MB of RAM so I don't see any reason why 512MB should be a trouble if you're only using it for office-type work. Just make sure you have a swap-disk partition :)
     
  18. Yslen

    Yslen Lord of the Twenty-Seventh Circle

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    Just opened a fairly large word document and it's taken my RAM usage up beyong 512mb, so I imagine the system would slow down quite a lot if it had to start paging then. Though this is a 40,000 word document, running in Word 2007 via Wine...
     
  19. stuartwood89

    stuartwood89 Please... Just call me Stu.

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    I thought that Ubuntu set up a swap automatically,

    Yslen: Thanks mate, really appreciate it.
     
  20. Yslen

    Yslen Lord of the Twenty-Seventh Circle

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    Ubuntu set up swap automatically if you choose the guided installation option that uses the whole disc. If you want a dual boot system you have to do it yourself.

    Not managed to get a look at this laptop yet, I haven't forgotten though. Hopefully in the next week. I want to pop over to borrow a graphics tablet as well... :)
     

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