This all started when MaximumRD found a really nice old netbook at the recycling bin. He started looking into replacing Windows XP with something different. I was curious about why. I have a really old laptop myself with XP that works ok. A few other nice folks pointed out how unsafe XP is since it's no longer patched or supported. Let's Do This! Linux Mint, here I come.
My laptop specs:
- Dell Latitude D410 - 12" laptop (early 2000's vintage)
- Intel Pentium M "Centrino" single core CPU at 2.0 GHz
- 2 GB DDR2 memory
- 40 GB physical hard drive
I got this laptop for $3 from Goodwill. I found a power adapter for $0.87 (sold by weight) at the same Goodwill. It came with a cracked battery (that still worked) and no hard drive. I had an extra IDE drive in my junk box. The battery got fixed with some black duct tape. I also found an external optical drive on ebay for $5.
What I use it for: I love it because it's so small. I use it a lot in the kitchen. To look up recipes and surf the web while I cook. And sometimes to do Atari.io chats when they were during dinner time!
What I upgraded to: Linux Mint, xfce version (which has low system requirements...perfect for an old PC). I chose the 32 bit version.
How I upgraded:
- I first backed up the hard drive so I could revert to XP if this didn't work out. I used Clonezilla. But there are many other options.
- I installed the Linux live disk on a USB stick using Rufus.
- I booted to the Linux live disk. It gives you the opportunity to try out the OS without actually installing it. With no hard drive, it's a little slow, but you get a good idea of compatibility. In my case, the wifi worked, the touchpad and display worked. Everything looked good.
- A full install took about 30 minutes.
What do I think:
- It works well! I didn't have to fuss with any driver installs. Everything worked fine right out the box. I probably will have some trouble installing a printer driver though.
- Speed is hugely improved. Youtube videos play without any glitching (not true on XP). Firefox worked very quickly....even with Facebook (not true with XP). Speed wise, it gave new life to this old computer.
- A lot of great software comes pre-installed. Firefox, a movie viewer, LibreOffice, music software, image viewer/editor. I can't think of anything I need to add.
- On the downside, there is a learning curve. Installing programs is not so easy on Linux. Typing in terminal prompts? Oh brother.
- My wife said it looked like a Mac. That's true. It does.
- I was able to access my Windows share (where I store recipes) pretty easily.
- I'm keeping it!