Need an Operating System
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  1. #1
    Failboat Captian
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    Need an Operating System

    After the obligatory 15 minutes spent searching the lownje, I wasn't able to find what I was looking for, and the posts were getting well over 6 months old, so I'm going to ask something that's probably been asked 25kajillion times (+1).

    I need an operating system. What should I get?

    The lowdown:

    I just purchased my old dell laptop from work (refreshed with a new one). It's a 3-4 year old Dell with a single 1.8ghz processor and 1GB RAM and about 80GB hard drive.

    They "sanitized" it before I got to bring it home, so it doesn't even have an OS on it. I have a copy of Vista, but it's for 64bit, and the old computer is something less than that (32bit??? Is there a way to tell without having *anything* on the computer?). So basically, I'm hosed. We have a Home Use Program (HUP) benefit from work, to be able to buy from Microsquish, but I don't seem to be able to get anything other than MS Office and other business type apps, even though the MS site says they sell Windows7 through the HUP.

    So I'm thinking maybe I should go with something entirely less common. But I'm not a computer geek, so I want something that won't require me to figure out a bunch of drivers to download just to make it function or do all sorts of kabookie dances. I'm looking for something I can install and use, then will have drivers available for my old printers.

    My needs are fairly basic. I need to be able to connect to my wireless FIOS network in my house (also connected via wired docking station), share files with MS XP and Vista machines, and print on a couple of older printers (and hopefully a new one when I get one), as well as the normal email, web surfing, and maybe load some apps such as MS Office, Photoshop, etc. Nothing fancy. It will mostly be used for surfing and email. I also have Kaspersky security software, but I don't know if it will be necessary to load it on a machine not running MS or MacOS, with the fear that the computer will be harnessed to a LAN that will have machines running MS Vista and XP.

    I guess I'll need to download an OS onto this (Vista) computer, burn it to a CD then boot the other laptop with the new OS? how does that work if it's just a downloaded file? Do those OSs have the ability to download a boot disk? Should I create a boot disk from my ancient XP desktop? I don't think I have the XP OS sitting around. Haven't been able to find it so far, and really, would rather not.

    Off to bench press clowns until I get some halp from the moreons
    "I'm tired of people not treating me like the gift that I am."
    -Paula Abdul

    Quote Originally Posted by ToF View Post
    What type of tang does it have?
    Quote Originally Posted by bigrider View Post
    The ones I made had a poo tang.

  2. #2
    I want a Road Bike :)
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    get a mac... then install Linux ...
    poast count +1
    But .... a long NNC session and jerkin' the gherkin to some old-school pr0n... not necessarily in that order. Much cheaper than H&B. JustTooBig
    mtymxdh is right... you have been scammed my dear. Creakyknees

  3. #3
    Beetpull DeLite
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    xp...

  4. #4
    Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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    Yeah, with those specs, XP. Windows 2000 if you have a copy of it.

    Either way, I would at least upgrade the memory. That should be pretty cheap.
    "He groaned when we hung the rope over the tree but was relieved to see the white pinata."
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  5. #5
    I want a Road Bike :)
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    maybe you should try Ubuntu, the lownge release "n00buntu"

    it can (may) handle your basic needs:

    My needs are fairly basic. I need to be able to connect to my wireless FIOS network in my house (also connected via wired docking station), share files with MS XP and Vista machines, and print on a couple of older printers (and hopefully a new one when I get one), as well as the normal email, web surfing, and maybe load some apps such as MS Office, Photoshop, etc. Nothing fancy. It will mostly be used for surfing and email. I also have Kaspersky security software, but I don't know if it will be necessary to load it on a machine not running MS or MacOS, with the fear that the computer will be harnessed to a LAN that will have machines running MS Vista and XP.
    FILE SHARING and printing with SAMBA
    email web surfing mozilla apps firefox and thunderbird
    MS office ----> OpenOffice.org
    photoshop ----> Gimpshop



    if its main use is going to be pr0n web surfing and email Ubuntu may be all you need
    Last edited by mtymxdh; 10-28-2009 at 02:56 PM.
    poast count +1
    But .... a long NNC session and jerkin' the gherkin to some old-school pr0n... not necessarily in that order. Much cheaper than H&B. JustTooBig
    mtymxdh is right... you have been scammed my dear. Creakyknees

  6. #6
    Spicy Dumpling
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    Even though I haven't used it in years I'd try one of the linux distro's before spending the money on windows. If you like it you've saved some money, if you don't you aren't out anything but time.
    If I were to beat you senseless with a tire iron, what color would you bleed?..The Missus

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    +1 for Ubuntu. Runs well on older laptops - it doesn't hog as much resources. I like it for the simple reason that it boots up WAY faster than my XP machine. It does take a bit of getting used to...

    When my grandfather-in-law (can I say that?) wanted a computer for surfing the web, we set him up with Ubuntu. It's worked flawlessly for almost a year now. And he is 94.

    If you only have 1GB of RAM, don't put Vista on there.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    XP or Ubuntu

    You have a 32 bit processor.

  9. #9
    Failboat Captian
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    Clowns pressed and midgets tossed. Thanks for the input.

    When it was my work computer, it was running Xp Professional, with lots of apps and worked just fine. Maybe I'll see if I can find my old XP from my boat anchor desktop.
    "I'm tired of people not treating me like the gift that I am."
    -Paula Abdul

    Quote Originally Posted by ToF View Post
    What type of tang does it have?
    Quote Originally Posted by bigrider View Post
    The ones I made had a poo tang.

  10. #10
    Master debator.
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    Get friendly with the IT guys at work, and ask them for an XP install disk. That's where I got mine, it works with any Dell computer. No cd key etc. and it's fully legit and updateable. (except it's not fully legit hehe)

  11. #11
    Failboat Captian
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOky
    Get friendly with the IT guys at work, and ask them for an XP install disk. That's where I got mine, it works with any Dell computer. No cd key etc. and it's fully legit and updateable. (except it's not fully legit hehe)
    I would except I work for ultra huge, mega corporation. That simply ain't gonna happen.
    "I'm tired of people not treating me like the gift that I am."
    -Paula Abdul

    Quote Originally Posted by ToF View Post
    What type of tang does it have?
    Quote Originally Posted by bigrider View Post
    The ones I made had a poo tang.

  12. #12
    Failboat Captian
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    Found my old XP Home Edition with SP 1. It's only 7 years old. I also found our old Mac OS8, circa 1994.

    If I load XP, will I be able to go to MS and download all the updates to XP?

    Anyone want a copy of Word Perfect from 2002?
    "I'm tired of people not treating me like the gift that I am."
    -Paula Abdul

    Quote Originally Posted by ToF View Post
    What type of tang does it have?
    Quote Originally Posted by bigrider View Post
    The ones I made had a poo tang.

  13. #13
    Frog Whisperer
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyTooBad

    Anyone want a copy of Word Perfect from 2002?
    got it....thanks anyhow.....

    actually i MAY have one from 1995 or so......wasn't even a windows program.....
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

    "There's no sense being stupid unless you show it."

  14. #14
    ( ͡ ͜ʖ ͡)
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtymxdh
    maybe you should try Ubuntu, the lownge release "n00buntu"

    it can (may) handle your basic needs:



    FILE SHARING and printing with SAMBA
    email web surfing mozilla apps firefox and thunderbird
    MS office ----> OpenOffice.org
    photoshop ----> Gimpshop



    if its main use is going to be pr0n web surfing and email Ubuntu may be all you need
    +1 for ubuntu
    I lost my phone number. Can I have yours?

  15. #15
    Failboat Captian
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    Okay, now I need some real help.

    I loaded XP (SP1). I tried to connect to my FIOS modem. First I tried wirelessly. Ummmm, no option in the control panel to make a wireless connection?! So I plugged into the modem, but still couldn't connect to the webz. Do I need to download some sort of driver from this computer, put it on a thumb drive and load it on the new laptop to be able to use the modem? WTF is going on? I figure once I can connect it to the internet, I can download SP2 and all the latest updates. Hopefully, this will also include whatever drivers are needed to use the wireless connection. Even the ancient desktop shows a wireless connection option (it doesn't even have a wireless card). So I'm assuming that's due to the upgrades to XP with SP2, etc?

    any input from the peanut gallery?
    "I'm tired of people not treating me like the gift that I am."
    -Paula Abdul

    Quote Originally Posted by ToF View Post
    What type of tang does it have?
    Quote Originally Posted by bigrider View Post
    The ones I made had a poo tang.

  16. #16
    waterproof*
    Reputation: Creakyknees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyTooBad
    Found my old XP Home Edition with SP 1. It's only 7 years old. I also found our old Mac OS8, circa 1994.

    If I load XP, will I be able to go to MS and download all the updates to XP?
    ?
    perhaps not - XP has that registration stuff in it. if you go trying to register and pull updates, it might accept your old product key. might not. but hey it's free, see if it loads.
    * not actually a Rock Star

  17. #17
    Adorable Furry Hombre
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyTooBad
    Okay, now I need some real help.

    I loaded XP (SP1). I tried to connect to my FIOS modem. First I tried wirelessly. Ummmm, no option in the control panel to make a wireless connection?! So I plugged into the modem, but still couldn't connect to the webz. Do I need to download some sort of driver from this computer, put it on a thumb drive and load it on the new laptop to be able to use the modem? WTF is going on? I figure once I can connect it to the internet, I can download SP2 and all the latest updates. Hopefully, this will also include whatever drivers are needed to use the wireless connection. Even the ancient desktop shows a wireless connection option (it doesn't even have a wireless card). So I'm assuming that's due to the upgrades to XP with SP2, etc?

    any input from the peanut gallery?
    You need drivers. For EVERYthing. Literally. That is how vanilla early XP was, and it drove lots of people nuts because of it.
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

  18. #18
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Go to the Dell website with another machine...

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc
    You need drivers. For EVERYthing. Literally. That is how vanilla early XP was, and it drove lots of people nuts because of it.
    I have bought and set up a number of used laptops, and the big companies like Toshiba, Lenovo, Dell, etc. will have all the drivers you need.

    Go to the dell.com website and follow the trail to support, downloads, enter model of your machine, and download all of the XP drivers. There will probably be about 8 of them for the touchpad, wireless, wired internet, video, power management (this is important).

    Put all of the install files on a thumb drive or burn them to a CD, and install them all on your laptop. You should be fine. Actually, you will be better off than the factory install because you choose what you can install and avoid all the unnecessary bloatware.

    XP is the way to go. You may not even need more memory if you keep what you run simple.

    Good luck,
    George

  19. #19
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    Try the lightweight ubutu, Xubuntu. I loaded it on an old Dell X400 with 1 GB RAM. Your issue is that 1 GB of RAM. It will make some options not work very well.

  20. #20
    Failboat Captian
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    Thanks YoGeorge. I will definitely try that tonight.

    I'm not too concerned with the 1GB RAM. I'm not doing any gaming or anything like that. It ran very well with 5-10 business apps open, and many large spreadsheets, etc., at work with a nasty hog of a security package, including HDD encryption on top of everything. I think it's got more than enough capability to do what I need. I actually don't notice any performance improvement with my new work laptop which has a faster dual core processor and 2GB or RAM, also running XP Pro.
    "I'm tired of people not treating me like the gift that I am."
    -Paula Abdul

    Quote Originally Posted by ToF View Post
    What type of tang does it have?
    Quote Originally Posted by bigrider View Post
    The ones I made had a poo tang.

  21. #21
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BryanSayer
    Try the lightweight ubutu, Xubuntu. I loaded it on an old Dell X400 with 1 GB RAM. Your issue is that 1 GB of RAM. It will make Vista not work very well.
    fixed.

    Get XP or Ubuntu.

    Save the Vista/7 license for a new computer.

  22. #22
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Have done similar install in the past week on dookie laptop with worse specs (only 512MB ram!), and kubuntu (KDE variant of ubuntu) runs way better than XP (which was the stock OS). once you get XP working, download Kubuntu/ubuntu. Most linux distros will let you install side by side with windows and let you choose which OS to boot into at startup (i.e. you can have 2 os's on the same machine at the same time).

    Have fun. Go find out what all this linux hoopla is about.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyTooBad
    Thanks YoGeorge. I will definitely try that tonight.

    I'm not too concerned with the 1GB RAM. I'm not doing any gaming or anything like that. It ran very well with 5-10 business apps open, and many large spreadsheets, etc., at work with a nasty hog of a security package, including HDD encryption on top of everything. I think it's got more than enough capability to do what I need. I actually don't notice any performance improvement with my new work laptop which has a faster dual core processor and 2GB or RAM, also running XP Pro.
    You should be fine with your setup. I've had a Dell Inspiron 600m since 2005--my wife is using it now. It's got 2 gigs of memory in it but doubt that I've ever used more than 1 gig at a time. It runs just fine and it's a 1.5 ghz Pentium M.

    After being around computers for 20 years, I LOVE not having to throw away machines every 2 years--this is possible because nobody made us switch to Vista--XP does enough for most people virtually all of the time.

    Once you get all the drivers going and hit the Internet with the Dell, XP will need to download the big service packs and about 59 patches immediately (I just did a new XP install on my tower after the old Socket A mboard finally blew up).

    Good luck,
    George

  24. #24
    donuts?
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    dos 6.22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chain
    Next time, save your energy for tomorrows ride and try not to come in 6th.

  25. #25
    Frog Whisperer
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    Quote Originally Posted by asciibaron
    dos 6.22
    I may still have a copy on a set of 5 1/4 floppies!
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

    "There's no sense being stupid unless you show it."

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