Being unconvinced about the superiority of ‘Windows’ assumed by so many people, and being possessed of three laptops that I have upgraded somewhat by adding what we used to call RAM, and also changing the HDDs from discs to solid state – but which do not have good enough processors to proceed as Microsoft would like, to Windows 11, I have experimented at times with Linux. Generally speaking, most Linux Distros at the beginners end of the business will work very well on older computers, and the one I have favoured most up to now has been Linux Mint and it has been my operating system for several years now.
But I keep my eyes open, and read the reviews on sites like Tech Radar, so that from time to time I go to other distros and try them out to see how much they have been improved since I last looked. The Linux systems I have tried make the formatting of a removable USB drive very easy, and similarly make easy the writing of an *.iso image to the newly formatted stick from which the computer may be booted, the new system tried out, and if wanted, installed.
Recently I tried Kubuntu, the KDE version of Ubuntu, and Manjaro. Both I found to be quite workable, although as always different designers do things differently, so that you have to find your way around feeling a bit uncertain, where in your native system you would know exactly where to look and what to do. A couple of days ago I did another one of my surveys and came across ‘Zorin‘. I downloaded it to a USB stick, tried it out, liked its appearance, and soon found my way around its programmes. So, I took the next step and installed it on this machine, a Lenovo E50-80 and it works a treat. It comes with the ‘Evolution’ suite – “a personal information management application that provides integrated mail, calendaring and address book functionality” which has improved a great deal in recent times, and setting up one’s email accounts is easy – not quite so automated as Thunderbird perhaps, but all done in quite a short space of time.
So, those computer owners unable to upgrade to Windows 11 because of the age of their equipment, have nothing to worry about and can find and use a replacement for Windows quickly and easily, and their knowledge of how Windows ticks will soon steer them through the Linux equivalents. I keep one laptop going on Windows 10 because it is the only way I can keep my Tom Tom satnav up to date. You can, in theory, get Windows programmes to run on Linux by using a programme called ‘Wine’ but I have had no success with this so far. But a day or two ago I ran the Windows laptop, and spent (wasted ?) most of one day simply updating the operating system and the few programmes that are installed on it. With Linux, updating simply happens as required, they don’t wait for monumental batches of updates a couple of times a year. I store all my stuff on ‘Dropbox’ so that when a new version of my OS comes out I just do a clean install, get Dropbox installed and running and all my photos and documents come whizzing down the wire.