Perhaps I should really start out with saying something about the ‘why’ of running such a blog as this.
There are already quite a few websites around which deal with running Linux on old laptops (try this G**gle search). However, everybody has different needs, and hence I should probably say a little about what I was personally looking for.
In terms of computer knowledge, I probably belong to the intermediate group. I have been interested in computers from early on but never got one until I was fourteen (somewhen in the mid-nineties). I have mostly used any W*****s that would be available on my boxes, but actually the first OS I experienced (running an ASCII game called “Worm” (a jump’n’run oldie)) was some UNIX back in the late eighties. Also, as I mentioned before, I was introduced to the basics (and some of the magic) of Linux by an ex-flatmate of mine who was studying computer sciences back then.
But for this laptop, I was simply looking for a solution that would provide me with the basic needs:
- Rather fast
- Quite reliable
- Definitely equipped with a GUI (a nice-looking one and customizable if possible)
- Should be able to run OpenOffice.org 3.0 (and perhaps LATEX)
- Have a decent package management or at least easy-to-compile possibilities
- Should provide relatively simple WiFi handling
- Should be free and open-source (for monetary as well as “political” reasons)
- Should have a sizeable community with a high relative percentage of knowledgable people (developers, etc.), and really newbie-friendly on top
Not really high expectations, are they? Yet it was harder than first envisioned to actually find the right distribution! It took browsing a gazillion sites, trying to figure out what was behind at least the same number of opinions on the respective distributions, downloading ISOs, test-driving them (including a few installs) on my hardware and then de-installing them again.
So I thought it would be nice to have a single site dedicated to describing the optimal setup, and in-action developments for my needs and my hardware for people, that might have similar needs (I guess this would be roughly about 70% or more of Linux newbies out there) and similar hardware. And if you are reading this, I guess you must be one of them: Welcome!
ALL HAIL THE VECTOR!
Over and out.