Linux as a remedy for Windows XP’s end of support

A customer with a perfectly good Dell Inspiron 600m laptop was in a quandary. On April 8 his laptop’s Windows XP will lose Microsoft support, making it vulnerable to attack via the Internet. The laptop had slowed to a crawl, so it was time to either reinstall XP or try something else. The laptop’s specs: 1.4 GHz Pentium M, 1.5 GB RAM, 30 GB hard drive. These specs are too modest for Windows 7, and Windows 8 is, well, Windows 8.

xubuntu desktop mage

Linux to the rescue
Because this laptop’s resources are modest, I chose the lighter weight Xubuntu flavor of Linux instead of the heavy-duty Ubuntu. Unfortunately the latest release of Xubuntu, 13.10, would neither run from its live DVD nor install because the Pentium M CPU apparently doesn’t include physical address extensions. Xubuntu 12.04 installed without protest.

With Xubuntu 12.04, both the Firefox and Chromium web browsers are quick, apps print reliably to the networked HP OfficeJet 7500a, and the customer can scan from the same OfficeJet over his LAN to the Simple Scan app that’s part of Xubuntu. It’s very sweet and was surprisingly easy to configure.

No more Microsoft Update Tuesdays or constant virus scanner updates or infections!

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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695


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