Letter from the editor



A Linux distro for the XP user?

A minor scandal erupted this month when a Google engineer exposed a serious security flaw in Windows XP. Microsoft cried foul, arguing that they didn’t have enough warning before the announcement went public, and attackers quickly started using the exploit, with no clear indication when a patch would appear.

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  • XP

    Until recently, I had been using XP for about 5 years (maybe longer--can't remember). It was so much more stable than the previous versions of Windows and I got locked into depending upon certain video applications that only ran on Windows.

    I always like to get my money's worth out of any system (I am not an upgrade junkie) and so my hardware eventually became quite aged, but it was dependable and so I wasn't too worried. By the time Vista came along, I was well below the minimum system requirements.

    I had tried dual booting with Ubuntu for about 6 months but I had a nasty experience when an Ubuntu download screwed up the dual boot start menu so that I couldn't boot into either OS. After a period of days, I managed to boot into Windows, but could not get back into Ubuntu and I did not particularly want to risk another episode like that so I very reluctantly abandoned the idea of dual booting

    It is only a couple of months ago that I got a new system with Windows 7 64 bit and I turned my old tower into a Linux box with Ubuntu 10.04. I must say that the installation was very simple and quick. And the user-friendliness of its interface has improved (e.g. the naming of hard disks).. I am getting back into using the terminal and re-learning the basic commands. For someone who only started using computers in my late-forties, Ubuntu is fine. It will be even better if I can find out how to get the screen resolution right--my old CRT monitor (IIyama HM903DTA Vision Master Pro 454) is not recognised by Ubuntu and I am stuck with a very low resolution.

    The only other drawback is that I don't appear to be able to use Ubuntu's special effects--probably because of hardware limitations.
  • Linux replacement for XP

    R X Jun 30, 2010 11:04am GMT said:

    "If it won't load the Flash Player or update the SUN jvm, mom's not going to be able to use it "

    It's happened - Ubuntu 10.04 does both of these!
  • Linux replacement for XP

    As a user keeping his family's XP machines going, I agree this would be an awesome idea. Every time I find a new Linux distro I load it up to see how easy it would be for me to administrate via internet, and how much time it would take to adapt my mom to it. I've had several close calls but the stopper has been plugins. If it won't load the Flash Player or update the SUN jvm, mom's not going to be able to use it for even her basic online activities. Now that the updates for XP will start coming to an end, its getting to be more important to find this distro and get the change going. I'm hoping the Linux community will get this caveat worked out soon.
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