View Full Version : [ubuntu] [SOLVED] first post, need advice, new vs old computer

May 1st, 2008, 12:56 AM
i have a dell laptop with windows xp (i dont mind xp). also i am getting a new laptop soon. the new laptop is going to be NICE because its a birthday present from parents and im putting money into it, and being in college//computer science major programming software is a must.. i will be using this laptop a lot and am pretty computer literate..

taking into account all this, the question:

should i keep windows xp on the older laptop and buy a laptop w/o any os and put ubuntu on it... or take xp off this one and put ubuntu on it, then buy a laptop with windows vista?? i have a external drive so either way im not going to lose any information i have on this computer...

also anyone have any laptops that are legit feel free to say i was looking at this one http://www.pcmicroworks.com/fusion.htm

May 1st, 2008, 01:04 AM
Congratulations on getting a new laptop and happy birthday in advance!

I suggest you dual boot on your new laptop, that is, use ubuntu and xp side by side - that seems to me to be the best option. There are many guides regarding this, just go a google

Good Luck!

May 1st, 2008, 01:11 AM
Don't buy vista unless you really want it, it works well enough but no major advantage. I suggest buy a pc with windows xp pre-installed then install ubuntu and dual boot.

May 1st, 2008, 01:12 AM
I agree with ISplicer, if you are going to use the new laptop for school work, you would have to be sure the software needed for your studies would be compatible with Linux if you installed Ubuntu exclusively.

Sara Lou

May 1st, 2008, 01:13 AM
I second the dual boot. If it is xp or vista. Having dual boot has many advantages and only down side is extra disk space. If one os has a problem, you can easily reboot to a functional one.

May 1st, 2008, 01:23 AM
dual booting has worked great for me as well. But just to throw in a different opinion, why not use the old machine as Ubuntu. That way you can get your feet wet with it without having to worry about your new machine. I would hate for your first ubuntu experience to be taken down a notch because of some unforeseen dual boot issue.

Personally, dual booting has never given me any problems, but I have read about some of them on this forum.

Either way, you can't really go wrong. Just throwing in another opinion.

May 1st, 2008, 01:31 AM
Hi, Happy Birthday and all. I'm not an expert programmer or anything, but I was in a similar position to you recently and went for an Ubuntu only new computer, keeping my old computer with XP.
Ubuntu has been great aside from a few minor problems (that only came when I tried to upgrade, the fresh install was perfect). I've only turned on the old XP machine about twice, and that was to play games! It's redundant.

My mate went for Vista and he no longer has a functioning computer...

Good luck with whatever you choose!

May 1st, 2008, 01:42 AM
I too would suggest the dual boot option. There's no disadvantage (assuming that you have enough hard drive space which shouldn't be an issue these days), you don't have to switch laptops, data exchange between xp and ubuntu is easy and you can boot into xp if you really have to (windows software that doesn't run under wine for example).

I've recently bought a new laptop that came with xp and while I've never booted into xp I'm still keeping the dual boot configuration. Just gives you that peace of mind that if you really really have to it's there.

May 1st, 2008, 01:48 AM
I, as a college student, am going to recommend that you keep some form of Windows on your new laptop. One reason is that you may want to connect to the school's domain, or your department's domain, and that's a bajillion times easier in Windows than Ubuntu. Also, you're going to want Microsoft Office (Yeah, OpenOffice is nice, but in college you want MS Office), which runs best in Windows. At my school, some of the classes post content online in some kind of PowerPoint format that doesn't show up correctly in Ubuntu. If you need to run any software for your science classes, it'll probably be Windows software. You can be assured that all of your software, hardware, printers, etc will work in Windows as well.

So keep your main machine with Windows, and play with Ubuntu on your old machine. Perhaps when you get more familiar with it, you'll want to switch your main machine over.

Concerning Vista...I bought my wife a new laptop with Vista for her classes, and after I uninstalled all the preinstalled garbage (it's an HP...that put so much junk on their machines) it's pretty zippy and bug free (thus far).

Oh yeah, if you're into games at all, you're better off with Windows on your new laptop.

May 1st, 2008, 02:16 AM
Here's my take on it. Buy the new laptop with Vista on it,and trash Vista for Ubuntu! Keep the old machine running XP, and here's why.

Vista in any form is a hardware hog without really getting elbow deep into it and gutting the trash. It is possible to dork it by removing something important inadvertantly. Vista also has to have assigned and approved drivers or it throws fits. There are hardware issues because of lack of drivers. XP has all the drivers you could want. Ubuntu works great in laptops from what I'm told. I would use the new one as a 'Buntu box and keep the XP machine as a backup and for the odd bit that Ubuntu cannot handle.

One last thought. A virtual box inside your Ubuntu laptop would allow you access to Windows programs and allow you Linux for everything else, just a thought.

Mark Shuman

May 1st, 2008, 09:34 PM
"Vista also has to have assigned and approved drivers or it throws fits. There are hardware issues because of lack of drivers."

If he's getting a new laptop that ships with Vista, then drivers won't be an issue because they'll be preinstalled for the specific hardware in the laptop.

However, getting drivers in Ubuntu for newer hardware can be a challenge.

May 1st, 2008, 09:59 PM
Oddly enough, for laptops, it is usually cheaper to get XP or Vista pre-installed than to find one with no OS or with Ubuntu installed. (Dell's Ubuntus tend to be just as expensive as the Vista or XP basic versions, but have limited or non-existant hardware upgrades, for instance.)

I vote to go with a really good XP or Vista machine (which ever you prefer) from someplace with a rocksolid warrenty, like Alienware, and duel boot that bad boy with Ubuntu. I would put a lighter distro on your old laptop, like Puppy, Fluxbuntu, or OpenGEU. Most likely for most things you will end up exclusively using the new one, so the older one with a lighter distro will have a decent web browsing experence.

In the end they are your toys, so pick the solutions that speak to you.

May 1st, 2008, 11:20 PM
Well, If you want to make Ubuntu the default system on your new laptop, you will want to carefully check out what networking, sound and video hardware it has before you buy: Since so many hardware manufacturers are microserfs, Linux drivers are prone to be late if they ever turn up at all. Seems like it was about three years before Linux drivers for the Echo multi-channel sound cards came out. . . You still have to compile the ALSA drivers with a special library to get 'em to work at that.

Dell's Ubuntu boxes aren't much less than their Windows equivalents (maybe $50) but you DO know there will be working drivers for everything.

In order to make the decision on which way to set things up, you need to consider how your University and CS Department are oriented: Are they Microsoft-oriented, (do they push .net?) Are They Mac-oriented? Are they Linux-oriented?

If they are heavily Microsoft-oriented, you will encounter more roadblocks than I'd want to deal with to use 'nix as my main box. . . I doubt if you'd be very happy trying to run Microsoft C# under WINE. . .