PC with Windows XP can shift to Ubuntu


July 24, 2008|By BILL HUSTED | BILL HUSTED,The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

U buntu might be something that I may be interested in using, but I have Windows XP SPII and I was wondering if I would need to remove that from my computer in order to gain an advantage from Ubuntu, or if I could keep Windows on my computer.

- Michael Marchisello

Ubuntu is an operating system built on Linux. It does a fine job, especially with low-powered computers that struggle to run XP or Vista. What you want to do is fairly easy. I'm saving myself some typing and pasting in a link to a site that tells you how to go about it: http://tinyurl.com/pj3te

My wife has given in to the purchase of a laptop. It will be for home use, including Web surfing, normal Word and Excel, etc., as well as for iTunes and photos. What speed and memory would I need to have Windows Vista work properly for those uses, or should I stick with XP?

I think 2 gigabytes and any of the modern processors (dual core, duo processor, etc.) would be fine. Actually, it would be hard to buy a processor in a new laptop that wasn't adequate. Memory seems to be the thing. Another weak spot for a laptop would be the video card. But I did some browsing online just to see what was being used and you'll be able to get a video card with 256 megs of VRAM, and that should be fine.

At least 2 gigabytes of RAM is a must, by the way. My uncle, a really fine electrical engineer who worked designing operating systems, had 6 gigs installed on his latest laptop. So more is fine, less is not.

In a recent column a reader made this statement: "I know that I will no longer be able to record more VCR tapes." Although that sentence was not critical to her question, in replying to the question, you did not contradict that statement.

- Warren Booth

I should have done that. The VCR will continue to be able to record any analog signal. And cable companies will either furnish a converter box or an analog signal for three years after the switch to digital. What the reader meant, I think, was that it would not be able to directly record a digital signal. I should have clarified.


Bill Husted writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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