I mean that my computers are ancient. At fifty I regard myself as barely middle-aged.
I'm firmly in the camp of computer operators rather than techie geeks; as a professional writer I just want to get the job done as easily and smoothly as possible. To that end I've been using Linux since around the turn of the millennium (Red Hat 7, it was) and have never understood the contention that it's “just for experts”. So, unlike those who bought the Micro$oft spin, I was fortunate enough to by-pass the horrors of Windows 98, ME and Vista – although I rather liked 2000 and XP.
Not having much money, my laptop (well, netbook) is a six-year-old Toshiba NB100 maxed-out with 2Gb of RAM to run Windows 7 Home Premium and a 320Gb HDD to accommodate a duel-boot with Ubuntu originally before I switched to Mint last May.
Windows 7 (stable, user-friendly and running smoothly despite my scant system resources) would suit me fine if I had the money for software, but in these days of ebooks, discounted book stores, plummeting royalties and lean advances I don't. Besides, my primary digital tool is the office suite and I'd go for Open Office over M$ Office (and Libre, for that matter) any day. I also like Mint a lot. It just, well, works. Just as I like it. It installed all my hardware without a glitch, even my mobile broadband dongle (which is a right palaver under Windows, relying on clunky software). So I would have sacked Microsoft from my NB100 altogether were it not for the fact that I have (for my sins) an iPhone.
[Aside: any chance of a Linux ap that will sync my music collection? Or any tips on how to do this manually? My collection is too large for my Toshiba and the desktop is no longer an option as I am about to explain].
My desktop box, a hybrid X86/2GHz/3Gb SDRAM affair, is of a similar vintage and was running XP. With XP on the cusp of obsolescence I had a look at Windows 8 for it and decided that I wouldn't entertain it if Bill Gates paid me for the privilege. If I could get a legal copy of Windows 7 for free then I would have, but I can't. So I decided to take the plunge and yesterday installed Mint 16 on it. This was not without some trepidation: perhaps, I thought, I just lucked-out with the Toshiba hardware. This might be a headache.
My trepidation was not unfounded. The re-format to ext4 killed my hard-drive. Really. It just frizzled out and refused to do anything any more. I guess that must have been coming anyway, though. A trip to the second-hand spares shop later, it's up and running like a dream.
So now the only thing stopping me becoming totally FAT-free is my phone. I guess there's always Android, but after the hard-drive failure I have no money left to give Mr Samsung.
Still, many thanks to the team and community for this wonderful OS.