Monday, May 11, 2009

Ubuntu or Windows 2000?

This weekend, I was re-purposing an old PC (a Celeron 2600, a former automation server) as a PC for the kids. It has a gig of RAM, 160 GB hard drive and an ancient GeForce2 GTS based video card. I had a few choices of OS - Vista, some flavor of Linux or Windows 2000. Vista would be too much for this hardware, but Linux should be good, right? Wrong. I tried the latest Ubuntu, but it felt like I installed Vista on it. The machine was so bogged down. Even browsing was slow. The graphics were laggy and xorg used a lot of CPU. I downloaded and installed the latest Nvidia drivers (at least I think I installed them correctly), but everything felt slow-mo. I tried Xubuntu since it has a lighter window manager, but not much better. Puppy Linux was peppier but I really needed Shockwave for the kids. I took out the trusty Win2k disk, loaded it up and scrounged up all the drivers off the net. I disabled a bunch of extra services. Very snappy. Even the graphics were smooth. I forgot how light Win2k is. I think this will do just fine for the kids.

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