Customer (a family) had a PC with a “counterfeit” version of XP. I gave them the option of either $150 for XP, or $0 for Linux (but I made sure they were aware of the potential limitations).
They agreed to give linux a try.
Since it had been about a year since I last looked at linux distros, I decided to do some homework, and find out if much had changed.
Last year, I decided that Mepis was a good distro for the non-technical “windows” user.
After reading a few reviews and forums, I decided that I’d try the latest versions of Mepis and PCLinuxOS.
I must admit that I didn’t look too deeply into either one, but after a quick play I found both were very very close. I was almost prepared to toss a coin to pick one.
At the time, I had a Ugandan apprentice/student working with me… so I handed them over to Abedi Omondi, and he spent a few hours using both.
At the end, we both agreed that SimplyMepis 6.5.02 was the (slightly) better distro.
PCLinuxOS 2007 had nicer eye candy, and looked a bit more like XP, but in the end, Mepis actually behaved more like XP, and was easier to use for an ordinary XP / win98 user.
So I installed Mepis on the HDD, then downloaded some extra “games” off the internet, did some web surfing, and was satisfied that it all worked correctly.
One thing I did (which many who are new to linux might not think about doing), was to partition the 80GB HDD into a 79GB linux partition, and a 1GB linux swap partition. A swap partition can make a big difference.
I also didn’t have the time to setup the customers printer, but that was not important to the customer, so I left it (at least until I get asked to set it up).