Who Do You Recommend Locally to Buy a Computer with Linux Installed From?

I bought myself a new computer (an H-P Pavilion a6500f) to replace the one I've had since Sep 2004 (an H-P a646c (Athlon 64 3200+, 512MG 2700 DDR SDRAM, and 200GB 7200 RPM EIDE HD). The salesman at BestBuy offered to remove the "trial" software, install their favorite virus software and anti-spyware, and transfer files from my old computer to the new. I demurred (much to my regret), and took my prize home to do the work myself. I installed my new computer in my bedroom, and brought the old one in to sit beside it. I started the old computer, and the mouse didn't work. I tried doing what I wanted to do (transfer the files) from the keyboard but that didn't work. I bought another mouse. No joy. I bought a PCi card with USB ports. They didn't respond. I could get the keyboard from the new computer to work (it connected to a serial port), but I couldn't get any mouse to work with the serial or USB port of the old compouter. Maybe it was a software problem (that was a possiblity brought up by the H-P site), but without a working mouse I couldn't solve it. After a couple of days trying to work around the problem or solve it I called a computer store: Computer Discount in Maumee. I told them my problem, and that I was willing to buy a cheap computer just so I could install the old hard-drive, and transfer the data to my new computer. He had such a machine for $399.

When I got there another "associate" steered me to a cheaper solution. A "Thermaltake" for $56.99 (if I remember correctly) will accept any harddrive (EIDE or ATA), and it to be connected to my new computer through the USB port, and act as a second hard drive or have the contents copied to the computer. When I compared the cost of this to buying a new computer for the old drive it was a much better solution. The salesman/tech even took my old drive, and put it in the device and hooked everything up, and then tried it out on one of the displays there. I took it home, and copied the files. They were now on the new computer, but Windows Vista couldn't use them. I then did the Windows transfer. Still no joy. Then I went out, and bought new copies of Quicken and Office Professional, installed them on the new computer, and now I'm able to get into my old files (at an additional cost of $300).

This brings me to my "brainstorm". I found that I couldn't copy my MS Access files to OpenOffice so that I could add additional records (the table can only be "read" that I am insterested in adding to), But if I would start fresh with new data I could use this "free" software. I am wondering who could you recommend to sell me hardware, and software, locally (preferably a desktop, or maybe even laptop, that I could connect to the Internet, maintain my graphics files, and occasionaly watch a DVD) that would be "freeware" based such as Linux, rather than a Windows-based machine. I am on a "fixed" income so I guess I should start considering other options than the MS family of products.

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I run Debian Linux on a desktop and also a LAN Printer server at home.

There are many flavors of Linux, some easy, some require a lot of hands on.

Debian has gotten better over the years and is pretty easy to install on more up to date hard ware.

I don't know of any local shops, but there is: http://store.madtux.org/index.php?cPath=57

Knoppix or Ubuntu as loaded on these systems are pretty user friendly and there are great forums for help.

More about Linux distro's http://distrowatch.com/

That is the kind of feedback I am looking for. I have recently heard about the EE..laptops. Those might be fine for Internet access. I would likely keep using my desktop for files that I want to "protect". I have been trying more online access (even looking at databases online), but I guess I still like the security of the stuff being on my desktop. But I am getting leery of having the stuff I want to really protect on the same computer as the one I use for the Internet.

Old South End Broadway

With proper permissions to folders and not logging onto a Windows machine as admin and properly as a normal user, is sufficient security for most users.

Of course there is at home storage solutions, external drives that can be connected to back up files and then remove the drives from the desk top PC.


Or even encrypted folders for the files you want to protect.

Linux is generally more secure and some distro's are easy to install on more up to date hardware.

computer shop . He has always been knowledgable and fair with me. YOu can call him and I think he will know about Linux. Tell him Chuck gave his # 419 917 5278

Try downloading Ubuntu and using Nero to burn it to CD. Boot into the CD and its' a cake install like Windows. Hardware support is great, though the main driver issue for most linux versions seem to be the wireless card.

Try out TALUG. They have a website www.talug.org. It's the Toledo Area Linux Users Group. They will walk you through an install and teach you anything you'd like to know about it, free. The last I knew they were meeting up on Saturday's at UT (it once was Stautzenberger).

As for you old hard drive - just physically remove it and put it into you old computer as a slaved hard drive. Or you could invest in the $60 kit to mount it externally. For your MS Access files, just save the database tables as CVS files and upload them into your new database. There are better ways to do it as well, but I'm trying to keep it simple.

I decided to download Ubuntu, and see if could install it. I should have left it on the CD. I installed it on the EIDE drive that I took out of my old computer, and attached with a USB plug via the Thermaltake. I thought that I followed the directions correctly, but on bootup I got "GRUB loading, please wait...Error 17". From what I can see this seems to indicate that I need some kind of password put into my copy of Ubuntu. One thing I notice is that the Firefox browser puts Swampbubbles into really big letters (which I find soothing to these middle-aged eyes).

Old South End Broadway

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