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recommended OS, office to install on old machines to give away

Posted on 2014-09-22
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Last Modified: 2014-10-11
to install back windows xp, office 2007 for eg. on old machines to give away is possible but not that ideal. What would be some good suggestions of software alternative that we can install on older machines to give away. for these machines, the users normally just need to have normal surfing checking emails.
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Question by:grnow
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by:Andrea Antonangeli
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If they just need to use email, install Windows Live mail.
If they need to write documents, install OpenOffice http://www.openoffice.org/ or something like that.
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by:John Hurst
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Windows XP includes Outlook Express which is good enough for email. Both are out of support, but both work.

If you are giving away a machine with XP, you are giving away a license. Unless you have Office 2007 to give away, just leave that out.
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by:Emmanuel Adebayo
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You can install Chrome OS.
Chrome OS is an operating system based on the Linux kernel and designed by Google. As mentioned above you can tehn install openoffice
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by:Gabriel Clifton
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I have installed OpenOffice in the past. There is also Thunderbird for email. Outlook express is fine on XP and whatever the default one is for Windows 7.
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Brian Pringle earned 250 total points
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You could use OpenOffice as mentioned above, but I prefer LibreOffice (http://www.libreoffice.org/).  

Foxit Reader (http://www.foxitsoftware.com) is an alternative to Adobe Reader.  

CDBurnerXP (https://cdburnerxp.se/en/home) is a free CD/DVD burning application.

However, if you are giving them away and they are only being used for browsing the Web and checking email, consider Linux.  Microsoft ended support for XP and it is getting harder to find applications and devices that will still support it.  You will save yourself considerable time installing it (as opposed to locating drivers, performing updates, installation 3rd party apps, and etc.) and the person receiving the computer will be more secure.

Many people say that they don't like Linux or that they can't figure it out.  However, everyone that I have done this for says that it really is easy to use and they like not having to worry about antivirus.

Linux Mint (http://www.linuxmint.com/) has a version specifically for older computers called "Xfce" (http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2656).  You download the ISO image for it, burn it to a disc, startup the computer from the disc, and choose to install it.

Direct link to download ISO:  http://tor-relay.cs.usu.edu/mirrors/linuxmint.com//stable/17/linuxmint-17-xfce-dvd-32bit.iso

There are others out there, such as Ubuntu, but Linux Mint works well on XP-aged hardware.  It includes Firefox for Web browsing, an email client, LibreOffice, games, and most other applications that users need already installed.  If they want other apps, there is a "Software Center" (like an App store) where you can download more applications.    

Ubuntu:  http://www.ubuntu.com/

Xubuntu (for older hardware):  http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/xubuntu/releases/14.04/release/xubuntu-14.04-desktop-i386.iso
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by:rindi
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Linux Mint (with the mate desktop) as mentioned above is very good, or also Zorin OS which is also based on Ubuntu, but has a look and feel very much like Windows is also very good. Both are very easy to install and use, much easier than windows. You may also want to visit the distrowatch site, which has links etc to most good linux distro's. You can just download them and try them using the LiveCD/DVD, or putting them on USB sticks using the "universal USB Installer", which can put most linux iso's on a USB stick, and even download the iso's directly:

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=zorin
http://distrowatch.com
http://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal-usb-installer-easy-as-1-2-3/

The advantage of most Linux distro's is that they are totally free, and usually already include all the software you may need. LibreOffice is already installed most of the time.
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by:nobus
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i also suggest linux OS - as rindi said
the only problem you can have is missing drivers
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Manage projects of all sizes how you want. Great for personal to-do lists, project milestones, team priorities and launch plans.
- Combine task lists, docs, spreadsheets, and chat in one
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- Cut down on emails

 
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by:Brian Pringle
Brian Pringle earned 250 total points
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Drivers for 2004-2014 machines should not be a problem, as they are built in to most distributions.  The only problem would be if they have a non-standard video card or non-standard wireless card.  However, since they are older desktops they probably do not have wireless.  If so, you can get an Edimax USB adapter from Amazon for $8.
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by:rindi
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Most Linux distro's won't even have problems with wireless adapters, as they can often even use the Windows drivers. Also video cards usually aren't a problem, in fact most of the things will work out of the box, while for windows you'll have to search for drivers. Really the only driver issues that sometimes arise are for peripherals, like windows only printers or special scanners.
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by:grnow
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would try out the linux
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by:grnow
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what would be some of the antivirus software we can install on the linux platform?
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by:rindi
rindi earned 200 total points
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Although there are Linux AV tools available, I usually don't install any such tool under Linux. I've never yet been hit by malware on Linux. If I do install something, I use Clamav which is included in most distro's repositories, so all you need to do is open the package manager used on your distro, search for Clamav, then select and install it through this tool.
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by:grnow
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in the end choose linux mint over Zorin. has to install from DVDs as most of these older pcs don't boot from USB
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Author Closing Comment

by:grnow
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thanks for the linux recommendation. it installs very easy and is a very good alternative for older pcs.
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