Just bought a refurbished Compaq CQ60 laptop with Windows 7 Home installed. Basic spec: 64bit, 1.66G processor, 3G memory, 250Gbyte drive. I need it as a desktop machine. The OS will be dumped.
First decision: 32 bit OS (recommended by Ubuntu) or 64-bit? My inclination is 32-bit on the grounds more software may be available, but I'm not sure that is a rational reason. Does 32-bit software run properly on 64-bit OS and will the apps read data files from 32-bit software (my guess is they will).
My initial impulse was to install 10.04 LTS but then I wondered about 10.10 (but it seems to have a shorter "life"?) and then about going direct to 11.04 or 11.10 although I know these last two are beta and hence probably too much hassle for a simple everyday user.
On top of that decision comes a choice of window manager: Gnome (which will soon be dropped as default but which I use on Hardy), KDE (which I also use in part) or Unity, about which I know nothing (is this available on 10.xx?).
My basic use for this machine is as a backup to a desktop m/c - if that one goes down I'm currently back to Windows 2000 with quite a hiatus. Apart from that my current machine runs on a Windows network (which is needed for other things) and that would still obtain (I use Smb4K to simplfy connection).
Requirements are (obviously) internet access including web (mostly firefox), mail (thunderbird) and (currently) Gnome-RDP (which I find better than the other offerings). I also need to use (preferably) Kate software editor and Gnome-NetTools. Open Office is used occasionally but I don't expect much problem there. Also XSane scanner interface and KCron to control things. The best clipboard manager for my purposes (especially across RDP) is KDE3 Klipper (KDE4 Klipper gives me problems).
This seems to be pushing towards Gnome and KDE but if they become obsolete what are my alternatives?