General Question

Trance24's avatar

Any computer experts out there? (Do you build them, fix them, know the quality of them?)

Asked by Trance24 (3299 points ) November 21st, 2008

OK I need to settle something with my grandfather. he is buying me a new laptop for Christmas. Within a $700 range. I HATE windows vista, and want to take it off and replace it with Linux. Does this in any way effect the computer, or its warranty? He also thinks vista’s problems are fixed. He also thinks that its dangerous for me to be putting other operating systems on this computer. Please give me all facts you currently know about vista. Including warranties, its capabilities, and “HORRIBLE” dangers of taking it off of my computer. Please provide links if possible. I am looking for people who really know their stuff. Thank you so much!!

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11 Answers

jaredg's avatar

It won’t void the warranty, but you won’t be able to get tech support from the computer vendor on an OS you install yourself.

Vista’s principal issues were: understated hardware requirements for the cool stuff, poor older software and peripheral compatibility (missing device drivers), and a sometimes inconsistent and unintuitive UI. I’m not sure if a $700 will be able to handle all the fancy Aero stuff, if it uses built-in Intel graphics, forget it. If you don’t use older software or have older printers, digital cameras, etc., you don’t have to worry as much about compatibility. They’re coming out with Windows 7 early because people hate on some aspects of the UI so much.

I’ve been a Linux user for over 10 years, so I’m biased in that direction. That being said, if someone were to give me a laptop on condition it ran Vista, I’d dual boot it and hide the good stuff. Sometimes you need a Microsoft OS around because it makes some things easier (I mean besides getting malware).

joeysefika's avatar

If you’ve never used Linux before it can be a bit of a culture shock. I would recommend windows XP or a totally awesome version of XP which is only a 170MB download as opposed to the usual 800MB that XP is. Its a performance version that will run so much better than Vista or even your run of the mill XP. However it is a torrent and is illegal, it’s up to you.

As jaredg said, a sub $700 laptop is just not suited to run Vista, it will be the slowest, buggiest and most incompatible experience of your life.
One of my favourite things in Linux is WINE, basically a windows emulator which allows you to install and run windows apps inside linux, without the need for a reboot and at native speed.

aidje's avatar

Why not buy a laptop with Linux pre-installed instead of wasting the money on Vista when you want to get rid of it anyway?

Trance24's avatar

I already use vista now with a dual booted system. That is what I was trying to get at with my grandfather. So its not like a huge switch over for me. I planned on dual booting the new laptop as well already.

@aidje – Tell me where to find one and Ill gladly buy it. Most laptops I see have vista. Correction….every computer I see has vista.

@joey Pirating illegal programs is no biggy to me, so Im game for that. How do you think I got my windows xp for my other hard drive in the first place? =]

And yea the whole $700 range really made me not want vista even more because i know a $700 laptop is just not going to be the best of the best. Its a laptop basically for college that I will replace in a couple of years anyway. Thanks for all your help though. Lots of good info.

joeysefika's avatar

Well in that case i’ll PM you a link :P

jrpowell's avatar

If you are down with Dell you can get a laptop preloaded with Ubuntu. Link

Or you could buy a Vista laptop and do whatever to it. Do you think your grandfather is actually going to check? Or just dual boot.

Vincentt's avatar

There are quite a few places to get Ubuntu computers, you just won’t run into them as fast, but if you look for them they’re easy to find. Dell offers some from dell.com/ubuntu, System76 is also a reputable vendor. If you live in the Netherlands, Mingos is another one. See also Wikipedia.

Wal-Mart also supposedly sold Everex PC’s with gOS previously.

As for other Linux distributions, many netbooks (probably not what you’re looking for) run one, such as Asus’s Eee PC which runs Xandros (or WinXP) or Acer’s Aspire One which runs Linpus.

aanuszek1's avatar

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t you paying $550+ $150 (Vista HP) = $700 for the laptop?

aidje's avatar

@Trance
If you want to dual boot, then it does make sense to buy a Windows laptop. I had assumed that by “take it off and replace it with Linux,” you meant that you didn’t want Windows at all.

Anyway, it looks like some good links have already been provided. A Google search brought up this article, which looks like it may be of some use.

Scazrelet's avatar

I would reccomend buying an XP based laptop… they still sell them in quite a few places, try newegg… or else reading the warranty on your new purchase very carefully before buying. I believe that on my old Acer, re-installing the OS was an issue some point down the road, but I do not entirely recall. Linux can sometimes be a pretty tricky thing to work with if you don’t know computers fairly well or have been thoroughly ingrained in windows, but in other ways it is much simpler, so be prepared to have a but of a learning experience if you decide to use it.

blastfamy's avatar

I dunno if this is a permalink or not, but you can find Dells with Ubuntu pre-installed here. Some of them are nice, too. If you don’t really want Vista, you’d be money ahead not paying for it…

I am particularly loathe to Vista for a few reasons:

* bloat of explorer.exe to the point that the UI often freezes to the point of unusability,
* everything built to be useful must run on top of the new DWM, another resource-hog, which saps up your memory, despite it doing only just enough good to justify me leaving it on.
** The non DWM user shell is fugly as hell, and the DWM just adds bloat
* WGA really scares me. Shitless.
* The interface of Windows Explorer is a steaming pile of poo.
** Horribly laid out.
** Slow.
** Inconsistent
** Far too static; not modifiable (which would be ok, if it didn’t suck so bad to begin with)
* External Device mounting works sometimes, sometimes not.
* Windows does not have its own apparatus to mount disk images (other programs must be used, which sap memory)
* Simple software updates break DB files for programs, causing them to run into errors
* Too many software incompatibilities to count
* Networking far to over-complicated
* Further stripped-down command line (vs linux/UNIX/OS X, which all have full command lines)
* Windows versioning – the great struggle (“features” vs price bloat)
* Resources allocated to cute, but highly ineffective UI toys that I could do without.
* MS’s horrible attempts to transition to 64-bit computing (breaks software, offers too little)

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