Occasionally, I engage in some sort of upgrades for the computer systems in the house. Computers typically last me about 4 years or so before needing to be replaced. I delayed things a bit last year by replacing the motherboard that had gone bad. At the same time, I decided to also replace the main hard drive with a 500GB SSD.

That machine itself was put together in 2012. It is a 3.4GHz Quad Core Sandy Bridge processor on an EVGA motherboard with 16GB of RAM. I reused the hard drives, two monitors, keyboard, case, and other miscellaneous parts.  The cost for the machine was right around $1100. Last year’s overhaul cost another $400.

So I now have a 4 year old machine and it works fine, but it has one glaring problem: It is a Windows machine. I want to make a switch to Linux. As a test, I am going to install Linux on an old laptop that I have had since 2008, just to make sure that I am comfortable with the software before I take the plunge.

To make this happen, I have moved all of my files to my own personal cloud by using a NAS. The NAS that I chose, was chosen for a few of reasons.

1 It runs Linux
2 It doesn’t run Windows
3 It is expandable
4 It can be upgraded with new software
5 It is expandable by adding more drives, and even though it now has more storage than I need, that will not always be the case. I remember my father telling me in 1986 that no one would ever need more than 10 MB of storage, because that was enough to store a library.

If all of this goes as planned, I will go with a System 76 laptop running the Linux Ubuntu system. With any luck, I can get another 4 or 5 years out of this setup. The cost won’t be too bad, coming in at right around $1200.

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Anonymous · May 1, 2016 at 4:15 pm

Not sure what you're using your puters for, but $1100 is an awful lot. I built mine over 5 years ago, Asus mobo, AMD Callisto dual core processor overclocked to 3.4 GHz, 8 Gb RAM, 1 WD 500 Gb hd, with case, dvd burner and power supply I was out $545. It still works like a brand new one right now. More money doesn't necessarily mean a better product. As for giving Linux a whirl, have you tried installing a vm on your window$ box and playing with it that way? Another excellent option is to download a distro of your choice, use unetbootin to put it on a flash drive, reboot and run the distro live. That doesn't make any modifications to your current system, it runs entirely from RAM, you can try it out, see how you like it and when you're done remove the flash drive, reboot and be right back into your current os.

cJ · May 2, 2016 at 2:27 am

Nice to see your choice of Ubuntu, Divemedic. After 10 years as a firefighter paramedic and a long time working on computers for fun, I've now been working for Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu) for 3 years. Hope you enjoy your switch!

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