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It really didn't have anything seriously different, (mostly just additional language packs and a bit more "ultimate power user" access) but for some reason that nobody but Microsoft really knows for sure, it had none of the resource hogging of the other versions.

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Undoubtedly one of their better decisions.  I really hate that Windows 7 support is coming to an end because my utility laptop that I use expressly just for work is going to become obsolete.  It is too old to really make use of Windows 10 as the AMD graphics drivers are legacy and prone to BSOD in the new o/s.  It can be jerry-rigged to work, but it is the kind of duct tape fix that would light all of OSHA on fire.  The laptop was designed for Vista 32/64-bit, but the RAM is unexpandable beyond 4GB, so there is not much room for expansion to even make use of its 64-bit processor. 

 

It's an old Dell Inspiron 1521.  Nice, bulky laptop.  When the comes that 7 is unsupported, it will probably have to become a lightweight Linux machine... my only qualm with this being I will not be able to use MS Office - at least - not conveniently.  Kind of hoping 2020 rolls around and MS announces continued support for 7.  It is truly the last robust O/S they made.  Shame it's about to be put on the chopping block. 

Edited by BeechCraft118
I, like, had a stroke or something on the keyboard.

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As an alternative to MS Office, check out LibreOffice. In many ways it's far superior to MS Office, but Microsoft does weird shit with their file formatting, so crossing between LibreOffice and MS Office with MS file formats will inevitably result in (hopefully) minor layout issues.

 

As for a version of Linux to investigate: Linux Mint, and Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE). About as close to Windows as it gets in Linux.

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I've tried both OpenOffice and LibreOffice.  I definitely prefer Libre more, but the file formatting changes really can mess things up.  It is probably what I will end up using.  The problems I had were all very minor formatting issues.  More than liveable.  Honestly, if worse comes to worse, I could always just deal with Google Docs.  I just wish you could download it as a client instead of having to rely on an Internet connection. 

 

Thanks for the distro suggestions.  I have, so far, tried Ubuntu and a few of its lightweight counterparts, but from what I've seen of the newer versions of Ubuntu are even more resource intensive now.  I may dual boot on the laptop to do some tests with Mint to see if it fulfills my needs that way I can just transfer directly to it after 2020 comes.  

Edited by BeechCraft118

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Yeah, I also am saddened by Google Docs being online-only, though I do understand why it has to be that way.

 

I would've suggested Fedora as well, but I never could find after my first install almost 5 years ago the installer from RPMFusion that allowed for native Debian package installation. (RPM and DEB packages native, the best of everything)

 

The regular versions of Mint are based off of Ubuntu, but LMDE is based off Debian itself, and has a significant performance boost because of it. Part of why I recommended it for that old of a system. ;)

Edited by BTGBullseye

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Thanks a bunch for the suggestions.  I am probably going to go for LMDE for that performance boost.  It looks like it'll come out-of-the-box pretty much how I need it aside from needing to do a few driver tweaks.  I visited the website and watched a few videos on Linux Mint earlier today, and it looks rather elegant.  

 

I will probably play with an installation over the weekend if I don't get some free-time later this week.  I plan to use it dual boot for now until Microsoft actually kills 7. 

Edited by BeechCraft118

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I tried LMDE, but realized I didn't like it not being built upon Ubuntu as I am most familiar with that family of distros.  I chose Linux Mint MATE since it focuses more on performance than Cinnamon.  I get very good performance out of it, but have to use open source drivers as the proprietary ATI drivers can't seem to be installed.  I am not sure why.  It could just be the hardware is just old.  It has a Radeon Xpress X1200 series onboard graphics card, and it seems to have a lot of problem with modern operating systems.  I know this system is on borrowed time.  Makes me wonder if I should reinstall Linux with the Xfce version just to get maximum performance.  I will play with MATE for awhile and see how I like it before making that decision.  I've learned, over the years, Linux takes time to customize and tailor to your desires, so I will just mess around for awhile and see if I run into any big issues.

 

The one big problem I have with Linux is its font rendering.  I miss not having Cleartype quality rendering.  It is not a big deal on Linux's native fonts, but I have to use the TrueType and ClearType fonts for a lot of the projects I work on, so the standard font rendering in Linux can make it look strange unless zoomed in.  There was this replacement font rendering software called Infinality I used to use; however, it appears to be very outdated now, and the PPA is probably vulnerable.  

 

Overall, I could see Linux Mint being a replacement once Windows 7 reaches EOL/EOS.  It's quite nice, and I can probably just tweak these small issues I'm having.  I may do a live-boot of the Xfce version just to see how it runs differently.  It may be worth a switch from MATE just for that extra reduction in RAM footprint. 

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