I had relatives from out of the country a little while ago and before they left, one of them decided to leave his laptop behind for me. It's an old model from the Toshiba Satellite 2410 series but I'm not complaining since I got it free.
The current configuration of the laptop is a little slow though so I've decided to put in some cash and increase the RAM. Now, all that's left is to figure out what to actually do with it. The first thing that popped into my mind was to use it to learn Linux. I've been a Windows user my entire life and although Linux appeals to me, I've never actually tried it out. My desktop is used by other people besides me and I wasn't allowed to install Linux on it.
I have a vague idea of what Linux is and its running but I'm still pretty unsure about other things so I decided to ask the Ghacks readers for their advice. Here re some of the questions I'm searching for answers to:
Should I consider dual-booting?
I've heard stories of Linux not being able to recognize drivers and such so I don't want to have to find that my system won't work without having some way of going back and fixing it. My graphics card is a NVidia GeForce 4 420 and I also have a Linksys WPC11 Network Adaptor card.
Can my laptop handle it?
Even after upgrading, my laptop will have a configuration of 1.8 GHz with 1 GB of DDR RAM. Also, my hard disk has a capacity of 40 GB. Assuming I leave about 10 GB for the Windows partition, is 30 GB enough to run Linux comfortably?
What distribution should I choose?
If I do go ahead and install Linux, I'm tending towards Ubuntu. It seems to be the most popular distribution and has a lot of support available for it. Another distro that appealed to me was OpenSuse but I'm not too sure about it.
How important is it to have an internet connection?
My laptop won't really be connected to the internet (unless I can figure out a way to get a connection). Is this a drawback to using Linux?
For now, that's about it. I'm looking forward to all your answers. Have I missed out any other important questions that need to be addressed? Let me know.
Update: Thanks for all your suggestions. I've decided to try Ubuntu as a LiveCD for some time and see how I feel before I install it. Wish me luck.
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