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Win7 or Ubuntu for college

By Xclusiveitalian ยท 16 replies
Aug 22, 2010
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  1. Im unsure which OS I should use on my old laptop for college. Im currently attending John jay college and every computer there is using windows XP. So for reports, etc I would need it to be able to open and view on a windows PC if necessary. I currently have Windows Vista 32bit Home Premium.

    My system is as follows:

    I was looking into Windows 7 Home premium, or Ubuntu.
    *Im unsure but I believe my laptop wont run with 64bit Win7 but I dont understand the requirements for that.

    I need a computer that will shut off quickly for changing classes. I have to keep my laptop plugged in b/c this laptop battery wont last.

    Which would you recommend?
  2. hughva

    hughva TS Rookie Posts: 53

  3. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    I would check the upgrade advisor above. Most computers able to run Vista will also run Windows7, though functions like Aero are dependant on the system specification and graphics card.

    I have W7 ultimate 32bit running on a 1.6GHZ celeron, with built in rubbish Intel graphics, and only 1GB RAM. Its no speed demon, BUT it runs with a basic desktop without much issue.

    Ubuntu will also run, but I think you'd be pushing your luck trying to run XP virtually. You'd also struggle to run most MS based software as well (at least virtually)- Openoffice is very good, and will deal with Ms Office documents.
  4. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 585

    You Processor supports 64bit version so you will be able to install Windows 7 64bit. For the purposes of shutting down rapidly both will be ok Ubuntu and Windows 7 but for battery saving then Windows 7 will be better.
  5. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    That isn't strictly correct. Linux can be just as good as Windows 7 on battery life, but like all things, its dependant on the battery, and the resources being used on the laptop.

    I regularly get an hour more per charge using Ubuntu linux over using Windows 7 on the same laptop.
  6. Xclusiveitalian

    Xclusiveitalian TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 773   +143

    Actually my battery only last 15min(prob less) but I leave it plugged in, its not to much of a problem. I was concerned about Ubuntu, I have tried it before and it was very fast and basic and seemed really good for writing notes in class. Is 64bit windows faster than 32bit, i never understood the difference. Thanks for the replies btw.
  7. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    64bit operating systems are generally slightly more resource hungry than 32 bit operating systems. If you have good hardware, and your running native 64bit software in a 64bit OS it will be faster. In regards to personal users, the main reason for going 64 bit is for users with more than 3GB of RAM. 32bit OS' are unable to address and use more than 3GB of RAM.

    I'm a bit fan of Ubuntu Linux, generally speaking its very light on resources. If you want something more snazzy, you could go with Kubuntu Linux, which is the KDE version of the 'buntu distributions. Ubuntu uses Gnome as its GUI. Underneath, both OS' work the same, the only difference is Kubuntu offers more "bling".

    If it was me, I would be spending my money on getting a new battery for that laptop, and then using Ubuntu if you find it offers what you need an OS.
  8. hughva

    hughva TS Rookie Posts: 53

    This is a bit backward.
    The main reason for 64 bit systems is that you can address more memory, not to use memory you already have.
    64 bit systems will be much faster when using 64 bit software, which is slowly becoming available.
    a 32 bit system can address 2^32 addresses:4.294967296 GB. There are various limits imposed by Window software on this number.

  9. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    Only the way I wrote it, having looked at it. Which I don't actually think is written badly.

    To be able to address, or use more than 3GB in my eyes is the same thing. You can't "use" 6GB of RAM in a 32bit OS, and the OS can't address 6GB either. So it means the same thing.

    What you just commented is what I meant. ;)
  10. hughva

    hughva TS Rookie Posts: 53

    This is a bit more complicated than most people think it .
    See this table:
    Note the 32 bit Server OS using 64 GB.
    It's not so much a matter of being poorly written as being wrong. I've been wrong many times, so it's not a big deal, but worth clarifying.

  11. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    I know that (I have the same link in my bookmarks), I wasn't refering to, and neither was the OP about server OS's.

    Its not a question of being wrong thats the problem, its the fact you've taken it completely out of context. Yes some OS' can run more RAM, but Windows desktop OS' in 32bit flavour cannot. What the Windows Servers can "address" has absolutely nothing to do with the OP's original post. You are quite right, but I didn't comment because very few people would run a server OS on a laptop as a standalone installation.

    I don't mind admitting when I'm wrong (I've done it enough here already!), but in this case, given the OP's questions, I'm not.

    I stand by my original comments, which are correct in response to Xclusiveitalian's last post.

    P.S. My comments are not meant in a rude, arguementative manner, and if they come across this way I oppologise.
  12. hughva

    hughva TS Rookie Posts: 53

    One limit of text messages is they only allow one to comment on what's posted, not what the poster "meant:"
    This what you wrote:"32bit OS' are unable to address and use more than 3GB of RAM."
    It's wrong. Most 32 bit OSs can address up to 4GB RAM, and some can address 64 GB.
    This is not in dispute, so I'm not sure why you're disagreeing with me (Or with MS).
    I'm done with this topic.
  13. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    I'm not disagreeing with this Hughva. You are correct - I wasn't saying your comment regarding this was wrong.

    I made two assumptions here:

    1. The user is a personal home/student user
    2. The only Microsoft OS' really valid for use for use would be XP, Vista, W7 in either 32/64bit versions.

    Given the previous information I feel I was right to make those assumptions, therefore my comment is correct in the way I intended it. Like you correctly pointed out, I needed to be much clearer and not assume. A lesson learnt, I didn't really think anyone would take it out of context when we're talking about Windows OS's for home non-server use.

    The way I typed it is entirely incorrect, as I admitted in my first response to your first comment.
  14. Xclusiveitalian

    Xclusiveitalian TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 773   +143

    I was going to get a new battery but hp told me it would cost more than $220. The current battery I had lasted less than 3 months to really hold its charge and I figured a new one would just be a waste. I got a new laptop for my room which is quite powerful but I had an old one with really nothing to do with it so I decided id use it to bring to my school.(My new one is 17' and kinda heavy plus i value it to my to carry it on the subway. This laptop(my older one) is light and fits in my bag.

    Kubuntu looked cool, it reminded me of a Linux based off windows, while Ubuntu kinda reminded me of mac. I decided to try out duel booting Windows and Ubuntu and it seemed neat to be able to boot up both. I gotta give Kubuntu a try, im assuming its just like ubuntu with a different look? Do you think Ubuntu having less than 20gb of free space would make it run slower? I wasn't sure but I heard running low on space can make it slower but I guess thats more when you literally have no space left.

    On the note of ram, this laptop uses a single 2gb stick in one slot of 2. I originally had 2 2gb sticks but one specific one seems broken as my computer will crash when its in.

    On a funny side note, abc check recommended changing "20gb" to "eggbeater" lmao

    As always, thanks for the replys guys.
  15. hughva

    hughva TS Rookie Posts: 53

    Check Ebay for your battery.
    I'm running Ubuntu Netbook on a 3 GB drive, so I think you'll be OK.
  16. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    You are correct. Kubuntu is pretty much the same thing, but with KDE as its desktop graphical interface. KDE favours certain software (built for KDE), and Ubuntu favours its own software (built for Gnome, which is the default GUI for Ubuntu).

    You can use software from both GUI's on each one though. The GUI is also fully customisable as well - So choose one you like, and customise from there if there is anything that doesn't take your fancy.

    Two good places for extra wallpapers, icons and theme packs, among loads of other stuff are:


    Regarding disc space, that is absolutely plenty for most Linux installs

    RAM will be fine. My laptop runs with only 1GB of RAM. 2GB will be plenty. :)

    On another note...
    Hughva, I'm sorry if I came across as an **** yesterday.

    In hindsight I could of been much clearer, and I feel I came across as very arguementative. I'm sorry for that.
  17. hughva

    hughva TS Rookie Posts: 53

    No problem. I've made my share of over-enthusiastic posts too.

    "On another note...
    Hughva, I'm sorry if I came across as an **** yesterday.

    In hindsight I could of been much clearer, and I feel I came across as very arguementative. I'm sorry for that. "

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