A couple of weeks ago I finally assembled everything in my new computer and installed Ubuntu, which happily worked fine from the start. The basic internet stuff worked straight away, but in the meantime I've slowly been getting everything to match my old computer, all my files and programs. Patrick
came over and volunteered a few hours to the tedious task of transferring the contents of my old hard drive to my new one. Since then, I've been using the new computer exclusively and I'm very happy with it. It's such a huge jump in hardware, as well as having the latest Ubuntu. It works so fast, I'm still getting used to how quickly things open and how smoothly they run. I don't have to worry about playing mp3s while editing photos or while running multiple programs anymore! Or just running multiple things at once, period. If I wanted the old computer to try burning a CD while downloading files and playing a Youtube video, it was definitely straining. But bless it, it never crashed, it was just frustratingly slow.
Here's the old behemouth next to the sleek new guy:
To geek out a bit, I've gone from a Pentium 4 1.6 GHz processor, with 2 GB memory and a 120 GB hard drive, to an AMD Athlon 64 x2, 2.70 GHz processor, 4 GB memory, and 500 GB hard drive. The construction of the box is so much more modern as well. As you can see from the photos, the old computer still has a disk drive and it has no USB ports on the front (leading to me always having to crawl to the back of the computer just to plug in a USB stick). The new computer has all sorts of helpful things right at the front, including a lovely built-in card reader. The panel at the bottom that contains the power button can slide up to cover the card reader/USB, etc area, but it's kind of fragile-seeming plastic and I figure I'll need access to the ports enough that I think I'll just leave it in the lower position.
I can't thank Patrick enough for all of his guidance and time in helping me get the new system set up. I learned so much in the process, which is still ongoing. In order to write this post, I first needed to install a couple of photo-related programs which didn't go as easily or as quickly as I hoped, but about an hour later I got there. I still feel very much like a Linux newbie, but I'm always so happy when I sort out my problems through the volumes of help there are online. Today I fixed the simple problem of my speakers popping loudly every time I started a soundfile or video; tomorrow I might tackle installing Skype, which is possibly a headache-in-waiting.