@vandamme0....many thanks for taking the trouble to give such a detailed reply. I am 9 years younger than you, so should pick it up easily :-) I have done some UNIX in the past so should not be toooo gormless...... sounds like I should give it a go, I have a few old machines lying around that would probably do. Problem is getting the time..... Thanks again and happy new year // David
Well, I was scared to death, as all Windows users are, but after reading about different Linux flavors I tried Mint on an old laptop that nobody wanted at work because it wouldn't run all their required bloatware.Not only did smoke not curl out of the processor, it ran great. I was hooked. I'm a 66 year old EE, but only worked on analog, RF and vacuum tubes (TWTs). I made mistakes and had troubles (mostly self-inflicted), but there are a lot of forums and tutorials to help.
I've put mostly Mint on over a dozen machines, and it takes about 25 minutes to install, and an hour to install the apps, data, and refinements I want (themes, art, password and bookmark managers and so on).
There are 300 different Linux distributions, and maybe a dozen different window managers or desktops, so I tried a few. Most are very similar. Ubuntu is the most popular, but Mint is based on it and has some refinements. Bodhi is lighter, and yet pretty, so I put that on an old laptop for my 6 and 8 year old granddaughters, who love it. I run Puppy on an 8 year old laptop with 512 MB memory. I'm trying SUSE just because it's new, different, and runs KDE desktop. Different tools for different jobs. I think I'll try Kubuntu in April when the long-term update comes out, and probably be done with my "distro-hopping".
Yes, it's different, and you need to learn things unless you have a geek to help you (it's ideal for old folks who have windows problems). But look at how much time you've invested in learning how Windows works. You can pick up the basics pretty easily.
So download a nice-sounding distro (makeuseof.com has a nice article on choosing, http://www.makeuseof.com/pages/best-linux-distributions) and try it as a live OS (no installation) just to get to know it, and how it works on your PC. Or put it on an old machine to play with. Dual-booting on your main PC is next. Forgetting to boot into Windows for a few months at a time, will come sooner than you think...
Re: Is it still great compared to what it used to be?
Frank, I still think it is because I know many (I hope they were not on the hit list!) that are excellent technical people. There is indeed good potential for HP to get back to a leading position.
It would be easy for any one to comment that HP has not done well in the area of strategic innovation and blame it on the management. Perhaps it is warranted... but I believe the company can turn around.
Can anyone intelligently answer the question: Is firing 11% of your staff a business management strategy or is it the result of mismanagement ? I've seen this strategy for 30 years in the semiconductor business and I've seen few companies if any rise from the ashes like a Phoenix.
I worked for HP during the 50th anniversary. Bill and Dave were retired but the company was still run the "Bill and Dave way". Management was proud that no one, not one single employee, had ever been laid off in the history of the company.
Obviously the CEO's since then didn't read the "HP Way" or figured they knew better than the founders. What a shame.
Well, Linux of course. I'm writing this on my cheap HP G62 laptop, runs openSuSE right now but I've tried Bodhi, Mint and Ubuntu. Everything works: sound, touchpad, camera, wifi, even the extra buttons on the side for the calculator, printer and such. When I backed up the original windows7 it filled 5 DVDs with bloatware and trial junk. And, it didn't reload when it crashed, so I loaded Mint and the rest is history.
HP is late to the Chromebook game but that might be my next laptop.