Linux

Can I install ChromeOS on an old computer?

Episode 1387

Eric from Hutchinson, KS
Neverware

Eric would like to put ChromeOS on an old PC. Can he do that? Leo says there are some ways to do it, but they really aren't that easy to do. He could install Chromium OS using NeverWare's CloudReady. It won't work on all computers, though, so he should read carefully what computers it supports. Another option is to put Linux on it. Xubuntu or Zubuntu could work.

What's a good Linux laptop with a large screen?

Episode 1386

Robert from University City, CA
Lenovo Yoga 710 15"

Robert wants to buy a personal computer that is well built and runs Linux with a 17" screen. Leo says that most laptops top out at 15", but there are a few 17" models still available. Lenovo is one of the few manufacturers that ship laptops with Linux. Lenovo's P51 has a 15.6" screen. Lenovo's X1 Yoga has a great 15" model with an excellent keyboard.

How can I safely partition my hard drive for Linux?

Episode 1382

Mike from Portland, ME
rEFInd

Mike finally installed Linux Mint into his old Dell laptop. When he was partitioning it, Windows wanted 2/3 of the drive for XP. He's not planning on using it that much, so he made it as small as he could, but it won't let him. Leo says he doesn't even need Windows if he's not planning on using it, so he can just delete the Windows partition altogether.

Can I still buy a copy of Windows XP?

Episode 1378

David from Chatsworth, CA
Lubuntu

David has an old PC and he needs to get Windows XP for it. Can he still buy it? Leo says not in regular stores. He could find it on eBay, but he would need to make sure it's an official copy of XP. He'll have to be sure it has a hologram on it, serial number, etc.

Leo recommends getting a copy of Linux instead. Lubuntu or Xubuntu would be better, free, and more secure.

What computer should I get for college?

Episode 1373

Tara from Menifee, CA
Dell XPS 13

Tara is going back to college to become an electrical engineer and is trying to find the right computer for the job. Should she get a tablet or a MacBook? She'll be doing coding as well. Leo says that if there's specific software, then she'll likely need to use the platform that supports it. She should talk to an advisor and ask them. Since she's doing electrical engineering and not computer science, then a Linux computer may actually work for her. She should get any laptop she likes and then she can put Linux on it. Most coders prefer it anyway.

Why is my computer so slow?

Episode 1365

Roger from Pasadena, CA
SSD

Roger is having issues with his SSD. It's slowing down and takes a long time to access his data. Leo says the drive is only a year old and the computer a few years old, but there can be a drive failure, even in new SSDs. It's time to replace it. He could try running an OS from a USB key and see what happens. If he doesn't have a similar issue, that clearly shows the hard drive has a problem.

Can I modify a Chromebook to use Windows or Linux?

Episode 1364

Joe from San Dimas, CA
Samsung Chromebook Plus

Joe wants to know why he can't modify a Chromebook to download other software to it. Leo says he can modify a Chromebook and put Linux or Windows on it, but he'll lose a ton of security.

Joe will have to disable the Secure Boot feature. Then he can put a Linux shell called Crouton on it. Leo's done it before. He may also have to modify the firmware by putting it in Developer Mode. But he may not be able to boot it up. If that happens, he can always Powerwash it to get back to where he started.

Should I put Linux on my old laptop?

Episode 1360

Joe from Corona, CA
XUbuntu

Joe has an old Vista computer that he uses mostly for syncing an old Windows Phone PDA. Joe would like to take that laptop and put Linux on it with an SSD. Leo says that Linux is a good idea, but that Vista laptop is probably not fast enough to get any great benefit from an SSD. But he should definitely install Linux on it. Leo likes XUbuntu and LUbuntu, which is designed to run on the older hardware.

How can I learn programming?

Episode 1351

Brennon from Dallas, TX
Learn to Program with Minecraft book

Brennon wants to learn how to program. Leo says learning how to write computer code will give him a deeper understanding on how computers work. This will take him from being merely a consumer, to being a maker. Minecraft can be a fun way to learn programming. He can even do it with a Raspberry Pi for $35. It comes with the software used to write programs and he can do it inside of Minecraft.

A great book is Learn to Program with Minecraft by Craig Richardson.

What's the best way to share photos on Google?

Episode 1348

John from Los Angeles, CA
Google Photos

John has all his family on Google Fi and he has created a special email address for everyone to use to send images. Leo says he can do that, but Google Photos has a shared album feature, and that would be far easier. So how does he download the images to his desktop? Leo says he could use Google Drive, which has a setting to backup photos automatically. He can then sync it back to his computer with the Google Drive app. It's for Windows and Mac, but they are working on a Linux version as well. But he should look around, because there's probably one on sourceforge or something.