Patrick has an old 2008 iMac and he's looking to repurpose it. He wants to install a new SSD, more RAM, and try and get it up to Catalina. Leo says it's possible, but he says that High Sierra is good enough. Leo says to watch the videos at iFixIt.com on how to upgrade on an iMac to see if he's up for it, because it's challenging, including removing the LCD screen to get to it.
Jack is going to be moving to the Philippines soon, and he wants to know if Linux will be able to share the same computer with separate logins. Leo says that Linux actually invented the concept of a multi-user computer with individual accounts. So they've been doing that long before Microsoft did.
Can Linux run Microsoft Office? Linux can also run Microsoft Office by using an app called WINE, but Leo says it's much easier to use the online version of Office. It's pretty much the same.
Doug wants to know how safe an open-source distro of Linux is from China. Leo says the key is that it's open-source and that likely means it's secure. HOWEVER, Leo stopped using Ubuntu because they added the capability to phone home back to Ubuntu. So he stays away from proprietary distros now in favor of community developed flavors like Debian or Manjaro Arch.
Michael has a ten-year-old HP laptop that he finally upgraded to Windows 10. But in doing so, his trackpad isn't operating properly. The scroll feature isn't working. Leo says that Synaptics trackpads need a driver to work with Windows 10, and most likely, HP will be the source to get that. If it doesn't, then you're out of luck with a ten-year-old computer.
But that computer is a great candidate for Linux, which has flavors that can work with older hardware. And since it's open-source, it's kept up to date by enthusiasts.
Bob wants to know if he can use his old Samsung Netbook on the Internet. Leo says that Netbooks were woefully slow and underpowered and didn't wear well. It also lowered the expectation of what we should pay for a laptop. It also was driven by Windows 7, which has stopped being supported by Microsoft, and as such, might be a security issue. At some point, a hack may be the risk. Leo says that Bob could upgrade it to Windows 10, or he could even run Linux on it. PopOS is one.
Or better yet, upgrade to a new Chromebook.
Dave doesn't want to be beholding to Microsoft or Apple for his operating system. He'd like to use Linux. Leo says that currently, a Chromebook is ideal for those who aren't their own support. But if you like Linux, then Leo likes PopOS by System76. What about Ubuntu? Leo isn't really a fan of Ubuntu any longer because of changes made by the developers. But it's base Debian flavor is pretty good.
John is working from home and needs to get a new computer. Would a Chromebox work? He already has a Chromebook, but it's too small for daily use. Leo says that you can get Chromebooks in just about any price and performance level. It just depends on how much John wants to spend and what he needs. John's budget is $500. Leo says that the ASUS Chromebox 3 is a good option starting at $300. It's an i3 processor and 4K graphics. But you can upgrade to an i7. But that's almost $1000. If you want a Chromebox, that's the brand Leo would go with. What about Linux? Can he buy a Linux machine?
Ken has an old PC that he wants to boot Linux into. But he can't because he doesn't have secure boot on that machine. Leo says that at 12 years old, it wouldn't have secure boot built into it. So he'd have to have another option. Leo recommends downloading Rufus.ie, which will make a bootable USB key. Then install PopOS Linux using Rufus and run that from the USB on the old PC.
Larry is trying to boot up Linux from his USB key. Leo says that you can go to xtraPC.com and get one for about $36. It's got Linux on a bootable USB. It won't work on every computer, but will on those models that enable USB booting. You just have to change the boot order in your BIOS settings to check the USB drive. But you can make your own. Go to System76.com/pop and download PopOS ISO file. They also have instructions on how to create your bootable USB.