My wife was the last holdout but even she could no longer love/hate XP after it slowed down for the umpteenth time and started freezing daily. Re-installing that other OS did no appeal to me and my son who has humoured his mother with free IT for years now has a new home of his own. He confirmed by e-mail that there no longer was any application she needed for work that required that other OS. The browser rules these days.
Key features of the paving included getting the box to run the installer. It would not boot from a USB drive and it had no DVD drive, just a CDROM drive. Of course I had only DVDs… I tried http://googbye-microsoft.com but the installer failed in the middle so I was left with an unbootable PC. I switched to netbooting the debian installer from my notebook. Worked like a charm… I had to configure the DHCP server to point to the PXE booting files. I did not have debian-installer in my local mirror so I did a minimal installation from a mirror on the web and then finished manually. Along the way I had to move many gigabytes of home movies and images and documents to backup. That alone took hours and the process took much more time than the installation. My wife had used Ubuntu on a netbook for mobile work so I did not need to do more than install some software she liked and set her password. The only thing not working at the end of the day was Thunderbird. I had restored her e-mail archives from a different version on a different OS and did not get it right.
The SNAP is back! The largest application, OpenOffice.org takes 2s to open its window. There are no pauses or “hour-glasses”. Just speed. I used XFCE4 and Chrome browser. The old amd64 dual core 4200 Athlon purrs. Running multiple applications including Al Jazeera‘s flash video uses 60% of CPU but the machine is still snappy. That other OS was feeling sluggish under any circumstances.