New emigre from Windows

So I've run Windows since always... I remember Windows 1.0 which we used on a tiny laptop at work, my very first computer was a Dell Dimension XPS P90 (90 MHz Pentium) with Windows 3.0, and I've used Windows ever since.

My current laptop (Dell Inspiron N7110, core i7 CPU, Intel and Nvidia GPUs) had Windows 7, and I was dreading the day that I'd be forced to get a new laptop with a newer version of Windows... seems MS has gone more toward monetization of user data and away from providing a rock-solid operating system that just gets out of your way. I hate using Win11 on my wife's computer.

Well, that day came... something caused sector corruption on the internal drive and three external backup drives. I had cloned the internal drive to several external drive partitions... any problems on the internal drive, I just had to clone the latest backup back onto the internal drive and I was back up and running (just a week behind in any files which were changed) in short order.

The bad sectors prevented my doing that, and after I'd remapped the bad sectors, Windows wouldn't boot, not even in Safe Mode. Due to a recent move, I didn't have my installation CD at hand. It's packed away in a mountain of boxes in the garage.

So I cast about for a Linux alternative. ReactOS I'd hoped had matured sufficiently that it was ready for prime time, but alas, no.

I found Zorin. I ran it from a USB stick on one of my kids' computers (Compaq Presario V-3000 with only 1 GB RAM) as a test, and I liked it. Even from a USB stick, it was faster than the installed OS, so I installed it on that computer. (Pro-tip: If the computer is really slow and memory-constrained, install Zorin without connecting to the network, then download any updates afterward, otherwise you'll be sitting watching it clock for hours). I installed the .edu lite version on the kid's computer, and the kids immediately began using it (they especially like Kolibri and the logic games I installed).

After playing with it on that computer for awhile, I bit the bullet and installed Zorin OS Core on mine. Installation went through without a hitch. I used the ZFS file system, and was even able to use an external SSD as a zpool L2ARC cache drive to speed things up.

I didn't need to use any proprietary drivers, everything worked right out of the box, and even Bluetooth worked properly (which I'd never been able to get to work right under Windows). I even connected my cell phone to the computer, my headphones to the computer, then listened to podcasts from the cell phone and the sound from the computer at the same time.

I was even able to switch to the Linux version of the browser I use (SRWare Iron) without any issues. Same exact browser on Windows and Linux, with the same exact extensions installed from the Chrome Web Store.

Here's the thing... Windows took ~95 GB of hard drive space to do what it does. With all the stuff I need installed on Zorin OS, it's taking ~5.7 GB. I'm betting WinSxS and System Recovery are the biggest culprits for gobbling hard drive space under Windows.

Zorin OS is so close to being a Windows-killer. The only things I don't like about it are the really thin scroll bars that are hard to grab; the extremely precise mouse placement needed to grab the edge of a window to drag it; and the fact that when you lift your finger off the mouse touchpad, the cursor moves a bit, so you have to carefully move the mouse to where you want to click, click, then move your finger off the touchpad.

Other than that, I don't think I'm going back to Windows.

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If you think your computer is running slower than before then you should do a disk fragmentation. This may cause a problem. Also, you can use software like Stacher to clean junk files and get control over some other stuff.

For the ZFS file system, there's no defrag. You can issue a SCRUB command that'll force the ZFS file system to examine the integrity of all sectors, but otherwise, the ZFS file system takes care of fragmentation itself.

The only way to really defragment ZFS is to copy the pool data to another pool or to rewrite the data to new storage.

After I replace the failed external drives, I'll put two of them into the existing zpool (the pool with the one internal drive and the external SSD acting as L2ARC cache, which I suppose you could liken to Windows ReadyBoost), so the data is redundant across 3 drives, and the third external drive will be traditional backup of files I don't want to lose.

Never noticed the scroll or mouse probs but I use a real mouse. Highly recommend the Logitech Productivity Plus for $16, BTW. And Input Remapper to remap buttons.

8 posts were split to a new topic: Touchpad too sensitive

A V-3000 and 1 gig of memory...that is almost child abuse! :astonished: :grin:

Welcome to Zorin. :slight_smile:

Just for anyone else who is having issues with their touchpad being too 'touchy' (the cursor jumping away from where you want to click when you lift your finger off the touch pad)... there's a fix for that: