Surprise! Your OS Is No Longer Supported!

When I initially installed Ubuntu Linux on this ancient computer, I installed version 10.04 (Lucid Lynx), which was both the then current version and a long-term support version, supported through sometime in 2015. A couple years later, with foolish premeditation, I upgraded to the next sequential version, 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat)… which, as it turns out, is NOT a long-term support version. In fact, support ended this past week. Boy, do I feel dumb!

This ancient computer will very likely not adequately support later versions; it’s already painfully slow on this one. Moreover, one cannot skip versions in upgrades… I would have to upgrade to 11.04, then 11.11, and then 12.04 to reach the next long-term support version. Each upgrade takes a bit less than half a day. And when done, I’d be running a version probably well beyond the practical capacity of this old box. I could back up data, do a from-scratch install of a later version and restore the data, but that’s as much trouble as setting up a brand new machine. Hmmm…

I think I’d better count the contents of my penny jar and start thinking about a new computer. That would not have been my first choice of action at this time…

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  • MandT  On Saturday April 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Time for a new one my friend. The new ones don’t have pedals and cranks….LOL…….I seem to be regressing myself, but can still relate to a computor so old in looks like a television and uses DOS

    • Steve  On Saturday April 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm

      It’s not that simple, MandT. It never is! A few years ago, Dell offered Ubuntu Linux on one line of its laptops. Although it’s hard to tell from their web site, it appears that Dell has chosen to emphasize Linux as an enterprise migration target from UNIX, and at least on their enterprise platforms, they seem to have settled on Red Hat Linux. Red Hat is one of the old, reputedly reliable Linux distributions, though I can’t speak from personal experience.

      Ubuntu, meanwhile, has become quite another thing. Their user interface is completely recast since my current version; it would take some serious getting used to. Their suite of productivity apps has largely changed: LibreOffice replaces (not a bad decision, considering the cross-company politics of the fork in OOo development a couple years ago), Firefox is the standard browser with Google Chrome as an option; Mozilla Thunderbird is the new standard email s/w (still, I’m betting, lacking a lot of MS Outlook’s features, dammit). Of those changes, my guess is that the changed desktop would impede me the most.

      And I really had no plans to buy a new computer right now. This one meets my needs, even if it’s a bit slow. Given that Ubuntu Linux is reputedly not much vulnerable to viruses, I may just keep running without ongoing support, simply upgrading the browser and email client manually when appropriate. (Actually, I think even that may be automated.) It’s an imperfect solution for a very imperfect world.

  • Bryan  On Sunday April 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Well, Steve, if it is a desktop machine, you can get by with a new motherboard, processor, ram, and maybe the power supply, if your current power supply does not have the connectors for the new motherboards. Another option is an inexpensive laptop like the Toshiba I’m using as a bridge machine until I get a new box built. It was $278 and has more bells and whistles than I want.

    As for Outlook, it is no longer part of a Windows install in Windows 7, they want you to use their on-line version, so even with a Win box, you need to buy it to get it. I have used Pegasus forever, so I don’t miss it.

    • Steve  On Monday April 16, 2012 at 10:04 am

      Bryan, it’s been two days and I still haven’t quite decided how to proceed. I know a young man, the son of one of Stella’s good friends, who has a reputation for building excellent machines… in fact, he also works part-time in tech support for a major big-box electronics vendor… whom I could commission to build me something suitable. Or I may simply buy something off-the-shelf from a different vendor. Or I may look into reformatting one of the other old machines (a newer one, my last Windows machine before it got hammered by a virus despite a fully updated eSet NOD32). The matter is not as urgent as it might be, because this old machine, running the unsupported Ubuntu 10.10, still works.

      Historically I had a pattern of alternating upgrading my laptop-desktop-laptop-etc. But I no longer really have a need for a laptop: there are no jobs to which I can take it onsite, and the only WiFi location other than home that I would regularly use is the public library 1½ blocks from here. So the replacement will be a desktop, at least unless either I get a contract (heh) or my mobility improves (even less likely).

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