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Discussion Starter #1
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:30.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/30.0

HP Elitebook 8440p used at hockshop $350.00
Upgrades - 512GB Toshiba SSD and 8GB of RAM at Fry's ~$500.00
Fedora, Libre Office, Firefox et.al - $FREE

:)
 

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I think you can do much better.

Windows machines have pretty much become throw-away commodity products, sold by the boxcar-full to cubicle farms, call centers, reservation systems, etc. etc. By the time you spend the $850 you mention for a used machine, plus at least $50 more for anti-virus software, you might as well buy a new one from a reputable seller. For example:

http://www.costco.com/.product.100101202.html?cm_sp=RichRelevance-_-categorypageHorizontalTop-_-CategoryTopProducts&cm_vc=categorypageHorizontalTop%7CCategoryTopProducts

If you're thinking of spending close to $1000 on a mediocre used system just so you can use open-source software, why not take the opportunity to upgrade to a Mac system, such as any one of the excellent MacBook Airs. The free included software with an Apple system, including their office suite, is excellent, and all of the great FOSS applications are equally available for the Mac. Your post made me think about it, and I realized I hardly use any paid software on the Mac anymore. Almost everything you need is either included free, or available as FOSS...and you can forget about the anti-virus nonsense.
 

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Years back I built a machine for Linux, and pure Open Source. I was not overwhelmed. Hardware support was always a problem. Of course I had to junk a fairly recent Intel MB and CPU because of lack of hardware support...from INTEL for ghod's sake! The ANTEC Box and Power supply are now loaded with AMD and ASUS and W7...I tried W8 as many remember, put it back on the cell phone...

Geoff
Who is looking at Android phones, but we will see.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Capt:
There are two issues running Linux on new systems.

UEFI (Universal Extensible Firmware Interface) has features that allow the boot loader to be protected to prevent boot loader malware. Linux uses its own bootloader. To load Linux on a Windows 8 system you have to hack the BIOS to disable the UEFI. I don't know how to do this yet.

The second issue Geoff mentioned: Linux can lag in driver support. Older systems are more likely to be fully supported. So far both of the systems I've tried (The Elitebook and an HP G72 from early 2011) have worked without quirky hardware issues.

The bulk of the upgrade cost was the large solid state drive. No spinning disk or moving heads and substantially reduced power consumption. The cost of that drive will average out over time as I use it in future systems.

So far the only thing I haven't been able to do with Linux is watch a DVD.
 

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Phantom UEFI is usually enabled in the BIOS. Just access and turn off. I ran into a Dell Laptop that tried to recover to UEFI when I tried to restore a hard drive from backup after a bad update.

Geoff
Who notes your hardware may vary.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Here's an eleven month update
The pawnshop system I started with began randomly rebooting itself (In Windows or Linux) a few weeks after I bought it.
I moved both of my HP G72's to Fedora. One running Fedora 20, and the other running Fedora 21. The latter was my primary system for several months.
A couple of months ago I bought an HP ZBook 17 G2 and put a spare SSD in it. The original drive has not been turned on. That system runs Fedora 21 and works great except for fan noise.
The G72 with Fedora 20 was retasked for Fedora 22 Beta and I have been using it daily for the past few weeks.

The only Windows systems I use are a couple of HP X2 systems (A ten inch and a thirteen inch) running Windows 8.1 and I might install Fedora on one of them. The only thing stopping me is that Linux isn't all that good with power management which makes for short battery life. I kind of like the five to seven hours of use I get from those systems.

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Fedora; Linux x86_64; rv:38.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/38.0
 

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I have no idea what you guys are talking about. And I don't want to know.
 
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