Hi, Jon! Been a bit busy, sorry for the delay.
I was hesitant to try a dual-boot, so before I took the plunge, I bought a new SSD, backed up my Windiz system, then restored to the new SSD. Success. Then, I ran Linux Mint live CD, and did the install from there. It was actually quite "user friendly" in how it detected Windows, and gave me the ability to define new partitions. (I split the drive in half, 64 Gigs for each OS) then it created the proper startup, etc. When booted (or restarted) a menu is on screen for a few seconds, where you can select either OS, or it will time out and default to Linux.
In any case, I would ALWAYS make a FULL backup of your existing OS & files! I'd encourage you to do as I did, buy a new SSD, and go from there. Worst case scenario, swap your old drive back in, and everything will be as you left it. :)
Linux Mint worked with my Lexmark all-in-one printer right away. I even used GIMP (built in) to scan and then e-mail my documents to my tax preparer. :) Also built-in is the EXCELLENT Libre Office suite!!
I've also done some tinkering with WINE to get Cool Edit to work. (WINE is the very decent subsystem that allows most Windiz apps to run in Linux.)
It took a fair bit of tinkering, including running the installer under WINE, and setting it for WIN XP compatibility. It finally came up working. :) That was almost a "deal breaker" for me, because I bought Cool Edit back in the late 90's, and have used it ever since! I don't like how Audacity works, so it was important to get Cool Edit working. So far, all I have done with it, was record/play and very simple edits. It looked like it was working. :)
Linux Mint is designed to be as "Windows Friendly" as possible... but there are things that (so far) I *REALLY MISS* like the right-click menu options in XP. I have yet to find all of the equivalents in Linux. (Like right-click the task bar, to bring up the Task manager, right-click a folder to search, etc, as examples.) I also miss the startup and shut-down sounds. ;)
However... the comparison in SPEED with Firefox in Linux, vs in Windiz on my machine is like a 1960's VW Bug to a Ferrari. ZOOM!! ;) (This on a 3GHz, quad-core, P4 W/4G RAM!)
You can always run Linux Mint from the "live CD" to test it. While it's much slower than when it's "installed", (it has to load itself and any software you want to try from the CD on-the-fly) it does give you the ability to try everything out, without changing or damaging your existing OS.
One little item of note: Linux asks for a password as you create it and set it up. Pick something easy to remember, and preferably not too long... because any time you want to install software, update things, etc, you will have to type that password. it can get tedious. ;)
Linux makes updates VERY PAINLESS! So far, every update I have done, installs quickly, and DOESN'T require a reboot!! :D
What with MotherShip (Big Brother MS) doing what they have been doing with WIN10... there's no way in Hades I want it on any machine I own. Yeah, my opinion on this is quite strong... I've ranted about it before, so I won't again. :)
That's my 5c worth. ;)
I've been dipping my toes into the Linux pool for over 10 years, until now. I'm only in up to my knees thus far, but learning and getting used to it more and more, slowly wading in deeper.... :)
On Tue, Mar 20, 2018 at 2:42 PM, Jon Foreman <Jon@ksgn.com> wrote: