With the end-of-support for WindowsXP, we were left with a decision: To replace the computers so they would run Windows 7 or 8, purchase ongoing support for Windows. Upgrading the computers so they would run Windows 7 or 8 would be even more expensive than buying new ones. Continue running WindowsXP, knowing that vulnerabilities and exploits will be found in the operating system, which criminals can use to misuse our internet connection and patron information.
Another option was to go with a different, free, Open Source operating system, with support. We decided to try that first, as it is a free option. If it didn’t work, we could return to one of the more expensive options. We selected the Cinnamon version of Linux Mint, which is the easiest to use.
I put it on one computer for the uses that most patrons have for a computer – accessing the internet, along with some educational software, games, as well as compatible programs for word processors, spreadsheets, presentation software. I encouraged as many patrons as possible to try out the new software. People loved it and said that it worked as well – or sometimes commented that it was noticeably faster or worked better than WindowsXP. They said that the look and feel of the desktop and menus was different, but it was easy to use. A child who tried it no longer wanted to check out a movie, but rather play the educational games then go to the park. One of the more interesting “games” allows you to explore the known solar system! It’s not win-or-lose, but just interesting if you like astronomy.
I have Linux on all of the desktop computers used by patrons. The laptop, running Windows Vista is still supported under Vista by Microsoft, so there are no plans to change that at the present time.
Come in to look at this new operating system and try it, as well as the other games and software available.
If you really need to use Windows, that is available too. Vista is still runnning on the laptop, and we can still access all of WindowsXP on the desktop computers.