Conversion to Linux

So this is question is the same as many beore: apologies, but here goes.
I’m about to get a new PC to replace my 10YO Dell Xeon kit.
I’m OK on the hardware but suddenly thought this is my chance to switch away from Windows.
I’m a simple beast: working at home for various cahrities, using word & excel, lisrening to music and uploading family video.
I think this is all transferrable, but can I swap to a free word processor and spreadsheet and still be able to send stuff to all my family & friends & colleagues? I actually like Office 7!
Also, I’ve committed to the Windows Live stuff for email: should I transfer over to something else? (I can guess the answer)
It occurred to me to partition my new HDD to run WinXP and Linux separately until I get up to speed.
Any comments/ advice would be much appreciated.
Pointing me to the answers is fine, but I can’t find them myself!

Yes. (you can download OpenOffice for Windows, the Linux version is identical, it will load and save many formats including .doc and .xls)

Email is email - I’m not overly familiar with Windows Live, but if it’s web based it should work for you as per Windows. If not, there are many alternatives … in terms of ‘free’ email, GMail is probably one of the best … https://mail.google.com

Running XP and Linux side by side is fine … just appreciate that is can be a little more complex to install, and you always run the risk of making a mistake. i.e. backup anything you can’t afford to lose before you start (!)

** You could always subscribe to the Linux.co.uk Email service :wink:
** (See the end of this thread for a couple of screen shots; http://linuxforums.org.uk/general-discussion/ideas-wanted/)

For an installation guide for Ubuntu 10.04…

See here:

If you are planing on setting up a dual-boot system, at step 6 (see pic above step 6), select “Specify partitions manually (Advanced)”, you should be able to resize your Windows partition, leaving room to install Ubuntu.

HINT - I’ve found it usually helps to defrag Windows before resizing the partition, defragging tends to move all the data closer to the beginning of the drive.

OpenOffice will read and write .doc and .xls without issue, .docx and xlsx (Office 2007) formats may have “slight” layout differences when opened in OpenOffice… (M$ messing with the XML standard)… so I’d stick to .doc and .xls (Office 2003 formats) for now.

Music and Video aren’t going to be a problem… for a list of (free) Linux alternatives to popular Windows software, see here:

This will do me for now! Thank you both.

Wish me luck and I hope to be back soon.