Total posts : 45366
Grab the old equipment. It can do plenty of good work for you and save the budget.
I’d love to explore Linux and other operating systems, but have not done so, so have no advice on that.
Look at the CPU processor information tag on the computers and tell us how fast they are and find out how much RAM they have. You probably know where I’m going with this…. upgrade to the fastest CPU the machine will accommodate, put lots of RAM in there. Sometimes when operating systems act badly it’s because of too little RAM.
You set a good example for us techno-types with your boundless enthusiasm for electronic projects.