I totally forgot about our convo in this article’s comment section. That was already in January and I promised to do some research and come back to you … and then I forgot everything. 😦
My initial answer came quite promptly …
Dunno why I didn’t answer right away, as I’m not any more clever today than I was back then. And the answer will be as wobbly as ever, and as it would be if I had done some proper research, Pat. That the laptop in question is on the lowest of the low ranks of hardware is clear, isn’t it? These EZ latops were netbooks, right? So they are pathetic weaklings but they used to do quite well with Linux. I guess most of the first generation of netbooks came with some Linux preinstalled until Microsoft siced their bloodhounds on unruly manufacturers and kinda forced them all to pedal back and install Win.
Anyhoo, distros I’d recommend are Lubuntu, Xubuntu, respectively Mint Xfce. Or any other distro that has a LSLE or a Xfce spin. Those are very lightweight distros but still kinda comfy to use. Particularly Xfce is a darling of the Linux masses. Oh, speaking of Xfce, how about Linux Lite? It’s a highly recommended nanny state distro for n00bs. Oh yes, when in doubt just give your housemate Linux Lite. I don’t know how tech savvy your housemate is, if they are cool with Linux, my top favourite Xfce system would be Manjaro Xfce. But only if they are pretty cool. If they compute by numbers better have them stick with
Lubuntu or Xubuntu or Mint Xfce … Linux Lite!
I could almost guarantee that the weak hardware will run with those distros. Just don’t expect rocket ship performance from that EZshit2000. Linux can help a lot but it can’t defy the laws of physics and the market.
Hope this much to late post could help a little. Sorry again for my tardiness.