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Thread: Installing on old hardware

  1. #11
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    Oct 2006
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Some general help and advice please......

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Scott View Post
    I have lost the access key so although I have a disk and can install it, it (XP) will need activating after 30 days. I do not want or need SP2 or SP3 so to save time and efffort I thought I would try something different.

    Also I believe a Linux style O/S will out perform XP on this hardware.

    I would have kept Windows 95 on it but it has no Wi-Fi or USB support. (It has two usb ports which under Lubuntu I can use (and have already used) for Wi-Fi and a USB stick.

    I have the machine booted up at the moment and I do like the look and feel of Lubuntu. Like I said I have NO experience of Linux and reading reviews etc. it seems like the right O/S for my requirements.

    If the only help I am going to get is ditch the hardware or go back to Bill Gates I think I'll go elsewhere !
    You may take as much umbrage as you like, however that won't change the fact that pretty much everything in your original post suggests that you would be better off with XP, which incidentally is about 12 years old. I'd guess that a similarly 12 year old Linux system would outperform XP on your hardware. It is a bit of a myth that modern linux desktop systems perform well on computing antiques, you might want to look at the recommended hardware requirements for Lubuntu.

    I would concur that Bhodi Linux may be a good fit for you, even then your cpu may be a bottleneck.

    System Requirements
    What do I need to run Bodhi?
    The minimum requirements to run Bodhi Linux are only: 300+MHz CPU, 128MB RAM, and 2.5GB hard drive space!
    Slitaz is also pretty good and has a low hardware entry point.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    uk
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    Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Some general help and advice please......

    Hi

    From here:

    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lubuntu

    the minimum specs are
    We have done many tests and we've found out that Lubuntu can be installed on a Pentium II or Celeron system with 128 MB of RAM, but such a system would not perform well enough for daily use.

    With 256MB - 384MB of RAM, the performance will be better and the system will be more usable.


    So you are running it on the bare mimimum spec to run Lubuntu.

    The Pentium 266 was released in 1997 so you are trying to run 2013 software on a machine from the last millenium; it's 16 years old.

    XP may well have flown on it but i imagine SP2 and upwards would have had trouble, especially when you add in virus scanners etc.

    To give you context, my t-link router has more power than your box, only slightly less memory and that has one dedicated job to perform.

    Code:
    root@XXXXXXX:~# head -n3 /proc/meminfo
            total:    used:    free:  shared: buffers:  cached:
    Mem:  30486528 21643264  8843264        0  2338816  7356416
    Swap:        0        0        0
    root@XXXXXXX:~# grep -i cpu /proc/cpuinfo 
    cpu model               : MIPS 24K V7.4
    CPUClock                : 400
    root@XXXXXXX:~#
    My point is that certain Linux flavours can run well on older computers but your hardware is ancient.

    I would have a look at some of the distributions mastablaster suggested as well as Lubuntu. As he suggested newer word processors will struggle on that hardware.

    To find one that will run on your hardware doing what you need it to do will take some work as abiword just may be too heavy for that spec'ed machine. To try to work out why it is using >90% cpu would take some terminal work and you don't want to do that.

    Take a look at the rtf word processor 'ted'.

    Code:
    sudo apt-get install ted
    Linux can do many things but it does not work miracles .

    Kind regards
    If you believe everything you read, you better not read. ~ Japanese Proverb

    If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed. - Mark Twain

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Reykjavík, Ísland
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    Lubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn

    Re: Installing on old hardware

    Changed the thread title to a more informative one.

    I wouldn't invest time in such old hardware. The operative system is not the main problem but the applications. Browsing the web and watching films will be a pain.
    About problems due to upgrading
    Bringing old hardware back to life.
    Please visit Quick Links -> Unanswered Posts

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    39

    Re: Some general help and advice please......

    Thanks for that. I will wander off and have a closer look at your sugestions. I fully understand the shortcommings of this hardware and was pleasantly suprised when I got it to boot up and the general O/S performance is really quite good. It is only the Abi Word problem that is frustrating. I have successfuly used the chrome browser and it was useable to surf the web. The windows are snappy and as I said it looks good too. I am sorry if you thought I took umbrage but I do not see why I should pay Microsoft again for a product that I have already purchased. I did originally ask if I was going down the correct route and until now nobody has really tried to help !

    Like I said I could (should) perhaps take it to the re-cycling centre but after the initial success of even getting the thing to function I just thought it may be fairly easy to get where I want to be. I am not expecting it to be an XP machine or for it to do anything other then act as a word processor (I've said all this once). I agree XP is 12 years old but it has been continually updated and is still used many many users. I am not a Microsoft lover and am prepared to experiment with any suggestions. Perhaps an older Linux O/S would be a good idea. I just want my wife to be able use it as word processor after all !

    I did read the hardware requirements before attempting to have a go ! As the O/S seems function really well perhaps I just need a less capeable word processing app?

    Is installing Wine and running Word from Office 2000 a possibility?

    Can anyone help with getting the Network connection back please? It was working perfectly.

    (BTW it has 328mb of RAM so did exceed the minmum spec for RAM) It also has a dedicated video card which I think helps with the general performance of the O/S.

    I know it is an antique ! But is is fun to play. I am not expecting miracles just some advice from people who have experience with flavours of Linux.

    Perhaps I should ask elsewhere I only started asking on here because I had installed Lubuntu based on all the reviews on the web.
    Last edited by Mark Scott; June 13th, 2013 at 04:41 PM.

  5. #15
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    Jun 2013
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    39

    Re: Some general help and advice please......

    I've sorted the NETWORK problem (there was not one) or it has sorted itself. This message has actually come to you from my ancient hardware. See I can use it to web surf and participate in forums. I never said I wanted to watch videos or anything anyway. I will have a go at getting TED and see how he /it performs. I really do appreciate all your help and suggestions !

  6. #16
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    Jun 2013
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    Re: Some general help and advice please......

    Has anyone tried Abi Word light ? Is it worth getting this perhaps ? I know I said I didn't want to get into too much faffing about but if it is simple enough I am game

  7. #17
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    uk
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    Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Installing on old hardware

    Hi

    I have used Lubuntu myself but never on hardware quite as old as that. I don't think anybody has said thet Lubuntu will not run on your hardware.

    See I can use it to web surf and participate in forums
    Out of interest, how many web pages, other applications do you have open at the moment ?

    As has been pointed by a number of times, it's the applications you may have problems with especially if you expect to use the system like a modern OS. You really are at the mimimum specs to run the system and applications. An OS is nothing without useable applications.

    Did you set up a generous swap partition ? That will help when you get memory pressure but it is of orders of magnitute slower than RAM.

    As i said before, with your hardware, give a number of distributions a look as well as Lubuntu.

    As you say, it's fun to play and to get the best performance you may need to play around.

    ted may be too basic for you, however, you may not have that much choice on your ancient hardware.

    BTW: I like to play on old hardware as well, but not quite as that

    Kind regards
    If you believe everything you read, you better not read. ~ Japanese Proverb

    If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed. - Mark Twain

  8. #18
    Join Date
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    Re: Some general help and advice please......

    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Scott View Post
    Has anyone tried Abi Word light ? Is it worth getting this perhaps ? I know I said I didn't want to get into too much faffing about but if it is simple enough I am game
    The best advice i can give is to try it

    Kind regards
    If you believe everything you read, you better not read. ~ Japanese Proverb

    If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed. - Mark Twain

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    39

    Re: Installing on old hardware

    Did you set up a generous swap partition ? That will help when you get memory pressure but it is of orders of magnitute slower than RAM.

    How can I check ? See I told you I have very little experience in this ! Can I alter it within Lubuntu ? I would suprised if I can't !

    I am back on my "proper" PC at the moment. I had one webpage open and Chrome soon crashed due to lack of memory when I tried to download flash player. It was useable to to do google searches and the pages loaded pretty quickly. (well nowhere near as bad as I expected).

  10. #20
    Join Date
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    Re: Installing on old hardware

    Hi

    You can see if you have swap enabled with this terminal command

    Code:
    swapon -s
    For your reference, here is mine...

    Code:
    matthew-S206:/home/matthew % swapon -s
    Filename                                Type            Size    Used    Priority
    /dev/sda12                              partition       4882428 1559124 -1
    matthew-S206:/home/matthew %
    This command will also tell you...

    Code:
    free -m
    .. and again mine

    Code:
    matthew-S206:/home/matthew % free -m
                 total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
    Mem:          3522       2948        574          0         23        291
    -/+ buffers/cache:       2633        889
    Swap:         4767       1522       3245
    matthew-S206:/home/matthew %
    As i said though, swap is orders of magnitude slower than RAM as it has to write to the hard drive but you will not get 'out of memory' crashes so much with a reasonable swap partition.

    If you have no swap set up then we can add one and see what difference it makes when you get memory pressure. You may find it too slow but it's worth investigating if you like.

    Kind regards
    If you believe everything you read, you better not read. ~ Japanese Proverb

    If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed. - Mark Twain

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