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Thread: New vs. Old hardware

  1. #21
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    Re: New vs. Old hardware

    The joke's on me because they decided to install Win7 on it before giving it to me. I think it would have handled XP fine, but it's having all sorts of issues with sluggishness when switch between programs or even launching a browser with outlook open.

    I figure it moved everything to virtual memory which causes the slow down. Hurray for a "Tech" company not having newer equipment.
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  2. #22
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    Re: New vs. Old hardware

    Quote Originally Posted by mips View Post
    Maybe a custom kernel would be a good idea to try. Talking about kernels this is why I like micro-kernels, I know there are pros & cons but I think those cons could be sorted out to a large degree.
    There are drawbacks to a monolithic kernel for sure. The bloat you are referring to is an unavoidable consequence of the ballooning diversity of equipment over the passage of time. Linus and company have had to perform this really difficult three-part balancing act between adding more code to look after the latest stuff, being careful to trim only what's obsolete, and keeping the kernel size reasonable. And it's like: you only get to choose two, so kernel size suffers.

    Conceptually, it's not hard to keep kernel bloat under control: Gentoo is tight, tiny and blazingly fast on old equipment, but this theoretical advantage is completely lost in the real world because a Gentoo install requires compiling your own kernel. This is simply not on the table for the average user. When I try Gentoo on really old equipment, I get it working less than a third of the time, after sweating for hours over really arcane kernel parameters and sometimes only after chasing down patches and obscure modules that are no longer supported. And then, the Gentoo update/upgrade process is like pulling teeth compared to the Debian approach. You really appreciate apt after trying to work with emerge (or maybe it's just my lack of familiarity with it).

    An example of how bloated the kernel has become can be seen when comparing even the lightest modern distro—I would cite Tiny Core—to the kernel in my ancient first-generation HP Media Vault. TC takes up 40MB, which is already a size no mainstream distro can come close to touching. The Media Vault runs a Samba server, NFS server, USB, LPT, cron, NTP, a primitive web server, busybox with a decent selection of tools, and still has room to install ssh and rsync when hacked, and it does so on 64KB—that's K as in Kilo!

    However, I can't agree with you re: XP. The original XP ran quickly on the old boxes, but by the time you get to SP3, and added the various versions of .NET (which most people had to do for apps they needed), and after what feels like a thousand security updates (which you absolutely MUST do), plus loading it up with AV, anti-blah-blah-blah (again, another absolute requirement), it became even more bloated and crufty than any modern distro, but with crappy security, crappy stability, crappy disk I/O, and crappy multitasking. In theory, a microkernel can have advantages over a monolithic one, but only if it is implemented well, and all Windows OSes are implemented like train wrecks. For actual stable productivity use, this old-hardware hound would choose DSL/Tiny Core/SliTaz over XP any day.

    For a time, I kept expecting great things from HURD, but it seems to have slowed down to a dead stop these days. Anyone know what's happening?
    Newb: How far must I jump to clear the ledge halfway down?
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    Newb: Stop harping about "best practices" and just tell me.


  3. #23
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    Re: New vs. Old hardware

    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesA View Post
    The joke's on me because they decided to install Win7 on it before giving it to me. I think it would have handled XP fine, but it's having all sorts of issues with sluggishness when switch between programs or even launching a browser with outlook open.

    I figure it moved everything to virtual memory which causes the slow down. Hurray for a "Tech" company not having newer equipment.
    I have Win 7 on an old machine and it was a dog until I updated the graphic drivers. Now it is usable.
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  4. #24
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    Re: New vs. Old hardware

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonbite View Post
    I have Win 7 on an old machine and it was a dog until I updated the graphic drivers. Now it is usable.
    Interesting.

    I'm not even sure what video card that thing has. Can't hurt!
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  5. #25
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    Re: New vs. Old hardware

    linux in one form or another will run on anything from a 8088 to the new amd and intel multicore processors and more.
    I have a p3 laptop with 128 mb of memory which runs fine with puppy presise and a intel quad core with 4 gig on my desktop running xubuntu
    ubuntu has come a long way and I now enjoy movies with xbmc live tv with kaffeine video editing with kdenlive better gaming etc.
    I started out with redhat linux and moved on to mepis in 2000 and ubuntu in 2001 and have seen a vast inprovment
    in linux over the past decade.

  6. #26
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    Re: New vs. Old hardware

    Quote Originally Posted by leeper69 View Post
    I started out with redhat linux and moved on to mepis in 2000 and ubuntu in 2001 and have seen a vast inprovment
    in linux over the past decade.
    Hear hear! though you might want to check your diary on those years. I don't think MEPIS or Ubuntu existed in 2001.

  7. #27
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    Re: New vs. Old hardware

    You don't have to sell me on Linux. It's been my only OS since 2005 (Mandrake-->Kubuntu-->Ubuntu--Linux Mint).

    I think it's brilliant that Linux takes to older hardware quite nicelly. I was speaking from the point of marketing Ubuntu to the masses who would consider Linux as an operating system that can handle modern, heavy system use tasks.

  8. #28
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    Re: New vs. Old hardware

    Regarding kernels, it's not that incredibly difficult to compile the kernel to have support for only your hardware. Haven't tried it on Ubuntu variants yet, but have done so on almost every other distro I've used.

    It doesn't matter how much source code is in the kernel. What matters is the size and complexity of the finished product. If you configure your own for your hardware and the basic features you need, you can make it small enough for most hardware.

    The problem is figuring out what all those options are for, and which of them apply to you. That's where I get lost lately.

  9. #29
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    Re: New vs. Old hardware

    Quote Originally Posted by MartyBuntu View Post
    You don't have to sell me on Linux. It's been my only OS since 2005 (Mandrake-->Kubuntu-->Ubuntu--Linux Mint).

    I think it's brilliant that Linux takes to older hardware quite nicelly. I was speaking from the point of marketing Ubuntu to the masses who would consider Linux as an operating system that can handle modern, heavy system use tasks.
    Not really trying to sell you on Linux, just assuage your fears that it will be relegated to the back of the bus with AROS, Syllable, and MikeOS if Ubuntu fails to get traction with Aunt Tillie and PHB. Linux is pretty much entrenched as an enterprise-grade industrial-strength platform. Microsoft owns the desktop, and it may for some time yet; but Linux owns just about everything else.

  10. #30
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    Re: New vs. Old hardware

    Quote Originally Posted by 1clue View Post
    ...it's not that incredibly difficult to compile the kernel...
    Actually, it is—or at least for new users it is. Of course, for those who have been around the block a few times, know how to query HW, are completely comfortable with the command line, and have even a rudimentary idea of how a kernel works, compiling is not out of the question, but for the general user fresh from Windows? You may as well ask them to assemble a working airplane.

    It doesn't happen often, but when a forum member advises a new user in the Absolute Beginners forum to solve a problem by recompiling their kernel, I always wonder how tenuous a hold on reality such member has.
    Newb: How far must I jump to clear the ledge halfway down?
    Guru: It's bad to jump off cliffs. Let's look at better options.
    Newb: Stop harping about "best practices" and just tell me.


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