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Thread: Old hardware brought back to life

  1. #121
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Old hardware brought back to life

    Well, the P4 is in. Everything's working A-OK; the BIOS didn't even need updating, as the existing A22 Dell BIOS supports up to a 2.8 GHz P4, so all that was needed was a stripdown, CPU replacement, and re-assembling; totally straight forward, and about an hour's work all told.

    As far as OS's are concerned, well.....the P4's running about 25% faster than the Celeron was, so; I honestly think that Xubuntu is now a viable alternative as a 'work' tool. I'd quite happily use it for work, if I had to. The P4 has made quite a difference in that respect; the machine is that much faster, and more responsive.

    I'm very pleased with the outcome. Nice one. Job's a "good'un"!


    Regards,

    Mike.
    Compaq Presario SR1619UK, running Xubuntu & Puppies 'X-Slacko' & 'Slacko'
    Dell Inspiron 1100, running Xubuntu & Puppies 'TahrPup' & 'Precise'

    IF
    the advice given has helped you, PLEASE have the courtesy to post back and say 'Thank you'..!

  2. #122
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    Re: Old hardware brought back to life

    Congratulations Mike

  3. #123
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    2,794

    Re: Old hardware brought back to life

    Worked on a laptop and desktop this weekend with low specs. They both settled for Xubuntu 1504 after seeing the different flavors and how the ran on their computers.

    Even though only nine months support, they got what they wanted.

  4. #124
    Join Date
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    Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Old hardware brought back to life

    @sudodus:- I'm pleasantly surprised at just how big a difference the P4 has made. Best hour's work I've done for a LONG time; I've been on her all afternoon, and most of the evening..!

    I AM going to do a dual-boot with 'Tahrpup', though; I've become ridiculously fond of it, these last few months. As I said, it only needs 3-5 GB of disk space, at most; still leaves me nearly 15 GB for Xubuntu.....which is plenty. The .sfs-based 'frugal' installation set-up that Puppy uses is just so versatile.....it can even be installed in the same partition as Xubuntu, and the two would quite happily co-exist. From what I understand, the whole 'frugal' system was originally developed by the same people who developed Knoppix? Still... I'm 'old-fashioned', I'm afraid; I'm happier with each OS in it's own partition (I've got at least some vague idea of what I'm doing, that way...!)

    I don't tend to keep very much stuff on board locally, anyhow; now that I've got file-sharing sorted out (thanks to Morbius, with a little help from steeldriver; it all boiled down to the difference between upper- and lower-case on a single letter.....I am so embarrassed), I tend to pull everything across from the 'big' Compaq, as and when I need it. Yes, I could fit a larger HDD (with Puppy, you can copy a 'frugal' install on a flashdrive across to a HDD partition, and it just fires straight up..!), but in all honesty, I can't be bothered. Everything just 'works' nicely now.

    "If it ain't broke..."

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    @sammiev:- The silly thing is, at the time when Mum bought this old girl, nearly 13 years ago, I knew very little about 'tech' stuff, despite using them since the late 70's.....I've only really got into that side of things quite recently. I've pretty much grown up with these things ever since the start of the 'home computer revolution'.....seen a LOT of changes, too, over the last 35 years. With my 'change of direction' this last couple of years, and looking after Mum full-time, it gives me a lot of spare time to play with.

    If I'd known more at the time, I'd have advised her to go for the P4 in the first place. I'd have also advised her to go for more RAM, too, while she was at it.....this thing only had 128 MB when it came. XP used to run like a slug.....actually, I think a slug would've been faster, now I think back on it..!

    Oh, and BTW: Congrats on your membership...well done, and well deserved! Couldn't have happened to a nicer person.


    Regards,

    Mike.
    Last edited by Mike_Walsh; May 4th, 2015 at 11:26 PM.
    Compaq Presario SR1619UK, running Xubuntu & Puppies 'X-Slacko' & 'Slacko'
    Dell Inspiron 1100, running Xubuntu & Puppies 'TahrPup' & 'Precise'

    IF
    the advice given has helped you, PLEASE have the courtesy to post back and say 'Thank you'..!

  5. #125
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    Re: Old hardware brought back to life

    General tips, that may help if you come here and your computer is around ten years old (or older)

    It will probably work best if you try the flavour of Ubuntu with the lightest foot-print, Lubuntu. There will still be difficulties if there is less than 512 MB RAM. With more RAM, 768 MB or 1GB, you will probably succeed with Ubuntu Mate and Xubuntu too. So please tell us more about your computer

    - Brand name and model
    - CPU
    - RAM (size)
    - graphics chip/card

    and it will be possible to give you better advice, maybe even to try some ultra-light linux distro (lighter than Lubuntu) depending on the hardware components in your computer.

    Until then, please read the following links.

    Read again the first post of this thread (Old hardware brought back to life)


    Try Ubuntu (Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu, ...) before installing it


    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lubuntu


    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lubuntu/AdvancedMethods

    If you can burn a CD-rom and boot from it, you can download Lubuntu 14.04.2 LTS.

    If you can boot from USB, see this link, Installation/FromUSBStick

    The alternate ISO is better if you have less than 512 MB RAM or if you have problems with the graphics, download Lubuntu 14.04.1 LTS alternate ISO file

  6. #126
    Join Date
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    Re: Old hardware brought back to life

    **UPDATE**

    Further to my escapades with the Dell a few months back, I'm now planning an HDD upgrade.....for a 32GB or 64GB Transcend SSD. I didn't think this would be possible, originally; a PATA HDD/SSD should have a dual row of pins at the end.....but the Hitachi HDD has what appears to be an 'edge-connector', with 'fingers' either side (like a graphics card, or PCI/PCI-e card).

    However, further research indicates that this 'edge-connector' is merely an adapter that was employed by not only Dell, but several other manufacturers in the early 2000s.....to gull novices into thinking that they needed to purchase a 'hard-disk pack'; HDD, proprietary tray/caddy, and this adapter....all 'pre-assembled', of course! The adapter just pulls off, after easing a couple of 'clips' loose with a small screwdriver.....so this can go onto the new SSD, which will then be a 'drop-in' replacement.

    Watch this space. I'll be interested to see just how much difference this'll make to a P4 setup.


    Mike.
    Last edited by Mike_Walsh; October 1st, 2015 at 06:43 PM.
    Compaq Presario SR1619UK, running Xubuntu & Puppies 'X-Slacko' & 'Slacko'
    Dell Inspiron 1100, running Xubuntu & Puppies 'TahrPup' & 'Precise'

    IF
    the advice given has helped you, PLEASE have the courtesy to post back and say 'Thank you'..!

  7. #127
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    King's Lynn, UK
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    Re: Old hardware brought back to life

    Afternoon, all.

    Well; I've done it. The old Dell is now sporting a 32 GB SSD with PATA/IDE interface. Very easy swap, too; undo 2 screws, remove the caddy; undo 4 more screws, and remove the drive itself.

    The 'edge-connector' adapter was slid off the pins of the Hitachi HDD, and then pushed onto the pins of the Transcend SSD. Back in the caddy, replace the screws. Caddy back in the Dell, replace the screws.

    Repartition from the FAT32 it came with to ext3 (for Puppy) and ext4 (for Xubuntu), and re-install. Quickest re-install I've ever done! Xubuntu used to take about 25-30 mins for an install; it's now down to just over 10. I'm impressed. Puppy's re-install was about the same (but then all that consists of is copying the entire partition over, running the Grub4DOS config tool that Puppy comes with, and she's up & running).

    So; to recap:-

    Original (2002):-

    2.2 GHz Intel Celeron (128k L2)
    128 MB RAM
    20 GB Hitachi Travelstar HDD
    Windows XP Home.

    Today:-

    2.6 GHz Pentium 4 (512k L2)
    1 GB RAM
    32 GB Transcend PATA/IDE SSD
    Puppy 'Tahrpup' 6.03, Xubuntu 14.04.3 LTS.

    I'd estimate the performance, vis-a-vis read/writes, boot-up, saving, etc., has probably increased by about 75%. (Or, to put it another way, things take a little over half the time they used to).

    And I didn't even need to employ the 'workaround' on the graphics this time! The 3.19 kernel detected & displayed my screen correctly, first time round. Excellent stuff.

    She isn't a 'powerhouse', and never will be; the P4 architecture is the biggest bottleneck now. But as a day-to-day laptop, I think this old lady is eminently usable...and I think I could happily use her for work as she currently stands.

    I wouldn't mind getting a little bit more speed out of her, by using the 3.0 GHz non-HT Pentium 4 (the fastest one Intel produced for the 400MHz FSB), but I think that's 'pie-in-the-sky' wishful thinking; they're rarer than hen's teeth, and even extensive searching on eBay & Amazon, as well as a few other sites, hasn't thrown up any positives. Intel only made a very limited run of them; they were starting to concentrate on the 533 & 800 MHz versions, with HT, and the Prescott-based 'Extreme Editions'.

    It's not a bad package, though; and just goes to show that patient, gradual upgrading can keep any old machine viable.....with some help from the right software, of course!


    Regards,

    Mike.

    Screenshot - 241015 - 16:06:57.pngTahrpup 1.jpg
    Last edited by Mike_Walsh; October 26th, 2015 at 01:07 PM.
    Compaq Presario SR1619UK, running Xubuntu & Puppies 'X-Slacko' & 'Slacko'
    Dell Inspiron 1100, running Xubuntu & Puppies 'TahrPup' & 'Precise'

    IF
    the advice given has helped you, PLEASE have the courtesy to post back and say 'Thank you'..!

  8. #128
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    2,794

    Re: Old hardware brought back to life

    +1 @ Mike

  9. #129
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
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    682
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    Re: Old hardware brought back to life

    Hey, sammiev.

    I know it's daft ( and considered plain pointless by some people), but I've grown very attached to this old lady. She and I have been some places together!

    Just goes to show, if you're patient, even a 'dowager duchess' like this one can eventually benefit from modern technology. Fitting this, together with the P4 ( and now the most recent point release of 14.04), has transformed the old girl.....and given her a new lease on life.

    It's all good stuff!


    Regards,

    Mike.
    Compaq Presario SR1619UK, running Xubuntu & Puppies 'X-Slacko' & 'Slacko'
    Dell Inspiron 1100, running Xubuntu & Puppies 'TahrPup' & 'Precise'

    IF
    the advice given has helped you, PLEASE have the courtesy to post back and say 'Thank you'..!

  10. #130
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    Distro
    Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Old hardware brought back to life

    My computer is actually older than me! I got it as a hand-me-down when my parents finally bought a new one. It was awful, super slow, and then when support ended for Windows XP I thought I would have to throw it away! I Googled for help and wow, it's amazing. The full fun story is in the link in my signature. The short version is that I discovered an ultra-light Lubuntu-based OS and this old fossil runs better now - according to my parents anyway - than when it was new! But the best part of the story is what happened after that! Click on my signature to see how much more awesome it got!

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