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Thread: Old/crappy pc/laptop users, come chat and share here!

  1. #201
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    Re: Old/crappy pc/laptop users, come chat and share here!

    Quote Originally Posted by joe.turion64x2 View Post
    Recently I got an old laptop, well, it's my job's but I am on charge of it.
    It is a lovely Sony VAIO with a 600MHz PIII processor, 128MB of RAM, 6.4GB (or thereabouts) HDD.

    Right now it has Windows ME on it (and it works!), considering the laptop had been rendered as useless some years ago I am not too surprised to find the system in 'prime condition': no viruses or whatsoever.
    When I got my Dell Latitude CP P1 w/MMX @ 233MHz I was totally suprised that it was "running" Windows XP on it! No wonder they were getting rid of it because it was slow.

    I looked on the Microsoft website to find the minimum hardware requirements and this laptop matched the MINIMUM (233Mhz, 64MB Ram). I was surprised.

    And about 1 minute after discovering it had XP installed, I was running the CD that "vulcan mind-wipes" the hard drive (writing over it 3 times or something). That was the end of that Windows XP experience.

    Now I have Fluxbuntu running on it and it's doing pretty much as expected (no speed demon, but adequate for mild surfing, email and text writing (articles, blogs, outlines, etc.)
    Friends don't let friends wear a red shirt on landing-party duty.
    DACS | Connecticut LoCo Team | My Blog
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  2. #202
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    Re: Old/crappy pc/laptop users, come chat and share here!

    I had installed xp home on a 600Mhz P3 with 8 Gb hard disk and 128Mb ram. it was fine if you never closed ie or switched it off, otherwise if was horrible. Switched it over to 6.10 and the hard ware detection is better and it starts up/ shuts down and launches firefox with out any problem. starts to lag when videos are played but otherwise you cant tell its and old computer.
    "Ubuntu is an ancient African word meaning: I can't configure debian" Stoled from Hedge, who got it from the urban dictionary.

  3. #203
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    Re: Old/crappy pc/laptop users, come chat and share here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonbite View Post
    When I got my Dell Latitude CP P1 w/MMX @ 233MHz ...
    Are you still running that laptop with 64 MB ram? I have the same laptop and I'm having trouble getting a distro up and running. I have not tried fluxbuntu yet. Did you have any problems getting it installed?
    A computer without Microsoft is like a chocolate cake without mustard.

  4. #204
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    Re: Old/crappy pc/laptop users, come chat and share here!

    Quote Originally Posted by qpieus View Post
    Are you still running that laptop with 64 MB ram? I have the same laptop and I'm having trouble getting a distro up and running. I have not tried fluxbuntu yet. Did you have any problems getting it installed?
    Once I was able to, I maxed out my Ram at 128MB! (untold POWER!!! )

    Fluxbuntu works pretty good, just a couple things to keep in mind:
    • It didn't recognize something so it would only give me a screen resolution of 800x600 (or less). To fix this I had tomodify /etc/X11/xorg.conf to
      1. add "1024x768" to the list of resolutions (the first one is the default the system tries)
      2. reduce the DefaultDepth from 24 to 16
    • I recommend using CLI applications for things such as updating/installing with sudo apt-get install xyz because once all of those repositories are updated Synaptic is a dog.
    • Leafpad is a good text editor that comes up pretty quickly
    • If you use dial-up you will not find it in the network configuration.
      1. Run wvdialconf to detect the modem
      2. edit /etc/wvdial.conf to enter the number, username and password
      3. run wvdial every time you want to log in (you can use killall wvdial to close the connection)
    • Even though it takes a lot of resources, I installed Firefox because the default browser just didn't work for me, and to open a page it would take a loooooooooooong time. Once Firefox is up it opens pages are regular speed (just don't open too many tabs at once )
    • When I, instead of shutting down, go to Standby and close the lid, the laptop automatically wakes up when the lid is opened.
    • Conky can be a great way to get some status information, like Battery status and such. It isn't installed by default though
    • USB Pen drives do not automount.
    • It was recomended by somebody in another forum, to format the hard drive as ReiserFS. Ext2 he didn't recommend and Ext3's journaling I guess takes a hit on performance. So far I haven't had any issues but I cannot guarentee it won't cause problems in the future.
    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, or join the Fluxbuntu forum.

    Damn Small Linux (DSL)
    This distro works well on the system even with 64MB Ram. Even running as a LiveCD it was responsive except when running a resource-intensive application like Firefox.

    The interface just takes a little getting used to, but it is Debian based so you can use sudo apt-get install xyz but I wasn't successful in installing anything so I don't know if it was me (I was using an older version of DSL).

    My only issue was that when I was navigating any websites with a lot of graphics the system would freeze completely and I'd have to do a hard reboot. Other than that it does work very well on the system.

    Oh, and when you run it, add fb1024x768 and it will give you the better resolution and fill the whole screen.

    TinyMe
    I managed to get TinyMe (a lite version of PCLinuxOS) installed. It was slow, but usable. This, though, I got the same day I got my 2nd 64MB Ram module so I don't know if it will run with 64MB.

    TinyMe also uses Opera instead of Firefox, because that is also their Email client. It worked alright (again, don't open too many tabs).

    TinyFlux (or PCFluxboxOS)
    This is like TinyMe but smaller, and uses the Fluxbox desktop instead of what TinyMe uses (OpenBox?). My CD had errors so I'll have to wait until I get to my monthly broadband access again.

    Puppy
    DSL and Puppy are the most suggested light distros. I've heard a lot of good things about Puppy, but haven't tried it. I would give it a shot and see how it goes.
    Friends don't let friends wear a red shirt on landing-party duty.
    DACS | Connecticut LoCo Team | My Blog
    Ubuntu User# : 17583, Linux User# : 477531

  5. #205
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    Re: Old/crappy pc/laptop users, come chat and share here!

    Thanks for the tips Dragonbite. I want to try fluxbuntu and tinyflux. Hopefully I can get them installed with only the 64 MB of memory. I don't want to spend any money on this lappy - it has no battery and no wireless card so it's not much of a portable device and not worth putting any money into.
    A computer without Microsoft is like a chocolate cake without mustard.

  6. #206
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

    Re: Old/crappy pc/laptop users, come chat and share here!

    Well, my laptop may not be the crappiest, but the video card on it sucks really bad.

    And I've upgraded some of it.

    Original Specs:

    IBM Thinkpad T30

    1.8 Ghz
    256 MB Ram
    DVD-Reader/CD
    16 Meg ATI Mobility Radeon 7500

    Current Specs:

    1.8 Ghz
    1 gig of ram
    DVD-Reader/CD
    16 Meg ATI

    For some reason, youtube runs terribly slow on this laptop. But I can run beryl and everything else fine.

  7. #207
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Talking Re: Old/crappy pc/laptop users, come chat and share here!

    WOOT!!

    From my earlier post
    Dell Latitude CPi-A

    366Mhz PII processor
    128 MB PC100 RAM
    2MB Neomagic video
    30GB HDD
    I've been trying to get wireless running with various PCMCIA and USB adapters I have laying around... in my spare time... probably about 10 hours in the last 2 months dedicated to this problem.

    I found, for those that haven't seen it, a fine HowTo on the forums for getting the Linksys WUSB54GC running.

    It worked on the first try... soooo easy.

    Oh, yeah, and I got a CD-ROM drive for it now, too. I think the TCO for this thing is up to about $60.

    Now my $60 is really worth it
    Last edited by stalker145; December 4th, 2007 at 03:00 AM. Reason: Forgot about the new CD drive
    Dulce Bellum Inexpertis

  8. #208
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    Re: Old/crappy pc/laptop users, come chat and share here!

    Well, up until 2.5 years ago I was still using my old Pentium1 133mhz with 32ram to run civil engineering structural design software on win98. It didnt even have a sound card or cd player. The floppy had gone bad, so I just had to write down the results as it lived in its own unconnected little world, its single year of web dial-up connectivity (external 28.8 modem) forgotten half a decade previously.

    Then I got a hand-me-down from a relative, a Gateway p2-450mhz, with 128mb ram, 40gb hd, dvd-cd drive, and winxp running slow as molasses yet daring to run Autocad2004. To be able to work with larger 3d structural models in a newer version of the program, I maxed ram memory to 3x128=384mb and downgraded to win2k, and it did fine. It was the old keyboard and mouse which were sometimes problematic.

    Now, I have been using for the last year a newer PentiumD 3.0ghz with 1gb ram and 200gb+320gb hds, so I decided to see what to do with the older machines, as I hate the idea of wasting devices that worked perfectly not long ago, specially as my work has not changed that much in those years and the building designs remain more of less the same and the basic algorithms of the design program are not that different.

    I looked into making the older box a storage server, but it would not recognize hds larger than 8gb! So I found NASLITE, a small OS that runs off a floppy and makes an old pc a NAS, bypassing the bios, so larger drives can be used. Of course, it is linux, and I had to make the floppy in a linux system.

    Now I had been interested in linux for a long time and this was the perfect oportunity. I read a bit online, and tried UBUNTU 7.10 on my new pc, and adding an extra 200gb drive, I set it in a dual boot, and have been using it for email, music/video/comics, downloading, etc. with happy results.

    I tried the Ubuntu 7.10 live cd on the gateway p3-450 and amazingly it works! Slow, but I can still multitask: browse the web and listen to music. I tried the Xubuntu live cd but it did not seem significantly snappier than the ubuntu and the GUI was less attractive. I downloaded Fluxbuntu, but it doesnt seem to offer the live cd option, offering only a direct install, so I may test it with an added 3gb hd. Or if I give this machine to my daughter, I may try edubuntu.

    Any comments on the performance of fluxbuntu versus xubuntu or Edubuntu on such a system?

    Now, since ubuntu reads nfts drives, I may not even need the Naslite that was the original interest, as I just got a $120 box that can stockpile 4 drives to a total of 3teras, and can be connected to any machine. But I may try to get DSL on the old p1-133 just for kicks.

    Jorge

  9. #209
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    Re: Old/crappy pc/laptop users, come chat and share here!

    Fluxbuntu (Fluxbox) will run faster than Xubuntu (Xfce). That is why most of the low-spec distros use Fluxbox.

    The downside is that Fluxbox requires more manual manipulations to customize the desktop than Xfce, which includes a number of handy tools but not nearly as much as Gnome.

    As for Edubuntu, it is basically Ubuntu with a few different apps, and an easy installer for LTSP (making it a thin client server). As a workstation (fat client) it is not all that much different than Ubuntu.

    As an LTSP server, it needs 1Ghz plus 256MB Ram for the base system + 128MB Ram for every client you want to connect. The power of LTSP is if you have a system with, say, 2GBs Ram you can theoretically host about 14 clients, enough to get a computer lab up-and-running in a school or something like it.

    All of the processing goes on the server so even the hard drive in the clients is not necessary and just about any old system can be used as a client (I'll be testing that theory if I can get my 233Mhz laptop connected).

    The other great thing is that regardless of the chip speed on the client, it will be running just about everything at the speed of the server, not the client. So that 233Mhz system may be running OpenOffice, Firefox and the like with no problems because it's running at 2GHz instead.
    Friends don't let friends wear a red shirt on landing-party duty.
    DACS | Connecticut LoCo Team | My Blog
    Ubuntu User# : 17583, Linux User# : 477531

  10. #210
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    Re: Old/crappy pc/laptop users, come chat and share here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonbite View Post
    Fluxbuntu (Fluxbox) will run faster than Xubuntu (Xfce). That is why most of the low-spec distros use Fluxbox.

    The downside is that Fluxbox requires more manual manipulations to customize the desktop than Xfce, which includes a number of handy tools but not nearly as much as Gnome.

    As for Edubuntu, it is basically Ubuntu with a few different apps, and an easy installer for LTSP (making it a thin client server). As a workstation (fat client) it is not all that much different than Ubuntu.

    As an LTSP server, it needs 1Ghz plus 256MB Ram for the base system + 128MB Ram for every client you want to connect. The power of LTSP is if you have a system with, say, 2GBs Ram you can theoretically host about 14 clients, enough to get a computer lab up-and-running in a school or something like it.

    All of the processing goes on the server so even the hard drive in the clients is not necessary and just about any old system can be used as a client (I'll be testing that theory if I can get my 233Mhz laptop connected).

    The other great thing is that regardless of the chip speed on the client, it will be running just about everything at the speed of the server, not the client. So that 233Mhz system may be running OpenOffice, Firefox and the like with no problems because it's running at 2GHz instead.
    Thanks. I was looking for a distro with an easy GUI for my 8-year-old daughter, to wean her off from her tentative experience with win2k, and maybe find some educational software as well.

    I ended up trying to run Puppy as liveCD on the Gateway p2-450mhz (384mb ram, 40gb+3gb hds, dvd-cd drive) because of its friendly desktop (yeah, Im superficial, I know) but the last version and its "retro" alternative both failed to boot, reporting kernel panic, and failure to mount the os on the ram, though even ubuntu 7.10 had managed to load as livecd (slow, but workable). So asking a bit on the Puppy forum, I was advised to check removing the added/non-factory ram sticks, and sadly, after doing, and despite taking precautions to carry in no static, not only did Puppy remain unworkable, the pc suddenly found itself unable to boot at all its original win2k, reporting device conflict and pci controller trouble before giving a dead prompt on a black screen, so my tinkering with the ram may have damaged the motherboard, or there were other hardware troubles that were excerbated by this.

    Amazingly, I can still run the Ubuntu/Xubuntu liveCDs and the computer works perfectly, with video, internet, sound, etc. so it doesnt seem like the mobo was fried. It just wont boot and it will not run the reinstall of win2k. DOnt know if a hd install of Ubuntu or Xubuntu would work, as they too big/slow for the machine anyway.

    I am having it checked, and hope I dont have to replace the mobo/processo as that would be like 30% of the cost of getting a newer system anyway.

    Not posting this as a gripe, but as a bit of cautionary advice for beginners like me. (ANd I am not a total beginner hardware-wise as Ive changed memory and drives several times before on various machines).

    When trying the livecd distros, I see it's best to keep it at the software level. If you need to go tinkering with the pc insides to make a distro work, maybe its better/safer to just sample another distro, of which there are no shortage.

    That Ubuntu still works in the problematic machine still amazes me.

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