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Old 02-17-2013, 10:30 PM   #46
rvijay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k3lt01 View Post
Funny you mention that. I have an old 5.25" floppy with a RP Game (Demons Winter) on it that I used to play back in the early 1990s. It was a good game but I stopped playing it when my dad's old PC gave up and I have not been able to locate a working 5.25" drive so I could save the game and play it on a FreeDOS partition I have on another laptop.
You encouraged me to look a bit further. Here is how someone can convert an old PC into a Retro Arcade game machine:
http://scottjarvis.com/page105.htm#c470

Getting the following and adding them to the OLD PC USB drive is a good idea:
FreeDOS
http://www.freedos.org/download/

System Rescue CD:
http://distrowatch.com/table.php?dis...n=systemrescue

PartedMagic
http://distrowatch.com/table.php?dis...on=partedmagic

FreeNAS:
http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=freenas

Some fun is also needed in life. This will also help use the PC for gaming (Depends certainly on age of PC). Linux gamers:
http://live.linux-gamers.net/
System Requirements
* intel x86-compatible architecture
* 512 MB RAM
* videocard with 3d acceleration

I installed an old ethernet card I found in this PC. After that it will not boot and makes a very loud beeping noise. I removed the ethernet card and it didn't help. The PC powers on though. One Ram module had come a bit loose, I installed this properly but it didn't help either.

Related link I found on net:
http://www.daniweb.com/hardware-and-...es-help-please

This desktop does power on though. Any suggestions welcome, since everything else seems to work, I am hoping it is not the motherboard.

This has taught me another thing, to accept the fate of things. All electronic items, no matter how well handled, will die sooner or later.

Last edited by unSpawn; 05-21-2013 at 04:46 PM.
 
Old 02-19-2013, 05:22 AM   #47
TobiSGD
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Check the count and frequency of the beeps, they are error codes: http://www.computerhope.com/beep.htm
 
Old 02-19-2013, 06:12 AM   #48
rvijay
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I tried reinstalling all the RAM again. This time it booted ok. The network card has two lights called Link and Act. The Link light lights up when the cable is plugged in. Not the act light. Same issue with Slitaz Linux. Replugging the cable didn't help. The card is D-Link, I tried to load the driver for the D-Link modem in Puppy but it still didn't work. Wondering if this card can be too old.

Need to try these on this PC. Will try next time I boot it:
Run this command: lspci -nn

Is your NIC detected?

Then run: lspci -k

Also try
uname -r
depmod -a
modprobe (module)

Look in the folder /lib/modules/2.6.31.14/kernel/drivers/net for the file (module).ko

I had this for 17 years ago approx.: Royal DM70nx Organizer
Found this today at home and started using it. Still works, just needs 3 CR2032 batteries. Glad I started this thread, now thinking what else old stuff I have at home that can still be used or given to others. It is not a biggie if this gets lost or breaks down compared to an ipod touch etc., which are a lot more heavier and more expensive.

On eBay Pentium II PCs of the type I have are still going for about 100 to 150 bucks. So, it is vital to search in different places to get an idea of value and use of older products. Lastly, the stores that sell used PCs locally are having just CD readers for ODD and NOT CD writer. So, if one gets a used PC like this and then upgrades, it will add up to the cost. So this PC is still quite a good deal, besides it is teaching me a lot of stuff.

Last edited by unSpawn; 05-21-2013 at 04:45 PM.
 
Old 02-19-2013, 12:05 PM   #49
frieza
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as the saying goes, one man's trash is another mans' treasure
 
Old 02-19-2013, 12:11 PM   #50
rvijay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frieza View Post
as the saying goes, one man's trash is another mans' treasure
Yes, very correct. I am quite surprised to still find that there is a niche market for these old products, folks are buying and using them.

This OS is also good for Pentium 2 PCs and beyond it appears. Only thing is net is not configured automatically, they say it will be configured auto in the future versions:
http://www.swiftlinux.org/index.php/About

The next thing to mostly be abandoned are: mp3 players, USB flash drives, tablet PCs and eReaders as far better ones are coming out all the time. However, one doesnít see too many of these being givenup online on freecycle etc., Perhaps it is better to ask in advance in these places, also spread info. via word of mouth and offer something in exchange if such items are given. Then perhaps with time, more of these things that are gathering dust will be discovered. One good thing to offer would be all the ISOs for old PCs, rescue disks etc., on one convenient DVD along with all the manuals on it. This will interest atleast a few folks.

One of the things I saw being discarded a lot was CRT TVs after the digital TV came into effect, this was several months ago. Must keep an eye out for what is being discarded, network with folks who like to upgrade often, develop a relationship with them and help them whenever they wish to get rid of stuff. Sometimes this can even be certain groups of people, students for eg., who are going to move.

All this is in keeping with frugal living that I have learned at:
frugalliving.about.com
stretcher.com

A great site for mp3 players is: anythingbutipod.com - Even here I read a long time ago in one of the articles or posts that mp3 players are usually upgraded way before their lifespan as a newer version becomes available. Since, we donít see too many of these being given away or sold used, it is safe to assume that most are gathering dust or are discarded with time. For my part, I have never really tried to sell used items. I found it better to give them away or throw them in the past. Will be an interesting experience to try and sell them online.

Presently, this thread also encouraged me to DL several other linux distros. I heard in news yesterday that PS4 is being released and will cost 500 bucks or so. This encouraged me to DL the full DVD version of the Linux Gamers. Also, DL of swiftlinux for older PCs amd NetBSD. Getting backbox for security and Xubuntu as todayís PC will be an older PC 6 years or so from today.

Lastly, I have an USB old hard drive 100Gb. This is a great one to store linux distros on. I can use it for this. I was thinking why must I learn more about Linux and tackle issues once I have a working distro. By tackling problems and using different distros one gets better experience for the future. Besides, being a learning experience, this can be looked at as a puzzle, if it is done all at the same time, then it is overwhelming. However, if it is done a little at a time over the course of a few weeks or even months, then it is much more manageable and becomes less demanding.

I have discarded optical media before, now learning to use them. 101 things to do with old CDs/DVDs:
http://www.hintsandthings.co.uk/musichall/cdroms.htm

Need to learn exponentially from this thread. Basically predict the life cycle of technology, its environment, uses and when it will be replaced by new stuff. Also, brain storm to use this once it is abandoned or even before when it goes on sale. Who knows, perhaps this can even become a business some day. Custom installed Linux PCs, with a whole bunch of OSes on DVDs, bootable Flash Drive, Gutenberg eBooks, art, some free music, audiobooks and other goodies.

Here is another interesting thing I learned from here. How to prepare ISO to USB instructions:
http://crunchbang.org/forums/viewtopic.php?id=23267

I remain very simple, humble, thankful for any assistance, open and willing to learn. Please donít hesitate to share anything related here. Thanks in advance.

Sharing a deep article about Linux on older PCs:
http://linux.about.com/od/commands/l/blnewbie1_2.htm

Here is yet another interesting article on recycling PCs:
http://www.geekwire.com/2012/rewind-...ters-basement/
In that part of the city alone about 1000 PCs are given per week. They use windows on these recycled PCs. Only about 50% can be reused. If they used Linux, then I am almost sure that they can recycle a lot more PCs. However, as most end users are not familiar with Linux, this may pose some challenges.

On a different note, here in Canada there were articles in media saying due to poor economy, retail sales are down 2% last december, specially electronics were hit it was said in a radio news. Challenging economy may encourage folks to recycle stuff more.

An older PC is also good to learn about servers and networking two PCs.

Reading this manual is also a good learning experience:
http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en/books/handbook/

Based on this thread alone, I don't think I will ever buy a new PC again, unless it is a terrific deal for 50 to 100 bucks. I will mostly try to get used PCs and recycle them with Linux.

Last edited by unSpawn; 05-21-2013 at 04:45 PM.
 
Old 02-24-2013, 04:23 PM   #51
273
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Whilst I do like to use hardware until it fails I do think that using older PCs is not necessarily as frugal as it may originally seem. For example, a Pentium II will, according to Wikipedia, be rated at at least 16W whereas the Raspberry Pi mentioned earlier comes in at 3.5W. So, if you're using it as a server then the $45 Pi costs 1/4 of the price in electricity.
Then there's the fact that as a PSU gets older it becomes more likely to fail and a failing PSU is a fire risk if nothing else.
Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of using old PCs and if I've run some as web servers in the past, but I don't think doing so saves money and I don't think it's really the most practical solution.
 
Old 02-24-2013, 05:57 PM   #52
rvijay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
Whilst I do like to use hardware until it fails I do think that using older PCs is not necessarily as frugal as it may originally seem. For example, a Pentium II will, according to Wikipedia, be rated at at least 16W whereas the Raspberry Pi mentioned earlier comes in at 3.5W. So, if you're using it as a server then the $45 Pi costs 1/4 of the price in electricity.
Then there's the fact that as a PSU gets older it becomes more likely to fail and a failing PSU is a fire risk if nothing else.
Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of using old PCs and if I've run some as web servers in the past, but I don't think doing so saves money and I don't think it's really the most practical solution.
Thanks for this post. I looked into the Rasberrypi again:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberry_Pi

It does look quite promising, specially considering the low price.
 
Old 02-24-2013, 06:01 PM   #53
273
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I certainly don't mean to say that people ought not to use old PCs, but things move so quickly that sometimes buying new kit is cheaper in the long run.
I remember reading an article suggesting that if somebody set a computer to break a code 5 years ago and the code still wasn't broken it would be quicker to start again on modern hardware (I don't recall the specific details). I know that's a different problem but it illustrates that it's worth putting some thought into things rather than just assuming that going on as things are is the best option.
 
Old 02-24-2013, 06:21 PM   #54
rvijay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
I certainly don't mean to say that people ought not to use old PCs, but things move so quickly that sometimes buying new kit is cheaper in the long run.
I remember reading an article suggesting that if somebody set a computer to break a code 5 years ago and the code still wasn't broken it would be quicker to start again on modern hardware (I don't recall the specific details). I know that's a different problem but it illustrates that it's worth putting some thought into things rather than just assuming that going on as things are is the best option.
Yes, it depends on the application. For most normal use tho, older PC is still ok I feel. Electricity cost can't be ignored tho. Safety is also priceless.
 
Old 02-24-2013, 07:24 PM   #55
rvijay
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40 uses for Rasberry pi:
http://pingbin.com/2012/12/30-cool-i...ry-pi-project/

This is another good learning from this thread.

Another article on it:
http://www.zdnet.com/we-thought-wed-...pi-7000009718/

Wonder if someone will find an use for this with an older PC
 
Old 02-24-2013, 10:50 PM   #56
rvijay
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Smile

Another similar product:
http://www.pcduino.com/

With time, more such products can be expected it appears. Also, in 3 years or so, all these will become old. So desktop PCs will mostly have sentimental value and lesser practical use with time. Very few wish to use a commodore or other similar PC anymore for practical purpose.

As an aside, I was able to connect my old IBM Pentium 2 PC that I started this thread for to the net. Some related info. in this regard. It has Ethernet Controller: Realtek semiconductor co. ltd RTL-8139/8139c/8139c+

Had to choose the following driver and it worked: Realtek- RTL-8139 Fast Ethernet Driver

Last edited by rvijay; 02-25-2013 at 01:22 AM.
 
Old 02-25-2013, 08:37 AM   #57
rvijay
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I have three primary partitions on the hard drive of this PC. First is Linux swap, on the second I have a puppy linux quirky 1.4 full install, on the third partition it is a puppy frugal install. I always have to boot this PC with the Puppy CDROM installed in it. Otherwise it gives an A20 fail message. I tried installing Grub4legacy and Grub4dos, issue persists with both. Verified that both USB and PS2 Keyboards are enabled in the Bios. Tried both types of keyboards and still didn't help. Issue persists. Suggestions welcome.

Found this on A20
http://www.win.tue.nl/~aeb/linux/kbd/A20.html

Tried disabling Gateway A20 from Bios, didn't help either. I had win98 on this PC before, this issue didn't exist then. This error comesup even before Grub comes up. However, it is ok only if Linux is booted from live CD directly.

Wow as per this site, it could either be the Keyboard, the Keyboard Controller or the motherboard issue. If it is a Mobo issue, then replacing the Mobo is the only option. Guess, I can just try to use this PC as long as it lasts now. Changing Mobo is not possible on this one.
http://www.dewassoc.com/support/bios...ess_errors.htm

This PC also doesn't detect USB drives on startup, moreover since it is an older BIOS, appears it will not work with DVD read-write. Since the puppy OS is burned to CD, it needs a CD writer to be able to work and not just a CDROM(Tried before, these don't read home burned CDs). So, if the CD-Writer on this device fails, then I have to find another one of the same(this is very hard these days) or just forget this PC. So, guess I will have to use the CD-writer very carefully just for booting and not use it too much. I also have a CD lens cleaner that I can use with this device if needed. It helps to know all these limitations in advance.

For now, given my present needs, I am able to use this PC as my primary PC.

Last edited by rvijay; 02-25-2013 at 09:31 AM.
 
Old 02-25-2013, 09:47 AM   #58
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I still have a P II in the corner myself. Just bear in mind that the low amount of RAM probably excludes you from running X, or at least running X + anything else. Midori might work under X as a web browser. If you can get X to load in that amount of RAM. It's a slow CPU. And the RAM is probably the SIMM type which is at least 7x's slower than most things in the past ten years. Basically it'll be slow.

If you can avoid using X you can avoid the bottleneck of resources. Mine has USB ports, probably 1.1. I think the bios had evolved past the stage of only supporting a certain number of heads and sectors at that point. But you may still have those old limits that give few options as to which hard drives will work. Which will be IDE type drives, retroactively renamed to PATA circa 2006-ish. I'm probably in the get something much newer camp. Having got a 2.6GHz cpu laptop for FREE just last week. Which is actually better than my old laptop, sort of, the GPU on the old one makes it perform better, if the fan on that one still worked.
 
Old 02-25-2013, 10:03 AM   #59
rvijay
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X is ok. I have linux swap of 512MB that greatly helps once this PC boots fully.

For now, this PC is ok. However, if any vital component dies: PSU, Mobo or CD-Writer then this PC has to be recycled. With devices like the rasberry pi going so cheap, older PCs are going for 40 bucks even locally. So, will give it time and see. Besides I also have another desktop still.
 
Old 02-25-2013, 04:58 PM   #60
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You could put linux on a usb stick and go down to goodwill or other places and try out some old computers. I know someone who got a 1.66GHz laptop with a malware infested windows for $100. And they probably paid too much for it. I ran the windows malware tool on it to make it windows bootable for them. It came with windows cdroms, but had no cdrom drive. My last laptop cost < $300 new, circa 2006. It's still on and next to my desktop acting as a wireless bridge. Although using the non-pc router(s) I have laying about would probably consume half the Watt's of power.

I was rigged up to do the goodwill route when my sister-in-law walked in with a laptop, and my brother asked her what she was going to do with that. She said that she was to wipe the HDD and throw it away. I said, I've got it, hand it over. One of her coworkers had passed it off on her since she's the tech person. Booted linux off a usb stick right off the bat with working wireless. Wiped the HDD and booted a 2nd usb card + reader so I could clone the usb stick's linux onto it's now clean HDD. All said and done and < 3 hours to have a native linux on it and configured specifically for that machine. It would have been done a lot faster, but I had just spent 8 hours driving there and that PNY usb stick is probably the slowest usb storage device I have ever witnessed. And the only 30GB HDD on that laptop made the transfer route a little less direct. Plus a couple half hour naps.

If the raspberry pi had 1GB of ram and more USB ports, I'd probably get one. Having spent a couple weeks away from home running linux from a usb stick on a few machines with only 512MB of ram, I would much rather have 1GB of ram as a minimum since a lot of things almost require it now. Plus the things I would want to do on such a device that could be used as a personal computer cluster would require at least that much ram. So what if it takes twice as long to render a povray frame. With four units you could still finish the job in half the time. While still using < 1/2 the power of a normal desktop. We'll get there eventually I suppose.
 
  


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