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Old 01-25-2006, 03:01 AM   #1
thoffland
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Registered: Jul 2005
Location: Southern California
Distribution: Debian 3.1 Sarge
Posts: 36

Rep: Reputation: 15
need advice for a Dell Latitude CPX 500mhz 128mb RAM


I have this old Dell CPX which I've ordered 128mb of ram for. Currently it has 64mb... which just cant handle much.

I loaded Ubuntu on it with the Xubuntu-Desktop, (XFCE4) but it's still really slow. I mean REALLY slow... it takes about 10 min just to boot, and about 10-30 seconds between mouseclicks. I'd like to stick with a Debian version of linux since that's all I know and I'm really still a cherry with linux.

Problem: this laptop has no ethernet ports built in. I have a 3com card somewhere, but not sure where. What I do have though is a wireless G pcmcia card in it. So a net-install I think is out of the question until I can get the wifi working on it.

Any recommendations on a distro that's light, but still supports wifi? Or packages that I can install to get the card working?

Thanks, I appreciate the help!!
 
Old 01-25-2006, 04:52 AM   #2
BinJajer
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Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Distribution: Slackware 10.2, Caldera OpenLinux 3.1, Corel Linux (Thanks xhi!), Debian GNU/HURD etc...
Posts: 296
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 30
Ermm... Debian-based distros can be hard no resources. Try Slackware. Or better: Damn Small. The best *NIX for a low-end is NetBSD, though.
 
Old 01-26-2006, 03:30 AM   #3
thoffland
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Registered: Jul 2005
Location: Southern California
Distribution: Debian 3.1 Sarge
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Thanks BinJajer. I did try loading Slackware on it, but I'm a newbie and must've messed something up on the install because I just couldn't get it. Then I tried Debian Sarge, and it actually ran OK with Gnome, but still a bit slow and I couldn't get ndiswrapper installed right to get my wifi card working.

What I ended up with was using the Ubuntu disk and just installing the 'server' package and then installing Fluxbox... which runs like a champ after the thing finally boots. It should be much better after I get the 128mb chip installed tomorrow.

The BSD's are cool but require so much configuration. And since I didn't have an ethernet port, and failed at getting ndiswrapper installed properly with Debian Sarge, ubuntu was my best bet. I could thin it down and it recognized my wireless pcmcia right off the bat allowing me to download packages I wanted.
 
Old 01-26-2006, 06:16 AM   #4
BinJajer
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Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Distribution: Slackware 10.2, Caldera OpenLinux 3.1, Corel Linux (Thanks xhi!), Debian GNU/HURD etc...
Posts: 296
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 30
Oh, I see. My FreeBSD did not require much config... maybe you should at least try...?
 
Old 01-26-2006, 10:51 AM   #5
thoffland
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Registered: Jul 2005
Location: Southern California
Distribution: Debian 3.1 Sarge
Posts: 36

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I might try it again

When I first was turned on to *nix that was what I played with on a slightly better powered desktop. I have another laptop coming that is a little older than this one, so I'll load FreeBSD on it and try it. I have plenty of install disks!

I just remember having a hard time getting the internet connection going, although that was my first BSD experience... maybe I could find my way around a little better now. I want to learn, but I have golf to keep me frustrated so I thought I'd see what happened with the Ubuntu base since it set up the wireless pcmcia for me so easily.

When I get the other laptop, I'll load FreeBSD and let you know what happens!

Thanks again!
 
Old 01-26-2006, 11:02 AM   #6
BinJajer
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Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Distribution: Slackware 10.2, Caldera OpenLinux 3.1, Corel Linux (Thanks xhi!), Debian GNU/HURD etc...
Posts: 296
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 30
Haha, no FreeBSD "became" nice and friendly lately. I had it up and running with KDE in less than 2 hrs. with dloading the whole thing from ftp. Oh, and you said: another older laptop. Are you a collector of vintage hardware? (I collect both historic hardware and software)

Edit: Wow, i just finished installing NetBSD on an AcerNOTELIGHT (100mhz, 32MB SDRAM). Goes like hell compard to Win98 it had!

Last edited by BinJajer; 01-26-2006 at 11:04 AM.
 
Old 01-26-2006, 11:37 AM   #7
thoffland
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Registered: Jul 2005
Location: Southern California
Distribution: Debian 3.1 Sarge
Posts: 36

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
I'm not a collector, but my wife might argue that

I just like to mess with computers and I've been wanting a laptop to load *nix on to learn it better. A friend of mine had these in his closet left over from old jobs. They had about 10 user accounts on them and took about 20 min just to startup, so he gave them to me. Physically they're in good condition, so I figured I'd use them for fun stuff like this. I'm on the CPx now and it's running well with only 64mb RAM.

I'd like to get a new battery for this one since this one only holds a charge for about 3 minutes... just in time for me to move upstairs or downstairs and plug it back in again.

Do you know a good place to get a battery for this guy that wont charge me an arm and a leg?

You've motivated me to try FreeBSD again since it's more friendly!
 
Old 01-26-2006, 11:43 AM   #8
BinJajer
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Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Distribution: Slackware 10.2, Caldera OpenLinux 3.1, Corel Linux (Thanks xhi!), Debian GNU/HURD etc...
Posts: 296
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 30
Tried Ebay? In poland, we have www.allegro.pl , an equivalen of interbational ebay. Right now, I'm using Netscape 6 and writing an essay on WordPerfect 8. I collect old things for fun, because hey, not everyone knows how to properly install WordPerfect on a modern distro, eh?
 
Old 01-27-2006, 12:38 PM   #9
thoffland
Member
 
Registered: Jul 2005
Location: Southern California
Distribution: Debian 3.1 Sarge
Posts: 36

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
I've checked eBay and the batteries still cost $50 with shipping... this thing just isn't worth that to me right now. I got my 128mb of RAM installed and it's really running well. Especially after I uninstalled GDM and XFCE4. I'll probably think about the battery again after I recover from the holiday spending!!
 
  


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