What makes a lightweight linux distro lightweight?
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960MB of RAM is an usual amount of RAM, so I assume that you have 1024MB, but 64MB of it are used by an onboard videocard.
Depending on the type of the videocard you may have problems running Gnome 3, maybe you would also have to disable some effects in KDE.
Gnome 2/MATE should run fine on such a machine, so Debian or Linux Mint Mate would be a good choice.
If you want something faster you could still try the XFCE or LXDE desktops, they should fly on such a machine.
$ inxi -r
Repos: Active apt sources in file: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/antix.list
deb http://www.daveserver.info/antiX/debs testing base main
deb http://debs.slavino.sk testing main
Active apt sources in file: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/debian.list
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ testing main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ testing/updates main contrib non-free
runs fluxbox wm and is getting updated to final release eventually. Flash works out of the box full screen and I am listening to streaming radio in xmms. Everything opens instantly on here. Inxi shows ram usage while posting with multiple tabs open in Iceweasel with conky and xmms running. Not too bad.
Well from the looks if it its a dual core cpu because it provides two clock speeds of about 2.66ghz and my ram is at 960 mb
Dont make that assumption. It could be a 'hyperthreaded' Pentium 4 (with 960MB/1024MB RAM, I'd guess it is a P4). Hyperthreading makes 1 core appear to be 2 to the OS. Recent versions (like on the newish iX series) of hyperthreading are OK, the older versions in P4s could make things slower.
There are a few free, simple windows tools that will show you the hardware you are running, e.g. belarc advisor, CPU-Z, sandra.
Puppy should run fine on your system. Just keep in mind that it has an unusual approach that is not common in the Linux/Unix world: The user is always root.
My personal opinion about that: Fine for a rescue system, but I wouldn't run something like that for everyday use. I would rather go for Slitaz or Tincore for that, they are proper multi-user systems that run from RAM.
I'm looking to do a memory upgrade soon. What type of memory would a old desktop use ddr1? With more ram i could use pinguy which is my favorite but it runs slow now
It depends. Assuming this is a Pentium 4 or a Pentium D, which is very likely, it may be possible that this is either a Socket 478 system, which would need DDR1, or a Socket 774 system, which would need DDR2 RAM. It should be easy to find out which RAM you use with the program lshw on Linux or programs like AIDA32 or Sandra on Windows. Or just look into the case and search for the motherboard model.
That means you need DDR1 RAM, PC2700 will run with 166MHz (333 effective), PC3200 will run with 200MHz (400MHz effective).
The slowest RAM in the system will determine the speed for all other RAMs. So if you have the choice go for PC3200.
Keep in mind that it may be unreasonable to spend much money on such old systems, you will get faster machines relatively cheap.