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Old 06-01-2002, 04:15 PM   #1
bkeating
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Community Help


I've finally been given the chance to prove to the local school district that converting to Linux is a _good_ thing. They are letting me take a machine from there 2nd grade classroom home for the summer to install linux and 2nd grade related applications for them to use but the problem is.. it's a 133mhz with 31 megs of ram. IBM Personal Computer 750.

I really really need you guys to help me out with this. I've never compiled my own kernel n such and i have a feel i'll have to do everything possible to make this run decent.

First things first, Can I have your opinions on the machine? Is it doable? I'd like to use KDE but i know KDe is a hog.. but if it's possible....

I can get SOME ram and _maybe_ a new processor but damn...

If it wasn't for lq.org tho, i don't think i'd have the guts to take them up on this challenge. thank you all for the help in the past and thank you in advanced for this project.

Ben.
 
Old 06-01-2002, 05:04 PM   #2
dorward
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Its possible, but I would think KDE is a big no no. You should trim whereever possible.

Get rid of any servers that you don't need. Use a very minimal window manager, possibly openbox. You could look in to using Rox Desktop (http://rox.sf.net/) if you want desktop icons.
 
Old 06-01-2002, 05:27 PM   #3
jpweston
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bkeating,

Congrats on getting the school district to give you this chance!

Now, about that machine....
If you're able to beef up the RAM a bit - ok, quite a bit, you'll be better off for setting that box up as a workstation. Since you mentioned that 2nd grade related applications would be running on that, I'm thinking that those would have a lot of pictures and sound. That will most likely mean needing to set up a low-end multimedia workstation - one that is at least capable of sound and can render good video.

Is the box you've brought home representative of the hardware currently present in the district? If not, I'd look into getting a box that is representative of the hardware level. It may end up being easier to work with. If nothing else, see if you can get an idea of what the average hardware level is.

Also, you can look into something like the K12 Linux Terminal Server Project:

http://k12ltsp.org/contents.html

A set up like that would allow a box like the one you have to act as a thin-client and the apps can run on a workhorse server. I believe this is being used in a few Oregon school districts.

Here are some questions I have:

- What kind of setup is the school district looking for (i.e. what kind of system do they currently have)?

- Who will be the primary users of the machines?

- What apps will need to be run?

Answers to those may help clarify how important a gui desktop environment will be -and- what the likelihood will be that new/more hardware will need to be purchased.

j.

Last edited by jpweston; 06-01-2002 at 05:28 PM.
 
Old 06-01-2002, 05:29 PM   #4
Mara
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The processor is OK, but some more RAM will be a good thing.
 
Old 06-02-2002, 03:05 AM   #5
Psycho
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Congratulations I think They sure didn't give you much to work with. It would make a fairly decent thin client with some ram though.

Someone has to have some ram sitting around that will go into that puppy. I forget what's something like that take? You know the short ones that you install in pairs
 
Old 06-02-2002, 05:31 AM   #6
bkeating
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Thank you for all the respones, Im looking into the links provided and I will keep you all updated as soon as I get some sleep. Had a few graduation parties this saturday and im STILL up.

The box I was given is low end compared to what they have BUT it's this box and 2nd grade class that will help me with my fight to win linux over with the school board directors. THEY are the ones being sluggish with this all, the teachers, students and parents all want to give it a shot, it's the School Board that's being all iffy so... While I argu my point to them, I will also have some 'internal' proof that we're putting an old machine to more work then there 600mhz machines running window$. The teacher and other teachers in the school im focusing in on are all being extremely supportive.

All I want is to give the students the tools needed to keep their mind inspired. Even if it first takes a 133 to do it.

Ram is EDO Parity (i think, haven't looked but it was made in 1996... early 1996 cuase theirs no USB).

Talk to you all after I get some sleep and thank you so much!

Ben
 
Old 06-02-2002, 06:02 AM   #7
MasterC
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I have 32mb if you want it?
 
Old 06-02-2002, 06:05 AM   #8
DavidPhillips
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Someone I know wanted to try linux a while back and decided to try it on a 100 MHz machine, but wanted all the bells and whistles. Of course it was too slow and practically useless.
 
Old 06-02-2002, 07:46 AM   #9
NSKL
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i got KDE and to work (kinda slow, but still working) on a 486 MX 200MHZ 32 mb RAM. I switched to Blackbox then and it was much nicer. I suggest you use a less heavy window manager such as blackbox. Also as someone posted before ROX looks like very user friendly solution, but i dont know how heavy it is on the resources.
Good Luck!
-NSKL
 
Old 06-02-2002, 04:15 PM   #10
bkeating
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Yea, an alternative to KDE is probably what I'll ahve to do but I waas really hoping I could stick with KDE. I've created a small theme to skint he GUI to look like XP. Definetly need the desktop icons and taskbar, virtual windows aren't needed. Would blackbox be able to pull off a XP theme?

As for that Ram MasterC.. if you'd be able to donate it that'd be awesome. Not sure what I can do to return the favor but I know i'll be on this forum for many many years, im sure we'll come across something.

email: ben@digitalsimplicity.com

More Thanks
Ben
 
Old 06-02-2002, 06:13 PM   #11
DavidPhillips
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wmaker is really nice. You would need to get over the windows stuff, but the menus in wmaker are great. Instead of a taskbar it uses icons, the desktop can be customized however you want.

If you want to load a panel in it with a taskbar app then you can but that's one reason why KDE is using so much resources. The gnome panel is a little easier on a system if you keep it clean.

Last edited by DavidPhillips; 06-02-2002 at 06:15 PM.
 
Old 06-03-2002, 04:32 PM   #12
bkeating
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Good news for the project!!!!

I finally got the chance to open it up and theirs 1 sdram dimm slot + 4 simms. I think im going to get a stick of 128 for it AND heres my question...

It's a socket7, I cannot find /any/ documentation on it but you think i could through in a higher CPU? I'll look for jumpers n charts printed on the mobo but im not sure if i'll find anything.

Whats the highest CPU for socket7 btw?
 
Old 06-03-2002, 04:54 PM   #13
Dunkalis
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I'm going to try this with my school district, but I'm just a high-schooler there. Its very big, and can anyone give me any ideas on how to go about doing this? I'm also posting this on Ask Slashdot, just to let you know.
 
Old 06-03-2002, 05:06 PM   #14
DavidPhillips
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The biggest mistake you can make is doing it on a slow machine. People will hate it if it seems too slow.

If you could install XP on the same machine it would probably be just as bad, but noone will think of it that way.
 
Old 06-03-2002, 06:54 PM   #15
bkeating
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I've been searching allll day today and the only information i can find on this machine is irrelevant.

Exact make is:

IBM PC 700 Series | 750 6887-VAG NOTHING about CPU info and minimal ram info thats not really useable.

As for you bringing up linux at your local school district, best place to start is attend and present a small speech at their school board meetings. Tell them how much savings would be involved AND find a few stories about other schools converting. The recent article about Oregon is excellent, it gives a lot of figures). Search slashdot for more school related stuff. Even microsoft and point out all the bad things about therei forced auditing, etc. You'll do good. Just keep at it and tell them it'd save a LOT of money.

Post more questions here on lq.org and we'll all help you out.
 
  


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