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Old 05-06-2008, 04:37 AM   #1
Metal_Merlin
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Pentium One Project


I have an old old computer - a Pentium One 120Mhz processor. Bought it somewhere around '96.

It's got Windows 95 on it (which at one point of time was the coolest thing in the world).

Anyway it's lying around collecting dust and I was wondering if I could do more with it than convert it to a thin client or put a Damn Small Linux kind of distro on it.

I'm an engineering student and kind of a geek, plus I already have Fedora 8 installed on an old P3 processor so don't really need another normal workstation terminal..

Any ideas for projects or something to revive the old faithful?
 
Old 05-06-2008, 06:44 AM   #2
corbintechboy
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There are tons of things you could do with old computers. I like to play with them to see what they are still capable of.

You never did say how much ram it has, this will be the most important factor.
 
Old 05-06-2008, 06:47 AM   #3
ronlau9
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Pentium One Project

It depends what have in mind
You,re a student well I remember when my boys were still at home we use
it running our railway and take care off the central heating at the some
time and all that kind of things
you really do not need a fast computer to do such things but a lot of programming and building sensors and interfaces
But it just on idea
Hope fully I gave some ideas

regards
ronlau
 
Old 05-06-2008, 07:18 AM   #4
ischi
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You could use it as a really save Firewall/Router (Maybe run OpenBSD), Printserver, Small fileserver ( depends on your needs and RAM ), Serve a Wiki at home, Use as a sync Server (Unison -> Sync all machines to this Server and back), A local IRC/Jabber server just for you and friends, Learns how to setup Apache/Mail and so on.

You see there is a ton to do with such a machine

I Personally got a PC like this at home (but PII 450MHz) which does my routing, Firewall, Filesharing, Downloads (via Web interface)

Just some Ideas
 
Old 05-06-2008, 07:30 AM   #5
IsaacKuo
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I took an old Pentium 120, crammed it with 48megs of RAM, and converted it into a silent diskless X terminal. Unfortunately, it does make some noice upon boot as it loads up PXE from the boot floppy, but other than that, it's solid state and SILENT.

Removing the hard drive essentially left twe LOUD moving parts--the PSU fan and the CPU fan. I simply removed those fans. Passive cooling is adequate. (I also scrounged up the biggest Pentium heat sink I had lying around, and I have plenty of spare AT PSU's in case this one burns up.)
 
Old 05-06-2008, 10:32 AM   #6
SlowCoder
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I wouldn't recommend you silence it by removing the fans. If the processor didn't need fans, they wouldn't be installed in the first place. Besides, you can purchase quiet fans relatively cheaply if quiet is the direction you want to go.

So, yeah, turning it into a firewall is a good solution for your old pc. You can really tweak the firewall settings, unlike most user-level routers.

Maybe you don't want just another terminal, but have you considered throne room access to the Internet? You know ... Gotta go sit, but you're right in the middle of that youtube video, and you don't want to break from it?
 
Old 05-06-2008, 11:02 AM   #7
Emerson
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I had an old Cyrix 486 (effectively 386) running webfsd as web server. With 80 GB HDD (was not recognized in BIOS, but who cares) it served happily all my photo albums and music to everybody on the LAN and internet. Until it died .
 
Old 05-06-2008, 11:06 AM   #8
IsaacKuo
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I absolutely would recommend removing the fans. Bear in mind, I'm experienced at quiet and silent PC modifications/builds. I've yet to meet a Pentium, Pentium II, or Pentium III that couldn't survive going fanless. With a PII or PIII, enough heat is generated that at least one fan in the system is still a good idea (for example, the PSU fan, undervolted to 5v for quietness). However, an old Pentium system can survive going completely fanless. Sure, it's not a good idea for an important system, but we're talking about an old piece of junk.

For a system which you'd spend money on, then sure, you can buy quiet fans or modify the old fans to reduce the speed. But if you want SILENCE for this old junk system at zero cost, fan removal is the way to go.

My first PC compatible was a Pentium 100, and I had inadvertently run it for years without a working PSU fan. I never noticed due to the screaming hard drive. Heat buildup managed to kill a couple CD drives. I eventually noticed the PSU fan wasn't actually spinning, which explained why CD drives kept dying on me.
 
Old 05-07-2008, 01:59 AM   #9
Metal_Merlin
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Ronlau can you please post some links which will help me get started on building the sensors and suggest some DIY projects for the same? I am familiar with C and Java.

Ischi/SlowCoder (or anybody else) can you help me on how to fix up a firewall/router of this pc?

Also I don't have an ethernet hub at home - will that affect anything? As in, are there any alternate ways to connect this? Will I need a wireless card to make this into a firewall/router/sync server? (The 3 ideas I liked the best). And which distro will support all these functions - will DSL do? Or as suggested, will OpenBSD work on such a low config?

I haven't been home for a while so I'll post the RAM in a few hours and let y'all know!

IsaacKuo what are the advantages of making a silent diskless terminal with respect to the above questions and otherwise?

I'm open to reading links, I'm Googling but can't find the right advice. If anyone's familiar with anything I'm a knowledge hungry freak (still a Newbie though). Sort of a revival of interest in computers and open source in particular.

Thanks all..
Merlin
 
Old 05-07-2008, 02:51 AM   #10
ischi
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I have a router/firewall/sync Server Running on Gentoo. Since you can really build a costum system its nice for such an old machine, OpenBSD will also run fine (remenber you don't need X for that) but I would recommend OpenBSD maily for a firewall, but not for a multi purpose machine.
Check out the Gentoo Wiki http://gentoo-wiki.com/
HowToforge http://howtoforge.com/

For Sync I use Unsion, Firewall/Router IPtables.

What you need in your machine to set up a nice Router/firewall are 2 Network devices, simply pop in 2x 100MBit Cards and your good to go.

MFG
 
Old 05-07-2008, 10:10 AM   #11
IsaacKuo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal_Merlin View Post
Ischi/SlowCoder (or anybody else) can you help me on how to fix up a firewall/router of this pc?

Also I don't have an ethernet hub at home - will that affect anything? As in, are there any alternate ways to connect this?
How many computers do you want to connect, total? If it's just going to be your main computer and this old Pentium, then you'll need two ethernet cards in the Pentium and another ethernet cable (this cable might need to be a cross-over cable if none of your ethernet adapters have auto-negotiate cross-over capability). You do not need an ethernet hub for this.
Quote:
Will I need a wireless card to make this into a firewall/router/sync server?
No.
Quote:
And which distro will support all these functions - will DSL do? Or as suggested, will OpenBSD work on such a low config?
I don't know if DSL will do, but a "normal" distribution like Debian or Slackware will be able to.
Quote:
IsaacKuo what are the advantages of making a silent diskless terminal with respect to the above questions and otherwise?
I would not recommend going diskless if you intend to use this Pentium as a router. It will make your life more difficult, because you'll need to turn on its file/boot server on first. Thus, that computer will be booted up without an internet connection. Only then would you be able to boot up the diskless Pentium.

Since you don't have an ethernet hub, I'm going to assume that you do not have a main file server or spare computers lying around. If you did, then it would be practical to convert the file server or put together a new server. But since you don't, I suppose you currently just have your main workstation or laptop. You probably don't want to complicate your life by using your main workstation or laptop as a server.
 
Old 05-07-2008, 12:37 PM   #12
SlowCoder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal_Merlin View Post
Ronlau can you please post some links which will help me get started on building the sensors and suggest some DIY projects for the same? I am familiar with C and Java.

Ischi/SlowCoder (or anybody else) can you help me on how to fix up a firewall/router of this pc?

Also I don't have an ethernet hub at home - will that affect anything? As in, are there any alternate ways to connect this? Will I need a wireless card to make this into a firewall/router/sync server? (The 3 ideas I liked the best). And which distro will support all these functions - will DSL do? Or as suggested, will OpenBSD work on such a low config?

I haven't been home for a while so I'll post the RAM in a few hours and let y'all know!

IsaacKuo what are the advantages of making a silent diskless terminal with respect to the above questions and otherwise?

I'm open to reading links, I'm Googling but can't find the right advice. If anyone's familiar with anything I'm a knowledge hungry freak (still a Newbie though). Sort of a revival of interest in computers and open source in particular.

Thanks all..
Merlin
Like IsaacKuo, it sounds to me like you only have one other computer. The fact that you don't have a hub also strengthens the likelyhood that you don't have any protection between your other computer and the Internet. This is a bad scenario, and I would definitely recommend that you convert the old machine to a firewall.

At work I'm running CentOS 5 in runlevel 3 (no GUI) as a listserver with just 64M RAM, and it's working fine. It's when you get into GUIs that you really need the extra RAM. I recommend that you research IPTables. There is also the Smoothwall Express option, which runs as a LiveCD, therefore you should be able to go diskless if you want. You'd just need a CDROM drive.

You can purchase a second NIC (ethernet card) for less than $20 these days.
 
Old 05-08-2008, 02:05 AM   #13
ronlau9
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Pentium One Project

First the programming language you can do it with a C compiler
C compiler is at the basic of every language but we go for PascaL
At that time why do not have a internet connection , so we do not have a other choice than magazines
As a starting point the magazine we use in that days is still there , what his quality now is I do not know you can find it at Elektor.org

We use it to give us ideas how to solve our problem ,but some times they have a print lay out that suit us well and than we have the choice to make the print our self or buy it
But there must be more out there

regards

ron lau
 
  


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