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Hi everyone. I'm new to the forum and I had a question. Mods, if this question needs to be moved over to the Distro forum, please feel free to do so with my apologies.
I have an old Satellite Pro 4600 that needs some TLC. The HD is messed up I think because it won't fully boot the OS (Windows 2000) and just gets hung up in a loop, trying to restart itself. The other laptop had the same issue and a new HD fixed it. So I expect I'll do that, and probably upgrade the memory from 256 to 512 (its max). I think I'd like to either let my son use it as a WP for homework, or maybe do something more creative with it like turn it into the guts for a kitchen kiosk.
For the kiosk idea, I want to get myself a larger LCD monitor and a touch-screen kit for it and one of those skinny silicone keyboards. I'll mount the monitor on the wall. This system would act as a kind of family 'hub' with such things as Google Earth/Maps, Address Book, Email, Mediaplayer/Jukebox (hooked up to some speakers around the kitchen), Family Organizer (appointment calendar, homework manager, to-do list), and maybe some kind of VOIP manager, too. We don't have VOIP yet (we're on satellite) but we hope to someday soon. I don't know if the sound and video cards are up to the job or not, though, or if there's any way to upgrade these.
Anyway, I'm done with Windows 2000! And I'm not paying to install any other version of Windows. I'm looking for a FAST, lightweight, robust OS that has some nice eye-candy and is customizable. I am NOT a developer and by "customize" I mean some way to change or even create desktop themes. I'm pretty handy with HTML and CSS, but I wish I knew more about the programming end of things so that I could create actual programsto do what I want. Anyhow, I'm thinking of running something like Puppy or Mint. Do these sound like good options? Which one would you recommend? My system has a max of 512MB RAM, 1GB processor, and shortly a minimum 40GB HD. I have no idea about the sound and video cards, but I believe it has a WiFi card. Is there anything else I'm going to need?
I have one I mothballed a while back because it seemed to stop booting at all. After I set up a boot floppy it ran fine from the hard disk installed O/S's - both Win2K and Ubuntu.
That was a full (gnome) Ubuntu (a tad slow), so Mint should run fine. You shouldn't need to go to Puppy, but I liked that too when I tested it a couple of years back (different box).
Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I'm not really sure what the difference is between Puppy and Mint, practically speaking, having never used either. In fact, I've never used Linux period. What do I have to give up if I want to run Puppy instead of Mint? Is it actually less powerful, or am I just going to be losing some of the frills? Like I said, this computer's new life will be a fairly simple one.
I'm still googling to try and find out about the upgradability of the sound and video cards. I wouldn't bet the farm on it, though.
Puppy is primarily aimed at smaller systems - yep, smaller than yours. Even the utilities (browser, word processor ...) are smaller faster choices - not necessarily the most commonly used. Still good - maybe better than popularly used - but may not react the way you might expect if you search and find howto's that describe more popular software.
Mint is a Ubuntu derivative - that means it has a popular basis plus some extra like DVD playing "out of the box".
I have Toshiba Satellite Pro 4600
Ubuntu 9.04 works like clocks
Ram 256 MB
HDD 30 GB
Intel Pentium 3
All features work perfectly except Built-in Video Card, but I found solution to fix it and now I write this post with this monster! I don't know why, but Internet Connection with Toshiba Twice faster than any other laptop even new one!! It loads up to full Internet speed channel. Which is imposable with windows, because they have speed limitation no matter what connection speed you have. But interesting thin is that my 4600 Pro goes crazy with ubuntu... I never in my life had such a good speed...