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Old 04-21-2009, 10:01 AM   #1
tired_of_windows
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Distribution: Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon
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best version for old computer


problem in post #12 solved, see post 15

hi all,

i have an old machine that runs win 98, i'd like to install a version of linux on it and use it for a learning tool. here's the setup:

350 MHz Pentium II 512K L2 cache

64 MB 100 MHz SDRAM

8.4 GB ATA hard drive ( primary )

32 bit Ultra ATA hard drive controller

1.44MB 3.5" floppy drive

32x CD - ROM drive

SMC 1211TX lan card driver ver 1.06

8MB nVidia Riva 128 video card

64 voice maestro sound card

mouse, keyboard on the motherboard

any suggestions for a good version to install? i want to use it for web browsing, email, C programming and eventually get it on the home network, might play with mp3s and jpeg files. i did post an intro on myself, i hope this stupid windows machine didn't lose it. also, pls point to tutorials on iso's, live discs, etc.

thanx,
tired_of_windows

btw, "distribution" in the user profile should read "none"

Last edited by tired_of_windows; 11-14-2009 at 03:55 PM. Reason: distribution in user profile wrong
 
Old 04-21-2009, 10:13 AM   #2
eco
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Hi and welcome to the forum

Gentoo is good but you have to compile everything and the installation is not that easy but it's great for learning.

Better might be Debian or even Slackware. Most distros should run on the box but I'd avoid a graphical display if I where you.
 
Old 04-21-2009, 12:43 PM   #3
farslayer
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DSL
Puppy
Vector
Austrumi
Slax


More RAM would help a lot..


Distrowatch Search Distros for Old Computers



Heres the ISO tutorial you requested..

.

Last edited by farslayer; 04-21-2009 at 12:45 PM.
 
Old 04-21-2009, 12:48 PM   #4
linus72
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I would also say Slitaz-2.0 and Tinycore-1.3
 
Old 04-21-2009, 12:54 PM   #5
inspiron_Droid
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My vote goes to debian with a low end grafical user interface such as xfce or lxde.

More ram would help you alot and it would also help us greatly if we knew the Manfacturer and Model names. You might be able to find some memory on either crucial or kingston.

Thanks,
NewBirth88
 
Old 04-23-2009, 10:54 AM   #6
tired_of_windows
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hardware notes

hmm.. sounds like i need a newer old computer. that may be possible since i know people who throw their windows machines out after they slow down with crapware. my old machine is a micron millenia 350, and right now the cd - rom doesn't want to work. i do have a second and even slower old machine, maybe i can swap parts or play with drivers. i'll be on the side for a while, will dig up bios version and also look into memory modules. thanks to all.
 
Old 04-23-2009, 02:09 PM   #7
farslayer
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For grins download the austrumi live CD it's only 96MB after all.. Booted and running entirely in memory on a PC here it is using 36MB of RAM and is rather responsive even on this PIII 500.

I honestly think it will run OK on your system, although more memory always helps.

won't know till you try it, nothing to loose. at worst it will run slow.
 
Old 05-01-2009, 07:00 AM   #8
tired_of_windows
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plan b

hi all,

between memory and the cd - rom, it's looking to be about $80 to make the old machine worth using. plan b would be to "money" out of the situation with a new low - end machine, for $250 micro center offers:

PowerSpec N 101

Operating System Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Desktop Edition

Processor Intel® Celeron® Processor 440

Processor Speed 2.0GHz

Level 2 Cache 512KB Level 2 Cache

Data Bus Speed 800MHz Frontside Bus

RAM Installed / Max RAM Supported 1GB DDR2 RAM (Expandable to 4GB)

Memory Configuration (1) 1GB DIMM Memory Module

Memory Slots Total 2

Memory Slots Available (1) Available 240-pin DIMM Slot

Hard Drive 160GB 7,200RPM Ultra ATA Hard Drive

Multimedia Drive Supermulti 8x DVD+R DL; 8x DVD-R DL; 22x8x16 DVD+RW; 22x6x16 DVD-R; 12x12 DVD-RAM; 48x32x48 CD-RW

Network Features 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet Network

used systems go for $100 - $250 around here.
any comments on this machine? farslayer, there's a micro center in mayfield heights, do u know anyone with a powerspec? the celeron shouldn't be much of an issue, the heaviest load i might put on it would be some jpeg and raw file tweaking, no video.

thanx,
t_o_w
 
Old 05-01-2009, 07:43 AM   #9
onebuck
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Hi,

Actually the original 'old machine' hardware would work with 'Slackware®'. I would use 'XFCE' instead of 'KDE' if you must have a desktop. If you really want to learn something other than a GUI then you should start learning the cli by using 'Linux Command Guide' or 'Linux Newbie Admin Guide'.

Your installation may need some tweaking but it's doable.

These links and others are available from 'Slackware-Links'. More than just Slackware® links!
 
Old 05-01-2009, 08:03 AM   #10
student2501
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Debian proper "netinst" image i386 with a minimal base install with no desktop environment. Once installed you can download a windows manager manually. After you learn the basics here is a link from the debian forums...
http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=5450

When it comes to older systems using Debian "Lou" is one of the most experienced gurus I know on the subject. His documentation is specifically geared towards squeezing the most performance out of his old P2 system.

Last edited by student2501; 05-01-2009 at 09:04 AM.
 
Old 05-01-2009, 11:49 AM   #11
farslayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tired_of_windows View Post
farslayer, there's a micro center in mayfield heights, do u know anyone with a powerspec? the celeron shouldn't be much of an issue, the heaviest load i might put on it would be some jpeg and raw file tweaking, no video.

thanx,
t_o_w
I'm definitely familiar with Microcenter in Mayfield. I Used to spend hours wandering around in there

I haven't purchased any of the powerspec machines as I tend to build my own systems. The powerspec machines don't look bad overall though. Powerspec would be what is referred to as a white box machine. Uses standard motherboard, and components so you can swap em and upgrade as you move on. OEM systems such as Dell and Compaq use some proprietary motherboards so you are stuck with what is in the box.

The USED Dell and Compaq machines they sell are definitely a bargain if you are looking for a decent low end machine for not much cash. I've purchased used Dells for the office before and they worked pretty well with Linux.



SO exactly what kind of memory do you need ? and where abouts in Ohio are you ?

I have some old memory and a CDROM laying around I could part with (it's not doing me any good just sitting in a box) if you are nearby and wanted to pick it up I could part with it easily.. I work in Willoughby off of Lost nation Road.


Decent refurb systems from MicroCenter, that won't break the bank
http://www.microcenter.com/single_pr...uct_id=0307585 - $120.00 - 1.7Ghz / 256MB
http://www.microcenter.com/single_pr...uct_id=0307988 - $160.00 - 2.8Ghz / 512MB
http://www.microcenter.com/single_pr...uct_id=0309707 - $170.00 - 2.4Ghz / 512MB

Of course the upside to buying the new machine..
http://www.microcenter.com/single_pr...uct_id=0307517
More RAM
1 Year warranty
Bigger Hard drive
Linux Pre-installed DVD Burner

Last edited by farslayer; 05-01-2009 at 12:03 PM.
 
Old 06-02-2009, 07:50 PM   #12
tired_of_windows
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internet / network connection drops out

hi all,

the old micron machine mentioned before will be used to install Slack or DSL at a later date

here's the machine i ended up with:
dell dimension 8200
P4 1.7GHz
BIOS Version/Date Dell Computer Corporation A01, 9/18/2001
SMBIOS Version 2.3
256 MB RDRAM
40 GB Maxtor F040L0 hard drive
LG CRD8482B 1.05 DVD/CD-ROM
CNet PRO200WL PCI Fast Ethernet lan card
Conexant HCF V90 56K Data Fax PCI Modem
Intel 82801BA/BAM usb Universal Host Controller

i updated the memory to 512 MB, windows xp, and the bios recognized it,
debian system monitor lists memory as 503.7MiB. i was careful about matching the RDRAM modules

this thing is a total guinea pig, i just blew windows
off of it and did a net install of debian 501 i386 this morning, md5sum for the iso was good.

gentlemen, you are seeing a common condition know as "newbie overload"

uname -r output; linux kernel is 2.6.26-2-686

the main problem is that the internet / network connection works briefly and then drops out.

my internet connection is from a cable modem through a linksys router
if i boot the router or unplug / plug in the ethernet cable on the back of the linux machine
i can get on the internet from iceweasel, get to some websites, and ping the router , the IP address for google or linuxquestions.org.
the network and / or internet connection lasts for about 45 seconds and then
"the network has been disconnected" dialog box comes up in the standard GNOME 2.22.3 desktop.
i could access the internet OK under windows xp on this machine without having to reconfig the router.
my guess is that I have a driver issue, the old windows system info says:

Name [00000001] CNet PRO200WL PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter
Adapter Type Ethernet 802.3
Product Type CNet PRO200WL PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter

i can't export the lspci output right now except for this keyboard, lspci lists the
ethernet controller as: Davicom Semiconductor, Inc. 21x4 DEC -Tulip compatible 10 / 100 Ethernet (rev 31)

i don't think i have k3b on the system, the only transferrable media between the debian desktop and the
windows network is a cd - rom, i wasn't able to burn the lspci output to the cd -rom using gedit, and right now the cd - rom
won't eject. i was able to play mp3 files with it and open DOS text files earlier. might work after a reboot.
i did download the first 3 debian 501-i386 cd isos as a precaution and the cd package lists.
i can't claim any expertise with the GNOME desktop or networking in general. it seems to be a good install, here's the questions:

1. anyone seen this problem before and have a suggestion?

2. i didn't enter a proxy server during the install, didn't think i needed to. can this be part of the problem?

3. if i have to can i do a fresh install over this one and pick some different options?

thanx,
t_o_w

p.s. the usb support is great so i can post command line output if needed. meanwhile sound juicer is providing relaxation..

Last edited by tired_of_windows; 06-02-2009 at 08:52 PM. Reason: kept trying
 
Old 06-03-2009, 01:39 AM   #13
rikxik
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Well, if you are ready to fork few bits more you can get a USB wi-fi dongle (as you said, atleast the usb support is working). I'm assuming your linksys router has wifi..
 
Old 06-03-2009, 08:11 AM   #14
onebuck
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Hi,

What's the output of 'ifconfig -a' for the system before and after the network stops? What about restarting the inet? Try either 'Slax', 'Knoppix' or even 'SystemRescueCD' which are Livecd. See what is recognized for your Ethernet and wireless. Post the 'dmesg' portion for the device(s)in question, 'route -n' and 'ifconfig -a' for the system. It's nice to have a Livecd to diagnose and repair a system. The Slackware install cd/dvd can be used for repairs.

What distro are you using when the problem occurs?

These links and others can be found at 'Slackware-Links'. More than just Slackware® links!
 
Old 06-03-2009, 08:23 AM   #15
farslayer
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Davicom Semiconductor.. sometimes mis-detected as tulip.

Might want to check what module it is using. if it's using the tulip module remove it and insert dmfe in it's place.

if that resolves the issue then blacklist the tulip module.

ifdown eth0
rmmod tulip
rmmod dmfe
modprobe dmfe
ifup eth0


How-to Blacklist modules in Debian.
http://wiki.debian.org/KernelModuleBlacklisting


Let us know if that works out for you.

Cheers !!
 
  


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