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Old 04-07-2006, 06:21 PM   #1
Zachman
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Distro for old Laptop


I hope someone out there can help me. I have an old laptop that I would like to tinker around on with Linux, but I need help choosing a distro that it can handle.

It is a PII 333mHz with 64mb of RAMand about 2-3 gb HD (I'm at work right now I can't remember exactly, sorry). Right now its curremtly running Windows2000 albeit a bit slowly. The sole purposes of this machine would be surfing the net (firefox is prefered, thats what I'm using now), using openoffice on occasion, and sometimes as a remote desktop for my homemade PVR.

Since it is a laptop and I don't have any cable run upstairs, wireless is a must. I currently have a wifi card in my PCMCIA slot.

If someone could help me with picking a distro with a good support forum that my machine will handle OK, I'd appreciate it. Also am I biting off too much by wanting wifi as a complete noob. I realize I have a lot to learn, but the computer is functioning right now and it would be nice to not have it offline for along time.

TIA
 
Old 04-07-2006, 07:05 PM   #2
tamoneya
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i would go for vector linux. It is a small lightweight distro and should run well with the slower processor. If you have trouble with that go for Damn Small Linux which is designed to be run of a cd but can be installed on the harddrive if you wish.
DSL however only has 2.4.x right now as opposed to vector which has 2.6.x
 
Old 04-07-2006, 07:12 PM   #3
Zachman
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thanks tmaoneya, I was just over at vectors site poking around. I'll prob go that route. Can someone help me determine how tough it will be to set up wifi? Apparently my card manufacturer doesn't support Linux but the support webpage states that the card is Atheros based and may work with MADWIFI. I have some more looking to even find out what that means

I'm a total newbie, but will prob run off a live CD this weekend to play around. I'll see what I can come up with.
 
Old 04-07-2006, 07:25 PM   #4
bosewicht
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i had a older laptop as well, similar specs and i put vector on it and was suprised how fast it turned out to be. Setting up wifi, should be easy too. I used ndiswrapper in my case and no issues at all. search around the forums here if you get stuck. there are tons of posts on that.
 
Old 04-07-2006, 07:36 PM   #5
Zachman
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thanks you two. I'll try and dive in this weekend. Sorry about the "Which Distro" question. I looked around and wasn't 100% satisfied with what I found
 
Old 04-07-2006, 08:18 PM   #6
tamoneya
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definately start with NDISwrapper and if that doesnt work you should look up your internal wifi card in the Hardware compatibilty list. Other users who have the same card often post tips on how they got it working. Sometimes it is just a little thing and can easily be fixed thanks to their tips.
 
Old 04-08-2006, 12:00 PM   #7
Wynd
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I have an old laptop that I put Slackware 10.2 on with Fluxbox as the WM and a minimum of packages and it runs fine. The laptop is a bit better than yours (AMD K6 550MHz, 64 MB RAM, 5GB HDD) but it should run OK on yours. I dunno how well OpenOffice will fare on yours though.
 
Old 04-10-2006, 11:56 AM   #8
Zachman
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thanks for all the responses. Unfortunately my wife banned me from all computer activities this weekend. I look forward to getting into this though.

Tamoneya, its actually a PCMCIA wifi card, and it was dirt cheap so if I had to replce it to get it to work I wouldn't shed too many tears.

Wynd, I've used OO with windoze and its a little slow, but for asmuch as I need it its been OK. Curious to see how it will work though

Thanks again for all the responses
 
Old 04-11-2006, 01:46 PM   #9
MoonMind
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Registered: May 2005
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If you need to go with 64MB RAM and X, I'd recommend DamnSmallLinux (DSL); I run that on a 233MMX with 64MB RAM, and it comes with ndiswrapper, so if you can get your hands on the WinDoze drivers, you should be able to get wifi running; DSL comes with lots of useful scripts.
 
Old 04-11-2006, 02:27 PM   #10
DeusExLinux
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Madwifi is fairly easy to compile and install. I've used it or the past year or so, and it's always worked for me. I've never had an issue with it (aside from some compilation errors, but those aren't that bad).
 
Old 04-12-2006, 01:18 PM   #11
Zachman
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Thanks to everyone who replied. I'll have to do some playing, but I appreciate all the help. What a great community and forum!!
 
Old 04-12-2006, 02:08 PM   #12
demented_are_go
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For some reason I always run slack on laptops. It always runs just fine, I had an old p1 thinkpad in the past and that's what it was running.
 
  


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