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Old 05-05-2006, 10:15 PM   #1
9box
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Registered: May 2006
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Question HI, nu noob here in need of help


Hi folks, new to linux, so new in fact that i have not yet (knowingly) used or certainly installed it anywhere, but hope that with all of your help and my determination to LEARN, i will have this shameful veil of ignorance lifted from mine eyes.
Dont know from whence it came, but felt this strong attraction to linux, drawing me towards this site and others not unlike. Got an old win box which tho older than, matches the minimum specification for XP. I'd like to restore this box to an active life by learning, configuring, installing, using, and networking it to this XP box wirelessly for web surfing, open office, file and printer sharing etc.
At the moment have got my head under the bonnet to see what lurks beneath, in order to match the distro to the specs of this machine. So far i've found a pentium mmx 233mhz processor, AN430TX chipset, mobo maxxed out at 256mb ram, 3.2 + 80Gb ide hard drives hda1, hda2? Basically id like to restore it in much the same way some do to old cars, and get it going again. I Like Debian, but "will it fit in the motor sir?"
Think of me as the spotty faced teenager who has just got his driving licence and wants to tear around town in an old banger that he has obviously souped up.
It's got to beat Xp boxes hands down, while retaining the same engine(processor) what are my chances? Can this be done, help needed on what hardware bits i will need to do all of the above, and ofcourse learn linux. Thanks to all.
 
Old 05-05-2006, 11:24 PM   #2
Cogar
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Registered: Oct 2005
Location: It varies, but usually within 100 feet of a keyboard.
Distribution: Fedora 10, Kubuntu 8.04, Puppy 4.1.2, openSUSE 11.2
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Although the newer Linux distributions are not as power hungry as Windows XP, I believe you will find that with an older machine like this you will not get very good performance with any modern distribution, unless you use a command line interface. After all, a 233MHz machine probably shipped with Windows 95, which is a whole lot "lighter" than XP or any of the modern Linux distributions with a GUI desktop environment (KDE or GNOME).

Regarding recommendations, I have found SUSE Linux the easiest distro to set up wireless, but with a machine that old, I doubt that you could even load SUSE 10.0 (no offense intended). Ubuntu is a popular distribution, relatively easy for a newb to install, and modestly "light" so I would make that my first recommendation. Good luck in any case.
 
Old 05-06-2006, 12:13 AM   #3
DeusExLinux
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Registered: May 2004
Location: Tampa, Fl
Distribution: Arch
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if you can get the cli to work, then linux works. It's just a matter of the speed of X, and you should be able to get a light WM/DE instead of something as resource intensive as KDE or Gnome. XFCe is pretty good and pretty light.

all in all, you should be able to get one of many Linux distros on there. I installed Arch on a laptop with spec similar to that, with XFCe, worked great. Still slower, but it was acceptable. You might want to look into Vector Linux, or Puppy Linux, both a great distros for computers that aren't quite top of the line. You can also streamline Arch (but it takes a bit of time to config)

Last edited by DeusExLinux; 05-06-2006 at 12:15 AM.
 
Old 05-06-2006, 06:17 AM   #4
9box
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Registered: May 2006
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Big thanks to cogar and deusExLinux for the kind words and encouragement given above, however, more questions than answers have been raised by your responses. Whilst i really want to learn Linux, at home here everything that i do has got to work. I want music,i want "normal" office stuff, i want pictures, i want internet, i want to be green and use just one printer between two possibly more boxes, i dont want wires, i want security, yet funtionality.
I feel duty bound to study Debian because that was the 1st distro that i came accross on my road to enlightenment. If the above box does not enable me to acheive this,can i upgrade? why waste a perfectly good processor, old though it is? If i cannot at the moment go with a "fully featured" distro, and decide to go sans gui desktop, will i be to achieve all the functionality mentioned above? Maybe its time to move over to the "linux Distribution" area. Anyway thanks folks for your kind words again.
 
Old 05-06-2006, 06:43 AM   #5
bernied
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Registered: Mar 2006
Location: Edinburgh, UK
Distribution: debian
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Some small words of advice to make your life easier:
- try to set up a network environment that will be easy for linux to comprehend. Two PCI cards and a crossover cable won't come to much, put an extra LAN card in the windows machine then let windows join them together, and put one in the linux box. Linux wants to be connected to a network and to the internet. Much easier for you if you can do that first, then you can stay online while you're trying to figure out the wireless and the internet connection sharing (if I'm right in thinking that's what you intend to do). Even better would be a DSL connection straight into a modem/router wireless-access-point box. Then you've got firewall, wired and wireless connections and a network by default. But maybe you can't afford this else you'd buy yourself a new mobo and processor. My point is that life is much easier if you're connected and getting this thing connected might be a challenge if you're trying to do it wirelessly AND by sharing your Window's internet connection, without the resources of the internet.
- Ubuntu is cool and made for those of us with not much experience, and it is also Debian (well they branched off Debian). So you wouldn't be disloyal by choosing Ubuntu. But many folks try many distributions and it's a very good idea to try the live cds and puppy, as mentioned above, would be an excellent one to try because it's small, but also because it's cute. Also try knoppix, but choose an older slimmer model, not the huge DVD version. The advantage of a live-cd is that you will find out in less than 5 minutes whether linux can detect and use your hardware. Be aware though that live cds run slower than a hard-drive install because they have to access the cd all the time (this may not apply to puppy as it does something clever with RAM).

And have fun
 
Old 05-06-2006, 07:21 AM   #6
9box
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Registered: May 2006
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Thanks Bernied, for your kind words, you've given me loads to think about as has others above. New mobo + processor sounds cool, tho funds are limited at the mo, and because i want to eventually leap frog this Xp box (Amd socket A, 2600+ xp Barton, 512mb ram, asus a7n8nx-vm) The aim is to have Debian as the only? constant through the various upgrades and also to learn as i go. For the mean time, i'm sitting here on the xp on broadband (bt voyager 105 ADSL modem) wanting the older box to join me here, the ultimate aim being to migrate away from win altogether. Any good network card(s) that is both linux and win friendly? Thanks again. Am now in the process of some hard thinking, budgetary contraints prevents me from chucking out the old box at the mo
 
Old 05-06-2006, 10:33 AM   #7
lotusjps46
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Registered: Apr 2003
Location: Dallas
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9box, That machine is perfect for Vector Linux. The Standard version is best, as it uses IceWM for a window manager, not KDE or Gnome, but the SOHO version gives you a choice at log in time. Both do all the things you describe, except for the two things that will not come built-in with any free distro: DVD decription and mp3 playback. But both are easy to add (www.google.com/linux), and will not come built into Debian anyway (this is a patent issue with DVD decription and mp3 decoding).

Good luck

C
 
Old 05-06-2006, 12:01 PM   #8
brainiac
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Registered: Jan 2005
Location: middle of a cornfield, IL
Distribution: Kanotix HD Install, Debian Testing, XP Pro,Vista RC1
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I have a 366 mhz with 128 meg in it at work serving as an NFS server for a Trumpf brake press and program storage for our other CNC machines. It is running Debian Sarge. It is no powerhouse but it is liveable running KDE and messing around. I ran XP on a 650 with 768 meg and it was almost unliveable.If you have a spare machine and want to learn, what have you got to lose by doing a net install of Debian, setting up what you want, getting rid of what you don't, and trying it. If it turns out to be a total pooch, wipe it and go again with something else. I set the above box up originally with Vector and was not happy with it at all. I am a Debian fan, lazy (in my old age) and like the ease of Debian. A Deb netinstall can be a bit of a pain, depending on the individual view, but this is supposed to be a learning experience so give it a try. Formatting and starting over is no big deal on a spare machine that you are not counting on for daily productive needs. That's why it is a spare. Good Luck and have fun. The people here are great support.
 
Old 05-06-2006, 08:57 PM   #9
9box
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Registered: May 2006
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Geee thanks guys, theres so much stuff here that i will need to investigate, thanks for all your help. Get the impression that 233mhz 256mb ram is not enough for a full debian install, complete with kde/gnome anyway. Toying with the idea of a mobo/processor u/grade, but am now intriqued by the idea of Vector linux, must admit that i'd never heard of it before. Hope that its Debian based! A crossover cale and a coulpe of nic cards sound ok as well. Thanks again lads will report on any progress/decisions as and when they appear. Good luck to all of you.
 
Old 05-07-2006, 10:27 AM   #10
lotusjps46
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Registered: Apr 2003
Location: Dallas
Distribution: Vector Linux, Suse 10.1
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Vector is Slackware based. Virtualy anything you want to install is at http://www.linuxpackages.net/ . There is also a version of apt-get included that is based on Debian.


Good luck

C
 
  


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