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Old 05-03-2010, 12:26 AM   #1
Parallaxis
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I've had it with Windows, I want to try Linux, can my computer handle it? Can I?


So I have zero experience with linux.
I have zero experience with installing new operating systems in general (except for a few reformats)

I have a second computer running Windows XP. It was a networked computer for a local business that someone game me.

The problem is it's so dang freakin slow!
I've tried everything I know, and it doesn't help.

I'm at the point I just want to start over. Except that there was no reformat CD with my freebie computer!

So I'm left with two options, pirate windows or learn linux. I don't feel the need to go through the hassel of pirating something I hate, so Hello Linux!

I don't need anything heavy. I don't need a gaming computer or something running a bunch of 'office'-type programs.

It's a secondary computer. I just want to be able to surf the net quickly, run flash movies like youtube, just everyday web stuff. I could probably also use some kind of program capable of viewing Word documents, but thats not a biggie.

The computer is pretty dated though...

It has...

- An intel celeron processor around 500mHz
- around a 30gig harddrive
- I think 256mb ram (yeah I know, it sucks)

*I'm not really looking to sink money into this thing. So I won't be out buying more RAM, etc.

But I don't need the most up to date version of the desktop software. If there is something out there a few years old that runs in my specs then that's fine with me.

So what do you think?
Where should I start?
What's good for my situation?
 
Old 05-03-2010, 12:35 AM   #2
paulsm4
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Have you considered buying a new motherboard (under $100, possibly including newer, faster CPU), compatible memory ($50-$60/GB), throwing in your existing 30GB HD, power supply and CD, and just building yourself a new (adequate) system?
 
Old 05-03-2010, 12:45 AM   #3
Parallaxis
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Nope!

Actually let me clear this up, It's the last of the line computer, behind my main computer, secondary computer, laptop, and even behind the ps3!

No more money is going in it.
It has to work as is.

All it has to do is surf the net at a reasonable speed.
 
Old 05-03-2010, 12:46 AM   #4
Jeiku
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I think for the specs of that PC it would be great to run something like Slackware with Fluxbox but I wouldn't advise throwing yourself in the deep end really, although it would run great.

You could try Ubuntu but Gnome/KDE are quite a heavy load for those specs...

If you have the time to learn a little (and persevere!) then I would highly recommend a minimal install of something like arch, gentoo or slackware with blackbox/fluxbox as the window manager and you will love it!

Hope this helps
 
Old 05-03-2010, 12:49 AM   #5
Parallaxis
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Well according to wikipedia Ubuntu needs atleast 1gig ram to run, I think.

What's the deal with the other options? Really I'd like to use this as a basic kid's computer that they can just use to get on the internet.
 
Old 05-03-2010, 12:52 AM   #6
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I haven't used Ubuntu for a while, but I've installed it on my mum's laptop which is fairly slow, although not as a slow as the machine you're using. Try here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=5554

That might help - just keep the install options as minimal as possible. To be honest though - anything graphical is going to run slow on that machine I think
 
Old 05-03-2010, 12:59 AM   #7
Parallaxis
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So what's the deal with fluxbox, blackbox, openbox, etc?

Does it load like windows? Could a kid use it effectively?
 
Old 05-03-2010, 01:05 AM   #8
Jeiku
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Fluxbox is just a window manager like Gnome/KDE/etc. It's an interface but it does require a little setting up to begin with. A kid could use it as long as you've shown them how to open firefox etc.

Check: http://www.fluxbox.org/screenshots/ for some screenshots.

The reason I recommended it is because it's really lightweight and will run on old machines. I've had blackbox running on a i486 with 256MB ram
 
Old 05-03-2010, 01:08 AM   #9
MrCode
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Would Puppy suit your needs?

It's really lightweight; it runs smooth as butter on my other computer which happens to have the same amount of RAM as yours (256 MiB). That machine has a faster processor (2.8 GHz), but even with a 500 MHz CPU it should still be reasonably fast (or at least comfortable; I've never used a machine that old, so I can't say for sure ).

It's said to be really good at detecting network hardware, so you should be able to get online fairly easily (it comes with a small GUI config program to help you set it up). AFAIK it has Flash Player installed by default as well.

Last edited by MrCode; 05-03-2010 at 01:10 AM.
 
Old 05-03-2010, 01:12 AM   #10
pixellany
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I have a 700MHz P-III with 320MB of RAM. I have yet to find a version of Linux that will not run on it.

Your machine is not that much different. You could, for example, install Arch and then try 2 lightweight Desktops-- LXDE and XFCE. Arch will take a bit more effort than Ubuntu, but I have the sense that you are a quick learner.

Other good options include all of the distros that use a lightweight Desktop or Window Manager out of the box---eg Xubuntu, Lubuntu, some versions of Mint, Zenwalk, and many more. Check out http://distrowatch.com for all the details.
 
Old 05-03-2010, 01:13 AM   #11
Tinkster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parallaxis View Post
So what's the deal with fluxbox, blackbox, openbox, etc?

Does it load like windows?
No, not at all - no resemblance. Specially the speed; from
login screen to working desktop in under a second.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parallaxis View Post
Could a kid use it effectively?
Absolutely; after a brief explanation ("whenever you right-click
on an empty patch of desktop a menu will pop up") and a 1-minute
guided tour of the menu my 6 year old nephew was happy as Larry,
starting a variety of games and the browser w/o further supervision.



Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 05-03-2010, 01:18 AM   #12
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeiku View Post
Fluxbox is just a window manager like Gnome/KDE/etc.
This may come across as a quibble, but---using the common definitions--Gnome and KDE are "desktop environments", which is more that just a "Window Manager". The differences might be subtle, but they are real.

Desktop environments include: Gnome, KDE, XFCE, and LXDE

Window managers include all the *boxes, Window Maker, Rat Poison, Ice WM, and some others I can't remember.
 
Old 05-03-2010, 01:21 AM   #13
pixellany
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By the way, what kind of "kid" are we talking about? My son was 14 when we got our first Apple-II. Within 2 weeks, he was programming it to play music......in machine language.
 
Old 05-03-2010, 01:23 AM   #14
Jeiku
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany View Post
This may come across as a quibble, but---using the common definitions--Gnome and KDE are "desktop environments", which is more that just a "Window Manager". The differences might be subtle, but they are real.

Desktop environments include: Gnome, KDE, XFCE, and LXDE

Window managers include all the *boxes, Window Maker, Rat Poison, Ice WM, and some others I can't remember.
No need to be pedantic I understand the differences, I just wanted to make it simple for the guy.

Your son sounds like a super hero by the way. haha :P
 
Old 05-03-2010, 01:23 AM   #15
Parallaxis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCode View Post
Would Puppy suit your needs?

It's really lightweight; it runs smooth as butter on my other computer which happens to have the same amount of RAM as yours (256 MiB). That machine has a faster processor (2.8 GHz), but even with a 500 MHz CPU it should still be reasonably fast (or at least comfortable; I've never used a machine that old, so I can't say for sure ).

It's said to be really good at detecting network hardware, so you should be able to get online fairly easily (it comes with a small GUI config program to help you set it up). AFAIK it has Flash Player installed by default as well.
Maybe...
Like I said, I'm all new to this.

If a kid (10 to 14 year old range) can boot it up, point and click to the internet, play youtube/check mail and the whole thing is STABLE then it should suit my needs.

The only question is what do I have to do?
I don't know if I want to completely have to micromanage an operating system, or called into a room every 5mins because this or that isn't work, etc.

Do I have to install Linux, then an OS? or is it all one package?
 
  


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