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Old 05-29-2004, 04:14 AM   #1
privateprimate
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Registered: May 2004
Location: DC METRO
Distribution: suse 9.1
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Talking Linux: how low can you go?


Hello World!

Yep, I'm a newbie. A friend turned me on to suse linux 9.1 so I decided to take the leap into what for me is a brave new world.

I'm becomming rapidly infatuated with Linux. So much so that i've started collecting allegedly obsolete hardware from my technically inclined friends and eslwhere. I want to see how much utility I can wring from these older units.

One of the complete machines i came across is a p1 133 packard bell with the original front-cover peely-sticky label informing me that the machine once ran windows 95.

I'm familiar with minimal desktop environments and keeping the package-count low. My question is: how much utility can i get out of this machine as a basic desktop?


Are there any other tips that can squeeze more utility out of this system?


As my network grows, I'm sure this little gem will find a nice place on my network.

My tech friend looked at me like i was crazy when I told him of my plans. What can i reasonably expect?

Any thoughs are welcome. Thanks!

Privateprimate
 
Old 05-29-2004, 04:46 AM   #2
Mega Man X
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Registered: Apr 2003
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Hello there privateprimate!!!

Welcome to LinuxQuestions.org. The lowest I've ever been with Linux is with a a Compaq that I bought for 10 USD. It has a 386 processor, 75 MHZ, 8 MB RAM and it tripple boots: Dos6.22, Win 3.1 and Grey Cat Linux 3.0 with IceWM. It runs pretty well actually. My second computer, similar to your 133, is my Compaq Armada 7350 MT. You can read shortly my experience with it here

The trick to speed things up is to always use a kernel which is about the same old as your computer. Many will disagree with this, but older kernels are smaller, thus faster in older machine and supports better older hardware. If you check the link above, you will notice that I got even KDE One running very well in my machine, thanks not only for KDE one for doing a nice job, but also for the kernel 2.2.25 which is very stable version from 2.x series.

A lighter desktop manager can do wonders too. I've just installed KDE because in that thread, I affirmed that there was nothing better then win98 for older machines, so I've proved myself wrong

Regards!
 
Old 05-29-2004, 05:10 AM   #3
hw-tph
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Registered: Sep 2003
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I have had several machines less powerful than yours and most of them did a lot of useful work. Email servers, gateways, small file servers, web servers, DHCP servers. And that's all on one machine. I would suggest a little more oomph if you were to run as many services, but for a lot of services CPU capacity isn't critical. But a minimal desktop system would probably run well too.


Håkan
 
Old 05-29-2004, 09:26 AM   #4
esher2292
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Registered: May 2004
Location: Maryland,USA
Distribution: Red Hat 9.0, Knoppix 3.4
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I have an old HP Vectra Corprate PC. I can run RedHat 9 on it except I'm having problems with my wireless network. I plan to use it as a dns, web, mail, and ftp server.

I wish you luck!
 
Old 05-29-2004, 10:07 AM   #5
lyceum
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Quote:
One of the complete machines i came across is a p1 133 packard bell with the original front-cover peely-sticky label informing me that the machine once ran windows 95.
Quote:
My tech friend looked at me like i was crazy when I told him of my plans. What can i reasonably expect?
i'd say that your tech friend doesn't have much experience with linux, because this little guy could be a relative speed demon with the right minimalist install, and one hell of a workhorse for your network. i love collecting old free computers, people are so willing to just throw away "old" computers when they upgrade. i recently received the donation of a 633 K6 that my friend was loading into the car to take to the dump. can you believe this? i mean, it was working perfectly, running 98...
 
Old 05-29-2004, 02:44 PM   #6
privateprimate
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Registered: May 2004
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LOL WOW!

Thanks for the encouraging replies!

Ok, i'm getting a joy from this stuff that verges on the unnatural. This kind of thing excites me because I was never a big believer in planned obsolesence (if i can even spell that...)

The idea that we can take machines bound for a barge to China and rehabiliate them for useful computing is like discovering swine really do look good with pearls.

Anyway, as my allegedly obsolete network grows, I'll be sure to learn much from you all.

P.S. : I did reat the post about the whole win 98 and older machines thread and that's what got my feverish brain a' twitchin'.
 
Old 05-29-2004, 05:51 PM   #7
privateprimate
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Registered: May 2004
Location: DC METRO
Distribution: suse 9.1
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Original Poster
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Quote:
Originally posted by lyceum
i recently received the donation of a 633 K6 that my friend was loading into the car to take to the dump. can you believe this? i mean, it was working perfectly, running 98...
Again: LOL.

I'm STILL running a p3 600 that I: edit and capture DV with, render 3d graphic sequences, edit still images and chat/surf with.

I'm only now , after 4 years , beginning to outgrow this system. <promo> But now, thanks to Linux, I will have a vast stable of computing power at my grasp built on allegedly obsolete machines. </end promo>

So that K6 is plenty good. Let's here some more stories of ancient chips doing heroic things....
 
Old 05-29-2004, 05:55 PM   #8
Mega Man X
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Here is another cool one

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...w+can+you+go3F
 
Old 05-30-2004, 01:13 AM   #9
Chuk
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Registered: Sep 2002
Location: British Columbia
Distribution: Ubuntu
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That system will definitely be no problem, but how much drive space do you have? If you've got a few gigs, you could just throw an older Red Hat or something on there and it would be really easy. I had a P 133 running RH 7.2 for a year or so, worked fine, especially with fvwm.
 
Old 05-30-2004, 01:27 AM   #10
darthtux
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Registered: Dec 2001
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For 4 years I ran Linux on a 200MHz 32MB machine and never had any problems. Red Hat 6's GNOME and KDE worked fine but RH7.2 I went to Fluxbox/Window Maker/IceWM and they were fast. And at the same time running a brower, email, and the gimp all at once.

Now I mostly run PII 300/400/500's with 256MB of RAM. I don't have any problem running the latest KDE/GNOME with 5 or 6 applications open.

My oldest machine is a 486 with 16MB of RAM. Runs RH6.1. Have to run a browser like Dillo. But they are good as servers!
 
  


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