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Old 01-25-2010, 10:00 PM   #16
damgar
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I would imagine that the "prone to being awful" has a lot to do with the amount of memory. An old windows machine with that little RAM is likely to have no memory for what you are actually trying to do, especially if it's got all the original software from some misguieded manufacturer, plus the inevitable cancer windows always seems to catch.
 
Old 01-26-2010, 02:28 AM   #17
balsam
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The hard drive could be on its last legs from all the swapping that must have gone on during running a game and Windows XP with 256MB.

You might consider making a PartedMagic live CD and checking out the SMART data on the drive to see if it is failing. PartedMagic also has partitioning tools that might be useful to you.

As for a distro suggestion: Puppy meets most, if not all of your requirements in post #1.

Here's a few easy-to-follow tutorials on installing Puppy. One takes you through a full install. The other tutorial is for a frugal installation.

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/vie...8540782#201565

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/vie...749920&t=37368

-------

Here's a tutorial on installing Puppy on a USB flash drive:

http://puppylinux.org/main/Puppy430-...al-English.pdf

Introduction to Puppy Linux:
Installation on a USB Flash Disk
Alex Gotev

-------

There's a lot of webpages about various Puppy topics. Some distros have very little info about them online.

As for your criteria:

"-easy and LIGHT installation "

check.

"-Stability and decent speed"

check. It should run quite fast on your hardware, although I'd upgrade to 512MB RAM (or 384MB) to get the full performance with your machine.

"-the ability to run programs like Firefox, a music player that can sync to an iPod, etc."

Not sure about the ipod sync, but if the technology exists, someone has likely written a "pupplet" for it.

"-the ability to remove the Windows XP partition (I'll do that once I feel truly comfortable with the distro)"

There's a surprising amount of tools that come with the installation. I think there's partitioning tools. If not, use PartedMagic.

"-Something that can easily connect to my wireless network"

This is where Puppy absolutely excels. I've been in the passenger seat of a car driving down the street and booted Puppy as a live CD on a laptop; scanned for networks; found an open one; pulled over; established a connection; and checked my email. -all in about 12 minutes. And I don't know much at all about wireless networks. This is pointing and clicking I'm talking about, not command line expertise. But you feel like a Linux pro! Its all in the Puppy magic that the developers do behind the scenes.

"Essentially I want something good for everyday use."

check.

----------
I've also tried Xubuntu, and recently U-lite. If you want a Ubuntu distro, and you're thinking about Xubuntu, maybe just upgrade the RAM to 512MB and go with regular Ubuntu. Its easier to find tutorials, forums, etc. Also some people say Xubuntu isn't that much faster.

I use Ubuntu on my main daily use computer. Its a 2.8 GHz P4 with 2GB, but when I check the system monitor its usually only using around 520MB RAM and O swap. If you can upgrade your system to 768MB (256+512) you should be good to go. Puppy, Xubuntu, and many other distros do fine with less than 512MB.

I'm sure there's a distro out there that you'd be happy with. Take some of the names you see, and read their wikipedia page and check out their home page.

Also try distrowatch.com and similar sites. Although the multitude of information/distros can be overwhelming. But when you've got your operating system(s) installed, you can say you selected a distro (or two) specifically for yourself. As opposed to the MS choices: Home or Pro.

Last edited by balsam; 01-26-2010 at 02:30 AM.
 
Old 01-26-2010, 02:47 AM   #18
Borax_Man
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xMaximus View Post
CPU is Pentium 4 CPU 2.40GHz, I think the frequency is 2.41 GHz, 224MB of RAM and there's about 20-25 gigs of hard drive space left (there's 50 in all but Windows XP is currently occupying that space.)

I know that's not bad in Linux terms, but the computer is prone to just being awful, it's been under constant stress for 4-5 years thanks to my brother trying to run a "business" on Second Life.
Dear lord! You call this an old computer?

I've been using, untill about 3 months ago, a 700MHz Duron with 512M ram and 40G hard drive. It's amazing what people call dated these days.

224M RAM? First thing, I would increase the ram to at least 512M.

It should ran any version of Linux, but maybe use something like XFCE4 as the GUI, instead of KDE or GNOME.

I've found puppy linux to be really fast, and very full featured as a Linux distro.

It ran fine on the aforementioned machine, so it should blaze on that PC. The only drawback, is puppy doesn't support regular user accounts (I think there is a patch, or a version of puppy that does).

Otherwise, Vector Linux.

Vector Linux also runs good on leaner specifications.

The most important thing is the RAM. A lighter desktop environment is probably going to make more of a difference than choice if distro.
 
Old 01-26-2010, 03:01 AM   #19
John VV
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with ONLY "224MB" ram firefox might not even run

512 meg ram is about the min
i had fedora 4 to 8 on a box with 512 meg


you could try CentOS 5.4 and install the xfce desktop .The default Gnome will use to much ram .
 
Old 01-26-2010, 08:09 AM   #20
cantab
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balsam View Post
I've also tried Xubuntu, and recently U-lite. If you want a Ubuntu distro, and you're thinking about Xubuntu, maybe just upgrade the RAM to 512MB and go with regular Ubuntu. Its easier to find tutorials, forums, etc. Also some people say Xubuntu isn't that much faster.
Yeah, personally I wouldn't class Xubuntu as a lightweight distro. Sure, it's lighter than the KDE or Gnome flavours, but it's (and XFCE's) not THAT light. When I've used it the basic memory footprint of the GUI with no programs hasn't been that much lower than Gnome or KDE - though I know memory usage can be misleading. (But yes I did subtract the buffers and cache). Of course, my perspective is relative to my own machines - Xubuntu won't run on my laptop!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnVV
with ONLY "224MB" ram firefox might not even run
It'll run. It'll run on 120 MB. But not very pleasantly. You have to be careful not to open more than about 3 tabs at a time, and AdBlockPlus+NoScript are pretty much essential, and browsing is still sluggish.
 
Old 01-26-2010, 08:14 AM   #21
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xMaximus View Post
CPU is Pentium 4 CPU 2.40GHz, I think the frequency is 2.41 GHz, 224MB of RAM and there's about 20-25 gigs of hard drive space left (there's 50 in all but Windows XP is currently occupying that space.)

I know that's not bad in Linux terms, but the computer is prone to just being awful, it's been under constant stress for 4-5 years thanks to my brother trying to run a "business" on Second Life.
That's not an old computer, but the RAM is inadequate for just about anything. It is "being awful" almost certainly for 2 reasons:
Inadequate RAM
Running Windows for several years without a re-install.

3 easy steps:
1. Add as much RAM as it will take (RAM is **really** cheap right now)
2. Re-install Windows (but give it only ~20GB---on the first primary partition)
3. Install Linux---create another partition for shared data
 
  


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