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Old 12-14-2007, 03:49 PM   #16
shadowsnipes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bejiita View Post
two words..... Gentoo
That's one word...and sure Gentoo can be setup to be very conservative with resources, but I wouldn't recommend it for an old machine unless you plan on compiling all your software on a faster machine.
 
Old 12-16-2007, 01:48 PM   #17
MoonMind
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bejita:

I agree with shadowsnipes - while the result could work really well, waiting for everything to compile in order to make that possible doesn't sound very appealing. Last time I tried on really old hardware, I first had to wait for ages, and then things broke (possibly my fault, but considering the time I had been waiting, it was no-go after that).

shadowsnipes:

Sorry for not responding earlier (workload - funny how it piles up before X-mas); what you said about Slackware being able to be "small" and "focussed" (or "rounded") can be applied to every major distro I know that's not purely desktop oriented(!) - but I agree that it's more likely that a system using Slackware gets configured that way since choice is genuinely more fine-grained than it appears(!) to be with other distros (having no meta-packages makes for KISS sure enough; but it also makes for trouble if one's not careful). However, if - as most people do - one chooses to simply do a "default" X install, you'll end up with KDE on Slackware, which is not exactly what I call resource friendly But the same thing's true for Debian and GNOME, of course.

I run a customised Debian install on a old Toshiba laptop (Celeron 300 (Mendozino), 192MB RAM, 4GB HD) using Fluxbox, and it's really usable that way, whereas when using the default desktop installation with GNOME, it's crawling hopelessly. Generally speaking, changing the WM/DM to something less demanding normally solves most performance problems to a major degree, so it should be chosen over changing the distro! However, distros that already come with a efficient WM/DM can be good choices to see what is possible in terms of speed and usability. Of those, Zenwalk's a very good choice for Slackware based distros, DSL does something comparable for Debian (though it's quite a peculiar system for new users), and Puppy is always worth a try on its own accord.

That said, in my experience every system can be easily optimised by using common sense and a good package manager, possibly with a GUI to make things more accessible. I really like Synaptic since I get to see the package, its dependencies and a reasonable description of what does what... but of course, it can be done on every system with just about every tool (in spite of Synaptic and aptitude, I still use apt and dpkg quite often since I know my way around).

It all boils down to this: If you want to have a usable machine, you'll have to experiment quite a bit, especially if it's old. Having tools at hand that make this easier is very desirable, especially if your experience is limited. Those who prefer hands-on to pre-packaged are very well served by KISS distros; for others (like myself), Debian's a good compromise since it offers quite sophisticated tools while still packing all the punch one would want from a distro on the long run, like a full set of CLI tools and various reasonable ways of doing things.

M.
 
Old 12-16-2007, 11:33 PM   #18
shadowsnipes
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any comments crypticlogic?
 
Old 12-18-2007, 09:18 AM   #19
crypticlogic
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Sorry for not posting earlier,but I'm finally able to get back online after a few days. A friend of mines uncle has a repair shop in a near by town and was willing to test my memory units. Yep, failing memory. Why are PC600 RDram so expensive? Most other memory types seem really cheap. As luck would have it, my computer problems are over for now as this shop was "recycling" an old HP a345w. This is much better than the HP 7960 as it has
512mb of DDR2 ram.(soon to be pump to 2GB) I am still able to use the old 7960,but this time I'm going to put just a kernel and cli on there to learn the true Linux experience. I found that in order to completely get away from the Microsoft way of life, one must be able to function completely in the dark and not worry about the shadows cast by the windows. Thank you Shadowsnipes,Moonmind,and the rest for all the help and suggestions. I think that we as a Linux community should have a day dedicated to using only the command line(especially the newbies like myself)

Till Later,
CrypticLogic.
 
Old 12-18-2007, 03:41 PM   #20
LinuxCrayon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crypticlogic View Post
Why are PC600 RDram so expensive? Most other memory types seem really cheap.
It's more expensive to manufacture, and it requires licensing fees iirc because it is proprietary, created by Rambus Corp.

Also, it's inferior to DDR.
 
Old 12-18-2007, 05:16 PM   #21
MoonMind
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Thumbs up

CrypticLogic:

Welcome to the land of GNU/Linux CLI is where it starts and ends - I started out with TOMSRTBT and another floppy distro called Leka Rescue Floppy (alas, long diseased) and was totally intrigued by the fact that one could actually do a lot of useful things using a single floppy (not, as it was at that time, tons of megabytes) without having to install anything! Now WinDoze is at 10 to 30 gigabytes (my information about that is a bit flaky since I frankly don't care anymore) while Debian base is still at 100 megabytes something (give or take 10 or 20) - that's what I call computing, and you sure'll see those old boxes fly.

For learning and using the CLI, I recommend Finnix - it's a great LiveCD (rescue and all-purpose as far as the CLI goes), and to spoil even the least temptation to use a GUI, it comes without X If you want something similar with a GUI (optional, though), use grml - that can even be installed to the harddrive!

M.
 
Old 12-19-2007, 10:10 AM   #22
teddyt
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MoonMind and crypticlogic:

If you go command line for everything, are you going to have everything you need? In particular, while you can have a decent browsing experience, access email, and do a number of other things, what about a word processor (as opposed to text editor)?

I don't know that it is possible to give up X completely.
 
Old 12-19-2007, 10:39 AM   #23
MoonMind
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teddyt:

Of course not - what CrypticLogic was saying and I was supporting was not to not use X for everyday purposes, but to learn (and enjoy) the CLI! I'm not at all against using GUI tools and apps - but I'm very much in favour of knowing what can be done on the CLI, and not only from a desktop user's perspective (like browsing, e-mail, word processing) but system configuration and administration. GUI's fine - but too many people (IMHO) don't think or care about the power of the CLI - or even shun it for not being "user friendly". I simply don't think that's right (or true!).

Just one example: There's a CLI tool called iwconfig; it's handy and simple to use to configure wireless networking (provided you've got your card working in the first place). In my experience, it's all one needs to configure wireless - I don't think the GUI tools do any better or are any easier to use, and in many cases, I was faster and more successful using iwconfig than using NetworkManager or other GUI tools. While I understand those who like pointing and clicking better, typing a command with a simple syntax makes at least as much sense to me - above all if it actually works. Of course, there are drawbacks (for instance, if you want to use WPA, you'll have to use additional tools), but that's no big deal since you can easily put all the commands you've got to use into a small script, and that's it. I've had issues with GUI tools countless times, and in most cases, putting together a short sequence of shell commands did the job nicely.

The recommendations in my post above indicated two great distributions that are CLI centered (in the same way as there are desktop centered ones). They may not be for everyone, but they sure offer a great CLI experience! Of course, every major distribution can be used on the CLI, no doubt. But if CLI is the core of what you want, Finnix and grml offer a more direct way to get there.

M.
 
Old 12-25-2007, 11:33 PM   #24
shadowsnipes
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I recommend those wanting to use CLI productively (multi-tasking) to use screen. If you need some X then check out ratpoison.
 
Old 12-26-2007, 01:35 AM   #25
crypticlogic
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Thank you Moonmind, thats was exactly my point. I've learned that sometimes the gui just can't get the job done. For example, I recently install a copy of Ubuntu Studio(which blew my mind away that distro is awesome!) I could not get sound out of my speakers. Every thing looked like it was working, XMMS had the bars just a dancing to the music,but I was not hearing anything. So I dropped down to CLI and sat there for a good ten minutes. I ran the alsaconfig under sudo and re-ran it know effect. Then it hit me if I could use the alsaconfig, what are the chances the alsa mixer was in cli.Low and hold I typed alsamixer and sure enough there were settings I could'nt get to in GUI. Who new that SB Live had a center wav channel? lol Now I get sound in gui and under cli.(btw XMMS rocks!)
 
  


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