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Old 10-26-2008, 04:21 PM   #1
tigertim71
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Windows 95 OS - would like to install Linux


Hi,

This is my first post. I have brought down an old pc built in the mid 1990's from the attic which has Windows 95 and is not currently linked to the internet. I can download and save any necessary setup files to disk using my XP and install in the W95 which has a working cd-rom.

The specifications of my pc are: 100 MHz Pentium Processor, 16MB RAM, 812MB hard drive (508MB free).

I am interested in installing DSL (is this the right one?) but saving my W95, so I can have use of both systems. What is the best way to do this?

I may eventually try to link this to the internet, but my broadband provider says W95 is not compatible (could I bypass through DSL?).

In addition I'd have to work on external modems, drivers, ethernet adaptors.... It does not even have a USB port!

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,


Tim
 
Old 10-26-2008, 05:28 PM   #2
i92guboj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigertim71 View Post
The specifications of my pc are: 100 MHz Pentium Processor, 16MB RAM, 812MB hard drive (508MB free).
DSL is going to do a perfect job on that machine. More ram wouldn't hurt, but all in all, it will work greatly. The disk space requirements depends on what exactly you want to install, but I guess that you can install it on the space you have available.

Quote:
I am interested in installing DSL (is this the right one?) but saving my W95, so I can have use of both systems. What is the best way to do this?
Download the gparted livecd from here:

http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php

Boot it, and use it to resize the windows 95 partition. After that, you can create a new partition for linux on the free space. That's all you need.

Quote:
I may eventually try to link this to the internet, but my broadband provider says W95 is not compatible (could I bypass through DSL?).
Yeah. Technical service in all its glory. These things happen when they hire unqualified people to do that service. As long as the OS can use your modem everything should work flawlessly. At most, you might need to buy a real modem that you can connect via ethernet. USB modems are crap, so, if that's what you have you might have problems to make it work on linux, unless the manufacturer provides a driver for it.

The ISP doesn't need to be compatible with anything. If the modem works all should go straight.

Quote:
In addition I'd have to work on external modems, drivers, ethernet adaptors.... It does not even have a USB port!
Oh, I see. Then how is the modem attached? Is it a pci card? PCI cards are winmodems, which means that they are not real modems. They just offer a place to plug the cable, nothing else. If it's a winmodem, then the real modem is the driver, and not the card itself. That's why it will not work unless it's with a proper driver.

A real external modem should work out of the box under any OS.
 
Old 10-26-2008, 07:26 PM   #3
onebuck
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Hi,

You may have some boot issues with your older BIOS. Distributions today use a 8K block with older BIOS for CDROM expect a 4K Block.

You could always roll back to some earlier release dates for a particular distribution.
 
Old 10-27-2008, 02:47 AM   #4
nxja
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definitely try to find more ram. it's likely EDO (and non-ECC), check the limits of your motherboard (aka mobo) for max Mb and number of modules. look for rev # or pcb # on the board to identify, if that matters in the info you find.
edo is so old, it's rare on craigslist. but sometimes people post pentium "1". or 486. can reassemble to get the best result. or maybe find a newer pc, running win98se. oldest pII used EDO, still.

pci nic cards are easy to find.
you should connect nic via ethernet cable to router (which connects to the isp's broadband modem).
newest win95 was best. http://www.google.com/search?q=newes...osr2+b+|+c+usb
get kerio 2.5.1 (it's about the lightest app firewall). use bz ruleset (dslreports).
avast, if you want antivirus (email register, else free). avast is "active scan", not "scan on demand", though. maybe there's a way to shutoff the "active" part.
opera 9.x or kmeleon for browser.
bazillion win32 text editors to choose. :-)
irfanview i think works on win95. the best all around media viewer.
http://sourceforge.net/projects/sevenzip/ ok on w95

ok, i have a question. I wondered about running basic gui desktop distros on old pcs. and have read the older nix kernels are "lighter". but i wonder, comparing older kernel to current:
1. what's missing? (wifi and other recent hardware compat?)
2. how to be sure the older kernels are being patched?

may seem that i'm half hijacking this thread. except my 2 questions pertain to nix on ooolllddd pcs. :-)

Last edited by nxja; 10-27-2008 at 02:48 AM.
 
Old 10-27-2008, 12:52 PM   #5
onebuck
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by nxja View Post
<snip>
ok, i have a question. I wondered about running basic gui desktop distros on old pcs. and have read the older nix kernels are "lighter". but i wonder, comparing older kernel to current:
1. what's missing? (wifi and other recent hardware compat?)
2. how to be sure the older kernels are being patched?

may seem that i'm half hijacking this thread. except my 2 questions pertain to nix on ooolllddd pcs. :-)
Yes, you are hijacking the thread!

Even with the 2.4 kernel you could support wifi with some popular cards. I know that Slackware is still maintained back to release 8.0 which had the 2.4 kernel.

As for the 'X' you should have as much memory on the MB and as much available memory on the graphics card. Some older graphics cards had memory expansion. You might find it hard to find some of the memory to max out the card.

As for the older kernels being lighter, tough one there. I weighed the kernel. As for foot print then yes the 2.4 has a smaller foot print then the 2.6. You can fit the 2.4 on a 1.44 MB floppy, you can't do that with a 2.6 kernel.

I would try the newer 2.6 based distribution an see if it is compatible with your hardware. You could step back to earlier releases of a particular distro to test. I like Slackware an use the 2.4 kernel on older hardware (release 10,11,12) I don't want to try the 12.1 as some of the hardware is legacy an I know it would be too much work with minimal gain.

I would make sure that you at least max out the memory on the motherboard of the older system.
 
Old 10-27-2008, 01:20 PM   #6
i92guboj
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Quote:
2. how to be sure the older kernels are being patched?
2.4 is fully maintained, and regularly updated. Just look at the official kernel repositories:

http://www.eu.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v2.4/

2.4.36.8 was released just a week ago. You can look at the dates and see that the updates are regular. So, if your hardware can work with 2.4 and you are running short on resources, I'd use 2.4.
 
Old 10-28-2008, 04:37 PM   #7
nxja
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OK. Using 2.4 distros looks good for the older pcs. I didn't want to risk thrashing my main computer, so I tried many LiveCDs on some older 300 MHz, 384MB (minus onboard video), and ran into problems. Eventually I concluded these were the troubles:
  • Old cdrom. The fix: some livecds succeeded with a 2002 CDRW.
  • ACPI (a problem perhaps because modern distros assume modern ACPI hardware, rather than because those distros are built on 2.6 kernel?) Some LiveCDs boot options allowed "turning off" ACPI. (messages during loading gave some clues that ACPI needs disabling)
  • i586 hardware was a problem with only one distro, which needs i686. (Previous version was lesser, possibly i386.)
Quote:
2.4.36.8 was released just a week ago. You can look at the dates and see that the updates are regular.
For the future, I'm guessing that 2.4 will be maintained until 2.6 becomes the "previous kernel".

Quote:
As for the 'X' you should have as much memory on the MB and as much available memory on the graphics card.
With really old computers, high-end cards are as cheap ($0) as cheap cards. I haven't bothered putting any in, because the onboard has looked fine on a 19" crt (win98se). One of the "good" old cards in reserve is an AGP Matrox.
 
Old 10-28-2008, 05:02 PM   #8
i92guboj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nxja View Post
For the future, I'm guessing that 2.4 will be maintained until 2.6 becomes the "previous kernel".
I remember reading an interview with Linus Torvalds some time ago, he seems not to be looking forward to 2.7+ or even 3.x at this stage. He rather suggests that, at least until something really revolutionary happens, Linux is going to be using the same codebase of 2.6, and continue improving over it.

The good thing is that, if it really works, there's no need to fix it. 2.6 has become really flexible with lots of new things, new schedulers that can be added, new machanisms to handle your devices, and the base to include drivers on the user land via libusb, fuse, etc...

It's a really modern kernel with a very clever design in my opinion (not that I am an expert). In any case, that makes extending it quite easy, so, any needed thing can be added without any huge effort. Until something important changes, I don't think that we will need a 2.8 kernel.

This means that there's a long way before 2.6 becomes "the previous kernel". However, I have no idea about the plans for 2.4, but I don't think that it will be dropped in any near future. There's a huge lot of hardware using these kernels. So, the security patches are assured for now.
 
Old 10-28-2008, 05:31 PM   #9
onebuck
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Hi,

The 2.4 kernel is going to be supported and around for a long time. It is a stable kernel and is still used on a lot of servers. No need for a lot of the new bells an whistles that the 2.6 has, plus the stability of the 2.6 is no where near the 2.4.

Your older hardware may use the support of the 2.6 once you get past some of the legacy problems. If your hardware supports PXE or even USB boot then you could look a modern distribution.
 
  


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