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Old 09-19-2006, 02:17 AM   #1
vvkozmenko
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Ideal hardware configuration for Puppy


Hi, this post is my dreaming aloud, so do not judge me to hard.

I guess most of us are using Windows, Macs and/or big Linux distros at our offices (or maybe even at home). At least, I am a big Mac fan. At the same time, I love Linux (I just started learning Unix in general and Linux in particular).

When I do not do any serious programming or working with graphics that needs a super OS and very resource consuming software (I use a Mac for this purpose), I might use a computer that would satisfy my basic digital needs:

1. surfing Web
2. checking email
3. Instant Messgening
4. Skype

It seems like Puppy does all of the stuff above. Since Puppy has all functionality that I need, I started looking around for something that could run Puppy perfectly.

First, I do not need a high end machine - for that reason and purpose I have a Mac and I am happy with that.

The machine to run Puppy, from my standpoint, should be described as:

1. cheap
2. simple design
3. rapid booting up
4. compact
5. diskless(?)

The first stumbling block for me is the question if I need to put Puppy into the RAM or on some kind of HD (regular HD, CF card, jump drive etc). Putting Puppy into RAM makes the computer running faster but it increases the RAM requirement. So it defeats the purpose of a cheap computer.

So the question #1 is - what is better - to put Puppy into the RAM or on a CF (or USB jump drive)?

What is the CPU speed that is good enough to run Puppy with no problem? To answer this question, I would try to find that speed after which the Puppy performance get into the plato (no increase of performance with increase of the speed). Does any one have a reference for this?

Compact design - I would like a very slim form factor which would allow me to take the computer with me on a trip.

Ideally, the computer should support both ethernet, modem and wireless internet connection (wireless could be optional - for the sake of lower price).

I am not sure it it is possible at all - but it would be cool if I could use a TV as a monitor.

So, I envision a Puppy-enabled computer like this:

A little slim metal/plastic box of the size of a medium DVD player. It is fanless. It might have an external power supply. It uses CF or other portable media as a HD. It boots up within 45-60 seconds. It has built-in wireless networking and ethernet connection, and is compatible with a cheap ($20-$50) dial-up modem (for traveling purpose). Its weight is 0.5-2 lb (without mouse and keyboard). The price should be within the range of $100-$200. When the price goes up it does not make sense any more - it is cheaper to by a used laptop for $300-325.

Ideally, I should be able to hook this computer to the TV to use it as a monitor (is it possible at all or I want too much?).

So, the computer is light, cheap and does not consume too much energy. When I come back home, I just boot it up and leave it online for the rest of the day to have instant access to my email arrives. I will also me able to reply instantly if my relatives want to chat with me via IM or Skype. It should be able to run Puppy with no need to upgrade the hardware for at least next 5 years.

Is it possible? Do I want too much for little money? I appreciate any comments.

Thanks.

Val
 
Old 09-19-2006, 02:28 AM   #2
cmk77
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See the DSL store for small and cheap systems.

http://damnsmalllinux.org/store/

This stuff will probably also work with puppy instead of dsl
 
Old 09-19-2006, 08:58 AM   #3
slvrldy17
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Cool Simple and cheap...

While what you describe is likely possible it strikes me in many ways as reinventing the wheel. On the other hand as a tinkerer's project it has real potential for "play value". For myself I stick with a used laptop in that $300 range you spoke of ( An IBM T21 ThinkPad - 700Mghz processor, 384MB RAM, 20GB hard drive ) and boot from the CD or may do a frugal install, either of which will run in RAM by default. Guess it boils down to wether you are a tinkerer or like me a devotee of the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) system. In either case have some fun and let us know how it works out!
 
Old 11-07-2006, 10:58 PM   #4
uiop
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Exclamation Here it is

Check out the $99 E-Way TU-40!
Not as portable as a laptop but it sounds close to what you might be looking for.
Only, I wonder if it really works ...
 
Old 11-08-2006, 02:48 AM   #5
marksouth2000
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The marketing guy from E-way has posted on the murga.org forum about the suitability of their machines for Puppy.

Some of the forum members are running Puppy on Norhtec machines - not quite so cheap but known to work. The owner is a Puppy fan. See http://www.norhtec.com/ and note that Puppy is mentioned in the left hand column of the main page.

No connection etc etc etc.

Now, my ideal Puppy machine is one that I got given for nothing and that I was able to upgrade with bits and pieces I had lying around. Because that way it's free and Puppy has a way of turning old machines that would barely run Windows98 into useful platforms for doing useful work. This reduces landfill and toxic gases, and means less profit for large evil corporations, so it's win-win-win!

Cheers,
Mark
 
Old 11-20-2006, 06:40 PM   #6
truscotsman72
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Im a complete newbie and just joined LQ less than an hour ago. Ive posted the usual newbie hello's on the newbie section and ive read a few threads on 'puppy'. Im also in the 'which distro' frame of mind at the mo', and seeing that puppy runs on something as powerful as a cell phone (maybe a slight exaggeration) Im tempted to go for this distro as I have an old 200 mhz system sitting gathering dust with 64mb of ram, and instead of wiping my big machine of windows, for linux or trying a 'dual boot', im tempted to try puppy on my 200mhz machine, just to give me a taste of linux
 
Old 11-20-2006, 11:23 PM   #7
vvkozmenko
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For truscotsman72:
I think 200 Mhz is all right for Puppy but 64 Mb of RAM could be too little for the one that comes with OpenOffice (because the entire OS and all applications go into RAM).
Also, I am a little bit confused with the size of icons and fonts in Puppy. Everything is so big (even with correct monitor and graphic card settings). Otherwise, Puppy comes with full package of applications and I have nothing to complain about. It is really cool - I wish I could make the icons and fonts looking a bit more presentable.
vkozme
 
Old 11-21-2006, 02:35 AM   #8
marksouth2000
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Truscotsman: Puppy will run OK on that machine, but you will need to make a swap partition on the hard disk first. You can do this by making a TOMSRTBT floppy, booting from that, and using fdisk to repartition the hard disk. When you exit fdisk, do "mkswap -v1 /dev/hda1". Change the "1" to the correct label for your swap partition. The swap partition should be about 128 to 200 MB. After that, Puppy will boot and run OK (probably not that fast :-) I've run Puppy 2.02 on a 133MHz pentium with 80MB RAM and 100MB of swap.

Vvkozmenko: Puppy 212 came with the fonts set a bit on the large side by default. You can easily change this. Menu | Control Panel | Change global font settings allows you to scale the fonts for all apps. Smaller DPI settings will make the fonts smaller. To see the change you need to restart X, so "Exit to prompt" from the menu and then type "xwin".

Hope this helps,
Mark
 
Old 11-21-2006, 10:50 AM   #9
alred
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can also try put this line in your ~/.Xresources file ::

Xft.dpi: 72

and sometimes you may need to comment out or choose other fonts(probably with xfontsel) on lines about fonts if there are any ...

these work ok on my 14" monitor with 800x600 resolution ...

but seems that open office still needs to be on Xft.dpi: 96 by default for my monitor resolution ... i do not know why ...


.

Last edited by alred; 11-21-2006 at 10:56 AM.
 
Old 11-21-2006, 09:53 PM   #10
alred
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update ::

apart from the menuitem of " Start --> Utilities --> Xfontsel font viewer "

you can probably also try to get and have a look at the this utility :: editres

and also have a look at the directory of :: /usr/X11R7/share/X11/app-defaults

if you are on slow , old and redundant computers that simply cant do fantastic stuffs , these things could help you to spice up things a little bit but i guess if only they are more or less X apps ...



//goodluck ...


.

Last edited by alred; 11-21-2006 at 09:55 PM.
 
Old 11-22-2006, 02:02 PM   #11
vvkozmenko
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marksouth2000 and alred:
Thank you for the advice with regard of the font size. Before that I tried Puppy only on the laptop, and I still did not find a way to make it looking pretty. Yesterday, I tried it on the old Dell at work (RAM=256, CPU<1 GHz) and it works just fine. All is nice and clean.
I tried to install a whole bunch of apps from Pup install, and it ate all my RAM (4.9 Mb is left for right now).
So far so good. Its speed is amazing. Vista should kill itself after looking at this performance.
Have a good Thanksgiving holiday.
vvkozmenko
 
Old 11-23-2006, 07:59 AM   #12
alred
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>> "and I still did not find a way to make it looking pretty ..."

no worry ... nobody is going to stare at any desktop like dumb , makes no sense anyway ...


>> "Vista should kill itself after looking at this performance ..."

thats the purpose of having puppy around for a very long time ... i think puppy is going to lives on forever while everybody else are going the vista way ...



.

Last edited by alred; 11-23-2006 at 08:01 AM.
 
Old 11-23-2006, 09:24 AM   #13
slvrldy17
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Starting out...

Truscotsman72,

Just for starters I would recomend that you download the latest full version of 2.12, from the main site www.puppylinux.org , burn the ISO to disc using BurnCDCC and run from the live CD, with or without using a "save" file - you will see this option offered on shutdown. The more you play with it the more Puppy will grow on and appeal to you. Good luck,
 
Old 11-23-2006, 09:59 AM   #14
marksouth2000
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by vvkozmenko
I still did not find a way to make it looking pretty.
IceWM is available as a dotpup, and there are also dotpups full of IceWM themes to try. The default window manager is jwm, which looks pretty plain (it reminds me of Win98 a lot, except for the crashes!) but has the advantage of being really tiny and pretty fast, both good things on more mature hardware. Even in jwm you can change the jwm theme and the gtk theme to suit a wider range of tastes.

Back in the dim distant days of Puppy 2.02 I started with the toyland theme for seamonkey and made the rest of the desktop look similar. A few foiur-year-olds liked it that way
 
Old 11-28-2006, 04:27 PM   #15
truscotsman72
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Hey guys im back. Well I downloaded puppy lite 2.1 from puppy.org, I also joined that forum, and been playin with puppy, and its not bad. What did confuse the hell out of me is, I was runnin 512mb of ram at the time, with this running puppy, i went back to puppy.org and downloaded another distro of puppy, but I tried to use the cd burning software that came with my current distro (2.1 lite) and it ran out of ram, wtf??? I have since then, upgraded my ram to 1gb, but havent ventured back to puppy (too busy online shopping for xmas with XP)

Also, thanx for all the help with code and string, but im sorry to say I have not got the foggiest of ideas what any of that means. Ive been a windows point n click guy most of my life. the keyboard is there to type in searches into googles search engine, but I guess I'll learn in time.

I have several 'howto' books for begginers for installing linux, just never had the balls to take the plung BUT I just bought the xmas edition of linux format mag today and it comes with a complete distro of mandriva 2007. Im tempted to partition and dual boot with that

 
  


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