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Old 03-02-2004, 04:43 PM   #1
nethbar
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Need for speed - Slack on a 120MHz laptop


I am running Slackware on a Toshiba Tecra 500CDT w/ a P120MHz CPU, 2GB HDD, and 144MB of RAM.

I wanted some reccomendations of various ways to streamline Slack on this while still having a GUI available for its future, noob (tho not much less inexperienced than I!) user, a lady I'm putting this machine together for. She will only be using it to web-surf (56K connection), write her school papers in OpenOffice while she does live-at-home care for her job, and transfer those files (via floppy?) to her home machine running M$ Win XP and Nothing Else. She's willing to learn Linux and is excited about it but with school and work, she needs as small a crash course as possible. Wanted to sound out for some input on:

- Slim GUI web browser but still secure and with as little learning curve as possible
- A diet plan for my kernel: I've compiled away what little I know I don't need (SCSI, USB, etc.) but much else is Greek to me
- I'm running GNOME but have Windowmaker, Fluxbox, and Fvm95 installed as well but am tenative about using them as Gnome has so much already available

Beyond that, I don't know much else to ask. Putting Linux on the Tecra has been my only practical experience and have been learning a great deal on the fly. Any input or suggestions would be great!

NtB
 
Old 03-02-2004, 04:49 PM   #2
Mara
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Probably Firefox as a browser (it's smaller version of Mozilla).
Kernel: there's no network card in the machine? So you can probably remove all NIC drivers (nearly all are as modules). If you post the .config file somewhere we'll be able probably to remove more.
Window manager should be choosen by the preson using it. GNOME is nice, but may be to much for that machine (especially with OOo running). So you may install GNOME Windowmaner and Fluxbox (unneded ones may be removed later).

BTW OOo will be slow on that machine (especially when loading).
 
Old 03-02-2004, 05:11 PM   #3
wapcaplet
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For a window manager, XFCE or IceWM are good compromises between slimness and ease-of-learning.
 
Old 03-02-2004, 07:23 PM   #4
Minderbinder
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You should try vector linux http://www.vectorlinux.com
It's slackware based, is a ~500MB install, and runs well on older machines. It comes with IceWM, but you can install gnome easily with swaret, although on a machine that slow I wouldn't recommend using Gnome. Check out http://madpenguin.org/modules.php?op...rticle&sid=583 for a review.
Vector doesn't come with open office, but it does have abiword, which would probably run a lot better on that machine. Abiword may not be as good os open office for importing .doc files but she shouldn't have any problems exporting .docs to word.
The mozilla firebird and dillo web browsers are included. Dillo is very fast, but I don't think it is functional enough to use as an everyday browser. I use Firebird and love it, but Opera might run better on her machine.
 
Old 03-03-2004, 09:45 AM   #5
gnashley
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Have a look at my Minimal Install HOWTO:
http://home.earthlink.net/~gnashley/...ix8_1howto.htm
for some tips on cutting down the size. I'd recommend windowmaker window manager. It's not as light as fluxbox, but it's easier to configure and has at least a couple of features that will be familiar to a windows user. Since you have lots of RAM your speed is probably not too bad.
XFCE the (supposedly) low-cholesterol windowmanager was the slowest of all wm's in my tests and ICE seems to have lots of dependencies on GNOME. ICE LOOKS most like Windows but that may be deceiving.
Actually with 2Gb HDD you have plenty of room to install everything you need, even KDE. I did an install with KDE in about 240MB one day.
A quick way would be to install all recommended packages from /a, /ap, /l, /n /x, plus whatever you choose for window manager or desktop environment.
I still think windowmaker is the most elegant of all the window managers.
 
Old 03-09-2004, 01:27 PM   #6
nethbar
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Thanks!!!

Thanks for all the suggestions, sorry for the laggy reply. BzE BzE BzE... never enough time to tinker and play, yeh?

Mara
I'll be trying Firefox out, it looks great. I like that it's so well supported because myconcerns with some of the other browsers (Galeon...) is that keeping them current and secure would be a bit much for my user

Once I get Vector going, I'll be posting my .config file (that's in the directory where vmlinuz is, right?)

Minderbinder
I read the review, VERY helpful, have already sent away for a purchased copy of Verctor; sounds like the way to go.

BTW, what makes Opera so slick? Is it pretty minimal? I've only glanced at it on a Windows box before...doesn't it have ads now?

gnashley
S'funny that you should mention yer site, I found it earlier while looking for ways to slim down Slack. I used a lot of your tips to install (I especially liked how you wrote was was essential and what wasn't; have had the damndest time finding more detailed info on what the kernel packages do exactly.)

Once I get Vector going, I'm going to try removing some of the packages you suggest. Again, Very informative site, helped me through my first Slack install.



GENERAL

Wanted to ask if there's some sort of compendium of kernel packages that has detailed listings of what they do exactly?

And is there a good guide to using Windowmaker somewhere?...unfortunately I've spent so long on a Window's GUI that anything else I have a real rough time with... so much of what I do is intuitive and I dunno' how to add symbolic links to the WM, put in new menus, etc. And when I first installed Windowmaker (and a whole bunch of other WMs), there was a bunch of menu pointers for nonexistant programs. I know this must be simple stuff so if you could just point me towards a good guide of sorts, I'd be happy to learn it on my own...just having a hard time configuring things in the GUI


Thanks for the Quick response, you guys are lifesavers
 
Old 03-09-2004, 03:47 PM   #7
Mara
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.config is a file in the main directory of the kernel source you're compiling (it's othen also copied to /boot with vmlinuz).

I'm afraid there's nothing more than help coming with the kernel. I haven't seen an overview of all options...

When it comes to Window Maker, you can start from its docs at www.windowmaker.org
 
Old 03-10-2004, 12:11 AM   #8
gnashley
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For the best info on kernel configuration see /usr/src/linux/Documentation/configure.help
What I like about opera is this: It's fairly small- the static-linked version unpacks to about 10-11MB. it has good cookie management, and pop-up blocker and good history features also. It does have ads unless you buy it, and also it does seem a little slow to load, but once running it browses much faster than firefox or any other except dillo. I do like the elegance of galeon/firefox/mozilla, but they are noticeably slower on old hardware and there seem to be some bugs still.
Opera also includes a mail-client
 
Old 03-10-2004, 12:59 AM   #9
Crazy Travis
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I actually suggest a very stable late firebird release instead of firefox because I have noticed several bugs with firefox that really bug me. I won't go into that here, but it sounds like the person that you are installing it for would rather have a browser that works good and is very stable. Firefox hasn't been completely stable on me. And if she has a broadband connection, be sure to enable pipe-lining. This makes firebird/fox runs as fast as opera if not faster.

for a Window manager I suggest window maker or fluxbox for that machine. kde and gnome while easier to use will crush that machine.
 
Old 03-11-2004, 10:36 AM   #10
njbrain
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Opera is spyware! Stay away from it.
 
Old 03-11-2004, 02:10 PM   #11
nethbar
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Huh?

Njbrain, that's an awfully inflammatory thing to say.

Opera, like any other alternative to IE, has a hard enough time going up against the big blue e. I think a forum like this, with those who post guiding so many newbies still forming opinions about what's good and what's junk, should avoid absolute statements like that.

What have you got to back that up?
 
Old 03-11-2004, 02:19 PM   #12
wapcaplet
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Google turned up this article which seems to indicate that Opera is spyware. Opera Software denies it. I personally doubt that it's spyware, but I haven't used it in quite some time, so I dunno. They just seem like a good, honest company with a great sense of humor. Besides, it seems as though the spyware accusations are mainly tied to the adware version.
 
Old 03-11-2004, 02:41 PM   #13
njbrain
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I was mistaken, It is adware. I think that adware is not so bad as spyware, but here is how I know that Opera is adware.
http://www.tucows.com/preview/193751.html
Noah

Last edited by njbrain; 03-11-2004 at 02:42 PM.
 
Old 03-11-2004, 03:15 PM   #14
Minderbinder
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Opera doesn't install any external adware programs. When you install the free version you can choose to either receive random graphic ads or targeted google text-ads. When I think spyware I think of something like gator or cydoor that gets installed external to the program that uses it and doesn't get uninstalled when the original program is removed. You can also pay $39 ($19 for students) for the ad-free browser if the ads really bother you. Either way, give the free version a spin and uninstall it if you don't like it.

I have had a few problems with firefox. It crashes whenever it encounters a an object that needs a plug-in, but the plug-in is not installed. Examples are quicktime movies (which I fixed by installing mplayer plug-in) and java (I haven't figured this out yet, some things will crash it, some won't). This wasn't as big a problem in firebird 0.7 because instead of crashing when it encountered an unknown file type it displayed a dialog identifying the file. Firefox just turns off, making it hard to find what file type I need to configure to work.
 
  


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