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Old 05-17-2010, 11:55 AM   #16
Ilgar
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I had a 200 MHz Pentium computer (that is, an i586) which I got rid of last year. Computers that old can not be run with the new X, you can only use them as a router, ftp server etc, but even for those purposes it may not make much sense to keep them around, given that say, a PIII is also very cheap now and much more capable. A simple server doesn't need kernel 2.6 anyway, one can use one of those 2.4 based minimal distros for old computers. I also have a 256 MB PIII 733 MHz system on which 13.0 is quite usable with XFCE. It could be even better if Slack is compiled for 686. I think 586 can be skipped because it only includes PI and P Pro which are basically in the same category as 486 in terms of their capability to handle modern software.

Last edited by Ilgar; 05-17-2010 at 11:56 AM.
 
Old 05-17-2010, 01:07 PM   #17
astrogeek
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I am almost always behind the curve with respect to hardware and remain "in the game" only because I am able to extend the use of older hardware with various Linux versions - primarily Slackware the last few years.

So I always appreciate the fact that support remains available for my older boxes in new releases - even if I don't update everything. I think that dropping support for older hardware would ultimately affect myself and others if only because it draws the line - "this far and no further"...

Every passing iteration without drawing that line is ultimately useful to someone, and has been literally "lifesaving" to me at times!

I still run 3 Pentium 120 MHZ notebooks and a couple of sub 300MHZ desktops (albeit with older Mandrake distros). Those are not likely to be updated beyond their current state, but they could be if I found it necessary... and they are still very useful to us!

On the other hand, I have a couple of PIII 600-800MHZ notebooks and desktops that are running Slackware 12.1 and in full time daily use. They will likely be updated to 13.x at some point. It is nice to think they can keep going a little longer, too!

Thanks to all who make it possible!
 
Old 05-17-2010, 01:49 PM   #18
guanx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilgar View Post
I had a 200 MHz Pentium computer (that is, an i586) which I got rid of last year. Computers that old can not be run with the new X, you can only use them as a router, ftp server etc
//snip.
Really. Many switches and routers are 80486'es running Slackware. The FRITZ!Box Fon WLAN 7170 which I am using is an example.
 
Old 05-17-2010, 03:07 PM   #19
LuckyCyborg
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by guanx View Post
Really. Many switches and routers are 80486'es running Slackware. The FRITZ!Box Fon WLAN 7170 which I am using is an example.
I seriously doubt that FRITZ!Box Fon WLAN 7170 boxes ran the kernel 2.6.33.4 and KDE-4.4.3 with all 3D effects enabled...

In fact, I think that your switches are produced by a company who use a very customized Slackware Linux.

Last edited by LuckyCyborg; 05-17-2010 at 03:09 PM.
 
Old 05-17-2010, 03:23 PM   #20
disturbed1
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I do wonder how many people are not running Pentium Pro or better CPUs.
Quote:
NOTE: If your machine
is not at least a Pentium-Pro, you *must* boot and install with the huge.s
kernel, not the hugesmp.s kernel! For older machines, use "huge.s" at the
boot prompt.
It might be time to draw a line in the sand for the next Slackware release. Perhaps using pentium2 as march/mtune a sensible choice. This will actually introduce some SMID code to the applications. Pentium3 might be too high as this adds sse SMID instructions. SSE wasn't introduced to AMD until the Palomino core (XP/MP). The extremely popular T-Bird core does not have SSE instructions.

I personally have and use daily a PII 450 mhz with Slackware -current. And have seen enough PII's in the wild to faithfully say they are still used by many people. Not to mention our 3 PIII laptops. Would it hurt my feelings if I could not install Slackware 14.0 on my PII? Not at all, it's really starting to become EOL. Given the fact I recently purchased a MB+CPU+RAM (2.4 Celeron, 512MiB) for $30, there's no reason to honestly keep the old PII around. I'm not so sure other PII users would agree though.

For those that don't know, Slackware is already optimized for i686. Software is compiled with -O2 -march=i486 -mtune=i686. The kernel itself is compiled for i686. i686 is Pentium Pro, a cpu with no SMID instructions (no mmx, sse, sse2, sse*....). MMX was introduced after the Pentium Pro, and back ported to the Pentium i586 class. Simply changing the Slackware compile options to -march=i586/i686 gains nothing. You can change the march to pentium-mmx and not alienate some older i586 CPUs. But honestly, how many people actually run Slackware on CPUs that old? PII/PIII I can fully understand, but anything older than that?
 
Old 05-17-2010, 03:50 PM   #21
guanx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyCyborg View Post
I seriously doubt that FRITZ!Box Fon WLAN 7170 boxes ran the kernel 2.6.33.4 and KDE-4.4.3 with all 3D effects enabled...

In fact, I think that your switches are produced by a company who use a very customized Slackware Linux.
In fact, Slackware is more widely used as production servers than home desktops. KDE is not so widely installed than you thought.
 
Old 05-17-2010, 04:01 PM   #22
volkerdi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guanx View Post
In fact, Slackware is more widely used as production servers than home desktops. KDE is not so widely installed than you thought.
Really? I'd like to see where you got that data.
 
Old 05-17-2010, 06:18 PM   #23
guanx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volkerdi View Post
Really? I'd like to see where you got that data.
Geeks around me. My old alumni (commercial website maintainers). Of course the sampling in rather incomplete. They are very few people, but have many computers.

I myself use 2 Slackware desktops (office desktop and personal laptop) and one private server. I also did setup a Slack desktop and will (next month) setup a few servers for an astronomical observatory which is under construction.

One reason why I see fewer desktops maybe: Our (Chinese) government is standardized on Windows. We often get into troubles if we don't use the same. For example: Linux desktop users cannot apply for national natual science foundation.
 
Old 05-17-2010, 08:34 PM   #24
rwcooper
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Hi,

Up until a few weeks ago when it died I used a 200MHz Pentium system as a simple web server. Command line only, no X. I replaced it with a Pentium 4 based system.

Randy
 
Old 05-17-2010, 08:43 PM   #25
Josh000
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I would think Slackware as one of the well maintained modern(as in it is still up to date) distros that can run well on old hardware. would be better served by maintaining this compatibility rather than sacrificing it for a minimal speed increase.
 
Old 05-17-2010, 10:49 PM   #26
Lufbery
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh000 View Post
I would think Slackware as one of the well maintained modern(as in it is still up to date) distros that can run well on old hardware. would be better served by maintaining this compatibility rather than sacrificing it for a minimal speed increase.
Agreed!

And anyway, don't the SMP kernels take advantage of Pentium features if they're available?
 
Old 05-17-2010, 11:22 PM   #27
saulgoode
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Keep in mind that even though Slackware is built to run on the 486 architecture, it is optimized for the 686.

Furthermore, there is very little difference in code produced for the 486 and that for a Pentium (586) -- almost all of the changes in the 586 were internal to chip. So while Pentiums offered improvements, there was nothing really required on the software side to benefit from those improvements.

Moving up to the 686 family, the problem was kind of the opposite: there were lots of changes to the instruction set and thus compiler switches could result in significantly different code being generated, however, the enhancements were rather inconsistently implemented across the various 686 devices offered. To fully benefit from the improvements available, it would be necessary to specify not just that the target was 686, but what particular model (Pentium II, AMD K6, Cyrix, VIA, etc) was being built for.

It's not so much that support for 486-level devices is profoundly beneficial, but that it's just not very costly (from a performance and code size standpoint) to provide such support relative to the 686 family of processors.
 
Old 05-18-2010, 02:30 AM   #28
Daedra
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I'm personally holding out for slackware 8086
 
Old 05-18-2010, 04:13 AM   #29
padeen
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It's hard to justify a machine switched on 24/7 that can't idle. So there's many reasons to move to a full 686 architecture,being green is one of them.

I recently retired my old k6 because of it, hard to justify 100+ watts especially compared to my laptop's 20-30 watts.
 
Old 05-18-2010, 07:17 AM   #30
Lufbery
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedra View Post
I'm personally holding out for slackware 8086
Now that you've posted this, somebody is going to do it. :-D
 
  


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