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Old 10-18-2010, 03:41 PM   #16
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Slitaz may work.
Old 10-18-2010, 03:53 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by jefro View Post
Slitaz may work.
A good suggestion; more info:
Old 10-18-2010, 03:56 PM   #18
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Some thoughts...

>> What OS should I install if we get 512 MB? Or 1 G? I'm guessing at some point I would be limited by the processor speed, and we're not really looking to replace that. We just want it to do basic things, like type and access the library's wireless.


It's kind of unlikely that you'll be able to fit more than about 128Mb ram in a 1998 laptop. PC compatible gear just didn't have the kind of capacities that you're used to with current gear. I hope I'm wrong, but even if I'm not it might be an uphill struggle to source the memory (not compatible with current strains).

At the risk of uttering heresy, Windows NT4 would run acceptably in 32Mb, and was a little more together than Windows 85, although I don't remember if it had USB support. Incidentally, the USB support of the time was nowhere near as fast as the current USB 2.0 standard. Personally, I'd treat this is a project you'd do out of interest, rather than to get a functional laptop out of it.

Having said that, if your friend can handle a command line, it'd be usable for basic text editing, and you can even browse the web in a limited fashion using text-only browsers. Plus point: your chances of getting any kind of virus are almost zero.
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:03 PM   #19
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Another thought:

Set up a VM under VirtualBox or VMWare with the same memory and storage specs as your laptop. Try some of the distibutions mentioned here, just to see if there are hidden pitfalls. Pick the best and install it. This might save you some time and grief.
Old 10-18-2010, 04:11 PM   #20
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OK. I tried to install USB drivers on it (still Windows 95) and that didn't work. I might still install something like Damn Small Linux on it as a project, but my friend decided it really wouldn't be worth using in its current state.


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