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Old 02-18-2011, 10:41 PM   #1
3dBdown
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Registered: Feb 2011
Location: Aimlessly adrift on a sea of documentation, searching for a rock to finally wreck upon
Distribution: Originally: Slackware 3.1; Now Slackware 13.37
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Running Linux on Older Hardware (1995)


So, so many disparate issues goin on ..... I APOLGISE FOR NOT BEING SUSCINCT!
T'was not my intent. perhaps too "poetic" in the approach... but it's difficult to talk technology on a philosophical level, without sounding like the BDFL of GNU. God knows I love him, but I'm not an evangelist. I just want to get along.

Again to the issues:
The 1995 vintage, a Intel design motherboard has the triton chipset, is the target system, with an i586 with 82M ram, 4 disks (hda is the original dos/win95, hdb - the original atapi/ide cdrom, hdc is an added Quantum 0.5GB "Fireball" (that I originally built the linux 2.0.0/Slack 3.1 system on), and now, hdd - a 2G that I'm doing experimental builds on, and hopefully grow with.

A while ago I added a PCI NIC (Realtec RTL8139)NIC, works under W95.
But that didn't even exist when linux 2.0.0 was born, so tcp wasn't part of my original build. Frankly, working on a dial-up was just too painful for anything but email, which is why - at least to some degree - my interest became squelched. The job-site offered too much in terms of network speed to get older beating my head against a wall. And now, DLS connections aren't even considered with a L-2.0.0/S-3.1.0 - so it is clear that it's time for a change.

But to where? How far up the revision chain?

I don't think the hardware is specifically deficient in horsepower, ram or storage...
but there have been so many other changes in stds.
And it's just that I'm having a hard time realizing that FOR the latest linux this hardware is sufficient to play!!! This is the crux of my consternation - how far up the revision ladder to keep things "in sync" - hw/sw wise. Am I paranoid for no reason?

BUT, Y'all MUST HAVE NOTICED THAT IN EVERY OTHER COMPUTING WORLD, 1995 VINTAGE HARDWARE IS DEFUNCT!
( I can site the examples, but it makes the messages just that much more difficult to follow. )

IS IT TRUE that I should attempt a major sw upgrade thinking that it has a chance, with any confidence ?
With the vote of any confidence, I'll order a copy of from the Slackware store tomorrow!
Note that the NIC is still not working there.

The upgrade would end my constant dithering between '95 and '11 documentation, trying to get the network running.
( I keep trying to get the ethernet connection that works fine on w95 to run with Slack.)

I hate to sound "not like a purist", but I really just want a good programming platform I can work on with modern tools - not another hobby. Unfortunately I cannot afford another turn-key. Note that here Slackware has been my focus, and for no particular reason - I just started there by happenstance; a random finding in a computer shop. Work had me on Solaris 4.2

1999 I vacated the "pursuit" of linux only because of diminished demand for personal tools But it's a renewed need - to be sure. But its also a huge gap to cross - 16 years in sw releases and hw development are like the Grand Canyon.

I'm having a hard time believing the old hardware is that well "supported". Blame it on Billy G.

Please try to understand my perspective, excuse my verbosity, lack of knowledge and dedication through the years.

-3dB
 
Old 02-19-2011, 09:10 PM   #2
frankbell
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Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Virginia, USA
Distribution: Slackware, Ubuntu MATE, Mageia, and whatever VMs I happen to be playing with
Posts: 16,394
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I successfully ran Slackware v. 10 and v. 12 on an IBM Pentium PC 300 with 394 RAMs dating from about 1995. I sent the computer to the graveyard when I moved south and put my website on a hosting service. Note that I seldom used KDE, preferring Fluxbox.

I suspect it would have had real problems with KDE 4.x, which I consider to be very heavy-weight.

The chip could handle audio, but not handle video, but it did everything else just fine. Maybe a little slow, but well enough that I hosted my website on it for two years before the MySQL database outgrew the box's capabilities.

The easiest way to find out whether your hardware is supported is to boot to a live CD of whatever distro(s) you are considering and test the hardware. You will likely be pleasantly surprised.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 02-19-2011, 11:10 PM   #3
3dBdown
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Registered: Feb 2011
Location: Aimlessly adrift on a sea of documentation, searching for a rock to finally wreck upon
Distribution: Originally: Slackware 3.1; Now Slackware 13.37
Posts: 41

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Rep: Reputation: 1
Dear Sir,
This is exactly the kind of advice and data points I've been loosely trying to solicit. Thank You.

I added the 4th disk just to experiment with, and the speed issues are probably not germane; Q.E.D. I'm a bit slow, too .-)

My singular goal is to create a useful, cheap programming platform at least marginally capable of using some of the newer environments and tools.

Perhaps in time I'll run into performance issues, but by then I believe I'll have developed sufficient experience to know better which way to go.

My distinct goal is to avoid practicing being sysadmin, regardless of how closely they are linked. Its a matter of bandwidth - if I do one the other goes wanting.

Much obliged,
-3dB
 
Old 02-20-2011, 08:00 PM   #4
frankbell
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Virginia, USA
Distribution: Slackware, Ubuntu MATE, Mageia, and whatever VMs I happen to be playing with
Posts: 16,394
Blog Entries: 27

Rep: Reputation: 4921Reputation: 4921Reputation: 4921Reputation: 4921Reputation: 4921Reputation: 4921Reputation: 4921Reputation: 4921Reputation: 4921Reputation: 4921Reputation: 4921
Regards.

Slackware should definitely give you a scad of development tools in the base install.

If you want to add new programs, I suggest learning how to use http://slackbuilds.org/.

The Slackware IRC channel is quite active. The newsgroup alt.os.linux.slackware is also active and, with the exception of two or three trolls who you will quickly identify, generally a sane and welcoming place.
 
  


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