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Old 08-05-2005, 04:10 PM   #1
dudeman41465
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Registered: Jun 2005
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Best Linux Distro for a Compaq 7360


I've been running Mandrake 10.1 on my PC for a little over 2 months now and my mom has a really old Compaq Presario 7360 with a 40 GB hard drive. I can't install Mandrake 10.1 because the machine is not compatable with CD-ROM booting and when I tried to make a floppy to jump start it up I got one of two error messages; "There was a problemied" or an instance where several messages came up at once and said that it couldn't locate a Linux partition, I was trying to get it to start up from the CD's so I could "create" the Linux partition. I really want to put Linux on her computer because I just installed Windows ME (not compatable with XP) and like ME does it crashed after like 2 weeks giving random .dll error messages. I was just wanting to know if anybody knows a distro that would be easy to install on a computer this old and would have an easy learning curve. She and my brother have been stuck on Windows XP and that is all they know, so I need one that is pretty to look at, easy to navigate and work with and that would run smooth on her computer. I'm moving into my college dorm the 19th and she does a lot of photo editing/online bill paying/e-mailing/music stuff. I've thought about Damn Small Linux but I figured I'd ask the experts since I'm still a Linux noob.
 
Old 08-05-2005, 05:08 PM   #2
redjokerx
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Location: San Diego
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How fast is the processor and how much RAM do you have? I'm running Slackware 9.1 on a AMD K6-2 400mhz with 256 MB RAM. (oh yeah.. it's in my sig, I forgot)

What I figured is that 400mhz/256MB is good enough if you run one or two apps OR one app with one or two windows at a time. If you do what I call "light multitasking" (few browsers windows, e-mail client, another app of your choice) you'll need ~1ghz/512MB. If you're like me, and you have lots of windows open, use lots of tabs, and like to leave everything up and running all the time, you might want >1ghz and >512MB.

Damn Small Linux is going to come with fluxbox. Nice and lean (at the beginning)... but not as easy as GNOME or KDE. From my experience, I find almost all window managers/DEs to perform at about the same speed. why? I run Firefox, and Konqueror, and KMail, and gaim... etc etc. GTK/GNOME, KDE/Qt libraries get loaded up anyway.

I like KDE so I use KDE. I'd probably recommend GNOME for new users since their philosophy is to keep things simple. I don't know how fast the latest GNOME is. Also, with Nautilus now being spatial and all, it might be easier for new users (everything is an object, don't worry about file heirarchy, etc) Personally, spatial doesn't do anything for me. I don't use the file browser much, but if I do, I find myself moving and resizing windows around anyway. (It's good for simple repetitive tasks though).

My advice is to watch your mom use her computer doing her regular tasks ("photo editing/online bill paying/e-mailing/music stuff.") You can set up Windows XP to act pretty spatial. Open new folders in windows. Remember folder positions, etc. See if she likes that better than regular "open folders in the same window" file navigation.

Music stuff.. what do you mean? she plays mp3s on the computer? listens to online radio? etc? And photo editing... she has a digital camera that she plugs into her computer? what kind of photo editing software does she use? has she tried GIMP?
 
Old 08-05-2005, 06:12 PM   #3
dudeman41465
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She's never used Linux before in her life, lol (including Gimp). She has a digital camera yeah, and she's got hundred of megs of photos on my hard drive waiting on me to get hers back up and running. It's not as fast as yours, it's got a 300 Mhz processor with 128 MB of RAM. She just listens to MP3's.
 
Old 08-05-2005, 06:52 PM   #4
tuxdev
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Registered: Jul 2005
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For my old computers (Pentium 100, Pentium 166 MMX), I use Slackware, IceWM, EmelFM, etc. IceWM is really pretty and very natural. You might want to look at Vector Linux, which has stuff to make the whole process easier. I don't use it because it is not quite flexible enough for me anymore. You will have to convince her that mounting her CDs and FlashDrives is a really good idea. I use the argument that Windows has to do the same thing when it comes to flashdrives.
 
  


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