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Old 06-01-2009, 11:18 AM   #1
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Need advice / suggestions for an application using older pc

I was given two older pc's and asked if I could get them working to put in the church's library to keep up with their books. Both have Pentium II processors. One is 350 MHz and the other is a 500 MHz. The both have 384 MB, I think, and one has a 7.5 GB Disc drive and the other 9.5 GB.
I was thinking I need a light weight distribution and using OpenOffice Base to keep up with their books. I think they only have 300 - 400 books.
All of you have surely used more distributions than I have. I am really only familiar with Mepis, which I use, and Ubuntu, which came on my Dell computer. I used Ubuntu for about a month and it just didn't feel right to me. I tried various others for a day here and there, but Mepis just felt right and so I have been using it for over a year now. But those are the only two that I feel I know fairly well. Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.
Old 06-01-2009, 11:40 AM   #2
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Thumbs up app for library

If you become familiar with Gnome Office, you will find it is lighter and just as easy to use as An alternative that is lighter than Mepis is Antix. It is based on Mepis with XFCE envirnment. Lighter is better with older machines. If you use Mepis with KDE, then try Koffice. It is light and fast as well. Other distros recommended by me for older machines are Gentoo. (Don't be afraid, she won't bite!) The later version have a nice GUI, and THE fastest one I've used. Or try Zenwalk. It's a Slackware based distro. It is very light and fast with XFCE.
It may be time to learn a command-line database. MySQL is a great one. Oracle, and others look good for a library too.
Old 06-01-2009, 12:04 PM   #3
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I recommend Kubuntu. My friend has an old laptop running Kubuntu and it runs fine. As suggested you could use Koffice or Openoffice.
Good Luck with the project!

portamenteff I like your signature! LOL
Old 06-01-2009, 12:10 PM   #4
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Might not be exactly on topic for what you are asking. But, if you are managing a small library, you might want to check out Alexandria. It's an app written in Ruby on Gnome that is built for tracking a personal library. Supposedly, it has features for keeping track of books on loan also. I haven't installed it yet on my computer, but I think I will (I read a lot).

You probably already know, but just because it's a Gnome app, that doesn't mean you have to use gnome as the desktop environment. Personally, I use Fluxbox because I don't like icons on the desktop, and by default, fluxbox doesn't have them. I have my dad using xfce, and he likes it. A distro along the lightweight side would be good. Slackware or Gentoo (mentioned by portamenteff) are great examples of that. But, you can also start with something like CentOS, and only install the things you actually want.
Old 06-02-2009, 11:20 AM   #5
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nuwen52 - Thanks for telling me about Alexandria, I downloaded it and will try it out. I also found Tellico and will compare the two. One of the best things about Linux, is the help available and software to try.

Last edited by Topher_AL; 06-02-2009 at 11:21 AM.
Old 06-02-2009, 11:28 AM   #6
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Thanks to you also. I didn't know about Tellico. I didn't get a chance to look at Alexandria last night. Hopefully, I'll get to it this week. Might also do a comparison of Alexandria and Tellico. One nice thing for me is, I use Gentoo at home, and there's an ebuild for Tellico (according to the website). From the description, Alexandria might be easier to use (for me anyway), but Tellico will likely be easier to install.

I would be interested in what you think of the two programs.

Last edited by nuwen52; 06-02-2009 at 11:53 AM.
Old 06-02-2009, 12:37 PM   #7
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We are talking about PII!!! I don't think that Kubuntu, or similar distros will work on it. Try Zenwalk.
Old 06-02-2009, 03:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by sica07 View Post
We are talking about PII!!! I don't think that Kubuntu, or similar distros will work on it. Try Zenwalk.
Agreed, KDE is NOT gonna run well on those at all. Probably worse that Window$ would. GNOME is heavy too.

However, XFCE isn't very light either.

I would stick with fluxbox, icewm, or some other light window manager.

Also, there are plenty of lighter library management systems out there, and most don't require GNOME:
Old 06-02-2009, 03:58 PM   #9
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if you have a machine that can run a web server..
then the library collection could be accessed by any PC on the network..

I don't suggest running a LAMP server (Linux, Apache, Mysql, PHP,) on a slow machine with low RAM though... performance would be dismal.
Just wanted to show another approach to the query.
Old 06-04-2009, 09:43 AM   #10
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farslayer - this will be just a stand alone pc, but thanks.
Now that I have tried alexandria 0.6.1 and tellico 1.3.3, my impressions are that tellico is by far more advanced than alexandria is right now. It is capable of handing different collections very easily and is easily customizable by users. The handbook is very thorough and seems to cover most things that a user would need to know. So, if you were thinking about keeping track of any kind of collection, I would recommend this program. As you can see, I am impressed by this program and think that Robby Stephenson has done a super job writing this. I have it loaded with Mepis7 on the old machine and as soon as I can clean up the spreadsheet with the limited information in it, will try to import about 350 books. Then I will see how slow it is. The reason I picked Mepis is that the program uses KDE and I am familiar with Mepis. So ... we will see how it goes.


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