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Old 12-21-2010, 11:34 AM   #1
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total newb,,trying to make DSL work on a dinosaur

I made a live DSL cd from the iso file,
I dont know how to verify the checksum thingy, so I am flying in the dark there.
the disk was working and loaded up fine
(graphics looked good, some type in color, the litte penguin icon was cool ect.)
the problem comes when the gui loaded and the desktop came up then the screen was nearly white and the type was nearly illegible. I could make out the welcome screen with a faq page and what not , but i could not read it.
I rebooted again this time i went to the boot menu and selected the vga option that indicated it was the best for display problems.,
then the screen loaded as garbled red and orange stripes. i have no documentation, so i need the software to autodetect the display resolutions, ect.
also the touch pad makes the pointer dissapear the first time you touch it.

so,, the unit is a compaq presario
256mhz p2
96,000 k of ram
4 gig hd
cd reader
1 usb port
it was running windows 2000 but i want that to go away, im trying to learn about linux.

so my goal is not to run DSL but rather to load some linux distro that is simple, gui based ,and fairly trouble free, so if i have chosen the wrong linux build i am open to suggestions.

Old 12-22-2010, 03:53 AM   #2
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Hi kentola70 and welcome to LQ,

DSL (Damn Small Linux) is outdated and no longer maintained, it shoud run smoothly on your old machine, but if it doesn't, there's less help.

I'd recommend to look at Slax which comes only as a liveCD but is not installable. I'm often using Slax in Windowsnetworks with older hardware to check machines when Windows is damaged.

If Slax runs properly, you'll at least know that the hardware works. Then we may look for a better solution (distribution) for the old hardware.

You'd be better off with more RAM.


Last edited by markush; 12-23-2010 at 02:31 AM.
Old 12-22-2010, 12:39 PM   #3
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I'd suggest you try Vector Light:
Like Slax, it's based on Slackware but it's very newbie-friendly. It will certainly fit fit on your computer: the minimum specifications are "Pentium 166 or better, 64MB RAM minimum, 1.8GB hard drive space for full system - more for your data." There's also a good user group, with thousands of members.
Old 12-22-2010, 01:35 PM   #4
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I've read some places that knoppix has gotten to be a little to bloated, but you can try them out if you'd like:
Old 12-22-2010, 09:22 PM   #5
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Location: Virginia, USA
Distribution: Slackware, Debian, Mageia, and whatever VMs I happen to be playing with
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Tiny Core might be worth a look.

I was playing with it in Virtual Box and it booted in five seconds. On the same computer in Virtual Box, Arch takes about 45 seconds and Windows XP takes forever and a day (and makes the fan sound like an F-22 right overhead). There's not much there, but you get Linux and a starting point.

(I haven't gotten beyond playing with Tiny Core for half an hour or so). There's not much there, but it could be a good starting point.

Last edited by frankbell; 12-22-2010 at 09:24 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:12 PM   #6
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Cool giving vector linux light a shot today

will update how this turns out thanks for the posts
but i aint out of the woods yet!

Old 01-02-2011, 01:44 PM   #7
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Angry RIP old compaq

well,,, it turns out that with a little help from an eight year old and her 16 year old brother, the old unit i was messing around with is dead,
i mean, no power crapped out wont turn on dead. i think they dropped it.


thanks for all the help.



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