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Thread: Using old machines today...

  1. #11


    Practically, NetBSD can be still used on ISA machines. For graphical environments, you just need to unpack the legacy kernel if you are using an ISA video card; after installing the compat15 binaries and unpacking the old XFree86 3.3.6 distribution that last shipped with 1.5.3, you have a greater capability of ISA cards to choose from than what Xorg provides. Xorg may also refuse to work with your ISA video card if it's that old. My Toshiba Satellites all have CHIPS video controllers on an ISA bus, every one supported by Xorg, but they refuse to even lift a single finger if Xorg tries to probe them.

    Still would like it if someone got XFree86 3.3.6 actually working on a modern compiler, though. Compiling it with modern day gcc is a slap in it's own face.
    Join the penny pincher army today!

  2. #12


    From experiences it the "wild" i can tell you, that you can't go too low with the hardware specs.
    I'm maintaining a place, that has a few Athlon 1800+ ~ 2800+ and P4 2.4GHz, ~512M-1024M RAM, machines running for free public internet access.
    I'm always using Debian Linux and Chrome for these machines. They work as long as there is only one Flash/HTML5/Video tab open. Facebook with all the ads is regulary killing someones patience, but on the other hand some of these machines play 1080 videos downscaled to a 1024x768 beamer totally smooth...

    If you sit down, to learn a programming language or do your homework for school, it is enough. But all the fancy blinking stuff is too heavy load for these machines.

    I usually get told twice a month or more often, that some BSD system will work faster, but i don't have the time to get into a new OS. Some small debian is installed very quickly and I'm usually keeping images of the computers there... Maybe one day i have time for fine-tuning like this.

    I wouldn't try to go lower with the specs on those public machines, it only causes trouble. But at home, i do a lot of electronics related stuff on a Pentium 2 266 with 128M RAM, a Ati Rage ?? AGP Card. I also runs chrome (very slow), but there are also browsers like dillo, links, lynx, w3m, ....

    If you need Linux on a Pentium/P2, try "DSL", works fast and has a lot of stuff onboard.

  3. #13


    Oh, i forgot one thing about Xubuntu.

    It is so ***-slow compared to a clean debian install without anything + "... install xserver-xorg fluxbox ...". But i assume, that's the price you have to pay for if you fear a console-install.
    The same with gentoo. I gave it a try, as well as Xubuntu, a few times on old machines. I thought, as soon as everything is installed, it would run nicely. But no way...
    All the scripts that make system are written in Python, you'll wait for years. I'm not talking about compile-time, I'm talking about init, ..., ...


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