Distribution suggetsion for old computer.

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Distribution suggetsion for old computer.

Postby Insane1 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:26 pm

I'm wondering what distribution would be good, if any, for my old-OLD computer I'm resurrecting.
Currently it has no internet access (56k Modem. Currently no dial-up service in my house).
No ethernet ports for networking to achieve internet connection (Unsure if I should ask here, but does anyone know if it's at all possible to network using two dial-up modems? o.o; ).
A Pentium II processor running at 233mhz.
Here's the big problem, only 32mb of RAM running at PC100.
And a total hard drive size of roughly 8gb (A 3gb hard drive running alongside a 5gb hard drive.)
Oddly enough it DOES have a 24x CD drive and a floppy drive.
No USB ports.
DIN-5 Plug for Keyboard. Serial 9-pin plug for mouse.

I know it's a really old computer that'll probably be hard to get a running OS on these days, but considering the hardware still runs flawlessly I'd like to just turn it into a somewhat useable desktop; with or without internet. Windows 95 was already installed on it and is SOMEWHAT useable. However, considering that it was run 7 years without virus scanning, defragmenting, or pretty much any other form of computer care...I'd much rather run a distro of Linux on it. ESPECIALLY if it gains internet connection again.
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Re: Distribution suggetsion for old computer.

Postby Husse on Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:55 pm

32 MB RAM is extremely little today - you'd have to use some special distro suitable for old computers
Knoppix or DSL comes to mind
Serial mouse and DIN keyboard could also be a problem
And no - two modems can not network unless over internet....
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Re: Distribution suggetsion for old computer.

Postby Insane1 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 4:45 pm

Husse wrote:32 MB RAM is extremely little today - you'd have to use some special distro suitable for old computers
Knoppix or DSL comes to mind
Serial mouse and DIN keyboard could also be a problem
And no - two modems can not network unless over internet....

Alright, thanks for the reply. I'll give Knoppix and DSL a try then. Hopefully the DIN and Serial won't be TOO much of a problem.
And thanks, guess I'll have to go old computer part hunting for an ethernet card, then. Maybe some extra RAM while I'm at it. XD The 32mb of RAM is actually made up of two 16mb cards.

Thanks for the reply. :D
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Re: Distribution suggetsion for old computer.

Postby Husse on Tue Apr 22, 2008 4:53 pm

My first PC had win95 and 24 MB (possibly even 16 :)) and an AMD 486 at 120 MHz ....
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Re: Distribution suggetsion for old computer.

Postby mince'n'tatties on Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:31 pm

DSL will run no problems on your old rig, a friend of mines has an old box with 32mb ram and a pentium 2. I popped over and installed DSL on it for him and it runs like dream.

DSL imo is a great little distro. I even have it on a usb stick for use on friends computers, all of which are amazed that something so small can do so much.
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Re: Distribution suggetsion for old computer.

Postby Husse on Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:19 am

@ mince'n'tatties
That means serial mouse and DIN keyboard I presume
Good to know so I can recommend something for the really old boxes that are still around. Got one myself - I think :) - I may have ransacked it too much to be working
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Re: Distribution suggetsion for old computer.

Postby mince'n'tatties on Wed Apr 23, 2008 4:48 pm

Hi Husse,

DSL works with those old behemoth connectors fine and dandy :D .
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Re: Distribution suggetsion for old computer.

Postby sundayrefugee on Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:41 pm

SliTaz is reported to work fine and dandy with 32 megs as well ;-)
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Re: Distribution suggetsion for old computer.

Postby Insane1 on Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:53 pm

sundayrefugee wrote:SliTaz is reported to work fine and dandy with 32 megs as well ;-)

I actually tried both. Unfortunatly I haven't yet got a mouse to work (Using a PS/2 to Serial converter) with DSL. My DIN5 keyboard adapter worked flawlessly, however. While SliTaz looks very nice on my laptop (looks a bit better than DSL to me), it freezes during loading on my old rig at "Unpacking initramfs". Anyone have an idea of how to get around that problem?

By the way, would anyone know why hooking up a power cable to a 'new' CD drive inside my old Rig would cause a A: Drive error during BIOS loading?
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Re: Distribution suggetsion for old computer.

Postby Acid_1 on Sun May 04, 2008 3:00 am

You could also give puppy linux a shot. Heard its pretty good. haven't used it before.
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Re: Distribution suggetsion for old computer.

Postby Husse on Sun May 04, 2008 2:34 pm

Did not see that before
By the way, would anyone know why hooking up a power cable to a 'new' CD drive inside my old Rig would cause a A: Drive error during BIOS loading?

If your old rig is really old....
The first CD players were 1x and definitely different from all the rest (except possibly 2x) but A ?
who knows how confused it gets?
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Re: Distribution suggetsion for old computer.

Postby Insane1 on Sun May 11, 2008 12:08 am

Husse wrote:Did not see that before
By the way, would anyone know why hooking up a power cable to a 'new' CD drive inside my old Rig would cause a A: Drive error during BIOS loading?

If your old rig is really old....
The first CD players were 1x and definitely different from all the rest (except possibly 2x) but A ?
who knows how confused it gets?


Nah, my rig isn't that old. CD drive is 24x. However, It seems to be related to my computer being 'set' for the ribbon cables being connected in a certain order, which I do not know. o.o;
In either case, the devices work regardless. Now to just find out how to install DSL, since cfdisk in DSL gives me a 'cannot find hard drive' error. I tried burning an ISO of DeLi Linux (Supposed to run on machines as low end as a 486 processor with 8mb of ram), but I need to re-investigate how installing that works.
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Re: Distribution suggetsion for old computer.

Postby BAD on Sun May 11, 2008 1:08 am

If you can find another stick of pc100 you could use other distro's. I just had Puppy and Nimble X running on a similar computer. They would not load with 32MB after I added a 64MB stick they worked.
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Re: Distribution suggetsion for old computer.

Postby Insane1 [Not Logged In] on Mon May 12, 2008 9:53 am

BAD wrote:If you can find another stick of pc100 you could use other distro's. I just had Puppy and Nimble X running on a similar computer. They would not load with 32MB after I added a 64MB stick they worked.


Tis what I've been trying to do actually. Managed to get Puppy to load on my 32mb, surprisingly, but it's as slow as a dog (pun intended) with three legs missing. I move the mouse. 5 minutes later it finally responds.

So far no luck, though. Anyone know any good online places to purchase PC100 SDRAM? Or older ram in general?
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Re: Distribution suggetsion for old computer.

Postby Husse on Mon May 12, 2008 11:06 am

If you are in Sweden or near I think I can sell you some (not 100% sure though - have to dig deep in my scrap heap)
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Re: Distribution suggetsion for old computer.

Postby BAD on Mon May 12, 2008 9:16 pm

I had access to a PII 300mhz with 256mb ram. I Tested Puppy, NimbleX and Tiny me on it and they all worked.
If you want decent speed you need a minimum of 96mb pc100 or 128 if it has on board video.
you can also try DSL, Kate OS and Mepis lite.
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Re: Distribution suggetsion for old computer.

Postby Fred on Mon May 12, 2008 9:44 pm

DSL and Puppy are my favorites. I like DSL best for a hard drive install. I like Puppy better for running from a cd.

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