What is old oldest computer you saved with Linux?

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English Invader
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Re: What is old oldest computer you saved with Linux?

Post by English Invader »

One thing to remember is that obsolete computers (especially ones with old standards like an internal floppy disk drive or a parallel port) can be very useful to retro enthusiasts so it might be worth your while to try your luck on eBay with super-old machines instead of junking them.
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Re: What is old oldest computer you saved with Linux?

Post by KBD47 »

English Invader wrote:One thing to remember is that obsolete computers (especially ones with old standards like an internal floppy disk drive or a parallel port) can be very useful to retro enthusiasts so it might be worth your while to try your luck on eBay with super-old machines instead of junking them.
Good point.
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Re: What is old oldest computer you saved with Linux?

Post by Jedinovice »

Well, I have managed to save a Pentium 4 which was just cooking in the loft of the school I work in. It's a good 10-12 years old.

My olde MSI netbook clocks in at around 2010 and so isn't that old but the atom n455 CPU clocks slower than a 1.2 GHz PIII.

Machine still under renovation.
Mint Linux 18.0 64 bit KDE edition.
Video editing (AMV's mainly) on a dual core n2840 atom!
Results here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5Dw91 ... yVKS7X1Rlg
LOOK HERE FOR MY DEMO OF MINT LINUX KDE - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8hDYiGprWs
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Re: What is old oldest computer you saved with Linux?

Post by KBD47 »

Jedinovice wrote:Well, I have managed to save a Pentium 4 which was just cooking in the loft of the school I work in. It's a good 10-12 years old.

My olde MSI netbook clocks in at around 2010 and so isn't that old but the atom n455 CPU clocks slower than a 1.2 GHz PIII.

Machine still under renovation.
I've got one of these, just a year older than your netbook:
http://www.cnet.com/products/acer-aspir ... 250/specs/
Nice little workhorse. I had another one but the hard drive burned up in it and the chemical odor was so bad I had to toss it. I'm using the other one as Plex server. Upgraded the ram to 2 gigs which makes a difference. It runs either Mint Xfce or Xubuntu quite well.
One thing I really like about that netbook is everything is replaceable: hard drive, ram, keyboard, and I even replaced a lcd screen wire on the one I still have. Just remove a few screws and you can get to everything.
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Re: What is old oldest computer you saved with Linux?

Post by Jedinovice »

KBD47 wrote:
I've got one of these, just a year older than your netbook:
http://www.cnet.com/products/acer-aspir ... 250/specs/
Nice little workhorse. I had another one but the hard drive burned up in it and the chemical odor was so bad I had to toss it. I'm using the other one as Plex server. Upgraded the ram to 2 gigs which makes a difference. It runs either Mint Xfce or Xubuntu quite well.
One thing I really like about that netbook is everything is replaceable: hard drive, ram, keyboard, and I even replaced a lcd screen wire on the one I still have. Just remove a few screws and you can get to everything.
Wow. a first generation Atom!
Yeah, my MSI has been a rock solid workhorse. Oddly enough, it was bought as a single purpose machine. Simply to help get me through my TEFL course. I was a desktop man then and had not realized my future was going to be laptop only. As it, the little MSI came with me to Indonesia and has saved my bacon again and again and again. Even my wife loved it and loved Mint KDE! Yes, it ran KDE in 1GB of RAM and delivered day after day.

Re: accessing everything... yeah, well, that depends on the make and model. My MSI - not so much. But... the quality of the components in the MSI have been astounding!

You wait till you see the restoration. I am guessing but I reckon maybe three weeks more work.
Mint Linux 18.0 64 bit KDE edition.
Video editing (AMV's mainly) on a dual core n2840 atom!
Results here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5Dw91 ... yVKS7X1Rlg
LOOK HERE FOR MY DEMO OF MINT LINUX KDE - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8hDYiGprWs
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Re: What is old oldest computer you saved with Linux?

Post by KBD47 »

Jedinovice wrote:
Wow. a first generation Atom!
Yeah, my MSI has been a rock solid workhorse. Oddly enough, it was bought as a single purpose machine. Simply to help get me through my TEFL course. I was a desktop man then and had not realized my future was going to be laptop only. As it, the little MSI came with me to Indonesia and has saved my bacon again and again and again. Even my wife loved it and loved Mint KDE! Yes, it ran KDE in 1GB of RAM and delivered day after day.

Re: accessing everything... yeah, well, that depends on the make and model. My MSI - not so much. But... the quality of the components in the MSI have been astounding!

You wait till you see the restoration. I am guessing but I reckon maybe three weeks more work.
I mostly used a desktop and scoffed at first at getting one, but had some health issues right then that made it an easy choice as I could use it from my bed.
I'm not sure now as I don't use KDE but I know you could tweak KDE at one time, turn off effects and animations and some other things to make KDE run fairly light even on low spec machines. I mostly stick to MATE and Xfce now which run on nearly anything.
These early netbooks are easy to work on. I had a later model Acer d255e which I really liked and distro-hopped like crazy with it in my early Linux days. But it was not as easy to work on and I made a mess of it trying to get the hard drive changed and finally got rid of it.
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Re: What is old oldest computer you saved with Linux?

Post by Jedinovice »

KBD47 wrote:
I mostly used a desktop and scoffed at first at getting one, but had some health issues right then that made it an easy choice as I could use it from my bed.
I'm not sure now as I don't use KDE but I know you could tweak KDE at one time, turn off effects and animations and some other things to make KDE run fairly light even on low spec machines. I mostly stick to MATE and Xfce now which run on nearly anything.
These early netbooks are easy to work on. I had a later model Acer d255e which I really liked and distro-hopped like crazy with it in my early Linux days. But it was not as easy to work on and I made a mess of it trying to get the hard drive changed and finally got rid of it.
Yup. I hear ya.

The 10" form factor is still about though. It's just not called a netbook.
The latest 11" form factor laptops are also developments of the netbook. It seems netbooks were killed off only to be reborn quietly... and possible free from Microsoft's interference.

My current ASUS X200M is effectively an 11" netbook and it's very accessible.

Oh, and yer right re: KDE. I can't tell in regards to Plasma 5 yet but 4 was eventually optimized to a fault and yes, you can turn off the animations and effects - which I always do in any GUI.

Would like to take a closer look at the other DE alternatives, mind, but I am down to one fully working laptop right now!
Mint Linux 18.0 64 bit KDE edition.
Video editing (AMV's mainly) on a dual core n2840 atom!
Results here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5Dw91 ... yVKS7X1Rlg
LOOK HERE FOR MY DEMO OF MINT LINUX KDE - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8hDYiGprWs
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Re: What is old oldest computer you saved with Linux?

Post by KBD47 »

Jedinovice wrote: Yup. I hear ya.

The 10" form factor is still about though. It's just not called a netbook.
The latest 11" form factor laptops are also developments of the netbook. It seems netbooks were killed off only to be reborn quietly... and possible free from Microsoft's interference.

My current ASUS X200M is effectively an 11" netbook and it's very accessible.

Oh, and yer right re: KDE. I can't tell in regards to Plasma 5 yet but 4 was eventually optimized to a fault and yes, you can turn off the animations and effects - which I always do in any GUI.

Would like to take a closer look at the other DE alternatives, mind, but I am down to one fully working laptop right now!
Today's netbooks are pretty much the Chromebooks. Love how lightweight my 13" Chromebook is (under 3 lbs.) and love that I can run Linux on it. Chromebooks run on the Linux kernel with a modified version of Gentoo. The Chromebooks of about a year ago with intel CPU's are great for Linux, the newer ones not so much as they are running ARM and Rockchip mobile CPU's. Google is putting Android as a second OS on them, still not sure that's a good idea.
I'm probably going to pick up a second laptop as a back up, I depend on it too much if it went down.
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Re: What is oldest computer you saved with Linux?

Post by hrmcrm »

I rescued and use an IBM ThinkPad T23, vintage November 2002. It has a 1133 mHz Pentium III CPU and 1 GB RAM. It multi-boots Windows 98SE, Windows XP Pro, and Mint 18 Xfce. The two Windows versions run an assortment of MIDI programs and a controller program for a Kenwood 200 disk CD player. Mint is for connecting to and transferring files from our home network and the Internet. I tried Mint Cinnamon and MATE before settling on Xfce as the best match for the S3 savage graphic chip.

I have two other IBM ThinkPads for tinkering.

An IBM ThinkPad 600E, February 1999, came with a 400 mHz Celeron CPU and Windows 98. It now has a 500 mHz Pentium III and 544 MB RAM, and dual-boots Win 98SE and openSUSE 13.1 KDE. It runs Puppy Linux precise-5.7.1-retro nicely. This Puppy had the NeoMagic graphic driver, and the driver for a Netgear WN511B PCMCIA wifi adapter. I’ll try replacing openSUSE with Mint 18 Xfce.

An IBM ThinkPad 310ED, early 1997, came with Windows 95, a 133mHz Pentium, and 64 MB RAM. It now has Windows 98SE, a 400 mHz AMD K-6-2 CPU, and 128 MB RAM. Puppy wary-5.5 will run on it, but does not have the right resolution for the Chips and Technology graphics. I’ll try precise-5.7.1-retro soon.
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Re: What is old oldest computer you saved with Linux?

Post by KBD47 »

Thinkpads love Linux :) I See Lenovo mentioned much regarding Linux so the newer versions must like Linux too.
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Re: What is oldest computer you saved with Linux?

Post by Arch_Enemy »

hrmcrm wrote:I rescued and use an IBM ThinkPad T23, vintage November 2002. It has a 1133 mHz Pentium III CPU and 1 GB RAM. It multi-boots Windows 98SE, Windows XP Pro, and Mint 18 Xfce. The two Windows versions run an assortment of MIDI programs and a controller program for a Kenwood 200 disk CD player. Mint is for connecting to and transferring files from our home network and the Internet. I tried Mint Cinnamon and MATE before settling on Xfce as the best match for the S3 savage graphic chip.

I have two other IBM ThinkPads for tinkering.

An IBM ThinkPad 600E, February 1999, came with a 400 mHz Celeron CPU and Windows 98. It now has a 500 mHz Pentium III and 544 MB RAM, and dual-boots Win 98SE and openSUSE 13.1 KDE. It runs Puppy Linux precise-5.7.1-retro nicely. This Puppy had the NeoMagic graphic driver, and the driver for a Netgear WN511B PCMCIA wifi adapter. I’ll try replacing openSUSE with Mint 18 Xfce.

An IBM ThinkPad 310ED, early 1997, came with Windows 95, a 133mHz Pentium, and 64 MB RAM. It now has Windows 98SE, a 400 mHz AMD K-6-2 CPU, and 128 MB RAM. Puppy wary-5.5 will run on it, but does not have the right resolution for the Chips and Technology graphics. I’ll try precise-5.7.1-retro soon.
How did you upgrade this thing? I have a 600E I bought used and served me well, but is too old and slow now to be much use. Loved it while it ran, then set it up for mule work getting into COMCAST routers. Running XP at that time. It sits in a bag now, replaced by newer, faster machines I got free...;)

Oldest machine I have put Linux on is a mid-90's Dell Pentium that just kind of sits there and looks like...a mid-90's Dell. IIRC, it's running Mint.
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One thing I would suggest, create a partition a ~50G partition as /. Partition the rest as /Home.
When the system fails, reinstall and use the exact same username and all your 'stuff' comes back to you.
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Re: What is old oldest computer you saved with Linux?

Post by thom_A »

The last and oldest computer I had, which was given away, was a single-core laptop with 1 GB ram. It runs beautifully on Windows XP, one of the greatest OSes that was ever developed. At that time, websites are not yet media-intensive so it was fast during its time.

The XP equivalents in Linux looked like you're going back to the DOS era where you ran the most basic apps like Lotus 123, Dbase, Wordstar, etc. Even now with dual cores being referred to as old, XP still has no equivalent in Linux. Most are basic looking. The elegance in XP is still unmatched. The closest equivalent I've seen is Q4OS, but it's debian and I can't run appimages or portable apps that Ubuntu-based distros don't have problem recognizing.
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Re: What is old oldest computer you saved with Linux?

Post by dXTC »

KBD47 wrote:
Jedinovice wrote:My olde MSI netbook clocks in at around 2010 and so isn't that old but the atom n455 CPU clocks slower than a 1.2 GHz PIII.

Machine still under renovation.
I've got one of these, just a year older than your netbook:
http://www.cnet.com/products/acer-aspir ... 250/specs/
The Lenovo Ideapad S10 in my signature has the same Intel Atom N270 processor as your Aspire. It's nice to noodle around on, juuuuust fast enough to play 360p or smaller video or a solo game of OpenArena smoothly, and goes into a small bag quite nicely. I had to turn off Flash and have AdBlocked most sites on it, just so the CPU's not so busy throwing ads in my face; even then, browsing is still somewhat slow.
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Re: What is old oldest computer you saved with Linux?

Post by KBD47 »

dXTC wrote: The Lenovo Ideapad S10 in my signature has the same Intel Atom N270 processor as your Aspire. It's nice to noodle around on, juuuuust fast enough to play 360p or smaller video or a solo game of OpenArena smoothly, and goes into a small bag quite nicely. I had to turn off Flash and have AdBlocked most sites on it, just so the CPU's not so busy throwing ads in my face; even then, browsing is still somewhat slow.
Yes, it is slow for web browsing. I did upgrade the ram to 2 gigs which is easy to change out. I'm impressed at how well these are made and how it has held up. I put a 320 gig hard drive in it and connected it to Ethernet and it is a music and video server using Plex. It works great for SD videos, but HD would probably kill it :)
PS--You might enjoy upgrading to a Chromebook when your netbook finally gives out. I got used to that size/weight device and going to a 11" Chromebook that could run Crouton Ubuntu was a good fit. Then I got a 13" Chromebook which is still under 3 lbs.
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Re: What is old oldest computer you saved with Linux?

Post by Portreve »

The oldest ? Well, that certainly wouldn't be with Linux Mint, but...

I used to have a vintage 1996 PowerMacintosh G3 "desktop". It came with the Rev. 3 (or was it "C"?) firmware. I had to go through quite the process to do this, but I switched it to Debian to repurpose it as a home file server.

All PowerMacs prior to the Bondi Blue G3 towers used what was called the "Old World ROM" generation of firmware. People today want to b**ch about Microsoft maybe trying to keep people from running GNU+Linux, but back in the day, Macs were designed to boot from an OS which, fundamentally, was designed in a proprietary way, and without access to the source code, nobody else was able to produce an OS directly capable of booting a Mac.

In order to boot the older Macs in GNU+Linux, you had to boot from Mac OS, then use a Control Panel and Extension combo known as BootX to interrupt the post-POST startup process, load a copy of the Linux kernel from the HFS-formatted boot partition into RAM, and then take kernel parameters you had to enter, flush everything else out of RAM, and boot the kernel, which then could deal with EXT, EXT2, etc., partitions, and load the rest of the OS.

Every time you updated the kernel, if you wanted it to actually get used, you had to take a copy and put a copy on the Mac OS boot partition, and then modify the BootX configuration to point to the new kernel file.

But... BUT... that only talks about the final configuration. To boot from a CD, you had to do much the same thing, except you told BootX to just look at the CD for the kernel. So, you still had to boot into Mac OS to boot a GNU+Linux installation CD.

Also, there was a limit (I forget what it was now) of how far through the disk that the Mac would look for OS partitions, and of course, to make maximum use of the disk, you'd want to keep the Mac OS partition as small as you could get away with.

Suffice it to say, this was a complete and total pain in the ass.

Fortunately, New World ROM Macs were much friendlier, and so on my present file server, a Mac mini G4, I only need to stick in the CD and boot from it, and it handles the rest.
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Re: What is old oldest computer you saved with Linux?

Post by BG405 »

Not the oldest machine, but a couple of days ago I installed Mint 17.3 Xfce 32-bit on this:

Code: Select all

brian@BG-K7S5A ~ $ sudo inxi -ACDGImMNoPSxxx
System:    Host: BG-K7S5A Kernel: 3.19.0-32-generic i686 (32 bit gcc: 4.8.2)
           Desktop: Xfce 4.12.2 (Gtk 2.24.23) info: xfce4-panel dm: mdm
           Distro: Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa
Machine:   Mobo: ECS model: K7S5A v: 1.0 serial: 00000000
           Bios: American Megatrends v: 07.00T date: 04/02/01
CPU:       Single core AMD Athlon (-UP-) cache: 256 KB
           flags: (pae) bmips: 1593 speed: 796 MHz (max)
Memory:    Array-1 capacity: 512 MB (check) devices: N/A EC: N/A max module size: 128 MB
Graphics:  Card: NVIDIA NV15 [GeForce2 Ultra] bus-ID: 01:00.0 chip-ID: 10de:0152
           Display Server: X.org 1.17.1 drivers: nouveau (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
           tty size: 90x30 Advanced Data: N/A for root
Audio:     Card Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SiS7012 AC'97 Sound Controller
           driver: snd_intel8x0 ports: dc00 d800 bus-ID: 00:02.7 chip-ID: 1039:7012
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k3.19.0-32-generic
Network:   Card: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SiS900 PCI Fast Ethernet
           driver: sis900 port: d400 bus-ID: 00:03.0 chip-ID: 1039:0900
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 40.0GB (18.1% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: WDC_WD400EB size: 40.0GB serial: WD-WCAJC2333677 temp: 40C
Partition: ID-1: / size: 7.8G used: 4.3G (58%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda2
           ID-2: /home size: 11G used: 121M (2%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda4
           ID-3: swap-1 size: 2.69GB used: 0.02GB (1%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda3
Unmounted: ID-1: /dev/sda1 size: 17.18G label: N/A uuid: 80A097C7A097C1D8
Info:      Processes: 140 Uptime: 8 min Memory: 360.5/494.7MB
           Init: Upstart v: 1.12.1 runlevel: 2 default: 2 Gcc sys: 4.8.4
           Client: Shell (sudo running in bash) inxi: 2.2.28 
It's a home-built machine and hadn't been powered up in ages, so I thought I'd shrink the xp partition (yes, just single partition! .. shows this machine hadn't even been set up properly) and create ones for root, swap & home (using a Puppy CD) then install Mint Xfce.

Once I unstuck the tray on the DVD-ROM I found it read the mini DVD-RW with no problems, which was a relief! Remember having to swap cables on some machines as they'd only boot from "master" or primary channel, also issues with rewriteable disks.

It seems quite responsive, albeit certainly not fast compared to today's hardware. Perfectly acceptable though and, surprisingly, no lag whilst initially typing this. Later on I'll see how it performs with Mint 18 Xfce, might even try the 64-bit versions just for the fun of it. :mrgreen:

It's been running for about an hour short of 2 days, on "soak" test and Firefox has all my add-ons (synced), 6 tabs open including Facebook and 2 x YouTube. Whilst it doesn't play the videos (I use NoScript) it does load the pages reasonably quickly and downloads are at a decent rate. So might make a good machine for working with my older hardware - I might now be able to use my Commodore floppy drive interface and the CatWeasel to work with other formats. :-D

EDITED
Somehow messed up the post and didn't spot it?
Last edited by BG405 on Mon Oct 10, 2016 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Dell Inspiron 1525 - LM17.3 CE 64-------------------Lenovo T440 8GB - Manjaro KDE with Mint VMs
Toshiba NB250 - Manjaro KDE------------------------K7S5A AMD 1.2GHz - LM17.3 Xfce 32 & WinXP-Pro
Acer Aspire E11 ES1-111M - LM18.2 KDE 64 ----Two ROMS don't make a WRITE ...
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Re: What is old oldest computer you saved with Linux?

Post by KBD47 »

Good job! Is that the maximum ram it will take? When you can bump up the ram to maximum on some of these old single core machines it makes a huge difference. Many old XP machines can go to 2 gb ram. Ram is fairly inexpensive for the XP machines. I bought a used stick of ram for $5 recently for a Toshiba laptop and it runs like a champ now.
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Re: What is old oldest computer you saved with Linux?

Post by The Old Timer »

This is the oldest I have.

Code: Select all

$ inxi -Fx
System: Host: emachines-T3092 Kernel: 4.0.5-antix.3-486-smp i686 (32 bit gcc: 4.9.3) Desktop: IceWM 1.3.8
Distro: antiX-15.1_386-full Killah P 18 February 2016
Machine: Mobo: First model: AU31 v: PCB 1.x Bios: Phoenix v: TCB426G date: 03/30/2004
CPU: Single core AMD Athlon XP 3000+ (-UP-) cache: 512 KB
flags: (pae sse) bmips: 4342 speed: 2171 MHz (max)
Graphics: Card: NVIDIA NV34 [GeForce FX 5200] bus-ID: 02:00.0
Display Server: X.Org 1.16.4 drivers: nouveau (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) Resolution: 1024x768@60.00hz
GLX Renderer: Gallium 0.4 on NV34 GLX Version: 1.5 Mesa 10.3.2 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio: Card-1 NVIDIA nForce2 AC97 Audio Controler (MCP)
driver: snd_intel8x0 ports: d800 dc00 bus-ID: 00:06.0
Card-2 NVIDIA nForce Audio Processing Unit bus-ID: 00:05.0
Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.0.5-antix.3-486-smp
Network: Card: NVIDIA nForce2 Ethernet Controller driver: forcedeth port: d400 bus-ID: 00:04.0
IF: eth0 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: 00:40:ca:7b:bb:f1
Drives: HDD Total Size: 120.0GB (4.2% used) ID-1: /dev/sda model: ST3120022A size: 120.0GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 108G used: 2.8G (3%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1
ID-2: swap-1 size: 2.17GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda2
Sensors: None detected - is lm-sensors installed and configured?
Info: Processes: 100 Uptime: 1:47 Memory: 216.0/2020.3MB Init: SysVinit runlevel: 5 Gcc sys: 4.9.2
Client: Shell (bash 4.3.301) inxi: 2.3.0
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Re: What is old oldest computer you saved with Linux?

Post by BG405 »

KBD47 wrote:Is that the maximum ram it will take?
I think so on that board. I do have more parts to put together and am tempted to use the tall tower case which has also been doing nothing but taking up space .. have a fairly decent motherboard somewhere and graphics cards, hard drives etc. as well. Will be nice to put together a machine without ever actually installing Windows on it!
Dell Inspiron 1525 - LM17.3 CE 64-------------------Lenovo T440 8GB - Manjaro KDE with Mint VMs
Toshiba NB250 - Manjaro KDE------------------------K7S5A AMD 1.2GHz - LM17.3 Xfce 32 & WinXP-Pro
Acer Aspire E11 ES1-111M - LM18.2 KDE 64 ----Two ROMS don't make a WRITE ...
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Re: What is old oldest computer you saved with Linux?

Post by Rosko »

My oldest, was originally an XP machine. It runs better with Manjaro than it did under the weight of XP SP3

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