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Re: Have old laptop and want a simple system

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  • xheralt
    Forget what Bill said below, we really don t need any more specifics than we have, other than one question -- there are several different grades of Pentium ,
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 1, 2009
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      Forget what Bill said below, we really don't need any more specifics than we have, other than one question -- there are several different grades of "Pentium", and it makes a BIG difference if your machine is a Pentium 2-or-less versus a Pentium 3-or-better. If you don't know, you can look it up in the Windows XP Control Panel, Classic View. Double-click the System icon, and it will tell you right there in the window that pops up.

      If you have a P-3 or better, I second Alvaro's enthusiasm for PCLinuxOS 2009.2. Stay away from Kubuntu or any distro where the description says it uses KDE 4.x; they will be too resource-heavy for your hardware. If you use KDE, find something in the 3.5.x range. I don't know Gnome-based distros (like Ubuntu) well enough to set a cap on versions, or even if they're necessary.

      I run PCLOS 2009.2 on an AMD Sempron 1.8GHz (Celeron equivalent) laptop with only 384MB RAM, it works great and I love it. I've tried MEPIS 6.5, 7.0, and 8.0, and can't unreservedly recommend that distro any more, I've encountered some issues with 8.0, and the older ones have aged very badly.

      256MB RAM might be a bit of a bottleneck. If PCLinuxOS and Ubuntu/Mint/etc. fail or run really slow, you'll probably be stuck with the no-frills (i.e. slightly less-newbie-friendly) XFCE-based distros. D*mn Small Linux, Vector Linux, Absolute Linux, and Zenwalk are all ones I've tried. AVOID Xubuntu, its *slow* compared to its brethren. Zenwalk is my current favorite from that group.

      With you only having 256MB, I'd say stay away from Puppy Linux, while lightweight, it will load itself entirely into RAM from the LiveCD; a bonus in most circumstances, not in yours.

      Now to your specific requirements:

      1. What device are you using for scanning? A simple scanner, or an all-in-one printer? Well, odds are, Linux/CUPS will handle it.

      2. Any Linux will do the internet; the only potential sticking point is wireless device recognition, which depends on the wireless device. Yours being an older device, it's *probably* well-recognized by current Linuxes. Preserve copies of the Windows driver files currently being used on a USB key (or the netgear CD if you have it), in case you have to use ndiswrapper instead of a native kernel module! If all else fails, plug in with a cable and browse help forums for your distro if the wifi doesn't work.

      3. DVD movies will require a DVD drive; you'll have to get a USB external drive for that. "Kaffeine", a standard KDE app, or "VLC", an app available for ANY Linux, and Windows besides, coupled with the requisite codecs (search your Linux software repository for them when you get that far) will generally let you play dvd's.

      Firefox browser plugins will let you watch internet videos.

      Does that about cover it?

      --- In LINUX_Newbies@yahoogroups.com, al marenco <almarenco@...> wrote:
      >
      > I hacw an old Compaq similar to Joans's Vaio: %12Mb RAM CD player.
      >
      > MEPIS Linux has the best recognition software of all the distros i've tried a;so PC LINUX OS9

      > Álvaro Marenco.   :-) "Some see them as Stumbling blocks, but a few use them as Stepping Stones, ATTITUDE."  - Anonymous.
      >    
      >
      > --- On Mon, 8/31/09, Joan Leach <jleach728@...> wrote:
      >
      > From: Joan Leach <jleach728@...>
      > Subject: Re: [LINUX_Newbies] Have old laptop and want a simple system
      > To: LINUX_Newbies@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Monday, August 31, 2009, 2:34 AM
      >

      > --- On Sun, 8/30/09, klopper_54017 <klopper_54017@ yahoo.com> wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      > From: klopper_54017 <klopper_54017@ yahoo.com>
      >
      > Subject: [LINUX_Newbies] Have old laptop and want a simple system
      >
      > To: LINUX_Newbies@ yahoogroups. com
      >
      > Date: Sunday, August 30, 2009, 6:14 AM
      >
      > Hi,
      >
      > I have my sons old Sony viao laptop now, He had it in college. It is a pentium with 256 meg of ram and not sure about other figures. It has a cd rom drive, usb and I have a netgear wireless card in it. I am running Windows XP on it now and have some problems.
      >
      >
      >
      > Here is what I want to do with the laptop.
      >
      > 1. I use it to scan woodworking patterns, i want to be able to resize or just print them out.
      >
      > 2. I want to be able to get on the internet with it.
      >
      > 3. I want to be able to watch dvd movies on it and also live movies from netflix, now it just jogs when I try to do this.
      >
      >
      > Thanks
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