Linked by Howard Fosdick on Tue 15th Jun 2010 21:06 UTC
Linux All of us who use computers create a problem we rarely consider. How do we dispose of them? This is no small concern. Estimates put the number of personal computers in use world-wide today at about one billion. The average lifespan of a personal computer is only two to five years. We can expect a tidal wave of computers ready for disposal shortly, and this number will only increase. And as if that isn't challenge enough, there are already several hundred million computers out-of-service, sitting in attics and basements and garages, awaiting disposal.
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sounds good in theory, but
by stew on Wed 16th Jun 2010 07:05 UTC
stew
Member since:
2005-07-06

In practice, I found that I had less trouble getting Windows 2k drivers for old machines than finding a Linux distribution that works.

For example, my old Thinkpad 365XD: 40MB RAM (not enough for the alternative Ubuntu installer), Pentium 120, Trident graphics. The driver for Trident was never ported from XFree 3.x to 4.x, so I'm restricted to stick to 3.x. However, once I go back to a distribution old enough to have that, I find that it does not support WPA2 for PCMCIA WLAN adapters (which requires a fairly recent kernel). In addition, it needs a disk manager so that the 20GB hard drive plays well with the BIOS that refuses to even POST larger than a 2GB drive. Unfortunately, I haven't seen a single distro yet that would cooperate - they get stuck at a boot screen or insist that the drive is only 2GB in size.

Windows 2000 runs a bit slow, but good enough to play mp3 radio streams over WIFI.

So, before you waste too much time trying to get old hardware to cooperate with Linux, give Windows a try. You might be surprised.

Edited 2010-06-16 07:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: sounds good in theory, but
by big_gie on Wed 16th Jun 2010 14:38 in reply to "sounds good in theory, but"
big_gie Member since:
2006-01-04

This reminds me of a small sony vaio laptop I inherited. Really sleek machine, but quite under-powered. Similar specs: P1 166MHz, 32MB ram. I insisted to using it, so I installed Arch on it, as it's my personal favourite.

I now use it as my main radio, mp3 streamed over wifi/wpa2. When it comes out of sleep, it automatically starts playing the stream.

I'm quite happy to be able to use it as its still a perfectly working machine. It does choke on browsing the web though. Gmail is impossible to read, even the basic html under opera. But it does not have any problem playing the stream.

Reply Parent Score: 1