Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 12th Dec 2012 21:47 UTC
Linux "This tree removes ancient-386-CPUs support and thus zaps quite a bit of complexity [...] which complexity has plagued us with extra work whenever we wanted to change SMP primitives, for years. Unfortunately there's a nostalgic cost: your old original 386 DX33 system from early 1991 won't be able to boot modern Linux kernels anymore. Sniff. I'm not sentimental. Good riddance." Almost 21 years of support for a professor. Not bad.
Thread beginning with comment 544879
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Yes you CAN run your old 386
by benali72 on Wed 12th Dec 2012 22:30 UTC
Member since:

The beauty of free software like Linux is that you can still use your 386, because you can always download old versions of the OS freely from the web. In contrast, you can't legally acquire copies of old commercial software, like old versions of Windows.

Reply Score: 9

UltraZelda64 Member since:

There will probably even remain some specialist distros that combine the last i386-compatible kernel with the latest packages. Hell, some distros even go as far as using the 2.4 kernel in the name of backward compatibility already (ie. Damn Small Linux).

If it's holding Linux back, I'm glad it's being removed from the kernel. Those machines are ancient, rare, falling apart if they haven't done so already, and really not good for much of anything here in late 2012.

Reply Parent Score: 5

lucas_maximus Member since:

Yes you can. You can still buy a license of Window 3.1 if you wish to, just not from Microsoft ... it will be a second hand one.

Edited 2012-12-13 00:32 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

UltraZelda64 Member since:

I don't know about way back in the Windows 3.1 days, but I do know that Microsoft only allowed changing ownership of their Windows XP licenses one time. Either way, every bit of Win3x is creaky, old, and just plain outdated... going back that far would be insane even if the license did allow it. At that point you might as well go for plain old DOS, and FreeDOS would be a better choice than probably any version of MS-DOS in most cases. Or, hell, probably any past proprietary commercial variant of DOS for that matter.

Reply Parent Score: 1

tylerdurden Member since:

That transaction may be rather "iffy" from a legal stand point, however.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Yes you CAN run your old 386
by Morgan on Thu 13th Dec 2012 11:03 in reply to "Yes you CAN run your old 386"
Morgan Member since:

I've held on to a Windows 95 disc and license, two Windows 98 discs and licenses, a Windows XP Home disc and license, and a BeOS 5.0 Pro disc. I bought all of them new. One of the Win98 sets is OEM so it's legally tied to a machine that died long, long ago, but I don't think Microsoft will mind me running it on the only machine in my collection old enough to use it.

I'm not sure why I still have them; even the XP set is unnecessary as I have XP Mode on my Windows 7 workstation. I suppose one day they will go on eBay (except that pesky OEM Win98 set, and BeOS of course) but for now they stay in a drawer out of sight and mind.

My point with all of that nostalgia being: Yes you can legally acquire old commercial software, you just have to be vigilant about licensing. As long as the license permits a transfer of ownership and the original owner can be verified, you won't be breaking any rules. Besides, most software more than fifteen or so years old is considered abandoned by their publishers for anything but trademark infringement or reverse engineering. That doesn't necessarily apply to the gaming world (see for an awesome example of resurrecting old games the right way) but otherwise it's common knowledge.

And none of this is meant to take away from your first sentence. Free software is a beautiful thing, for the reason you stated and so many more. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2