laptop linux question. which distro?

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laptop linux question. which distro?

Post by Calum » Mon Aug 29, 2005 11:56 am

hi.

my better half would like a laptop to write on (well, to type on actually). that's easy, i know how to type "ebay.co.uk" into the url box, but wait! i want the cheapest one possible, and this means getting a low spec one. the laptop i end up with will probably have something like a 386, 486 or pentium 100-233Mhz CPU, between 24-64 MB of RAM and like 800MB-2GB of hard drive space.

so my issue is, which linux to slap on it? all the ones i hear about now need gigabytes of space to install the system on, and i would like to leave as much space free for her files as possible (also bearing in mind i will be putting /home on a separate partition, thus making some of the free space unavailable for files). so what do i do? do i have to trawl forever to find what they call "mini-distributions"? can i use an old linux release? i'd rather not, but if i have to...

she's used to using windows 2000 at work and kde/openoffice/firefox at home, so it has to have some sort of usable interface (ie not the likes of blackbox or fvwm, icewm *might* be ok, but i would probably need to install dfm or rox as well to get the effect of the icons on the desktop and so on) would vector linux do the job do you think? i would rather not install gnome or kde but i think i am going to have to install openoffice, abiword and probably firefox as well. other little things like xcalc and similar utilities will probably have to go on too.

basically i am asking you what is the linux equivalent of windows 95 with office 97 installed? i am sure you get the idea by now.

thanks in advance for thoughts!

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Post by Void Main » Mon Aug 29, 2005 12:11 pm

Ouch, I just did a little work for someone in trade for two used 400Mhz Dell latitude laptops with 256MB and 6GB hard drives. I also already had a Dell Latitude 366Mhz machine that I upgraded to 256MB just before scoring the other two machines. I think the 256MB chip was only around 40 bucks, well worth the investment. They run FC4 very very nicely. I personally wouldn't want a machine with lower specs than that and those are a couple of generations old now so you should be able to pick something up for real cheap with similar specs. I also have an IBM Thinkpad from work running FC4 w 1.5GB of RAM and 40GB of disk but something like is obviously much more than you would want to spend. I wonder what companies do with their old equipment when upgrading? Having hooks into companies like that definitely have benefits. I guess what I am saying is you should be able to find a machine with much higher specs than what you list for very little money.

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Post by Calum » Mon Aug 29, 2005 12:18 pm

so what you're really saying is, run FC4 on it, yes? :-D

ok, ok, perhaps i will consider it. still, i like the idea of a quaint old laptop like that, and i know linux has been around longer than pentium chips, so there must be something that'll run on it, i probably do have to think about not having the bare minimum if i want openoffice to work though...

any other thoughts (from void or anyone else) about low spec happy linux distros?

void, thanks for your incredibly speedy reply btw, i sometimes think you have a little applet telling you when a question has been asked here! do you?

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Post by Void Main » Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:00 pm

Calum wrote:i sometimes think you have a little applet telling you when a question has been asked here! do you?
I do, it's called Firefox. :)

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Post by worker201 » Mon Aug 29, 2005 3:00 pm

I will happily send you the complete original Mandrake 6.0 for free - you pay shipping. Also, I have what is called "Corel Linux", which is a strange sort of proprietary Debian with Word Perfect Suite 8 built in. I also have the RedHat6 Installation Guide, from RedHat Press. These are all fairly old, so if it turns out you need them, let me know.

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Post by Calum » Tue Aug 30, 2005 1:26 pm

thank you, though i don't think i will need them, i decided to install vector linux on whatever i get and see how i go, everybody seems to say it's great for that sort of thing, and i am no stranger to slackware, plus it sounds like it has lots of flash gui tools that slack doesn't have, so should be ok for its purpose.

also, vector linux is current, so no security issues from old software anyway if it wants to go on the internet at some point.

you're right void, looks like i can probably get a thinkpad or something with similar specs to what you mention for next to nothing.

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Post by Void Main » Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:17 pm

This is off topic but I think you may have forgotten about a question you asked here the other day:
http://voidmain.is-a-geek.net/forums/vi ... 7&start=15

I fixed the wma2mp3 script for you.

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Post by Calum » Sun Sep 04, 2005 4:39 am

you're the best!
:D

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