Which distro


EvanDavis

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Ok here goes. Dad has a new fancy ASUS laptop which he just recently purchased. He is pretty ok on the computer for a 75 year old.
Now he also has an old desktop, and by old I mean still running Windows NT 4.0 Worstation. So the machine has pretty low spec. I think its Pentium 3 with maybe 512mb ram.
Thing is he is the sort of person that if it still runs then why chuck it. Even though he has fancy ASUS lappy with W7 Ultimate on.
My work LAptop has W7 plus Linux Mint Dual boot. Dad mucked about with Mint a few times and quite likes it. He is also very keen on anything Open source.
I was just wondering, I mean I don't have much experience with using Linux, but I have used and still use Linux Mint and Fedora and sometimes Mandriva in Virtualbox.

What sort of way would I go for choosing a Linux distro for sucj a low spec machine as his NT 4.0 machine. Which distro do you think in your opinion is best for low spec machines. He will pretty much use it just for e-mails and the odd DIY site when mum has hi-jacked the laptop to view which ever knitting or cooking site she does.

Your thoughts and view are most appreciated :)
 
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Quadophile

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The distro of choice for someone like him would be Linux Mint as it is one of the most user friendly distro out there for non geeks who need the software to work straight out of the box. All the other distro's need slight tweaking but Mint takes care of most things.

The spec of the machine is low but it will be OK. 512 mb ram these days is a bare minimum for any distro. I have seen folks with spec as low as 1.3 Ghz Celeron processor with 480 MB ram run Linux Mint with no problems. Just do not expect lightning speed performance. Try it with the Live CD first and see if it works OK.
 

EvanDavis

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Thanks for your response Quadophile. I have just burnt Mint ISO to disk and we''ll try it tomorrow. Glad you mentioned the Live CD route first. I need to get some data off the HDD before installing Mint properly anyway. Which itself is another question. Do you think there would be any problem with Windows 7 reading NT 4.0 if I stick the drive in a caddy ?
Ram is not a problem. I could always bump that up another 512mb. I'm sure I have a spare stick in my box of bits.
 

Quadophile

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EvanDavis said:
Thanks for your response Quadophile. I have just burnt Mint ISO to disk and we''ll try it tomorrow. Glad you mentioned the Live CD route first. I need to get some data off the HDD before installing Mint properly anyway. Which itself is another question. Do you think there would be any problem with Windows 7 reading NT 4.0 if I stick the drive in a caddy ?
Ram is not a problem. I could always bump that up another 512mb. I'm sure I have a spare stick in my box of bits.

Windows 7? on the low spec machine? Not sure why you want to do that.

I also suggest you try Linux Puppy 5.1 Live CD on that machine since it runs entirely on ram (70-130 mb) it should be very speedy compared to Linux Mint. Before you upgrade the ram give it a spin, you may not need the additional stick of ram!

Here is the link to download the ISO file

Puppy Linux 5

 

EvanDavis

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Quadophile said:
Windows 7? on the low spec machine? Not sure why you want to do that.
http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distributions/puppylinux/puppy-5.1/lupu-510.iso


Sorry, that came out wrong. I have Windows 7 on my machine. Before installing Linux onto dad's machine I want to take his hard drive out and stick it in my caddy so I can get all his data/photo's etc off of it. What I mean was once I have stuck the Hard Drive into the caddy will my Windows 7 machine have any problem reading his Nt 4.0 hard drive ? Sorry for the confusion.
 

Quadophile

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EvanDavis said:
Sorry, that came out wrong. I have Windows 7 on my machine. Before installing Linux onto dad's machine I want to take his hard drive out and stick it in my caddy so I can get all his data/photo's etc off of it. What I mean was once I have stuck the Hard Drive into the caddy will my Windows 7 machine have any problem reading his Nt 4.0 hard drive ? Sorry for the confusion.

I do not think that would be a problem. It is good idea to back up anyway.
 
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EvanDavis

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Thanks for your adivce Quadophile. Spent the day stripping out and cleaning the old machine up. New thermal paste on CPU, complete dust out. Added another stick of 512mb RAM and installed Linux Mint.
Everything runs just fine and dad is more than happy with it. He's sat now having a look round Mint. Next is to convince him to set up as a cruncher :D
 
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EvanDavis said:
Next is to convince him to set up as a cruncher :D
Free drinks in the bar for all new crunchers on friday nights.
Not sure when it's opening again, time to dust off the cobwebs i think!
 

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feckit said:
Free drinks in the bar for all new crunchers on friday nights.
Not sure when it's opening again, time to dust off the cobwebs i think!


Sounds like a plan. I will have to sneak install BOINC while dad is away from the computer. Going to be hard tonight though. He is like a kid with a new toy.
 
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EvanDavis said:
Sounds like a plan. I will have to sneak install BOINC while dad is away from the computer. Going to be hard tonight though. He is like a kid with a new toy.
Explain what it does, tell hime he can join the best team & get him on the forum.
Any questions and we can answer them for him.:thumb:
 

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Glad everything worked out well for your Dad!:thumb:

Puppy 5 is lightning fast so you can try it for yourself on your laptop just to play around with it. :D
 
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EvanDavis

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Quadophile said:
Glad everything worked out well for your Dad!:thumb:

Puppy 5 is lightning fast so you can try it for yourself on your laptop just to play around with it. :D


I downloaded Puppy from your link last night and had a little look at it on Virtual Box. Lightning fast it sure is. I have a netbook with XP on it, which looks like it might now get replaced with Puppy. I shall see later. :D
 

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EvanDavis said:
I downloaded Puppy from your link last night and had a little look at it on Virtual Box. Lightning fast it sure is. I have a netbook with XP on it, which looks like it might now get replaced with Puppy. I shall see later. :D

It is always a good idea to have two operating systems on the computer, it really comes in handy. Maybe Linux Mint and Puppy together? Puppy hardly needs any space to reside on the HD so in effect it would really be just one OS when you consider HD space. I now have triple boot on my IBM Thinkpad.
 

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Quadophile said:
It is always a good idea to have two operating systems on the computer, it really comes in handy. Maybe Linux Mint and Puppy together? Puppy hardly needs any space to reside on the HD so in effect it would really be just one OS when you consider HD space. I now have triple boot on my IBM Thinkpad.

I quite like Mint. Its easy and simple to use. And installing that over XP will free up a bit of space on the HDD. I have an external USB HDD I normally use for the netbook. I could run Puppy off of that :D
 

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EvanDavis said:
I quite like Mint. Its easy and simple to use. And installing that over XP will free up a bit of space on the HDD. I have an external USB HDD I normally use for the netbook. I could run Puppy off of that :D

I have puppy on a stick as well :D
 

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Quadophile said:
I have puppy on a stick as well :D


I'm not sure where I read it, maybe on Wikipedia, but they say you can run it off of a Micro SD card. If thats the case I have a small USB adapter which is about an inch. No need for sticky out USB things or cables to external drives.
 
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Quadophile

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For me Puppy on a stick means 4 GB Sandisk flash drive :D
 
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EvanDavis

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Quadophile said:
For me Puppy on a stick means 4 GB Scandisk flash drive :D


Cool. I think I will have a look online at some point today and find me a 4gb stick. Best to go down the route that somebody else has already been down in case I have any hassles along the way trying to install to something else which others might not have done. The whole Linux experience is still pretty new to me. Only really been fiddling about for the last few months :D
 

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