The Revival of an Old Computer

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by wat0114, Apr 19, 2009.

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  1. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    My kid's machine's specs:

    HP, P2 733 MHZ, 512 MB RAM, 20 GB IDE H/drive.

    Machine is circa 2000 or 2001 (machine was given to me so not sure)

    It had Win XP, and optimized with everything I could possibly think of to get it running as fast and efficient as possible:

    • Install was fresh
    • Unneeded services disabled upon startup
    • Minimal security software: only SandBoxie and NOD 32, 2.7
    • SP2 with all critical updates
    • Video set as 1024x768, 70 HZ
    • No other gimmicky apps running real-time

    Even with these spartan measures applied, the machine ran like a snail. The h/drive thrashed violently with just about any simple action such as opening or even closing a program.

    Anyways, I have PCLinux 2009 setup on my machine as dual-boot with XP, and as I mention elsewhere in this forum, I love it! The kids have been taking turns test driving it and they also love it simply because their online games run so much faster for them. They also find the different look to be appealing. Figuring out the basics has been little effort for them and, in a nutshell, Linux has everything they need.

    So, I decided to simply wipe Windows clean on their drive and installed this version of Linux on it for them. Well, what a difference! Their computer has never run better for them than it does now. The h/drive barely makes any noise and overall performance of their machine is simply snappier than before with Windows. There is no way I could get this close to speed and efficiency with Windows.

    They're happy campers :)

    This post is not an effort to advertise Linux. I'm simply sharing my pleasant experience in my efforts to get the most out of an old machine, and Linux was the answer.
  2. chronomatic

    chronomatic Registered Member

    Apr 9, 2009
    You could probably get even better performance if you ran a Linux distro with Xfce or OpenBox. PCLOS had a community remaster called "Tiny Me" at one time. It might still be around.
  3. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    No doubt you're right, but this setup is still a vast improvement over what it was and, besides, for me this distro is a known quantity the kids and I are comfortable with. The machine just doesn't have adequate horsepower for Windows, but hums along nicely under Linux, so we'll stick with it for the foreseeable future.
  4. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

    Oct 5, 2004
    Yep, it's nice that there are alternatives when you need 'em. PCLOS is a good choice.
  5. Arup

    Arup Guest

    Xubuntu is an excellent choice for you, there are other excellent lighter distros but this will work out of the box and light and will work out of the box with minimal intervention.
  6. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  7. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Yeah, once time permits I'll check it out and maybe Wolvix as Longboard suggests too. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Absolutely, back into "Linux playing" mode after a bit of a hiatus :D I really like how so much is working "out of the box" with so many useful apps installed right off the bat :thumb:
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