Re: What Linux distro to use for old Intel machine, that fits on CDs?

FINALLY! Somebody who sounds like they know what they're talking
about! Thanks Douglas Mayne. My comments inline below.

On Jun 28, 9:29 am, Douglas Mayne <d...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Sat, 28 Jun 2008 01:24:31 -0700, raylopez99 wrote:
I have not been able to get a straight answer to this, despite almost
a year of trying.

Maybe three's the charm?

Here goes again...

I have an old machine, not my main machine, nearly in mothballs that

I recently bought a Dell Dimension 4100, built circa 2001. I got it from
the local university surplus property for $20. It came outfitted as

CPU: Pentium 3, 933 MHz
Memory: 512MB
Network: 3Com 10/100
Sound: Ensoniq
Optical: CD-RW (12x)
HD: none

I added a 500G SATA drive and controller, and now it has new life. It
can do all of the jobs you outlined without a hitch. I use it as secondary
workstation all of the time. Here are some screenshots running Dropline
Gnome on Slackware 12.0:

OK, I believe you.

My advice is to get a computer with similar specs if you intend to run
Open Office, Mozilla, etc. without running into a lot of frustration. As
an academic exercise, the absolute minimum that I would consider using as
desktop (in 2008) is

CPU: Pentium 3, 500MHz
Memory: 256M

Memory is critical. The more the better.

Got that. I did upgrade memory to at least 256 (I think in fact it's
512) and my CPU is faster than above.

BTW, I needed to add a disk to the system above because the university
removes all disks before reselling their systems. In your case, you
probably will need to add a disk, also. That is because of the fact that
2G is tight for installing any major GNU/Linux distribution.

YES! This is indeed the bottleneck. You are spot on.

Maybe, you
should consider throwing a few bucks at a SATA PCI disk controller ($25)
and 500G SATA HD ($100).  That could be a good investment because if you
decide to upgrade to a totally new system later on you already have the
disk. On the other hand, a lot of vendors have prebuilt complete systems
for about $300- and they will definitely run circles around these
"junk" systems. You'll have to decide if it is worth it because at some
point, it becomes a case of throwing good money after bad.

YES! Again, spot on. I did buy on eBay a SATA PCI disk controller,
but, as bad luck would have it, the form factor was such that it would
not fit on my PCI slot. So I will have to rebuy it if I go down that
route again. But, though I have build many a system from scratch, I
rather not reorder a disk controller, wait a week, then disassemble
the case, play with the cards (it's very crowded on this small factor
mobo), etc etc. If--remember this fix is for a clueless noob who
literally checks email on Yahoo and prints a short letter once in a
blue moon--nothing fancy, and not even Java is required on the web
browser--if I can get away with just a software upgrade I would be
very happy, since that's less time wasted for me.

So, I ask again, which distro? Thanks in advance...