[brlug-general] Old PCs
cusachs at bellsouth.net
Thu Feb 2 20:28:08 CST 2006
For really old computers that aren't up to more modern OSs, there
is still GeoWorks, reborn and offered for sale to schools, etc.
Looks like it would cruise on a box that wouldn't support any
Linux too big to install from a floppy.
You can check out more at http://www.breadbox.com/ or do
a Google search on GeoWorks. Only bug I see is that they
seem to want everybody to pay.
I recall attending a shootout, in the late Plio-Pleistocene,
between GeoWorks and Windows 3.1 at HAL-PC in Houston,
with Bill Gates performing admirably, but GeoWorks
outperforming his system. As far as I can tell, it was far ahead
of its time. Had read of schools using it on donated older
computers. If I didn't have to pay for it, I'd try it on an old box
I was given, of the 486 era.
At 07:24 PM 2/2/06, you wrote:
>you raise several issues:
>installation--i have several lite os you can test, as i stated in my
>reply, if you bring an example machine to a meeting we can try them
>out and possibly help you with installation. i am sure other members
>can introduce you to other nix they are familiar with.
>free vs profit--if you are giving the systems away ms has a program
>to give away old win os to non-profit groups & schools, if you are
>selling, they consider copys a form of software piracy (yes i said the p-word)
>compatibility--having restored both windows and linux systems on old
>p1 machines i can tell you that yes, you must warn newbie users that
>they cannot run most new commercial software or hardware on these
>old machines, regardless of os. I tell them they must read the
>system requirments on the box before buying the latest software or
>external drives etc. whichever os you choose to work with, new users
>should be given some help with the systems or they may never make
>full use of them.
>free software--given the choice of downloading free software from
>one repository through synaptic on dsl or having to search about
>and/or buy old/used dos or win9x compatible software, which is
>really easier on them?
>dual boot-- all my personal systems are multi boot os, as i want to
>run as many types of software as possible. a dsl or feather
>partition on the drive would take very little room on a win9x system
>and open a whole new world to these users. who knows, you could be
>giving the next Einstien or Torvalds their first computer equiped
>with k-stars and crafty chess engine (instead of grand theft auto).
> I am glad to hear you are using these old machines to help people !
>Adam J Hogan <ahogan2 at lsu.edu> wrote:
>Only problem I have is getting dsl to load on the computer. After about 20
>minutes, all that had loaded was X and the cpu meter. Maybe I could
>install it on a different computer and move the HD.
>Other issue: The computers I have will probably be used as an incentive for
>some students in my school. Our computer teacher and I are working on
>getting them set up. She is vaguely familiar with GNU/Linux (I gave her a
>Live CD). Her feeling is that Windows is the way to go because most people
>will buy software and hardware without understanding that it may not be
>supported. These people will probably never use a package manager to
>install programs. They may not even know that it is GNU/Linux. All they
>will know is that their game doesn't work or their new tax software can't
>be installed. Should I have freedom to install the OS I want and place a
>file on the desktop for people to read explaining program acquisition via
>apt, for example, and why most commercial software won't work?
>Is freedom of program use a freedom to be valued when users have no
>understanding? The people who will be receiving these computers will most
>likely live in projects and may not know anything about software. Does
>freedom of program use outweigh freedom of modification and distribution if
>people have no clue about these freedoms? Just looking for opinions.
>Carl W. wrote:
>after testing mepis, feather, puppy, and others i settled on dsl for my
>166mhz 32mb toshiba tecra, you may have seen me dragging it about at sig
>meetings. With the help of members i have learned to configure stuborn
>hardware and load numerous packages for the system. I would be happy to
>help you with it if you need help.
>I chose to work with live cd versions for the excellent hardware detection
>they provide, and it's great to just pop a cd in and see how it works
>before commiting to the installation process.
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