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Yeay, an old laptop !

October 2nd, 2008 by Martijn Leave a reply »

My brother found me an old Compaq Presario 1245 at his association (is it still called D├ęclicks ?). It contains a K6-2 333MHz processor, a single USB port, and an amazing 32MB of RAM, more than enough to read text documents in the bus.

I burnt a Puppy Linux 4.1 CD (after some swearing, because my Ubuntu Hardy only recognizes my CD burner one time in 10) and attempted to run it. This failed, 32MB is not enough, and the boot stops at the message “Loading kernel modules”. I restarted it with the boot parameters “pfix=rdsh”, and created a swap partition and activated it. This did it, and the puppy was alive, booting me into a graphical user interface. After playing a little with the live CD, I decided to install it on the hard drive, which sped up matters a lot. Puppy linux is downright snappy on this configuration, and includes enough tools to make me feel right at home (in the command-line mostly). Installing the vim package makes it even better.

I installed mplayer, but that was a waste of time. It’s way too slow to play movies. Playing MP3 uses about 20% of the processor time. 32MB of RAM isn’t enough to run any gecko based browser. They will start, but they will take minutes to switch between windows. The links browser is a better option, it can even render pages in graphics mode using “-g” on the command line, and it’s faster than, uh, something that’s really fast at rendering web pages, but it may horrify CSS purists and other designers.

Retro is fun.

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