[Tutor] [OT] Linux

Alan Gauld alan.gauld at blueyonder.co.uk
Thu Aug 12 00:31:21 CEST 2004

> I recently "discovered" Linux, via the Knoppix CD. I
> must say, I was both surprised and excited 


I've been playing with Linux since 1993 and I have a 
love/hate thing with it. But I'm never long without 
a Linux box of some kind...

> reformat an old laptop (166 MHz, ~90 Mb RAM, 2G HD) 
> or find space on a newer machine. 

For playing the old macjine should be OK, but laptops can
be tricky unless you can find a Linux build specifically 
for that - IBM Thinkpads are good bets. The problem is 
lots of unusual devices. Modern laptops and distros will 
be no problem but an old laptop will need either a slimmed 
down distro or an old distro to fit that 2G disk with 
space for work.

> distribution(s) will run well on a machine that old?

The age isn't really a problem, even new Linux distros 
will run on old hardware, but they take up a lot of space. 
I'd go for a small distro like Vector which is based 
on Slackware. Thats easily upgradeable but everything 
fits comfortably on 1G and was happy with my 200M P3 
and 64M RAM. - And as a bonus the window manager look 
a lot like MacOS X so you might fool your friends you 
bought a Mac :-)

> large a partition do you think I would want? (I'd
> probably use the newest Mandrake, based on the common 
> perception of its ease for newbies; 

Mandrake is good for newbies, bt a full install of any 
modern distro will look at 4-6G or more.

A lot depends on how serious you want to get. Many 
folks use Linux as their main system day in day out.
If thats your plan spec the PC as you would any other 
- the faster and bigger the better. If you are still 
playing for education then I'd try the smaller laptop 

Alan G.

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