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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
Advise wanted for deciding what puppy to run on old computer
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benny7440


Joined: 20 Apr 2009
Posts: 416

PostPosted: Sun 31 Mar 2013, 10:45    Post subject:  Advise wanted for deciding what puppy to run on old computer
Subject description: This's so old that it might have been mfgd. in 1995.
 

The extracted data from the system is as follows:
1) BIOS : ROM PCI/ISA BIOS (2A59IEC9) - AWARD SO6TWARE ...note --the "6" isn't a typo;
2) " : Base Memory : 640K - Extended Memory : 31744K - Other Memory ; 384K;
3) Windows 95 - Pentium(r) - 32MB RAM;
4) Peripherals: CDROM drive - Floppy disk drive (3.5") - MODEM : PC56 56000 Internal Voice Fax Modem (only dial-up available with this unit);
5) System Board Drivers' Date : 8-24-1996;
6) File System : 32-bit;
7) Hard Disk : 2.7GB Free.

As you can see from the above it's in fact an old fox. This's why I'm concerned with what I can put inside for it to be of real use.

In addition to the above, when I start this computer it insists in performing a check disk routine which Iǘe permitted more than half a dozen times already but it never ends. It insists that there're problems in some sectors in the H/D but I don't have the details, now. If I interrupt the scan & insist in booting up Win95 it boots up & performs, I guess, as expected.

I don't have set-up, yet, a dialup internet connection for that machine; but I will!

My goal is to choose an appropriate puppy for this unit but can't feel sure of which one to pick up. Thanks to anybody that can help with this!

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sfeeley

Joined: 14 Feb 2010
Posts: 809

PostPosted: Sun 31 Mar 2013, 11:07    Post subject:  

This thread has a case study for a computer with less ram (16mb). The thread is old, but some of the tips might still stand
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?search_id=36678008&t=48214

If I were in your hands I'd look at
Mean puppy
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=58997#58997

or 2.14x classic pup
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=42553

or wary

or akita
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=67811

puppy linux 4.1 was good with older systems

and look for "retro" versions of other pups. these are newer versions but use an older kernal for older hardware.

truth be told, there's nothing that will make this run well, but would be a fun project.

My toying around with older computers has found that pulling the harddrive from the old computer, swapping it into a newer computer, completing the installation, and then swapping back is pretty key.
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starhawk

Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 3208
Location: Everybody knows this is nowhere...

PostPosted: Sun 31 Mar 2013, 12:50    Post subject:  

Go to this thread --> http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=83550
Fourth post, third link, is what you want. If anything Puppy will run on this box, that will be the fastest. It's extraordinarily cut-down, but it is quite functional nevertheless. Only thing is, I'm not sure if it will boot! You have a remarkable antique there -- I tend to have really old stuff in my house, but not like that...

ClassicPup is really nice to look at but it is (in my experience) horribly slow. That said, it is one Puppy I can guarantee will boot for you. It may be the only one. I hope you like waiting ten minutes (or more) for it to boot...

In either case, you really do want to replace that hard drive -- if it's saying you have bad sectors on that disk, you're going to be replacing it soon anyways. If you're in the US, I can send you a small hard drive for cost of shipping -- 10-20gb. I really don't see that system needing even a 30gb drive -- it's just not that strong or fancy.

Wary and Akita almost certainly won't even run on that system. You've got a 586-class CPU in that thing, and most versions of Puppy are made with packages for a 686-class (Pentium II) CPU or newer. There are basically two types of packages in question here -- "i486" packages will work for you, "i686" will not.

Here's why.

What you have, if your computer was made in 1996 or so (which it was, unless someone, way back when, updated the BIOS for you) -- is an original Pentium CPU. That even predates the AMD "Super Socket 7" stuff (that came out in 1998) -- so you're basically stuck at a ceiling of 200MHz with this computer, assuming that your motherboard will even support that. I say that, because the 200MHz Pentium CPU came out in June of 1996. It's possible that support was already there in August of 1996 for that CPU, but I doubt it -- more likely you'll top off at the 167MHz model from January 1996, or lower.

Further, since you cannot possibly have a CPU socket that happened two years (or so) after your motherboard was made, you can't even upgrade it to a K6-II CPU. Those went up to IIRC 550MHz and would give you some actual performance.

My suggestion, for what it's worth -- you need to do one of two things.

Thing one, is recognize that this will be a machine for learning and testing, but not for serious use. Once you have it up and running with Puppy, get something better, and junk it.

Thing two, is to upgrade it to at least the minimum for running a Puppy reasonably well. You need at least a Pentium II CPU (K6-II's and K6-3D's are still 586-class, ie Pentium, CPUs, and so you'll have problems). The more RAM you can get, the better. As it turns out, eBay finds reason to put Socket 370 (Pentium III) stuff cheaper than Slot 1 stuff.

If you decide to upgrade, and you're in the States, this is what I recommend outfitting yourself with.
This motherboard --> http://www.ebay.com/itm/140937528649
You will find this link somewhat helpful as it's an HP board --> http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=bph07170
This RAM --> http://www.ebay.com/itm/140874364234
...and I'll send you a hard drive for cost of shipping ($10 or so).

If you have any concerns about (re)building your computer, let me know and I'll help as best I can.

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benny7440


Joined: 20 Apr 2009
Posts: 416

PostPosted: Sun 31 Mar 2013, 14:39    Post subject:  

Thanks for replying to both of you, starhawk & sfeeley!

Indeed, your replies were fast. It appears that I'm going to be reading a lot today & tommorrow. Let me finish digesting this material first before I post something; I didn't have an idea of how difficult it could turn to be to do this with this oldie!

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Sony VAIO VGN AR250G Notebook + 512MB RAM.
Need color of cables of 2 connectors at top & down side of Dell monitor 1704FPTt (look through vents at right side at the back)

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starhawk

Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 3208
Location: Everybody knows this is nowhere...

PostPosted: Sun 31 Mar 2013, 18:56    Post subject:  

Just realized something important -- you very likely have an AT-style or BabyAT-style system, rather than the more modern ATX/MicroATX/etc. -- particularly since your motherboard was made in 1996 or earlier. The ATX specification (aka ATX Spec, the document that tells you how to design stuff with it) didn't come out till late '95 -- and, as I recall hearing /somewhere/, it didn't really catch on for another year.

The way you tell if you have an AT or ATX style setup without opening the box, strangely enough, is the keyboard connector.

The keyboard connector used for an AT-style computer, per the first one of those -- the IBM PC/AT, Model 5170 -- is a big round connector with five pins or holes. The technical term is "5-pin DIN" ("DIN" being pronounced either "din" or "Dee Eye Enn" depending on whether or not you're shouting it over a bad phone connection).

However, the ATX boards and their many variants (up through today, except on so-called "legacy-free" boards that are generally a pain in the [...] to work with) use the keyboard connector from the IBM Personal System/2 (PS/2) -- the computer which gives these ports their common name. The technical term is "6-pin Mini-DIN" for these ports, and the keyboard port is either black, beige, purple, or occasionally orange. (Usually it's black or purple.) Everybody and their kids all call these "PS/2 ports", though.

Some weird hybrid boards had both, to match weird hybrid cases. Here's a picture of one of those boards (from a google search, reuploaded elsewhere) -- tell me which connector is on your computer, and I'll tell you if it's time to buy a new case along with that board and RAM I suggested.


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goingnuts

Joined: 07 Dec 2008
Posts: 784

PostPosted: Mon 01 Apr 2013, 15:10    Post subject:  

My recommendation would be the pUPnGO V216 060611 as the ones based on P412 kernel seems to fail at boot on old pentium
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starhawk

Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 3208
Location: Everybody knows this is nowhere...

PostPosted: Mon 01 Apr 2013, 15:44    Post subject:  

Well, except that it won't provide him with a proper desktop OS -- he'll have to spend a goodly bit of time hunting down libs and programs to make the thing behave.

OP, if you don't want to (or can't) upgrade, and you really want to try Puppy on this relic, I have a copy of SimplePup 031 that's based on Puppy 1.07 that I could probably upload somewhere for you. That would likely work for you.

Also, again, ClassicPup will boot on a box this antique. It's just... it'll be extraordinarily slow. Up-to-date? Yes. Functional? Yes, mostly. Slower than a snail going up a steep hill? Very yes.

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goingnuts

Joined: 07 Dec 2008
Posts: 784

PostPosted: Mon 01 Apr 2013, 15:55    Post subject:  

Kernel boot failure effectively prevent a proper desktop OS...
Upgrading the P216 pupngo to pupngo2012 functionality is not that hard and maybe even fun...
The early Puppy 1.xx is a good starting point.
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CatDude


Joined: 03 Jan 2007
Posts: 1497
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon 01 Apr 2013, 16:02    Post subject:  

Hi

starhawk wrote:
..I have a copy of SimplePup 031 that's based on Puppy 1.07 that I could probably upload somewhere for you.

Thanks to Caneri, that is already available here: http://www.puppylinux.ca/vintage/simple-pup/SimplePup-0.3.1.iso

CatDude
.

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popov

Joined: 30 Mar 2013
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Mon 01 Apr 2013, 16:30    Post subject:  

Nice box, what CPU(frequency) and which Vid Card?
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starhawk

Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 3208
Location: Everybody knows this is nowhere...

PostPosted: Mon 01 Apr 2013, 21:26    Post subject:  

popov, whose box are you referring to? The one in CatDude's signature graphic? or the one in the original post?
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2746
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue 02 Apr 2013, 00:33    Post subject:  

goingnuts wrote:
My recommendation would be the pUPnGO V216 060611 as the ones based on P412 kernel seems to fail at boot on old pentium
Just getting this info on my watchlist so i can find it again.
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tommy

Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 97
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Tue 02 Apr 2013, 08:32    Post subject:  

I have a wide experience in installing puppy in PCs featuring pentium 133 - 200 MHz and 24-40 MB ram. Trust me Wink . As I wrote here and here the best solution is Puppy barebones 2.01r2 ( here download link ). Be aware that even in its barebones form, Puppy 2.01r2 will be slower than win95. If you want a complete OS, trust starhawk and his recommendations, and find a more recent pc (I usually find them for free next to junk bins.) Forget Seamonkey, Firefox or Opera: once opened they need 50 to 300 mb of ram so they will thrash your swap partition. Other programs are OK (sylpheed for mail, dillo for web browsing, gftp, vnc, rdesktop, etc.) .
If you find other 32MB of ram and your dinosaur becomes a 64MB ram PC, try Turbopup extreme. With 64MB of ram you can even dare to surf the web with Seamonkey (in turbopup it has no-script enabled: it will block many ram-hungry flash scripts!) .
If you are comfortable with the console, try PulP 001, it has many cli-only programs and I managed to run it in Pentium 133MHz 24MB of ram and NO SWAP!
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benny7440


Joined: 20 Apr 2009
Posts: 416

PostPosted: Tue 02 Apr 2013, 14:56    Post subject:  

I already started with my left foot!

I d/l grupflop.tar.gz as per the first post at: http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?search_id=36678008&t=48214 but after extracting the 2 files one of them (the .exe one) showed 0 bytes size & xarchiver showed one error at extracting. I hope I won't need it because, after all, it was supposed to be for been used under windows which I don't have (at this machine = VAIO).

Since there's a lot to read & much of it is NEW for me I thought it was going to be a good idea to extract some info from the posts & decided to open a text editor (nicoedit) & copy-paste some of the material there but when I tried to save it in a cfcard it also gave me an error & 0 bytes size; in one moment it said that there wasn't enough room for it, which isn't true. I opened Geany & copied the small text there & when tried to save it from there it said the same thing.

So, I decided to post the little accomplished to the moment & comment about my mishappennings. I was thinking of a more substantial feedback from my part but I don't want to risk accumulating too much material in my mind before posting = error prone conduct.

BTW, the purpose of putting that text in the cfcard was to make it available, side-by-side with the file I'm suppossed to make a floppy image with from the HP, which has a diskette drive.

Edit: I added manually the contents of that cfcard & my sum showed it wasn't completely filled but I deleted DSL' iso file (~50 MB) from it. Haven't tried yet to put anything there though. This's to establish that my OS might have been right when it didn't carry out my desire to put a file in there... Sooner than later I'll find out the correctness of this last argument!

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Sony VAIO VGN AR250G Notebook + 512MB RAM.
Need color of cables of 2 connectors at top & down side of Dell monitor 1704FPTt (look through vents at right side at the back)

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popov

Joined: 30 Mar 2013
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Fri 05 Apr 2013, 20:23    Post subject:  

starhawk wrote:
popov, whose box are you referring to? The one in CatDude's signature graphic? or the one in the original post?


I was referring to the one in original post. CPU might be overclockable and certain vid card manufacturers had linux drivers(yep and that was like 1995).
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