Let's talk about real operating systems for use with old computers. None of this live CD Puppy Linux or Damn Small Linux BS. I'm talking about a real full-featured OS that can still be used in 2015.
My choices I've been thinking about so far for stuff that's 10 years old or older.
I'll start, and add some more posts for each OS with pros and cons. You may do the same if you wish, including redo-ing mine.
>still has a ton of support and compatibility from vendors
>easy to find drivers for practically any hardware
>very well documented OS
>fairly low system requirements
>easy to rice
>Microsoft ended support unless you trick it into thinking it is an embedded system
>vulnerable to lots of attacks, have to be an experienced internet user if you plan on going online
>requires some fine tuning of services to get good performance
>not very interesting from a hobbyist perspective
>ricing is mostly window dressing
>Can still be pretty minimal
>Install XFCE which is lightweight but still fully featured, or XFCE+other WM.
>Still updated, obviously
>Can run modern programs
>Easier than windows because of package management
>The usual linux cons
>Might get some oddbal hardware that doesn't work
>Debian stable is old shit
Windows 2000 Professional
>supports even lower system requirements than Windows XP
>still has the NT kernel and many windows xp programs will install without issue
>installs with support for modern devices like flash drives and wireless USB
>has a lot of compatibility with hardware across the board giving you sound and laptop functions like sleep, hibernate, etc
>may be used as a server OS
>more secure than XP?
>can't be riced very easily or very much
>less support for games and multi-media
>Microsoft ended support, you will still need to proceed with caution on the internet
Because I enjoy technology. I enjoy working on things. I enjoy history.
Because when old technology can still find plenty of good use there is no reason not to use it instead of wasting resources building new machines.
Because unlike you, I'm not a colossal faggot that doesn't belong on this board.
Pros and cons? I would say a big one is
>difficult to install
I remember asking people in the CS departments about BSD years ago and they always told me it was not for the faint of heart.
I use this computer as:
>a torrent box & large file downloader since I'm too cheap to buy a good WiFi card for my desktop
>MAME/NES/SNES/Win9x game station w/ PS2 (USB) controllers, plugged into CRT TV via VGA-RCA converter
It may offer greater performance on desktops, but you run into issues with laptops a lot of the time. It's hard to get audio working in some units, or you may not be able to properly hibernate. If you can get that sorted out it may indeed be the best choice.
>tfw Linux is comfy
I like this.
Mate is good on low end systems as well
Pros: easy to use, looks good with minimal effort.
Cons: default wm was not made to be configured.
Openbox is also good as you can make it whatever you want but it takes time to configure.
As for distro I would just use a minimal distro and don't bloat it too much.
like a mini-PCIe to PCIe adapter
the DLink USB WiFi I have right now is absolute shit, throughput is limited to 7 mbps
I've been thinking about making some old shitbox emu computers and giving them to my nephew to play.
If I wanted to make something completely bulletproof and idiot proof, essentially turning a PC into a video game console, what OS should I use? I figure Debian stable is a good starting point. Then it's just a matter of installing an emu, setting it up to boot straight into that and some Front-end instead of X, and locking out all other functionality other than shutdown.
I got OpenBSD to work on this shitbox Celeron laptop from about 15 years ago. Miraculously the wifi card was actually supported but it was such a piece of shit that it couldn't use any GUI browser reliably. It also wrecked my openbsd install CD because its CD drive was all busted and rusty.
>Games. All kinds of games running natively without the need for patching, including DOS
>possible to get flash and wireless internet working, but you a little work
>cool retro appeal
>When things fuck up you'll realize why people hated working on computers in the 90s
and why would you not run a eth cable?
yeah im aware, i just cant be arsed to worry too much about my system anymore, as long as my mail/web/shell environment is intact. currently running netbsd with lxde
Not him, but I use a Latitude with a 1600x1200 screen about every night to browse /g/ in the kitchen when I get tired of sitting in my room. It's pretty sweet.
It's like you don't understand that some people have better things to spend their money on than new tech. Not everyone is a basement-dwelling neckbeard that needs the latest and greatest computer to fill the hole inside them that was created when their father never told them that he loved them or that he was proud of them.
And since you seem to really like it, have a :^)
Haha, who said I was OP? I'm just putting in my two cents. If something is working the way you want it to, why would you shell out for a new one? Why do you wait until you NEED to upgrade due to damage or such and then take a look around?
$400 is a pretty good chunk of change when you're working for a living. I can think of a lot better things to do with my money than spend it on a secondary computer.
And who said using for an extended period of time? Often these old computers get used every once in a while for a novelty, or they might be of interest for a collector. There is a growing movement for playing PC old games on old hardware and OSes instead of emulating.
And even if you did have a lot of uptime with one of these it would probably be doing something inconsequential like seeding torrents to save life-span on your main machine. Do you really intend to spend hundreds of dollars on a machine whose primary duty requires less resources than a web browser?
That's running at 1024x768 on a 14" screen. I could have multiple windows open and working if I so desired.
Lots and lots of modern computers people use every day are similar in size and resolution. Probably slightly better than what I've got going here, but for what I'm doing it's performing well.
> You people
You know nothing about me. You're assuming that because I support people who are happy running older machines that I'm one of them. I'm one of the people who like to be out the front (well, to a degree). I don't mind dropping cash on a new computer or new parts, because I'll most likely see a discernible difference in what I use it for.
However, if someone WON'T see a difference, why would they waste money on something they don't need?
Gentoo is cutting edge, maintains lots of support for legacy and exotic hardware, and can be extremely light weight. A friend of mine uses a Toshiba Sattelite A85 (copyright on the documentation is 2005 - not sure if his is that old) and Gentoo works just fine. He has a fully functional graphical environment using openbox and his whole OS uses less than 30 MB of RAM. Compiling can be done on another machine via distcc, although it will still be pretty slow. My friend does not do this, and is able to compile everything despite memory limitations. Binary packages for the worst offenders (office suites and web browsers and the like) are available. Gentoo has a reputation for being a time consuming OS to use, but the only thing that consumes time is learning how to use it. Once you know how to use it regular system maintenance is far less time consuming than on other distros, at least for the users. For machine time that's not true, but You can just let stuff run while you're out of the house or sleeping or whatever.
>what OS should I use?
It really makes no difference whether you use Debian stable or Ubuntu minimal for this purpose, as long as you can get all your drivers working properly.
Look up RetroArch.
Just a warning: some of the newer emulators on Linux are requiring an OpenGL 2.0-compliant GPU. This may be a problem if you have Intel integrated graphics. My netbook's Intel GMA950 for example is D3D9-compliant (great for Windows, unusable on Linux), but only supports up to OGL 1.4. So check the system requirements of the emulators you are interested in.
For really old computers I recommend Windows for Workgroups 3.11. It was my first OS, so I guess I'm biased, but it's just so quick and simple even on a 386 there's no way it won't be just as good for a 486 or Pentium setup.
You could probably fuck about and get some kind of Linux working on a 486/Pentium, but it would be a LOT of work and you'd still be dealing with a Linux distro from the old old days. Steep learning curve if you're not already very familiar.
You could try Damn Small Linux, but like I said in the OP, it doesn't work very well as a dedicated desktop OS.
I have Linux [spoiler]mint[/spoiler] on an old lenovo r61i. It works nice but still feels like it'd use a second gig of RAM.
A fellow IT guy told me that XP with SP3 and barely anything else but with good firewall would work very nicely on an older machine. Don't know the details to that claim or if it's actually true, but whatever.
WinXP is pretty much the "just werx" solution to the question of what to run on a 10 year old PC. It might not be the fastest or the coolest or the most secure, but it isn't going to take a shit random shit during the install process or have you fucking around in forums looking for answers.
I concur, got the exact same setup on an old Dell Inspiron 8200 with 512 MB of memory. I do some work stuff on it but also run World of Warcraft Vanilla (private server) through wine - now, the fps hovers around 5 but let's me check the auction house and chat and whatnot.
Those are the specs of an old laptop I have as a backup in
case my workstation goes down, you know, for browsing
and general shitposting.
It runs Arch + Openbox and Tint2 and so far that seems to be
a good middle ground in terms of resources over looks and usability. If you're keen to use a window manager like DWM or
i3 then it gets even better if you're tight on RAM. Arch + DWM
was hovering at ~45MB at startup but I suppose it'd be the
same footprint if you decided to go with Debian.
I installed Windows 8 on a 9 y/o laptop and it ran smoother than when it was using Windows XP. Used it as a Minecraft machine for 12 y/o cousin.
It went from about 15 FPS to stable 30ish. No fucking joke.
Was even able to get a private server to hold about 16 users at a given time. Had about 1 GB RAM. 1.8 GHz Intel gibberish processor.
My XP shitbox can barely get logged in before my 2K workstation is already shitposting in this pleb thread with 2 month uptime
fuck off back to >>>/v/ with your shitty bait
>shitting on old hardware
>using a laptop that normies will unironically ask you if it's from the '80s
It's not really a lot of work to get Linux running on a 486/Pentium system, there's plenty of distros for it.
It's just, why?
Who the fuck buys an old piece of hardware to do the exact same shit they do on a new system but 100x slower and shittier looking?
That's sort of my line of thought too. If I were going to put Linux on it I'd want period appropriate Linux, and that is probably going to be an endeavour (but maybe fun and worth it).
I have a old laptop i just fixed from scrap
i did a shit load of research before i bought it
HP NX7400 specs in pic related can still keep up with most modern pc's amazing as fuck for something that runs on old as fuck DDR2 ram and a socket M intel prossor daym it still blows me away knowning its made in 2006 for business laptop, why the fuck it never got on the concumer market boggles the mind
only a few of these beauities exist, it still baffles me why support stopped for this machine
I can run vista on it too. too bad there was never windows 7 support and a better video on board with 244MB video ram its not doing my pc any justice
not bad since when i found it was ruined by some jerk and i just had happened to have a ruined other one that had all inside working lol
the only pain in the ass is the adapter was rare as fuck to find and the battery only lasts two and a half hours on standard battery the only extra i had to get was the CPU for $50
it was the best 145 dollars I ever spent on a pc man i love being a pc tech its pure joy.
the reward is great when you hit the jackpot of computers