Old laptop question

#1
#2
Is it really 256meg ram jeez Ithough xp would want a gig at least

Also 20gig hd, you risk running out of disk space installing updates

That kind of spec would be better with Linux, or Windows XP Embedded
 
#3
Dont try updates, with this latest batch due to the Intel chip issues you could end up with a fried OS, I did and had to rebuild from scratch my Win 7 PC, twice.
 
#7
256 MB is just about enough to run Puppy or one of the smaller Linux distros.
you will want at least 1Gb and probably 4 if you want to run one of the more up to date distros (My current favourite is Mint, but I also like Kubuntu). Ubuntu has gone a bit Windoze 8 for my liking.

20GB HDD will also be too cramped to do much. Unless there is some particular software that you want to keep, I'd junk it. I have a mini-PC running Mint with 8GB and a 32GB SDD plus a 1TB HDD for data. The 32GB SDD is just about adequate for the OS and 8GB means it is ok for office tasks and surfing even with the basic 1.6GHz Celeron.

There are loads of cheap used PCs out there for buttons. At that spec it's really not worth putting much effort in.

Edited to add that there isn't an XP update for the Intel chip issue as XP is out of support.
1519127854148.png
 
#8
Edited to add that there isn't an XP update for the Intel chip issue as XP is out of support.
Well, yes and no. The official XP support ended some years ago, but a quick registry tweak allows security updates for Windows Embedded POSReady 2009, which is a flavour of XP SP3 used by ATMs, cash registers etc. However, I think that even this support runs out next year.
 
#9
I only really got it to make messing about with my Arduino more portable. Might stick some ZX spectrum games on it to show my kids how good games used to be!
 
#10
I would keep XP but dual boot it with Linux.
Get a Linux magazine or look online and get a flavour you like that is compact and easy to use.
Some drivers might not work but plenty of sites that offer OEM free versions.

I have a 10 year old Toshiba with 3GB RAM and a slow Celeron CPU and a dodgy CMOS battery.
Worth if I sell it as a whole £26 but if I break it up for parts £100!
 
#11
@supermatelot - my recommendation is Linux. Trying to use Windows on a system that is resource-constrained will likely have some pain associated. The RAM is the main limitation. As for which Linux - I’d go with one that uses LXDE or XFCE as the desktop environment, as it is much more lightweight than the more mainstream ones such as Gnome or KDE. Ubuntu is a fairly middle-of-the-road choice, and it has an LXDE implementation - Lubuntu, and an XFCE implementation - Xubuntu. LXDE will likely be a bit better performing, XFCE looks a bit nicer.

With only a 20GB HDD, I’d be tempted to just blow XP away, format the whole disk and be done with it.

Have you thought about using your iPad in conjunction with this laptop? The screen resolution of the laptop will be limiting, but you might be able to export a desktop from the laptop to the iPad, and use VNC on the iPad to get more screen area. Maybe have the code on one screen and the output on another.

This is one of the reasons I like old, or small hardware. Tweaking performance out of an older or smaller system I find rewarding. I’ve been playing with a couple routers recently, and they’re really quite powerful computers in their own right. The processing power, 256MB RAM and 20GB disk of that laptop is probably not far off a higher end home router’s spec. It just doesn’t have a screen or some of the peripheral ports.

Edit - Just noticed those silly emojis. It should say “L X D E”, all run together.
 
#12
Ive stuck Opera browser on it - web-surfing is painful. I'm wondering if it just needs a shedload of driver updates? It's not been turned on since 2008.

I think Linux is looking very likely though. Ages since I dabbled with it but most distros Ive looked at today - even Lubuntu cite min RAM as 1G. To be honest - I only got the thingso I can dabble in Arduino whilst crashed on the settee. I think there may be a bit of "mission creep" now though ;)

Probably a bone question but - Am I likely to get a D-Link Wifi dongle working on this thing? It's not WiFi enabled.
 
#13
Ive stuck Opera browser on it - web-surfing is painful. I'm wondering if it just needs a shedload of driver updates? It's not been turned on since 2008.

I think Linux is looking very likely though. Ages since I dabbled with it but most distros Ive looked at today - even Lubuntu cite min RAM as 1G. To be honest - I only got the thingso I can dabble in Arduino whilst crashed on the settee. I think there may be a bit of "mission creep" now though ;)

Probably a bone question but - Am I likely to get a D-Link Wifi dongle working on this thing? It's not WiFi enabled.
There are several distributions that run in small RAM. Check out Knoppix - this is a bit of a weird distribution, it runs off a CD as default. That way you could check whether you're going to like it, and if it is fast enough, without trashing the HD. I think you can install it permanently too.

There's also Damn Small Linux, which is ancient and works very well. Puppy is a more recent similar distribution, but I've only used that briefly before deciding it wasn't for me.

The other thing you could do is install Oracle Virtual Box on your main computer, and then install as many distributions as you want into that as virtual machines to see if you're going to like them on the laptop. Just delete them if you don't like them.

The answer to the wifi dongle depends whether there are Linux drivers for the model/chipset. Almost certainly yes, I would think.
 

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
#15
Got myself an old packard bell 4000 series to tinker with arduino projects on. It looks almost brand new and has not been used since 2008.
Here are the specs:
Packard Bell iGO 4451 - C 1.5 GHz - RAM 256 MB - HDD 20 GB - CD-RW / DVD-ROM combo - Savage4 - Win XP Home - 14.1" TFT 1024 x 768 ( XGA ) at Backoffice

256mb ram, 20G HD.

Should I connect to internet and allow it to install updates or...stick Linux on it- which begs the question...which Linux distro?

Cheers
Is this the keyboard?
1519158011527.png
 
#16
I would wipe anything not OS related and use it as a Spectrum emulator.

Jet Set Willy and Manic Miner rock. Your sprogs will love them.

You can pick up CDs with dozens of Speccy games for shrapnel.

You could also upgrade it for pennies on eBay if you wanted to do something more useful.

Or just use it to play Lemmings in XP. No better waste of time.
 
#17
Got myself an old packard bell 4000 series to tinker with arduino projects on. It looks almost brand new and has not been used since 2008.
Here are the specs:
Packard Bell iGO 4451 - C 1.5 GHz - RAM 256 MB - HDD 20 GB - CD-RW / DVD-ROM combo - Savage4 - Win XP Home - 14.1" TFT 1024 x 768 ( XGA ) at Backoffice

256mb ram, 20G HD.

Should I connect to internet and allow it to install updates or...stick Linux on it- which begs the question...which Linux distro?

Cheers
The first PC I had had a 20mb disc and 256k of RAM - sounds like the one you've got there isnt much beyond that. I'd bin it - its not worth the effort
 
#18
The first PC I had ha
I would wipe anything not OS related and use it as a Spectrum emulator.

Jet Set Willy and Manic Miner rock. Your sprogs will love them.

You can pick up CDs with dozens of Speccy games for shrapnel.

You could also upgrade it for pennies on eBay if you wanted to do something more useful.

Or just use it to play Lemmings in XP. No better waste of time.
Which leads me nicely to this:
Computer Gamer

Just about to install Arduino IDE.

If too painful or not working then I'llgive a few Linux distros a try.
 
#19
Which leads me nicely to this:
Computer Gamer

Just about to install Arduino IDE.

If too painful or not working then I'llgive a few Linux distros a try.
Deep six it mate, not worth the bother unless you just want to eff about to learn.
 
#20
Trying to find a Lubuntu package I can use on this. Problem is -I only have blank 700Mb CDs and the laptop cannot boot from USB. All distros Ive seen excede that.

I tried an Ubuntu 10 disk image I found. Was too slow. I was running it in Live mode though so I guess my only 256Mb RAM could have been the issue there.

I'm in a catch-22. Not enough RAM to run a live CD effectively and... I dont want to install over Windows if what I end up with does not run OK as well.

Any suggestions?

Cheers
 

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