hiwaypilot's blog

Phase 2

Through no fault of my own, I recently re-aquired my old laptop. It's an Ultra Pentium P3 500 with 128 megs of ram. I had it for about a year and then I replaced it and issued it to the receiving department. It lived there for another three years before that fateful day when I got the call. Originally I had upgraded to 256 but the cheap stick of ram I bought from TigerDirect took a dump and that's how I ended up with this thing back. Pronounced dead at the office I disposed of it at my place. along with the ram issue, Win98 was suffering horrible bit rot. (besides, it was Win98!)

I tried a couple of heavier installs like Debian and CentOS but the poor thing just couldn't cut it. I even gave PCLinuxOS a shot but it just wouldn't talk to my WaveLan.(I don't know what that was all about. It's a WaveLan for crying out loud!) And what good is a laptop without wireless? So, I downloaded DSL 2.1. Most excellent! I love the improvements. I will use this one for a while. This makes a NICE machine!

Still going...

I am glad to report that after four months the Compaq Armada is still a functional, useful tool. I have another identical to it that is still running Win98 and this thing runs rings around it. The hard drive install is the way to go if someone wants to breath life back into some old hardware. It gives you all of the benefits and security of linux without the bloat that seems to accompany many of the 'ready to go' linux desktop solutions.

I still have sound issues, having tried most of the suggestions from the forums. Sound would be nice (and I may still get that to work) but it isn't essential. I leave this thing set in my kitchen so i can surf the web while eating breakfast. It actually boots alot faster than my Thinkpad running XP. The VNC client lets me run my remote machines at the office with great response time. I may do a DSL install on the next desktop machine I build.

Old Hardware - New Hobby

As an exercise in frustration I've been trying to resurect an old Compaq Armada 7790. I was running RedHat 7.3.(not all that well)
Found DSL from an article by someone who was doing the same thing. Once I installed it to hard drive I was hooked. This is the lightest and fastest OS I've used since I played with Oberon back in the day. It has made this Compaq usable again. I have even been playing with it on my big box. (AMD 2800 w/ 1 gig of ram. You should try that. It smokes!)
Back to the Compaq. The WavLan works flawlessly. I would like to get my other wireless card (an SMC) working. Not really having alot of luck with that but I'll keep trying.

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