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'[OT] bootstrapping from a floppy'
2005\10\02@114150 by John Nall

picon face
I suppose this really IS off-topic, but I know  there is a lot of
expertise in  this group, so mayhaps someone will have a constructive
suggestion.

The problem is that I have an old laptop (Toshiba TECRA 510CDT) which
used to have Windows 98 on it, but the hard disk has become corrupted
beyond all recognition and to top that off I tried to install Linux
(CENTOS) on it and succeeded only in further messing up the hard disk.  
(Linux first agreeably partitioned the hard disk for me, and then
announced that it could not run on  this hardware configuration and
aborted.)

The bios does not support booting from a CD-ROM.  It will only boot from
a floppy, or from the hard disk.  (I know about changing the bios at
setup -- trust me, it will not allow the CD-ROM as a boot device).  What
I am looking for is a way to have the floppy boot up and promptly then
cause the CD-ROM to boot up -- or at least have the same effect.  In
other words, a roundabout way of booting from the CD-ROM even though the
bios doesn't support that.

Does anyone know of a way to do that?

John


2005\10\02@122112 by Denny Esterline

picon face
> (Linux first agreeably partitioned the hard disk for me, and then
> announced that it could not run on  this hardware configuration and
> aborted.)

Sounds like fun :)

> The bios does not support booting from a CD-ROM.  It will only boot from
> a floppy, or from the hard disk.  (I know about changing the bios at
> setup -- trust me, it will not allow the CD-ROM as a boot device).  What
> I am looking for is a way to have the floppy boot up and promptly then
> cause the CD-ROM to boot up -- or at least have the same effect.  In
> other words, a roundabout way of booting from the CD-ROM even though the
> bios doesn't support that.
>
> Does anyone know of a way to do that?

Depends of exactly what you're trying to do. If you're looking to just get
_something_ running so you have some diag tools, I've had good luck with the
win98 startup floppy - it recognizes most any CD drive and loads relevant
drivers, then it expands some diag tools onto a ram disk.

If you're looking for a longer term solution to using this machine without a
hard drive, I don't think I can help you there.

Good luck,
-Denny

2005\10\02@123120 by Philip Pemberton

face picon face
In message <spam_OUT433FFFBC.8090909TakeThisOuTspamgmail.com>
         John Nall <.....jwnallKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com> wrote:

> The bios does not support booting from a CD-ROM.  It will only boot from
> a floppy, or from the hard disk.  (I know about changing the bios at
> setup -- trust me, it will not allow the CD-ROM as a boot device).  What
> I am looking for is a way to have the floppy boot up and promptly then
> cause the CD-ROM to boot up -- or at least have the same effect.  In
> other words, a roundabout way of booting from the CD-ROM even though the
> bios doesn't support that.

If the drive is built in to the machine and sits on the IDE bus, you can use
Smart Boot Manager. Basically, you install it on the hard drive (or IIRC a
floppy disc) and if it detects a CD-ROM on bootup it offers the option of
booting from it.

I don't have the URL to hand, but a quick Google search should reveal its
location. I think it might have been on Sourceforge...

Later.
--
Phil.                              | Acorn RiscPC600 SA220 64MB+6GB 100baseT
philpemspamKILLspamphilpem.me.uk              | Athlon64 3200+ A8VDeluxe R2 512MB+100GB
http://www.philpem.me.uk/          | Panasonic CF-25 Mk.2 Toughbook
... Windows isn't a virus -- viruses do something!

2005\10\02@125022 by John Nall

picon face
Philip Pemberton wrote:

>
>
>If the drive is built in to the machine and sits on the IDE bus, you can use
>Smart Boot Manager. Basically, you install it on the hard drive (or IIRC a
>floppy disc) and if it detects a CD-ROM on bootup it offers the option of
>booting from it.
>  
>

Yeah, that looks like what I was hoping to find.  Just goes to show that
the secret lies in in finding the magic question to ask Google.   "Smart
Boot Manager" brings good results.   Things like "floppy make cd-rom
boot" brings nothing of value.  :-)

Thanks,
John

2005\10\02@125954 by Morgan Olsson

flavicon
face
John Nall 17:41 2005-10-02:
>(Linux first agreeably partitioned the hard disk for me, and then announced that it could not run on this hardware configuration and aborted.)
>
>The bios does not support booting from a CD-ROM.

I had that problem, plus that CD and floppy was in bays so I could put int the floppy drive and boot on a floppy, but then I had no CD...

So i booted on some DOS (MSDOS FreeDOS) and installed that including CD driver to boot on the HD, then put in the CD, rebooted on HD, just to install another system on the HD...

Another method i have used later is to connect the HD to my desktop PC through an 3,5" to 2,5" IDE adapter, and i can prepare the HD with partitiononing, formatting, boot files, and install files, data files before putting it in the Craptop.

/Morgan
--
Morgan Olsson, Kivik, Sweden

2005\10\02@132532 by John Ferrell

face picon face
I believe this option exists with Knoppix 3.7.
I am too new to it to offer any pointers.

John Ferrell    
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2005\10\02@132650 by John Nall

picon face
Philip Pemberton wrote:

>
>If the drive is built in to the machine and sits on the IDE bus, you can use
>Smart Boot Manager.
>
and then I wrote:

  Looks like what I am looking for (or words to that effect, anyway).

Just as a follow-up, I downloaded the Smart Boot Manager, used rawrite
to put it on a floppy disk, and it works like a champ.  The laptop boots
from the floppy, and it then asks me what I want to boot from?  I select
the CD-ROM and it boots from it fine.  Hopefully I can now bootstrap to
the point of putting an OS on there (some variation of Linux that will
work on this particular machine) and then access the internet and update
the bios so that it will allow me to boot from CD-ROM and not have to
use the floppy.

Bottom line -- excellent suggestion.

John

2005\10\02@133845 by John Nall

picon face
John Ferrell wrote:

> I believe this option exists with Knoppix 3.7. I am too new to it to
> offer any pointers.

I'm trying now to find a version of Linux that will run on the
machine.   Even though the boot problem has been solved, I still need to
get an OS that will run.  So will try Knoppix.  I have tried RedHat 10,
CENTOS 4.0, and Ubuntu.  None of them will work.  So will try Knoppix.  
I also found something called DSL (Damned Small Linux) on the internet
and will check that out.  Fun on Sunday morning!!  :-)

John

2005\10\02@135228 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Oct 2, 2005, at 10:38 AM, John Nall wrote:
>
> I'm trying now to find a version of Linux that will run on the
> machine.   Even though the boot problem has been solved, I still need
> to get an OS that will run.  So will try Knoppix.  I have tried RedHat
> 10, CENTOS 4.0, and Ubuntu.  None of them will work.

Depending on what you want to accomplish, you might also try out
"tomsrtbt" from http://www.toms.net
This boots from a single floppy and runs entirely from ramdisk, and
includes a bunch of tools generally aimed at disk repair and system
recovery.  It's not really intended as a general purpose distribution,
but if you're doing something like an embedded system and just want an
OS with some basic capabilities, it might be sufficient.  (and it's an
amazing amount of stuff they manage to cram on a single floppy!)

BillW

2005\10\02@143337 by John Nall

picon face
William Chops Westfield wrote:

>
> > Depending on what you want to accomplish, you might also try out
> "tomsrtbt"  . . .  boots from a single floppy and runs entirely from
> ramdisk, and
> includes a bunch of tools generally aimed at disk repair and system
> recovery.  It's not really intended as a general purpose distribution,
> but if you're doing something like an embedded system and just want an
> OS with some basic capabilities, it might be sufficient..


I'll take a look at it.  So far as what I want to accomplish, I am
primarily experimenting with an old laptop which I was going to throw in
the garbage, but thought I might as well try and salvage, if I can get
some sort of OS running on it.  Right now I am trying to get Slackware
10.1 to load on it, and so far so good (fingers crossed).    If it will
run some version of Linux, then I'll see how it might make itself useful
on the workbench.  :-)

John


2005\10\02@144120 by Nelson Johnsrud

flavicon
face
Just to add my 2 cents --
I had a similar situation on my HD a few months back.  When changing
operating systems after a HD failure and drive format, I had to upgrade
the BIOS __before__ I could install the new OS.  In other words, I
needed the new BIOS installed in order for it to accept the new OS.  I
don't know if it applies in your situation or not, but I just thought I
would throw it in.

Nels

John Nall wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2005\10\02@152121 by Dave Lag

picon face
My NEC of similar era had a proprietary partition which was used for the
suspend-to-disk feature.This kind of stuff was only restorable with the
factory CDs.

I didn't take a detailed look but Toshiba seems to have more than most
available:
http://209.167.114.38/support/Download/Downloads_Archive.htm

D

John Nall wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2005\10\02@152904 by Jose Da Silva

flavicon
face
On October 2, 2005 08:41 am, John Nall wrote:
> The problem is that I have an old laptop (Toshiba TECRA 510CDT) which
> used to have Windows 98 on it, but the hard disk has become corrupted
> beyond all recognition and to top that off I tried to install Linux
> (CENTOS) on it and succeeded only in further messing up the hard
> disk. (Linux first agreeably partitioned the hard disk for me, and
> then announced that it could not run on  this hardware configuration
> and aborted.)

Old laptops have old BIOS and old harddrives set up a little different
from modern drives today. I'd suggest using an older distro to reset up
the harddrive, like say, Mandrake 7.1 or 8.0
http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=mandrake+8.0+iso&btnG=Search&meta=

plus a boot disk:
http://www.google.ca/search?q=linux+boot+disk&btnG=Search&hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1

I've also noted that windows and OS/2 both appear not to really re-write
the boot sector if something else is there (or in your case corrupted
or pointing elsewhere) and have had to use linux to get rid of some
particularly stubborn problem on/around the boot sector.

Setup your drive as LDA in BIOS before using the boot. your computer may
have a harddrive larger than 512MB or 2GB but you may find success in
making the 1st partition either less than 2GB or 512mb. This is not an
OS problem, but a BIOS problem not being able to understand how to boot
up on a partition which is larger than or extends beyond 0000...1023
sectors. Your Win98 drive C: may have been larger than 2GB or 1023
sectors but there was a "cheat" in between in which there probably was
a boot partition (example say your partition used for sleep-mode which
may be maybe 15mB in size) at the front of the harddrive so that the
bootsector would run a program in your 15mb sleep partition that would
then run your Win98 partition.... and probably why your CENTOS install
failed since you probably wiped the drive clean and set it as one large
partition.

> The bios does not support booting from a CD-ROM.  It will only boot
> from a floppy, or from the hard disk.  (I know about changing the
> bios at setup -- trust me, it will not allow the CD-ROM as a boot
> device).  What I am looking for is a way to have the floppy boot up
> and promptly then cause the CD-ROM to boot up -- or at least have the
> same effect.  In other words, a roundabout way of booting from the
> CD-ROM even though the bios doesn't support that.
>
> Does anyone know of a way to do that?

I would suggest that you use Mandrake to create the partitions if you
already destroyed them earlier (it has a graphical partitioning tool,
so it should look easy to use). I'd probably use an older distro such
as 7.1 or 8.0 since they are more aligned for older hardware
configurations.
I would ensure that the partitions you intend to boot-up are installed
below the 1024 sector number since the BIOS IRQs only were capable of
0...1023, so if you want to install linux & your win98 on the drive,
ensure both partitions are below the 1024 number.
Make sure your bootable C: or linux partition is below 2GB in size,
unless you got a particularly old laptop, in which case your limit is
probably 512mb. make sure your windows partition is 1st, and any other
bootable partition can come afterwards.
If you plan on installing win98, allow mandrake to "SET" the hda1 as
active plus allow mandrake to format the partition as fat. Once
Mandrake has set and formatted the partition, you can shut it off and
install win98 (it will probably overwrite the boot partition during the
process), then use mandrake to install linux once again on the next
partition beyond that.

Maybe some of the above details help.

2005\10\02@160151 by Philip Pemberton

face picon face
In message <.....43401856.9060709KILLspamspam.....comcast.net>
         John Nall <EraseMEjwnallspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTgmail.com> wrote:

> Hopefully I can now bootstrap to
> the point of putting an OS on there (some variation of Linux that will
> work on this particular machine)

I'd try Slackware 10.1 or Fedora Core 3 if the machine is fairly recent. I've
got Slack10.1 running on my Toughbook, which is a Pentium 133 with 32MB RAM
and a 3GB HDD (anyone got a spare 5GB+ 2.5" IDE laptop hard drive?).

Xfce is quite nice on low-end hardware. The newer versions of KDE are dire on
anything sub-1GHz, same goes for GNOME.

> and then access the internet and update
> the bios so that it will allow me to boot from CD-ROM and not have to
> use the floppy.

Um.. You'll probably find that you need to run the BIOS updater from raw DOS,
so you'll need a floppy drive for that :)

Later.
--
Phil.                              | Acorn RiscPC600 SA220 64MB+6GB 100baseT
philpemspamspam_OUTphilpem.me.uk              | Athlon64 3200+ A8VDeluxe R2 512MB+100GB
http://www.philpem.me.uk/          | Panasonic CF-25 Mk.2 Toughbook
... Man who eats too many prunes, sits on toilet, many moons!

2005\10\02@160430 by Philip Pemberton

face picon face
In message <4.3.2.7.2.20051002185245.02bcaee8@127.0.0.1>
         Morgan Olsson <@spam@dlistKILLspamspammorgansreglerteknik.se> wrote:

> I had that problem, plus that CD and floppy was in bays so I could put int
> the floppy drive and boot on a floppy, but then I had no CD...

Omigosh, I ended up doing the exact same thing with the Toughbook. You can
have either the floppy drive or the 8x CD-ROM installed, but not both. Nasty
thing is you have to power down to swap drives.
I booted from floppy, installed SBM on the hard drive, then fitted the CD-ROM
and booted off the Slackware install CD to partition the HD, then the Win98
CD to install 'doze, then Slackware again to install Linux and Lilo.

A bit of a roundabout way to do it, but it worked. I also had to rebuild the
Hibernation partition. That thing was a total pain in the ass to create, in
more ways than one...

Later.
--
Phil.                              | Acorn RiscPC600 SA220 64MB+6GB 100baseT
KILLspamphilpemKILLspamspamphilpem.me.uk              | Athlon64 3200+ A8VDeluxe R2 512MB+100GB
http://www.philpem.me.uk/          | Panasonic CF-25 Mk.2 Toughbook
... To shoot a mime, do you use a silencer?

2005\10\02@183716 by John Nall

picon face
Philip Pemberton wrote:

>
>> I'd try Slackware 10.1 or Fedora Core 3 if the machine is fairly recent. I've
>got Slack10.1 running on my Toughbook, which is a Pentium 133 with 32MB RAM
>and a 3GB HDD
>  
>

I downloaded the Slackware 10.1 ISO's and installed.  The machine is
only 2 GB of hard disk (I remember back when that would seem like a lot,
but it seems pretty paltry now) so I loaded as little stuff as I felt I
could get away with.  Seems to work, although there are some minor
problems.  But basically I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish, so
feel OK about it.  I just need to get the kinks worked out now.

> > Um.. You'll probably find that you need to run the BIOS updater from
> raw DOS, so you'll need a floppy drive for that :)


The floppy drive is a plug-in sort of thing.  Looks like an octopus
hanging off the laptop, but works well.  The whole arrangement is taking
up the dining room table right now, and I suspect the Big Boss is gonna
issue marching orders pretty quick on it.  :-(  She just doesn't realize
how much enjoyment I get out of enduring  this pain.

John

2005\10\02@205704 by Jake Anderson

flavicon
face
your other option rather than install another OS is to network boot.
Most of the "big" distros now also ship with a set of boot disks that will
get you to the point of running the rest of the installer from cd or in some
cases they can then pull the files off a http or ftp server (which can
either be a public mirror or a local one you can setup).

> {Original Message removed}

2005\10\03@060253 by Michael Rigby-Jones

picon face


>-----Original Message-----
>From: Morgan Olsson [RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesTakeThisOuTspammit.edu]
>Sent: 02 October 2005 18:00
>To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
>Subject: Re: [OT] bootstrapping from a floppy
>
>
>Another method i have used later is to connect the HD to my
>desktop PC through an 3,5" to 2,5" IDE adapter, and i can
>prepare the HD with partitiononing, formatting, boot files,
>and install files, data files before putting it in the Craptop.


I've spent many hours coaxing old laptops into life, and this is without doubt the easiest and fastest way of getting stuff onto a laptop hard drive.  If I need to install Win98 I partition/format the hard drive, "sys" and add a basic config.sys/autoexec.bat it so that it boots to a command prompt when installed in the laptop.  Then create a folder and dump the contents of the Win98 CD into it, so I can perform the installation on the laptop.

Regards

Mike

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2005\10\03@130309 by Peter

picon face

> I believe this option exists with Knoppix 3.7. I am too new to it to offer
> any pointers.

Actually Knoppix 3.7 does not have that capability but many other live
cd linuxes have it. It can usually be located in a tools directory on
the cdrom, and typically consists of a program called rawrite.exe, a
help file and some strange-named files of diskette size (1474560 bytes -
1.44MB floppy). The help file describes how you can run the rawrite
program to write one of these strange files (called images) into a
floppy, which can then be used to boot into linux from. The rawrite
program is a DOS program and it can be run from the cd after booting
from a FreeDOS floppy for example (as a poster did), if there is no
access to another machine where this operation can be performed. Just
not on Knoppix 3.7 .

Peter

2005\10\03@130900 by Peter

picon face

This will likely help (762 hits):

http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Toshiba+TECRA+510CDT%22+linux&start=0&start=0&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&hl=en

I think that knoppix is too heavy for a under-266 MHz cpu like you have.

Peter

2005\10\03@132049 by Peter

picon face

On Sun, 2 Oct 2005, John Nall wrote:

> I'll take a look at it.  So far as what I want to accomplish, I am primarily
> experimenting with an old laptop which I was going to throw in the garbage,
> but thought I might as well try and salvage, if I can get some sort of OS
> running on it.  Right now I am trying to get Slackware 10.1 to load on it,
> and so far so good (fingers crossed).    If it will run some version of
> Linux, then I'll see how it might make itself useful on the workbench.  :-)
> John

FYI I have an old b/w i386 33 MHz (!) laptop with 8MB ram that I use in
text mode for serial and parallel controlled projects. It connects to
the home network through another computer using hard wired serial PPP
(115kBauds). It is small and light so it has survived nearly 10 years
(with cheap no-name AA NiCd cells replacing the original battery cells
every 2 years or so and the obligatory display hinge fix).

It is useful for all sorts of serial and parallel control projects, and
as a 'slave' computer controlling hardware. It even runs X if one is
very very patient. It can connect to the internet using a pcmcia modem.

I originally put Slackware on it, then later an older version of SuSe.
It works fine. It has no cdrom at all and only an external pcmcia
floppy. The way I installed it was, I booted from 2 floppies (typical
'old' Linux boot), installed partitions on the hard disk and then used
minicom with its zmodem to transfer a distribution's packages via serial
link (overnight) from another computer onto the hard disk. Finally I
installed from the hard disk.

Peter

2005\10\03@132516 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Oct 3, 2005, at 10:08 AM, Peter wrote:
>
> I think that knoppix is too heavy for a under-266 MHz cpu like you
> have.
>
Which "gui desktop" is best for slow cpus and small systems, anyway?

(If you stick with non-gui stuff (even including lots of xterms with
occasional buttons and menus), you don't need anywhere near 266MHz...)

BillW

2005\10\03@132520 by John Nall

picon face
Peter wrote:

>
> This will likely help (762 hits):
>
> http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Toshiba+TECRA+510CDT%22+linux&start=0&start=0&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&hl=en
>
>
> I think that knoppix is too heavy for a under-266 MHz cpu like you have.


It looks like the only version of Linux that will run successfully on it
is Slackware 10.1.   The problem  there, however, is that the full
install is 3 GB and the system only has a 2 GB disk.  Therefore, one has
to go through and pick what not to install, which is not only tedious
but also prone to error (sometimes something which looks like it is of
no use to anyone in the world turns out to be a key component of
something else that is necessary).  I've installed it three times now,
and it still does not run correctly (although it does run).

The good news is that I am learning a lot about the Tecra 510CDT.  The
bad news is that such knowledge is completely worthless so far as I can
tell.  :-)

John

2005\10\04@002802 by PicDude

flavicon
face
On Monday 03 October 2005 12:25 pm, William "Chops" Westfield scribbled:
> On Oct 3, 2005, at 10:08 AM, Peter wrote:
> > I think that knoppix is too heavy for a under-266 MHz cpu like you
> > have.

Yes, but the purpose of Knoppix is not really speed -- it was designed to be a
very-simple-to-use live Linux.  Plug in the CD and run.  However, to do this,
it has a huge set of drivers, etc and bootup takes some time since it tries
them all to see what the machine actually has.  And it's great for recovery
situations, etc.


>
> Which "gui desktop" is best for slow cpus and small systems, anyway?

Check out these lists of window managers...
       www.linux.org/apps/all/GUI/Window_Managers.html
       http://www.linuxlinks.com/Software/Window_Managers/

Cheers,
-Neil.


>
> (If you stick with non-gui stuff (even including lots of xterms with
> occasional buttons and menus), you don't need anywhere near 266MHz...)
>
> BillW


2005\10\04@004615 by Marcel Birthelmer

flavicon
face
William Chops Westfield wrote:
> On Oct 3, 2005, at 10:08 AM, Peter wrote:
>
>>
>> I think that knoppix is too heavy for a under-266 MHz cpu like you have.
>>
> Which "gui desktop" is best for slow cpus and small systems, anyway?
>
> (If you stick with non-gui stuff (even including lots of xterms with
> occasional buttons and menus), you don't need anywhere near 266MHz...)
>
> BillW

I like (and use) XFCE myself. It basically provides window management
and task bar and so forth, but no file manager/desktop icons and all
that crap that gnome/kde insist on.
There's also: fluxbox, ratpoison, all the old ugly ones (twm, ...), and
many others. You can find pages that list them all, pros and cons.
Rat poison in particular is geared toward people who don't like using a
mouse, so most WM tasks are done with keyboard shortcuts.
Whatever you do, though, don't ask what the best one is.
- Marcel

2005\10\04@134042 by Peter

picon face

On Mon, 3 Oct 2005, William Chops Westfield wrote:

> On Oct 3, 2005, at 10:08 AM, Peter wrote:
>>
>> I think that knoppix is too heavy for a under-266 MHz cpu like you have.
>>
> Which "gui desktop" is best for slow cpus and small systems, anyway?
>
> (If you stick with non-gui stuff (even including lots of xterms with
> occasional buttons and menus), you don't need anywhere near 266MHz...)

fvwm, fvwm2, windowmaker, fluxbox etc. No kde or gnome. I personally run
fvwm (not fvwm2). Makes for a nice plain desktop and blinding speed.
fvwm can be configured to look almost exactly like Mac OS 9.x if needed,
or it can look like Win95, or whatever. Running dozens of 8-deep menus
is no problem. Zero wait on menu open. I also use the multiple desktop
feature to the hilt. Normally I have 36 desktops (3x4x4) (via
Pager/Desker), out of which up to 50% can be used at one time. There is
also a wharf-like thing and hundreds of icon widgets for the desktop.

Stability is unbelievable, the window manager lasts as long as a
session, which is measured in weeks normally. It has crashed exactly
once in 6 years (various versions), brought down by an alpha release
mozilla's bugs (memory consumption runaway). By crashing, I mean, the X
server crashed for lack of memory, so I had to login again at the
chooser ;-)

I consider the i486DX/66 the lowest limit for running a reasonable gui
on linux. The first gui capable machine I ran linux on was a i486DX/100
with 16MB of ram. It worked ok with netscape and other applications once
you had the patience to wait for it to open. After that it was
reasonable to work with (for ~1996-97 or so). With modern applications
anything less than 800x600 is 'low resolution' however, and these small
machines have problems with big displays.

ymmv as they say,

Peter

2005\10\04@142654 by Howard Winter

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On Mon, 3 Oct 2005 10:25:13 -0700, William "Chops" Westfield wrote:

> Which "gui desktop" is best for slow cpus and small systems, anyway?
>
> (If you stick with non-gui stuff (even including lots of xterms with
> occasional buttons and menus), you don't need anywhere near 266MHz...)

Well I like OS/2 for its low resource requirements, among a *lot* of other things (Declaring Interest: I even
sell it!  http://www.ecomstation.co.uk)

Until a couple of weeks ago I'd been using a Thinkpad 380z (Pentium II 300MHz, 160MB memory) as my "everyday"
machine under OS/2, using it for email, web browsing, Lotus Organizer, spreadsheets, the odd bit of word
processing, viewing pictures uploaded from a digital camera, all the usual stuff.  Its performance was fine,
the limitation was the memory (160MB was the maximum on that machine) and I was filling its 12GB disk, so I
have finally moved on to a Thinkpad T23 (1.13GHz, 1GB memory, 30GB disk) so I have more room now!  Previously
I'd get swapping when more than a couple of Lotus programs were running, or a dozen of anyone else's :-)  If
only they'd fitted a second memory slot to the 380z, I may well have carried on using it much longer.  It is a
1-lump machine with floppy and CD drives permanently installed, whereas the later models only allow one
removeable drive inside at once so you have to carry extra parts.  But I digress...

I can't say that the speed improvement is dramatic - it's noticeable with things like reindexing vast email
folders (with 5,000+ messages in them), but normal stuff like web browsing, retrieving/reading/writing emails
and so on is pretty much the same.  You soon get used to the speed of the machine you use, no matter how fast
it is (that's Howard's Law of Upgrades :-)  It's only if it's too slow for you to work at your own pace that
it's a problem.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\10\04@163228 by Peter

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On Mon, 3 Oct 2005, John Nall wrote:

> It looks like the only version of Linux that will run successfully on it is
> Slackware 10.1.   The problem  there, however, is that the full install is 3

Slackware usually runs on anything ;-) Unfortunately people try it out
last when given a choice <g>

> GB and the system only has a 2 GB disk.  Therefore, one has to go through and
> pick what not to install, which is not only tedious but also prone to error
> (sometimes something which looks like it is of no use to anyone in the world
> turns out to be a key component of something else that is necessary).  I've
> installed it three times now, and it still does not run correctly (although
> it does run).

What do you mean ? What does not run correctly ? Did you join your local
LUG for technical questions ?

> The good news is that I am learning a lot about the Tecra 510CDT.  The bad
> news is that such knowledge is completely worthless so far as I can tell.
> :-)

Imho you are learning how to shoehorn a system into a small machine.
That is an important skill. I know it paid off for me.

Peter

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