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R Vijay

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 17:15 pm    Post subject: Old PC use chat. Reply with quote

I presently use a desktop PC 512MB ram and 40G hard drive that is almost 7 years old now. It still works ok and am happy with it. Approx. what age PCs among the older once are still being used routinely ? Thanks.

I will also like suggestions here on getting and using older PCs. Most are going towards tablets and lesser desktops are being sold it appears.

Do you use older PC or prefer a newer one ?
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plodr

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 22:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

laptop from 2001, all in one computer from maybe 2004 (got it free 2nd hand so I'm not sure of the age), desktop from 2004 (also free), desktop from 2005.
The two from 2004 my husband uses almost daily on the internet and to do work (2K and XP). The laptop (2K) hasn't been turned on in awhile since I got two netbooks (2008 and 2011). The 2005 I use almost daily to play games on but don't connect to the internet on it.
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R Vijay

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 13:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for this response. Appears most here use more recent PCs then.
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Boz

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 13:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's true. My oldest laptop is an Acer from 2007, two other laptops are an HP and another Acer from 2009, and the newest laptop was a referb Samsung manufactured in late 2011 or early 2012. All are being actively used, and all cost $300 or less each. The best one is the referb Samsung that was $288. All are 15.6", and all have Win 7, except the 2007, which has Vista.
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R Vijay

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 14:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I can't believe I am sharing all this here. Shows how long I have been here and how time has passed. The old IBM PC I am interested in using again is the one I used to get on Freedomlist for the first time.

Top uses for older PCs:
 http://www.techradar.com/news/computing-co...-pc-464128 

Linux for older PCs:
 http://www.wikihow.com/Revive-an-old-PC-with-Linux 

 http://maketecheasier.com/best-lightweight...2012/02/17 
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R Vijay

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Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 15:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This PC is an IBM Aptiva E Series 140
It worked so well in those days. It is really sad now tho.
1.Doesn't detect my present KB or mouse
2. Is super slow
3. Doesn't have ethernet card, only internal wired modem
4. Weighs a ton.
5. Has only a 4Gb hard drive.
6. Tried a live CD, doesn't boot from it.
7. No option to boot from USB.

I have amazing memories of using it to access FL etc., But today it is a true dinosaur of a PC, I am going to reflect a bit to see if it is worth keeping this PC or its parts.

There is a great learning lesson here. To use IT stuff promptly, not buy too much and continue to learn to keep it updated and use it. If no longer needed for personal use, best to sell it or give it away. They become worthless in a few years.

Bios dated 3/10/1999
With PCs from 2006 or so selling used for 100 bucks, this thing is probably worth 20 bucks or so.

Some folks are selling its parts on eBay, but there are no buyers. It is correctly listed as vintage in some ads. No wonder, Wowww !!!
 http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=m57...p;_sacat=0 
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R Vijay

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 13:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, I got this PC to work. Just needed a PS2 KB. Booted with the win 98 on it. Now it needs an ethernet card, that is all.

I am also able to tweak the BIOS so that it boots from CDROM. Now to see if it boots with old linux on it. Glad I decided to give this one last shot, it is a pity to throw away PCs.
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R Vijay

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 14:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amazing that posting here on FL has helped me with this PC. I am going to try the loram-cdrom version of slitaz from here. Let me see how it goes:
 ftp://mirror.switch.ch/mirror/slitaz/iso/4.0/flavors/ 

This boots ok from Live CD. However, there are issues with Grub for hard drive install. Here is some help on that:
 http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/grub-2.html 

It also seems worth it to try retro puppy precise also.

Other Lightweight Linux distros as per Wikipedia:
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightweight_Linux_distribution 
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R Vijay

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 23:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This PC is a real antique indeed. Everything works very slow on it. I bet DSL will also be super slow on it. Maybe I did an error in wiping win 98 on it. However, what good is it if everything else is so slow ? DSL will not even boot on it, tried even older version. The only Linux distro that loads on this is super slow even for just typing text. I will reflect some more on if this can be used with any other OS or in any other way.
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guest8z8


 
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:48 am    Post subject: They Shoot Horses Reply with quote

If you are not going to upgrade the RAM, and you are not or can't reinstall Windows 98 or Ubuntu Linux, just pull the drive and trash your dinosaur.
There are lots of tweaks and a myriad of upgrades possible, but in the end you will have sunk time and money trying to resurrect a zombie.
When XP first came out I tried to refurb my IBM Aptiva. I bought an OEM copy of XP. Bought a new hard drive. Installed a better video card which made a big difference in the quality of image on my monitor. Added more RAM of course. I wanted to upgrade my power supply but couldn't because IBM's cabinet would not accept a standard size unit, and the factory replacement power supplies were by design under powered. ( When you upgrade your video card it is a given that you should also upgrade your power supply)
Theoretically I could have bought a new case and installed whatever supply I wanted. I just wasn't up to the task of moving the guts from the original case to a new one.
Long story short....the unit lasted 9 months after the refurb. The upgraded video card and RAM put beaucoup heat in the box, forcing me to run it with the side panel off.
At the time I thought I was saving $300 because new XP computers were running about $600. But of course when my unit died, I still had to pony up six to get a new unit.
One can assume the time and 300 bucks spent on the Aptiva was the cost of an education. I was so elated at how easy it was to upgrade the RAM, I wrongly assumed the other upgrades would be just as easy. They weren't.
BTW: If your LAN connection is functional, DSL would be a mighty big plus over dial-up.
In any case, please review my first sentence.
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R Vijay

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, this suggestion seems true. I spent 1.5 days with this PC so far. It is a good experience to see how far we have come and how soon we forget how things were like just about a decade and a half ago approx. Even when I go down few lines in a page, it takes a few seconds to refresh. Doesn't mount new CDs properly, probably doesn't play mp3s.

Other than Slitaz no other Linux OS boots on this. I have CDs of older OSes, tried them and they all failed. Just wonder how they all worked back then. Even as a PC to learn about Linux etc., this PC is painfully slow. It truly is a vintage machine indeed.
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plodr

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it has a floppy drive, there is a boot disk that can force a very old PC to boot from the CD-ROM drive.
I used this on an old Dell Optiplex (800GHz) to test a version of Ubuntu game distro.

If you wish to waste time testing old distros, I'll post instructions on what you need to do on a newer computer to create the special floppy disk.
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R Vijay

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps I must have worded better. The OS starts to boot and then freezes. I have made the boot floppy before for Pentium 1 PCs. Don't think it will help in this case tho.
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R Vijay

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Started a last shot thread for this here. Same conclusions there also:
 http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/sh...ost4889218 
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R Vijay

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got this PC working, had several old copies of Knoppix 3.6 and had to use some boot options. Details at link above.

This experience taught me few basic stuff so far:
1. The older OSes are ok, it is more about using the right boot options and xsetup so that the OS works ok in the graphical interface.
2. It helps to keep an older PC updated promptly, resolve any issues and keep extra copies of the OS, applications etc.,
3. Revise using this PC every 6 months, look for any related updates on net etc.,
4. Be on lookout for cheap hardware upgrades and make use of them when available. This will also help if something fails, specially the power supply.
5. Assist others with older PCs to get better use from them.
6. DL and try using different OSes for older PCs. Don't relay on just one OS.
7. Keep a file with notes on any issues encountered, how they were solved, vital tips etc., Keep a printout of this file and also burn this file to CD/DVD.
8. Keep in touch with others who use such older PCs or start a forum, email list for this.
9. Retrocomputing - When folks are using such old PCs, it shouldn't be an issue to use PCs just a decade or so old.
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retrocomputing 
10. If it really becomes junk and doesn't work, there here are some tips on how to let go of sentiments and declutter:
 http://www.azcentral.com/style/hfe/decor/a...purge.html 
I admit that I am sentimentally attached to this PC and from net can see that several others are also.
11. Minimalistic Computing:
For most basic routine tasks, older PCs are still ok. A very fast, latest PC is not needed.
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimalist_computing 

Wow, there is quite a bit of learning from this experience.
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R Vijay

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 17:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone mentioned in another post that Debian is still available and worked on older PC. This made me check, here it is:
 http://www.debian.org/CD/torrent-cd/ 

This is a great OS to use with a lot of support. Infact Knoppix, DSL etc., are based on Debian OS.

One has to use an older version of the OS for older PC as the present version needs atleast 1Ghz CPU, 5G hard drive for desktop install.
 http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/ch03s04.html.en 

I had CDs of older OSes before that I had downloaded painfully on dialup. Those sites are all gone now. Wish I had kept them sometimes for memory. They could have also be tried on older PCs.
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R Vijay

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 18:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, this seems really good for older PC:
 http://delicate-linux.net/ 
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R Vijay

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Delicate Linux installed ok but crashed at start of x. Oldest DSL crashed at start of x. Puppy Quirky 1.4 installed on this PC surprisingly, however it is quite slow. Maybe I must try one of the older Puppy distros to see if it works on this PC.
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R Vijay

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 13:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just checkedout local ads for PCs. Even 1Ghz with Win OS is going for approx. $50 locally. However, even a simple $100 Tablet gives more convenience, mobility and features compared to this. So, unless someone is really pressed and loves desktops, appears these are no longer wanted. More price drops for older desktops can be expected in the future at this rate.

All in ones seem to be the future:
 http://www.pcworld.com/article/248119/the_...sktop.html 

As per this article, new Desktops will be for fewer folks who like the advantages of having a desktop.
 http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-b...le1359706/ 

On my PC, I have all images turned off in browser, have black background and slight dark green for text. This is great for reading, maintain and helps reduce distractions.

I will use the old desktop to mainly read eBooks from gutenberg at night and do some simple calculations or personal grocery list etc., This covers most of my computing needs. If I get a network card and can hook this PC on the net, then it will cover 90% of my computing needs (Just check temp. basic email and local news).
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R Vijay

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Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 14:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This old PC is working excellent with Quirky Puppy 1.4 It just needs an ethernet card, that is all. I had several floppy drives that I threw out a few months ago, now I feel I could have used them with this older PC. However, one can't keep everything due to space limitations.

Here is another distribution for older PCs:
 http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=antix 

I guess such distros will come from places around the globe where older PCs are used more and new ones are quite expensive. So this is another aspect when looking for older distros.

I have learned a real lot from my thread at Linuxquestions.org on the same topic. It has been quite an amazing experience so far. If I followup on the info. there, I will even be able to use a 486 or Pentium 1 PC I feel.
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