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(?) Newbie seeking advice

From David Bruce

Answered By Jay R. Ashworth, Robos, Heather Stern

(?) I have an old IBM Aptiva (1996) with 30 MB of memory. I have plenty of disk space (2 hard drives with 3 partitions, 1.2 GB, 2 GB, 1 GB)

I would like some advice on the best distribution to use, and the windows manager which will run efficiently with my current low amount of memory.

I am not much good with hardware, and want the install to be as automated as possible.

I want a simple home user computer setup.

>While Linux is fairly adept at running in low-resource environments,
>they are not always by any means the most comfortable environments
>in which to work. If you really don't want things to be complicated
>and require work and thought, you should consider getting something
>more current. Computers got REALLY cheap last year -- a decent
>machine can be had -- new -- for under $400, if you shop really

So you think I should get rid of my 486-33 sx laptop I'm writing this mail on and get some newer hardware? I don't think so! In my...

(!) [Jay] Well, no, that's not what I said at all, now, is it?
And you are obviously not an unskilled user looking for a home machine, so you're willing to put whatever time and extra effort might be necessary into the job of running Linux (and X) on a low resource machine.
Defenestration is my guess...
(!) [Heather] Buzzword Bingo: "defenestration" means being thrown out of windows. (Or maybe an opening, like in all those old movies where someone is tossed out of the saloon bodily.) So perhaps meta-defenestration should mean throwing Windows(tm) out a window.
(!) [Robos] Hiya again.
Well, I just wanted to make a point that it's perfectly possible to use even old hardware. And you don't have to be a nasa-scientist to install linux even on those machines.
BTW, whats that machine exactly? Something in the range of pentium 133-233 I guess? I also have one machine like that at my parents place, running even enlightenment (not extremly fast, but workable). And something like windowmaker or icewm will run even fast on those machines. And the installation: Dunno about the likes of redhat and suse if they can apply their framebuffer thingy, so with debian he is on the safe side (a nice way of saying their installer design sucks ;-). OK, it is harder than suse or redhat, but he already knows TAG and if he takes a look at debianhelp.org (where I also hang around some times) he will do just fine. Do you also know such things as "OSIPs"? It's Open Source Install Party and we do it regularly at my university for the freshmen. But also non-students are welcome. Where was the original querent from and does such things exist in his area too?
(!) [Heather] In my region we call it an Installfest. The BSD folk call theirs Install-a-thons.
My own recipe for running GUI mode on a low resource machine:
LibraNet's a good Debian variety, among rpm matters I favor SuSE as it lets me be picky fairly safely, and both updaters are well behaved. SuSE has a text mode available if the GUI doesn't work out. Libranet is a full screen but text mode installer.
If it makes you feel better I had a perfectly happy install of Redhat 3.03 with GUI and all, on a Pentium-60 with not an incredible boatload of RAM amd about 500 Mb of hard disk. X has gotten bigger, but with X 4 it has also gotten modular amd that may improve things too. But there are always floppy-based dustros that speak X - they can't assume they're going to be running on the hot multimedia monster, so they cut all the corners to fit, just like you need.

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