[conspire] Looking for some OSS tools...

Edmund J. Biow ejb1 at isp.com
Sun Apr 17 14:22:23 PDT 2005

On Sat, 2005-04-16 at 09:12 -0700, Don Marti wrote:
> begin  Edmund J. Biow quotation of Sat, Apr 16, 2005 at 12:40:42AM -0700:
> > I gather there is no open source tool that would test drive mechanical
> > integrity and would work with disks from any maker?  (I haven't
> > blundered over one, if there is.)  
> If the drives have SMART support, you can use
> smartmontools.  More info in "Monitoring Hard Disks
> with SMART"
> http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/6983

I think the vast majority of the drives we see have Smart support, so
I'll play around with this.

On Sat, 2005-04-16 at 07:29 -0700, Ross Bernheim wrote: 

> Vintage equipment is still quite useful. More powerful machines can do 
> more
> to support the heavy bloated graphics based stuff that tends to be 
> popular these
> days. Rick points out that the big impediment to running some of the 
> most popular
> current distributions is the integration of the KDE and Gnome desktops.
> The use of a lightweight windowing system may not have all the eye 
> candy and
> widgets, but is still quite useable. Many of the Cabal members run 
> laptops that are
> vintage and many fall into the range of hardware that you are talking 
> about, yet are
> quite usable.

I can attest to the fact that KDE really limps on older hardware.  I
had a "community access" computer on my back porch, a Pentium Pro 200
MHz with 128 MB of RAM.  I put SUSE 9.1 on it and it was so slow as to
be almost useless.  However Slackware-based Vectorlinux SOHO v5.0 did
run acceptably, though again, it was a little pokey.  However Vector 4.3, which
uses XFce as a window manager, ran quite well.

> You might look at cobbling together a distribution of your own by 
> starting with
> a current distribution and switching to a lightweight window manager and
> including the open source programs that your users may want or need. 
> This
> can be provided as a CD ROM to send along with the machine as well as
> possibly installed on the machines. The newer Knoppix based distros have
> excellent hardware probing and installation scripts and would make a 
> good
> starting point. PAIPix is an interesting distribution on DVD from 
> Portugal with
> a large number of scientific programs that might be worth looking at 
> for programs
> to include.

Well, they install the final operating system on our boxes in Cuba.  But maybe I'll
download PAIPix, just to play around with it and give it to
Spanish-speaking friends.  I burned a copy of another Spanish language
Knoppix distro called LinEspa, and it was OK. But it uses a XFce window
manager, so it isn't really ideal for demonstrating how easy Linux is
to use on modern hardware, though it might be just the ticket to
install on the island-bound boxes.  Maybe I'll put it on a few boxes,
just so the Cubanos can play around with it.  Infomed-Cuba's servers,
of course, all run Linux, but I'm afraid that most of the hospitals and
community clinics run Windows on their machines.


More information about the conspire mailing list