[conspire] I7000

Edmund J. Biow biow at sbcglobal.net
Sat Feb 21 18:40:45 PST 2009

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> Today's Topics:
>    1. Linux for a 1998 Dell Inspiron model 7000 (Rick Moen)
>    2. Re: Linux for a 1998 Dell Inspiron model 7000 (Mark Weisler)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2009 16:30:24 -0800
> From: Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>
> Subject: [conspire] Linux for a 1998 Dell Inspiron model 7000
> To: conspire at linuxmafia.com
> Message-ID: <20090221003024.GJ11038 at linuxmafia.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> Mike wrote to me on Tuesday, which was a day when I had other things to
> deal with, and had to put off replying.  When he says "your site", he 
> means specifically http://linuxmafia.com/~rick/inspiron7000.html .
>  From: "Mike Kirk" <mikalk at charter.net>
>  To: < rick at linuxmafia.com >
>  Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2009 22:48:42 -0600
>  Subject: I7000
>  [RM: noxious MIME "quoted-printable" junk snipped.]
> Rick - I ran across your site while surfing the net. I have 2 older Dell 
> 7000 laptops. They are currently running Win 2000Pro. I would like to 
> wipe them and start all over. I have NEVER used Linux and have
> absolutely no knowledge about it what so ever. I looked at the options 
> and there are now so many versions. I would like your recommendation on 
> which version to use on these old laptops. Is there a place I can 
> purchase a LINUX OS on a CD and boot and install it from the CD Drive 
> like in Windows? If so that would make it so much easier. Any 
> suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
>                                Mike Kirk - Illinois

The Dell Inspiron 7000s have Pentium II & Celeron processors between 266
MHz & 400 MHz.

I have to say, modern Linux distros just don't run very well on this
sort of hardware.  I tried AntiX M-7 (from last year, may have been
Ubuntu based rather than Debian like Mepis is now) on a friend's Gateway
400 MHz with 256 MB in live CD mode and it was excruciating.  I had to
edit the xorg.conf to get in to X (which impressed my friend) and it was
very slow.  However his CD-ROM may have been suspect, so maybe that is
not a fair test of AntiX.

I've been shopping around for a good distro for my home made Via Samuel
CPU box (maybe 800 MHz but really more like a PIII 500) with 384 MB of
RAM and that is a slog.  It currently has Ubuntulite
(http://u-lite.org/?q=node/2) which is based on LXDE, the new light
weight desktop environment for Linux, and I have to say, it isn't a
speed demon. Audio crackles when I do anything other than just listen,
even with aqualung, I often use MOC (Music on Console,
http://moc.daper.net/), and video is choppy and painful. Before that I
had Gebuntu, an Enlightenment version of Ubuntu, and that was unusable
IMO.   Maybe the slow 3.2 GB hard drive is a culprit, but this thing
actually ran Red Hat 7-9 passably in the past, I just think Linux is
getting heavier.  I've tried XFCE-based Zenwalk, Vector, sidux and
Xubuntu on machines of this vintage and they are also very sloooow, even
with adequate RAM.

Actually, if they will do the trick for you, I'd recommend trying out
Puppy Linux or even DSL (Damn Small Linux).


Debian-based DSL will apparently run on a 486DX with 16MB of RAM and run
fully in RAM if you have 128 MB.  Puppy has very limited repositories, I
think I gave up on it when I couldn't get NFS to work, but both run
quite well on older hardware IF they support your iron.  Because they
distros are so small I have found some hardware didn't work out of the
box (Puppy is 125 MB, 50 MB for DSL).

A couple of Openbox window manager based distros that I've read good
things about but haven't tried are Crunchbang and TinyXS.


The former is based on Ubuntu, the later on Mandriva/PCLinuxOS.
Crunchbang is supposed to have a lot of codecs, etc. pre-installed, so
that would make a new Linux user's life easier if they want to use the
machine for multimedia.


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