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old pentium
04-05-2013, 08:08 PM
Post: #4
RE: old pentium
(04-05-2013 12:10 PM)lucinos Wrote:  I have an old pentium 166MMX with 32MB RAM that is in very good shape as hardware. Originally it had windows 95 and was going quite well. Now it has windows 98 and it works but too slow.

this of course is my old machine and I do not do anything with it. But since I do not throw to garbage my old computers I would like to do something nice with it.

I have a laptop that's 500 MHz and 64 MB RAM. I know the feeling. First thing to look into is if you can get it more RAM someplace. It can do a lot for performance if you can max it out.

I'm assuming you've looked at KernelEx ( ) in conjunction with running Windows.

(04-05-2013 12:10 PM)lucinos Wrote:  I was very pleased with FreeDOS (something strange, only 1.0 has liveCD option, not the new version, and I found 1.0 only on piratebay) but there is no point to just use FreeDOS.

I tried FreeDOS on my machine and a number of other operating systems. Wasn't too thrilled with FreeDOS because there weren't as many Open Source programs to run as on other operating systems. Also, you need to find drivers for everything and if it's newer hardware it can be hard to find or non-existent. I have a lot of old DOS programs, but not all of them worked on FreeDOS and I had to end up rebooting the system a lot (either because something crashed memory or needed a different driver option loaded).

If you're interested in FreeDOS, you may want to check XFDOS:
It's FreeDOS with nano-x and FLTK programs compiled for it. There's a XFDOS live CD, but it doesn't have all the drivers and memory managers FreeDOS has. If I remember properly, I ended up having to download drivers and memory managers to install to my system anyway when I was running FreeDOS. The FreeDOS disk's drivers were out of date at the time. If you're interested in what drivers I used, I have it documented at my web site.

(04-05-2013 12:10 PM)lucinos Wrote:  My plan is to dual boot FreeDOS with Linux. From what I searched, the only interesting distribution for that machine is Delicate.

I'm running FreeBSD on my machine right now. I find it more responsive than Linux and it has more Open Source programs than FreeDOS. There's a live disk for FreeBSD called Frenzy. Don't know how well it works on older systems. I just used the FreeBSD install disk. The drawback to FreeBSD is that it doesn't have as many drivers for hardware as Linux. If you want framebuffer support or midi support or to run programs like wvdial, you're better off with Linux.

Delicate Linux is a good distribution for older systems and I definitely recommend it. Other options include Debian and INX.
With Debian, install it using the netinst disk and sneakernet the rest of the distribution to the system if you don't have Internet access: INX ( ) is no longer maintained, but might be worth looking at. It's completely command line based (no X Windows) and includes tutorials for working with the command line. I believe it was ported to work within Debian too at some point.

Recommend you check out
There aren't any new posts, but plenty of good information for working with older systems in the archives. Deli Linux (predecessor to Delicate) was mentioned at the site.

(04-05-2013 12:10 PM)lucinos Wrote:  How good or bad will my machine be with Delicate? (I will be satisfied if it will not be worse than 98), as you see my machine is above minimum but below recommended.

Depends completely on what programs you run. I have some information on lightweight programs I've run across at my site ( ). You could probably run X Windows if you use a lightweight window manager (possibly jwm or dwm). Other options are trying to use the framebuffer or nano-x. A lot of gtk+ and wxwidgets based programs can run slower or come up slowly on older machines. I've been trying to stick with programs using lighter GUI frameworks like sdl, fltk and ncurses. I noticed that a programming editor like fxite (which uses fox toolkit and the scintilla editing component) starts up much faster than my current favorite programming editor scite (which uses gtk+ 2 and the scintilla editing component). I think flxine runs much faster than gxine on my systems. If you need recommendations for lightweight software or want an idea of what might run faster or slower, let me know.

(04-05-2013 12:10 PM)lucinos Wrote:  How easy would be to do this dual boot with FreeDOS?
Another option is DOSBox on a Linux (or BSD) machine instead of FreeDOS. If you can get framebuffer working, you can run DOSBox outside of X. There's also DOSEmu which runs on Linux and uses the FreeDOS code. It works similar to dropping to DOS from Windows, so need need to reboot to FreeDOS.

Hope you'll keep us posted on how things go with keeping your system working.
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Messages In This Thread
old pentium - lucinos - 04-05-2013, 12:10 PM
RE: old pentium - Tom - 04-05-2013, 01:50 PM
RE: old pentium - tavvva - 04-05-2013, 02:28 PM
RE: old pentium - lmemsm - 04-05-2013 08:08 PM
RE: old pentium - lucinos - 04-06-2013, 08:33 PM
RE: old pentium - lmemsm - 04-08-2013, 02:58 PM
RE: old pentium - lucinos - 04-08-2013, 09:09 PM

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