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  #1  
Old 25th July 2012, 06:03 AM
tech291083 Offline
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What can I do with this old laptop

Hi,

I have an old laptop, on which I have installed Fedora 17 LXDE spin (32+ bit) recently. It seems to be working fine so far. But I would love to get the best out of this old laptop by installing some regular packages/applications that I always do whenever I install a new version of Fedora on my regular pc which happens to be having much better hardware resources in terms or processor, RAM, HDD etc. I have often heard people saying that they have an old machine with little resources and they are getting bst out of it by installing a specific distro exclusively designed for old computers. I would try to test that belief to my own satisfaction with your help. Here are my laptop configurations.


http://uk.computers.toshiba-europe.c...L=1&service=UK


- Intel® Celeron® M processor 360
- Windows® XP Home Edition
- 40 GB Hard Disk Drive
- 256 MB DDR RAM
- 15 " TFT colour display
- DVD-SuperMultiDL


I have increased the RAM to a total of 512 MB, but I can't increase it any more. So I have to install a distro that works well with 512 MB and forum members recommended Fedora 17 LXDE spin (32+ bit) so I installed it. The rest of the specifications remain the same as mentioned above. I would love to do the following with this distro ie Fedora 17 LXDE spin (32+ bit). Please let me know as to what I can and what I can't do with this Fedora LXDE spin considering the low hardware configurations that my laptop has as mentioned above. The things I want to do are listed/numbered below.

1. Programming in C, C++, Java, PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby. so I need to install various opensource IDEs such as NetBeans, Eclipse etc. Will I be able to run these IDEs on this laptop?

2. Create office documents using LibreOffice suite.

3. Design PHP, MySQL websites using Drupal CMS.

4. Create sample Oracle databases using a free version of the same if there is one. This is important as I ocassionally teach opensource enthusiatics at open souce workshops etc.

5. Burn DVDs.

6. Editing images, although not that demanding or professionally good stuff. Just for fun.

7. Will I be able to install other DEs such as KDE, Gnome or Xfce considering the fact that I have only 512 MB of RAM that too DDR type?

8. Run MS Windows applications, for that I need Wine package, right? Will it be able to run all the popular MS Windows applications? Is there an official list of the applications supported by Wine?

Thanks a lot.
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Last edited by tech291083; 25th July 2012 at 09:39 AM.
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  #2  
Old 26th July 2012, 11:56 AM
glway Offline
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Re: What can I do with this old laptop

LXDE is your best option without a doubt. XFCE might also work but KDE and especially GNOME-no chance with 512mb ram. Gnome 3 for that matter of course. Gnome 2 might do the trick but going through the whole thing to get it running-i don't think it's worth it. It does say that it could be upgraded to 1024 which might be enough for gnome3(for instance i also have an old 12 inch dell which has 1024 chip and 512 integrated) and fc15 with gnome3 is running well enough. Mind you-it does eat a lot of resources. With LXDE it runs well for hours and hours. Gnome3-whole different story. Feels like the whole laptop is going to melt. I'd stick with lxde if i were you.
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  #3  
Old 26th July 2012, 01:52 PM
tech291083 Offline
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Re: What can I do with this old laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by glway View Post
LXDE is your best option without a doubt
.

I needed to know that whether my selection of LXDE was the right one. Thanks.


Quote:
KDE and especially GNOME-no chance with 512mb ram.
Yes, that is what I need to be sure about. I will now stick with LXDE for the first time in my life.

Thanks a lot. I hope to make the most of the laptop now. Please feel free to comment on the 8 things that I have mentioned in my original post.
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  #4  
Old 26th July 2012, 04:52 PM
glway Offline
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Re: What can I do with this old laptop

1.I can't recall programming being an issue in any distro. Unless your are trying to compile solaris, written in visual basic while powering your processor with radiation from Saturn-I can't see a problem.

2.libreoffice an issue-never.

3.No problems whatsoever. testing might be a bit slow with drupal since drupal itself is really bulky and crammed in with millions of things that are completely useless(main reason why i really hate it). Other than that-it will do just fine.

4.Oracle-if you keep them small and simple it will live.

5.That hasn't been an issue since the mid 90's. Back when I had a 128mb of ram on my desktop.

6.Images-well I'm assuming gimp and I'm guessing that it will be a pain since let's face it-gimp is a more demanding software in terms of hardware and performance

7.Already answered. As i said-XFCE might also do just fine.

8.wine-well we are talking microsoft here so I'd simply pass. There is no list and never will be. Give or take any portable version of any software will be able to run if you have the system resources. Which you don't but... You could always try.
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  #5  
Old 18th October 2012, 05:56 PM
Ihatewindows Offline
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Re: What can I do with this old laptop

I have an old laptop too. I popped a 160 GB HDD in it and I'm using it as my own personal file server.
LXDE is probably your best choice, though you can't do some basic things like drag/drop.
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  #6  
Old 18th October 2012, 07:09 PM
flyingfsck Online
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Re: What can I do with this old laptop

Well, you could buy a whole lot more identical laptops on Ebay and then embed them in cement as paving stones as some bloke did with a truckload of old Apple II machines...
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  #7  
Old 18th October 2012, 07:33 PM
secipolla Offline
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Re: What can I do with this old laptop

The CPU isn't bad. 512 MB of RAM I think it's too little for Fedora, it has too many services active.
If the OP try antiX, just to give an easy example of live distro with a lightweight window manager, you'll see that he can still do most of what's listed except heavy image editing (the programming stuff I don't know).
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  #8  
Old 18th October 2012, 08:00 PM
Penguinclaw Offline
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Re: What can I do with this old laptop

I have an original eeepc 4G Surf and I've got Chrunchbang installed. It uses the Openbox window manager which is really light and fast so ideal for your laptop. It has the whole debian repository so their are plenty of packages to try out. The installed desktop is dark, which I like, but maybe not to tour taste; however like most things you can change it's appearance to your own tastes.

Here's a link to their home page: http://crunchbanglinux.org/

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Old 19th October 2012, 12:04 AM
stevea Offline
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Re: What can I do with this old laptop

W/ only 512MB of dram I'd choose the lightest desktop around - or else no desktop.

If I were serious about trying to install Fedora+Desktop, I'd probably install with the minimal install then add the slim greeter/login and the Enlightenment DE. Enlightenment is very lightweight yet looks nice.

LXDE is a good 2nd choice, tho' it uses ~2x the memory for similar functionality.

Yes you CAN install Gnome & KDE - your 40GB is big enough to install ALL the fedora packages. The problem comes to execution and when you start swapping out to disk your system will move like an out-of-fuel zamboni in molasses. It will be unusable as an interactive system.

So the SMALLER the memory profile of the packages you use - the better.

I think you'll get by with MODEST LibreOffice/development dev tools, but if you try a big app build or a big database you'll probably swap yourself silly. Good for a learning tool, but don't expect production size builds.
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  #10  
Old 19th October 2012, 09:59 AM
steveking Offline
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Re: What can I do with this old laptop

I agree with pretty much all of the posts on here, but with such little RAM and HDD space I would recommend openoffice over libreoffice. I have always found libreoffice laggs a little on older machines whereas openoffice works just as well but is better for those older machines.

I wouldn't recommend Enlightenment as a DE, yes it is light but the fuctionality of it isn't 100% perfect. I would recommend LXDE, or XFCE. Openbox and fluxbox are good alternatives but noway near as useable as LXDE and XFCE.

Its probably not the best idea but I use Bluefish or leafpad for all of my coding adventures no matter what the language. But thats just a personnal thing
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  #11  
Old 20th October 2012, 12:18 AM
Penguinclaw Offline
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Re: What can I do with this old laptop

I think that the issue is to get the maximum potential out of old / limited Hardware and I still stand by Chrunchbang. You can just use it as a livecd if that is your wish, but obviously it will run better installed. It has a tiny footprint (important with just 40Gb hard-drive) and you can then add what you want on top of the basic install. Libreoffice/OOO are probably a little heavy for this machine but the beauty of Linux is that there are almost always alternatives. Abiword is light and usable as a basic word-processor. If I were you I'd play around see what works for you and go with that. Openbox is a really light DE ( far lighter than XFCE and LXDE) and will mean that more resources are available for the all important apps that you actually work with

Other potential light distros are Puppy, Bodhi Linux, ArchBang Linux, antiX and Peppermint OS. Distrowatch is a good source of info on these and others.

I hope this helps clarify my opinions, but of course the choice is yours!!! I think experimenting and seeing what works best for you is the real answer; so with that in mind I wish you good look in your experimentation
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  #12  
Old 14th December 2012, 06:01 PM
Ihatewindows Offline
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Re: What can I do with this old laptop

Try DSL.
http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=damnsmall
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