Dust off your Dinosaur Computer

Today all operating systems require a special new hardware that may eliminate your old computer from being used.  I don’t like the idea to ignore a computer that lived for more than 5 years because new operating system and application needs to have modern hardware.

Many educational institute, public enterprises or ministries do not have the budget to change their computer or they have an already big number of computers that may be used in their IT infrastructure. Now for the current operating systems we need 384 MiB of memory for OS and to run other applications such as web browser, office, email and IM chat this requires 512-1024 MB. So the question is what to do with those old computers?

If your computer is not terribly old, we can expect the following configuration:

  • Processor: Pentium-III 800 MHz
  • 256 MiB SDRAM
  • Video Card: 8 MB of memory
  • HDD: 20 GB

Here we can select 2 Linux distributions to have your computer up and running.

Xubuntu a free, open source operating system suitable for both your desktop and laptop. It produce an easy to use distribution, based on Ubuntu, using Xfce as the graphical desktop, with a focus on integration, usability and performance, with a particular focus on low memory footprint. Whether you use it at home, at school, or at work, Xubuntu contains all the applications you will ever need, from word processing and email applications, to web server software and programming tools.

The minimum requirement for running the system is 192 MiB of RAM ideally with 256 MiB however you can use less memory like 128 MiB but you will not be able to run any application. The full installation takes about 2 GB of Hard drive.

The second possible choice is Lubuntu ,Lubuntu is based on Ubuntu but using the LXDE desktop environment in place of Ubuntu’s GNOME desktop. LXDE is lighter, less resource hungry and more energy-efficient, besides using Abiword + Gnumeric in place of OpenOffice for less memory usage the distribution replace Firefox by Chromium. System needs A Pentium II or Celeron with 128 MiB of RAM, but the result will likely not be suitable for practical use as If you have less than 160 MiB of RAM, you will need to use the Minimal installation instructions and a full installation takes 1,5 GB of HDD.

By the end if the dusty dinosaur is a really old computer, consider donating or selling it to a collector.  There are several good old computer museum sites on Internet who have a passion for collecting computers.

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