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  • OT-Shop computer

    Morning,

    I have an old Micron Laptop that I no longer need in the house/office and would like to use it in the shop. It would be for Internet Browsing, basic office programs (spread sheets, word process, etc) It initially had Windows NT and I loaded xp professional over that a few years ago. It has a Pentium II with 512 ram and a 5gig hard drive. This computer accesses the Internet via a wireless router that is also accessed by 2 Windows Vista laptops.

    My question: It seems that the windows os is not too efficient and runs slow and maxes out the ram pretty fast at times. Is there an easy to use OS that I can just dump the Windows and load the new OS? Needs to be free and easy to use. I am not very computer literate.

    Any info would be appreciated.
    regards

    3t

  • #2
    SOME linux operating systems are better on older machines than windows..

    check running them, they boot on a cdrom.. you can try them before you load them on top and ERASE the expensive windows..

    I use Mepis Linux here, Ubuntu is another one that is great for beginners, it won't allow you to make root (administrator) changes easily.

    I've had a few problems with wireless on Linux, getting them drivers is a problem.
    Excuse me, I farted.

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    • #3
      I really dislike windows - it is bloated, having a registry that anything can modify is really stupid, and prone to all sorts of nasties. Unix (mac os10.x and linux/BSD) works so much better for most things, except in the shop. I have one windows machine that stays in the shop to support cad and cam software as well as serial communication to one cnc machine, and using mach to control another. One day I hope to be windows free, but I think that it will be a while before it goes away in the shop. One thing is that I do not let the windows box out there on the network, just too risky to have to run AV on a cnc controller.

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      • #4
        The only computer in my shop is for running my milling machine. Although it is networked and a fairly powerful machine I don't ever use it for anything else, especialy not for anything online. If I want to get anything done it has to be that way. If I want to take a break and check this BBS or whatever then I turn off the machines and come upstairs to use my main workstation.
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        • #5
          Do less bloated OS's exist which will run on your PC? Absolutely. Does that go well with "I am not very computer literate"? Not really

          Paul
          Paul Carpenter
          Mapleton, IL

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          • #6
            Linux is not for non geeks, I like linux on a web server myself.

            the p2 with 512 megs of ram is not bad but that old 5 gig HD is slow, it has to be real old. you might be able to get a 20 gig thats twice as fast.

            Computer upgrades are tricky, if you can get used stuff for free and a geek friend to help its worth doing, If you have to spend $100 you may as well find a better computer.

            This one is $386.

            http://shopping.yahoo.com/p:HP%20Compaq%20Business%20Notebook%20nx5000%20Lap top%20Computer:1991598387;_ylt=AtMVubnpXYjMmq8Gyx5 OAth7jnUC;_ylu=X3oDMTBuMWxvaWUzBF9zAzk2MTgwNTA2BGx 0AzQEc2VjA3Ny?clink=dmss//ctx=sc:cnotebook,c:cnotebook,mid:57,pid:1991598387 ,pdid:57,pos:1

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            • #7
              Thanks guys,

              Yea I figured it was a long shot on any substantial improvement on that machine, just had it hanging around the house so I thought I'd see about using it in the shop. I guess what got me thinking about the OS change was that the machine works pretty well until I load on someones anti virus and that seems to hog the resources.

              No loss, it was just an idea. thanks again for the info.
              regards

              3t

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 3t-
                Thanks guys,

                Yea I figured it was a long shot on any substantial improvement on that machine, just had it hanging around the house so I thought I'd see about using it in the shop. I guess what got me thinking about the OS change was that the machine works pretty well until I load on someones anti virus and that seems to hog the resources.

                No loss, it was just an idea. thanks again for the info.

                I have not used an anti virus in 5 years, that speeds things up big time. dont use one, use a backup drive online or usb.

                I dont webmaster porn sites and visit cracker sites anymore and dont get viruses anymore.

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                • #9
                  Go with Linux, by the time you get it working you WILL be a geek:-}

                  Or... you used to be able to get Solaris and OpenOffice for x86.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ScottM
                    Go with Linux, by the time you get it working you WILL be a geek:-}

                    Or... you used to be able to get Solaris and OpenOffice for x86.
                    I agree, a multi boot system may need more hard dive though.

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                    • #11
                      I have not used an anti virus in 5 years, that speeds things up big time. dont use one, use a backup drive online or usb.

                      I dont webmaster porn sites and visit cracker sites anymore and dont get viruses anymore.
                      You are really flying by the seat of your pants. Most "viruses" are not viruses. "Malware" is the current term since the lines are blurred and most are not acquired by web surfing or even email. Most today are spread by bots or even botnets. A piece of code travels the network looking for other machines with a vulnerability to exploit. They then install a rootkit and lots of other stuff and go to town, setting up houskeeping. I subscribe to RSS feeds from several of the security guru sites. We have actually seen incidents where some rumor of odd behavior was posted to sans.org etc and we were nailed within an hour or two. A couple of hours later, someone had figured out what it was. A couple of hours after that, a fix was released. You might argue that virus detection won't even help if you get hit before the signatures are released, but there are plenty more cases where the updates started catching stuff within hours of release in the wild. I can't begin to tell you how much stuff gets blocked by our virus firewall.

                      Remember that a copy of an infected machine will only let you restore an infected machine. By the time you have obvious symptoms that your machine was exploited (in the absence of some virus/malware watchdog software), your next backup may include all the malware. This doesn't even address the issue of having to restore from backup....which is a lot more annoying than keeping a machine patched and installing auto-updating virus detection.

                      Paul
                      Paul Carpenter
                      Mapleton, IL

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                      • #12
                        I still use an old PII 350 with 386mb ram, works fine. I've run both Windows and linux on this system, all worked fine. While I tend to agree that Linux is for the more tech savvy user, there are more friendly distro's out there such as Ubuntu. However I would not expect any performance gains with a system that old. what I found to be the best on this old system is a win 2k pro install, with a limit to additional software. A 5 gig HD is really a big detractor in that anything 5 gig is old and slow, seeing as any windows system uses the hard drive for virtual memory one must keep open space on the fastest drive in the system, and preferably on a separate drive from the one that holds the OS.


                        Long and short is that if you want to use that laptop your best bet would be a very light linux distro if you absolutely have to go with something other than windows, or yard sale hunt for, or e-bay for a copy of win 2k pro. but thats just my opinion, good luck!

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                        • #13
                          WIN2K would be very happy on that computer.

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                          • #14
                            I don't use antivirus either. Never have except as a separate stand alone application like F-Prot that can be invoked as needed to scan something. The command line version of F-Prot is still available for free along with free updates last I checked. I have never caught a virus that I didn't mean to catch. I do have a nice collection for reference purposes although I really don't need them anymore. The ones I liked best were the old harmless floppy boot block viri that did fun things like make the letters on the screen randomly fall to the bottom. Of course they weren't all harmless. The Chernobyl Virus would attempt to erase the bios eeprom on Christmas Day. Bye Bye motherboard.
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