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 Forum index » House Training » HOWTO ( Solutions )
Install basic Puppy on a computer with 16 Mb RAM
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Puppyt

Joined: 09 May 2008
Posts: 561
Location: Gatton, Queensland

PostPosted: Fri 11 Nov 2011, 20:12    Post subject:  

G'day Beefycat and saintless,

thanks for your posts. Bit of a sorry story - since my last post on this thread, both Satellite Pro 430s had lost their screens - and the 16Mb RAM one has declared that it is 'toast' by doing nothing apart from showing a continuously-lit caps lock led when booted up. The 48Mb machine's video port is working so we use a second monitor, but as of yesterday the serial mouse seems to have died... Sad

I haven't had the time or the spare change to accomplish the final upgrade on this era of computer - exchanging the old IDE HD for a IDE+SD-card adapter. When I upgraded the original 5400RPM IDE for a 7200RPM, everything became possible and so it is my belief that the upgrade to a snappier solid-state hard drive would squeeze the most amount of blood out that brick. I think a decent 256Mb swap file on an SD drive would ease the pain in other performance areas...
(Discussions with REAL experts on other threads in the DOS environment convince me that CF cards are probably not the way to go, due to CHS addressing incompatibilities that you could expect to run into - whereas any everyday SD card (or more expensive DOM drive) should be fine- BIOS permitting Smile )

Beefycat - welcome to the kennels! For low-spec x486 machines the real Puppy experts to follow are goingnuts with his pUPnGO http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=383262#383262 and sindi is forging ahead with investigations in zenfunk's Pulp on old Dell Inspirons http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=569178#569178. Alas synth didn't get around to completing his TuboPup Xtreme 1.1 http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=289156#289156, but v1.0 is pretty naff and sc0ttman is taking TurboPup further with his 'Akita' project that might do wonders for your new pet project http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=522382#522382. I don't know whether ttuuxx's 214X series might be a possible candidate for your machine http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=306792#306792 - might have too much Bling for your RAM Buck.
technosaurus is pretty prominent in each of those threads, and when you have a developer with such expertise interested in gearing Puppy for vintage computers, you know your chances are good Smile

saintless - while it gladdens my heart to see the working specs you posted, my immediate concern is that what you have there is a x386 machine. (I'm resting my feet on mine at the moment - I wrote my honors thesis on it - Win 3.1 + Plannet Crafters Plug-In and MagnaRAM2, RamGate etc - still works better than Win98 (even when switched on)) I could be wrong, but I don't think that any of the Puppy kernels work with x386 -vintage motherboards. So it breaks my heart to point you over to FreeDOS for that machine, v1.1 is to be publicly released in about 2 weeks but you can get an unofficial alpha from their threads.

HTH

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saintless


Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 2226
Location: Bulgaria

PostPosted: Fri 11 Nov 2011, 20:41    Post subject:  

Puppyt wrote:
G'day Beefycat and saintless,

saintless - while it gladdens my heart to see the working specs you posted, my immediate concern is that what you have there is a x386 machine. (I'm resting my feet on mine at the moment - I wrote my honors thesis on it - Win 3.1 + Plannet Crafters Plug-In and MagnaRAM2, RamGate etc - still works better than Win98 (even when switched on)) I could be wrong, but I don't think that any of the Puppy kernels work with x386 -vintage motherboards. So it breaks my heart to point you over to FreeDOS for that machine, v1.1 is to be publicly released in about 2 weeks but you can get an unofficial alpha from their threads.

HTH


Thank you for the quick respond, Puppyt.
Sorry for your laptop screens and mouse troubles. Crying or Very sad
I will check out Free DOS.
Yes, it is 386 processor. I am quite happy with Win 3.1. I even found working cyrillic keyboard layout for it. Smile I use it from time to time to write some documents and print them on Star LC-15 printer. There are many good games for DOS too Smile
Unfortunately I can't make ethernet card work. It is an old ISA card with input for coaxial cable or something like that and Win 3.1 does not have a driver for it, or I can not find one. I also don't know how to connect it to my modem.
It would be good to have puppy on it, but even just to make that machine boot and work is a little miracle. Laughing

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Puppyt

Joined: 09 May 2008
Posts: 561
Location: Gatton, Queensland

PostPosted: Fri 11 Nov 2011, 21:22    Post subject:  

Is your ethernet card working at all perhaps? Could you try re-seating the card in case that is your problem with card detection/driver function? I'm pretty sure that FreeDOS should pick it up for you if the card is operational. There have been discussions there recently about the issue of Cyrillic, however - I'm not sure that all fonts/languages are supported in all instances but at least you might be able to rule out hardware corruption.
Cheers!

PS I purchased all my software for Win3.1 mentioned in the previous post, but Plannet Crafter's Plug-In is abandonware now, I believe, and I recommend that you locate a copy and try it. It had user-modifiable right-mouse click operations on the desktop waaaaay back then, just like Puppy today.

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saintless


Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 2226
Location: Bulgaria

PostPosted: Sat 12 Nov 2011, 04:29    Post subject:  

Thanks for the advices, Puppyt,
I am not sure the network card is working. I'll do the trick with re-seating and see if it works. I'll try Free DOS and search for Planet Crafter's Plug-in too.
Here is a link to the site I used to download software for Win 3.1 and other old OS. It needs a free registration and it allows only 3 downloads per day, but if you reset the cookie the situation is different Wink I've got from there Word and Excel for Win 3.1:
http://vetusware.com/

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Puppyt

Joined: 09 May 2008
Posts: 561
Location: Gatton, Queensland

PostPosted: Sat 12 Nov 2011, 05:04    Post subject:  

Ah yes - Vetusware is great - I got WordPerfect 5.1 from there, still on the hunt for anything comparable in current Linux/Windows. Good tip with getting around the daily download limits!
It's a shame but I think that Plug-In will only work with Win3.1 and Win95, and not with any form of DOS. Good luck with your experiments!

One thing I think I neglected to mention is to use your nose when locating the source of hardware malfunctions. I mean, sometimes there are obvious physical "blowouts" and scorchmarks on the cards or circuitboards - but without that, if you can detect a smell similar to burnt cordite /fireworks, your board is probably 'toasted' Sad.
Look out too for those little silo-like capacitors - a bulge or break on the top of those means disaster. There was a real scandal back in the early 90's when one of the main supplier companies used the wrong formulae and shortened the life of huge amounts of equipment. I don't know whether your ISA card might be affected in this way - so much else can go wrong in hardware of that era...

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Moose On The Loose


Joined: 24 Feb 2011
Posts: 511

PostPosted: Sat 12 Nov 2011, 12:45    Post subject:  

saintless wrote:
Puppyt, thank you for the information about puppy running on low ram computer like that.
I have an old computer with 40 Mhz processor, 3 Mb RAM (three MB RAM) and 40 MB HDD. It has a network card.
It has only floppy drive but I can connect CD-Rom and I can put about 500 Mb HDD as well.
At the moment it works with MSDos 6.2 and Windows 3.1 and it takes about 30 MB from 40 MB hard drive.
Does anybody have any idea if there is a chance to make some puppy work on that computer? Rolling Eyes


Yes, you will be able to get Puppy to work on it at least "sort of". I had a machine with only 8 Mb of RAM and managed to get a Linux to run on it even with most of the RAM made into a ram disk. I would first try to get just the command line version to go. You will need to make a swap space on the hard drive. To do that, you will need to get fdisk to be able to work with the drive. Either do it on a bigger computer or get just enough Linux to go to change the drive.

It will be a lot of work to do. Are you sure you don't just want to leave that as a DOS machine and buy something a little bigger like $200 laptop.
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saintless


Joined: 11 Jun 2011
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Location: Bulgaria

PostPosted: Sat 12 Nov 2011, 13:59    Post subject:  

Moose On The Loose wrote:
Yes, you will be able to get Puppy to work on it at least "sort of". I had a machine with only 8 Mb of RAM and managed to get a Linux to run on it even with most of the RAM made into a ram disk. I would first try to get just the command line version to go. You will need to make a swap space on the hard drive. To do that, you will need to get fdisk to be able to work with the drive. Either do it on a bigger computer or get just enough Linux to go to change the drive.

It will be a lot of work to do. Are you sure you don't just want to leave that as a DOS machine and buy something a little bigger like $200 laptop.


Thanks for the answer, Moose On The Loose,
I have several more much better computers, but I like to see if there is a limit for old hardware and RAM for puppy linux.
I will save the 40 Mb hard drive as it is and I'll change it with 500 Mb HDD with 128 Mb SWAP file. I can make it on another computer. I will connect a CD Rom drive also together with the Floppy drive if i can (when I open the box I will see if I can connect booth devices).
I will do some experiments and post the result in a few days. Smile


Edit: Wow, for $200 in my country I can by the first 15-16 second hand laptops from that link Very Happy :
http://crash-bg.com/laptopi.html

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Moose On The Loose


Joined: 24 Feb 2011
Posts: 511

PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov 2011, 01:39    Post subject:  

saintless wrote:
[
Thanks for the answer, Moose On The Loose,
I have several more much better computers, but I like to see if there is a limit for old hardware and RAM for puppy linux.
I will save the 40 Mb hard drive as it is and I'll change it with 500 Mb HDD with 128 Mb SWAP file. I can make it on another computer. I will connect a CD Rom drive also together with the Floppy drive if i can (when I open the box I will see if I can connect booth devices).
I will do some experiments and post the result in a few days. Smile


Also, some of the old hard disks used a board that plugged in because the motherboards didn't have hard disk controllers. Some of those boards can be jumpered to be the aux hard drive controller.
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Lobster
Official Crustacean


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 15117
Location: Paradox Realm

PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov 2011, 03:41    Post subject:  

You guys are mad Shocked
It is an acquired taste. Laughing
Congratulations on your efforts Cool

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saintless


Joined: 11 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov 2011, 21:35    Post subject:  

Puppyt wrote:
I could be wrong, but I don't think that any of the Puppy kernels work with x386 -vintage motherboards. So it breaks my heart to point you over to FreeDOS for that machine.HTH


You were right, Puppyt,
my first try wasn't successful. Puppy kernel doesn't support x386.
I had an installation of puppy 410 on another PC and I changed the HDD to the x386 PC. I attach some pictures to show the machine and the message. It does not have CD boot option as well.
In that box I have two motherboards. One is x386, and the other one has Pentium II.
I would like to continue with this experiment, but I need to find Puppy linux with x386 kernel support.
Does anybody know such Puppy version?
Moose On The Loose , what puppy version did you install on your low ram PC?

And I hope you were a little bit wrong, Puppyt, because I found this site:
http://distro.ibiblio.org/baslinux/
I will do some testing on this Basiclinux too. it is also compatible with slackware 4 packages.
looks like my old PC will start booting linux anyway Very Happy




Edit: Some interesting information for the video card. It does not work at all with that old CRT Compaq monitor:
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&objectID=c00327243
But it works fine with that LCD TV. The pictures of the screen are from the TV:
http://www.elite.bg/en/products/415-16-lcd-tv-lc1601.html

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Colonel Panic


Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 1502

PostPosted: Tue 13 Dec 2011, 16:05    Post subject:  

saintless wrote:
Puppyt wrote:
I could be wrong, but I don't think that any of the Puppy kernels work with x386 -vintage motherboards. So it breaks my heart to point you over to FreeDOS for that machine.HTH


You were right, Puppyt,
my first try wasn't successful. Puppy kernel doesn't support x386.
I had an installation of puppy 410 on another PC and I changed the HDD to the x386 PC. I attach some pictures to show the machine and the message. It does not have CD boot option as well.
In that box I have two motherboards. One is x386, and the other one has Pentium II.
I would like to continue with this experiment, but I need to find Puppy linux with x386 kernel support.
Does anybody know such Puppy version?
Moose On The Loose , what puppy version did you install on your low ram PC?

And I hope you were a little bit wrong, Puppyt, because I found this site:
http://distro.ibiblio.org/baslinux/
I will do some testing on this Basiclinux too. it is also compatible with slackware 4 packages.
looks like my old PC will start booting linux anyway Very Happy




Edit: Some interesting information for the video card. It does not work at all with that old CRT Compaq monitor:
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&objectID=c00327243
But it works fine with that LCD TV. The pictures of the screen are from the TV:
http://www.elite.bg/en/products/415-16-lcd-tv-lc1601.html


Basic Linux, now that's a blast from the past - it was my first ever Linux distribution@ I have fond memories of surfing the Net on a Pentium 100, using Opera 5 in Basic - but I did have 32 MB of RAM, not 16. It should work with less than 32 MB, but I can't guarantee it.

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saintless


Joined: 11 Jun 2011
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Location: Bulgaria

PostPosted: Tue 13 Dec 2011, 17:53    Post subject:  

Colonel Panic wrote:
Basic Linux, now that's a blast from the past - it was my first ever Linux distribution@ I have fond memories of surfing the Net on a Pentium 100, using Opera 5 in Basic - but I did have 32 MB of RAM, not 16. It should work with less than 32 MB, but I can't guarantee it.

I'm trying to install basic linux on a computer with only 3 Mb RAM. It is a special basic linux version for such low ram computer. It looks like a frugal install to me. You can see the files on the picture.



There is 6 Mb swap file also. It needs DOS to boot and my real problem is I can't have dos and basic linux on 40 MB hard drive. The space is a little bit short. I have one more 40 MB HDD and I'm trying to connect them both with no luck for the moment. I have 500 Mb HDD, but I use it with Puppy 410 on another computer and I don't want to replace it for now.

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