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best puppy for very old computer
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rkonrad

Joined: 21 Jan 2011
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Fri 06 Apr 2012, 02:49    Post subject: still trying....  

I've stuck with Wary 5 though I"ve tried all the alternatives given by a very friendly commuity! It seems the video card is still the problem. It works but scrolls slowly to render any new text/image. When and if I find the correct driver, how will I incorporate this into the system? To the user who looked up my computer - thanks. I will be looking for the driver as time permitts.

Cheers

richard
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Monsie


Joined: 01 Dec 2011
Posts: 633
Location: Kamloops BC Canada

PostPosted: Fri 06 Apr 2012, 05:46    Post subject: Re: best puppy for older computer  

Hi rkonrad,

rkonrad wrote:
It recognized the card as "trident" but I am not convinced that is totally correct.


If you want to identify your graphics hardware, run this command at the console:
Code:
lspci -v |grep VGA


You should be able to confirm this in Hardinfo by selecting the "PCI Devices" category and scrolling through the list.

In addition, use this command:
Code:
ddcprobe

if you want to determine how much video ram you have, as well as complete specs on your monitor --including resolutions and refresh rates.

Monsie

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Burn_IT

Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Posts: 892
Location: Tamworth UK

PostPosted: Fri 06 Apr 2012, 06:32    Post subject:  

see http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=77278&start=15.

I seem to remember it ran 4.2 from CD as well.

It does have a swap partition defined and it does run better with 192Mb memory.

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rkonrad

Joined: 21 Jan 2011
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Sat 07 Apr 2012, 14:33    Post subject: looking for driver  

Thanks again for the commands to help identify my video card.. It is a Trident Cyberblade /i1 rev 5d. The journey now begins to find any an appropriate driver. I've settled with the Wary 5. None of the other versions recommended helped with my card. So I thought I would start with this community if they know of any sources I could investigate. Video RAM is 8 megs by the way. I like the look of wary as well so I'll dispense with the macpup though I use it with my desktop (as well as Vector Linux)

Cheers

Richard.
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Colonel Panic


Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 1443

PostPosted: Sat 07 Apr 2012, 14:53    Post subject:  

I can recommend Puppy Turbo (and Puppy Turbo Extreme), both of which are based on the 4.2 series of Pups and are optimised to run on old hardware.
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Compaq Deskpro Pentium III (866 MHz), 512 MB of RAM, 30 GB hard drive running Puppy Fire Hydrant Inferno, Puppy Precise 5.71 Retro, Puppy 5.5 Wary, Puppy Deeper Thought 4.20 and Puppy Legacy OS2.1 LTS.
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Dewbie

Joined: 15 Apr 2010
Posts: 1763

PostPosted: Sat 07 Apr 2012, 15:40    Post subject:  

From Barry's blog:
"Old" ideas for a new lightweight pup
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2086
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat 07 Apr 2012, 15:55    Post subject: Re: looking for driver  

rkonrad wrote:
The journey now begins to find any an appropriate driver

I don't have a specific answer that will help, but I am in the middle of a similar issue myself so maybe my general info may be of use. There is an interaction between various modules in the video software so it is helpful to have some idea of the complexity before you can reduce it to simple steps.

In my experience it is not just as simple as clicking on the right driver and watching it install. Nor is it as simple as clicking a .pet that supposedly contains the correct driver (you might get lucky, but only if the person who made that .pet shares the identical video card hardware, firmware and linux kernel as you do)

Basically what you have to achieve is this:
1) Locate the manufacturers driver for your video card
2) Work out which kernel you have (type uname -r in a console)
3) Compile the manufacturers driver against your kernel (which may involve temporarily accessing the "devx" kernel that matches what you are using)
4) Load the driver correctly
5) Configure xorg.conf correctly

Apparently the compile steps are not difficult, but the xorg setup can be tricky.

It will become important to have an understanding of how the Xorg server decides which driver is active.

The video driver which is currently in use is specified by the xorg.conf file in the /etc/x11 folder. However, the behaviour of this file is rather problematic in my experience. The file does not always stay the same. There are circumstances under which Xorg will discard the changes you make to the file, and overwrite it.

This can cause endless problems with trying to figure out why your changes don't seem to work.

Also, it is important to remember that Xorg is able to "fallback" to basic settings if it detects that something in the xorg.conf file does not match your hardware. This means that there are at least two modes that will appear to work on your machine - firstly the fallback mode, and secondly the accelerated mode (...and there are various different levels of accleleration too. 2D and 3D accel are achieved by different methods)

There is also a .pet called something like xorg_high (which may be worth a try if you don't want to go the whole compile route just yet). The xorg_high driver is a step up from the fallback driver, but a step below true 3D acceleration based on the full (and correctly compiled) driver from the manufacturer.

The fact that only one Puppy has the correct fallback settings suggests that your video card may be a little "touchy" so it might be tricky to find the driver/xorg.conf combo that works well for you.

I recommend that you keep any important data off this machine until you have finished experimenting with the video as it is likely that you will have to work through a lot of config/reboot/reinstall.

Hopefully you will have time to do some research throughout this forum because there is a large patchwork of valuable info about how Xorg works - it's just that different people know different things depending on what happened with their particular hardware.

I recommend making a copy of the xorg.conf file that you can currently find in /etc/x11. This file will contain the fallback settings and driver name that currently work on your system. It may contain useful info, and in any case you may need to reinstall it at various times during the troubleshooting, or you may want to copy it over to any other puppy that has not succeeded in generating a working xorg.conf
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2086
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Sun 08 Apr 2012, 04:23    Post subject:  

I mentioned searching this forum for info - you may find the search function of this forum difficult to use (I don’t know why it doesn’t give the expected results...), and you may find that a normal google search gets you more specific results (and will also include similar topics from other distros forums...) Also, this modified google search page (specific to Puppy) is rather useful:
http://wellminded.com/puppy/pupsearch.html

At the risk of offering way too much blabber (but in the hope that some of it might help you avoid non-working shortcuts...) here is a bit more info:

I forgot to mention a couple of things:
1) As well as xorg and vesa, there was another option called xfree86. A debian forum post mentions your video card and xfree86 here:
http://www.galeon.com/arturofdezm/confpresario.html
and offers a sample config file here:
http://www.galeon.com/arturofdezm/XF86Config-4
I’m not suggesting that you should use xfree86, but the format of the sample file is very similar to xorg.conf and just might include some parameters that eventually help you.
2) As well as fallback graphics modes, and 2D/3D acceleration, there are other factors that can affect operation of the card: Mesa and DRI (direct rendering) seem to be mentioned quite a bit. I am still confused about whether these can co-exist alongside true acceleration, or are used instead of it, where a correct driver can not be found. (I am still working through similar driver problems on a couple of Toshiba laptops and struggling to unravel the relationship between all these factors)

One thing I know for sure (from lots of trial and error) is that someone elses .pet driver file may have worked well for them but still have a wrong parameter for your system or needs. This seems especially true for the early AGP cards, which came out at a time when there was a high rate of hardware development, and information and software development may not have matured fully. You may have to find a partial answer and finetune it. Anyway, here is a collection of info that might help build the picture.

This webpage is fairly specific about Trident support for your card. I don’t know how exactly this is applicable to Puppy (but someone else will..)
http://linux.die.net/man/4/trident

This post mentions DRI on a cyberblade card. No solution but possibly some config info of interest:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-hardware-18/trident-microsystems-cyberblade-i1-direct-rendering-support-425836/

ubuntu cyberblade issue with sample working xorg
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1698729

Linux forum that mentions a solution for a similar card and offers an xorg.conf
http://www.linuxformat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=93917

Debian forum with major bitching session, but some good indepth comments about xorg etc
http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=51558

Tip re copying a working xorg.conf (on Tecra 8200 with diff Trident, but still useful background and a sample grafted xorg.conf)
http://208.109.22.214/puppy/viewtopic.php?
p=34944&sid=16d38df046f91bd007bf36b186086464

Older murga post re 3D centre and cyberblade:
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=10757

Forum member “Tempestuous” summary of levels of 2D, 3D and DRI (older relevance but still valuable insight - His comment may sound as if there is no solution but that may not apply to your card, and things may have changed since 2006)
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=10757&start=26

Working cyberblade:
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=30467&sid=19c2c112ff79365b2166f82716f8c550

Toms hardware forum, “cant find cyberblade driver"
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/10500-49-trident-cyberblade-rev5d-driver-linux

Debian forum with fragment of DDC info
http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=51558

Sorry if none of this helps. Hopefully we will be able to help you hunt down the answer. There are some excellent techies in the Puppy forum who will be able to offer help in discarding what no longer applies. (Some things have changed since that video card was released - Xorg has changed, Puppy has changed, and newer accelerated cards use a different setup, so some of the older info will be relevant, but not all) . Even if full acceleration is impossible I think you will find an xorg.conf that gives you what you want, and can be ported to other puppies if you decide to change.

I am sure there are many more posts on the puppy forum and others. I suspect you will be able to patchwork a solution that helps. Best of luck!
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2086
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Sun 08 Apr 2012, 11:29    Post subject:  

.
Any chance of posting the contents of your xorg.conf file that is in the /etc/x11 folder?

It will give us a starting point to see if you are using vesa fallback or the Trident driver at the moment.
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eskimo

Joined: 08 Apr 2012
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun 08 Apr 2012, 14:49    Post subject: Installing Puppy via floppy-boot  

Hi,

I apologize if I'm adding my question to a wrong thread but I haven't found anything more suitable (was looking for a topic named "best puppy for very very very old computer" without success Smile

I would like to try some Puppy with my very old computer - Pentium 120, 64 MB RAM, 1.6 GB HDD, S3 Trio 64V+ PCI graphics, TEAC 24x CD-ROM drive, MissMelody-compatible ISA sound card, a PCI network card, Award BIOS (and no USB support).

The PC was completely unemployed for quite a long time - I didn't turn it on a single time during the last 3-4 years and other 3-4 years before that I was using it very rarely. At the time when it was still in active service (1996-2004) the PC was running Windows 95 SR2, which is still installed there but I would like to replace it with Puppy and see what I'll get - I'd like to try this as the last step before I throw the PC away as completely useless (browsing today's web with IE 4.0 preinstalled in Win95 is not funny).

Reading quickly through PuppyLinux websites I learnt that the puppy I should want to install and that could work with my old machine is Wary Puppy. So I downloaded the ISO image of the latest 5.3 WaryPuppy, burnt it to a CD, set the boot sequence in BIOS to "CDROM,C,A" and tried to boot... unfortunately it didn't work - although the BIOS made an attempt to boot from the CD-ROM (it displayed some 2 lines of something like "Booting from CD-ROM"), the attempt wasn't successful (the 3rd line was "Starting Windows 95")... since there is no USB support in the PC, I can't boot Puppy via USB either (actually, there are a few unused pins in the motherboard that its manual claims to be USB but they've never been connected to anything and I don't think they would work because at the time when the motherboard was born USB 1.1 was not yet standardized, not sure about USB 1.0)

To make a long story short, I'm looking for a way to boot Wary Puppy installer from a floppy drive or to use some Windows- or DOS-based installer of Wary Puppy that would allow me to install it to HDD and to use it first alongside and afterwards (if I'm happy with it) instead of current Windows 95. I searched and searched on the website, in forums but I didn't find any information related to booting from floppy Sad

Could somebody please help me with this? Thanks in advance!
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2086
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Sun 08 Apr 2012, 16:47    Post subject: Re: Installing Puppy via floppy-boot  

eskimo wrote:

I would like to try some Puppy with my very old computer - Pentium 120, 64 MB RAM, 1.6 GB HDD, S3 Trio 64V+ PCI graphics, TEAC 24x CD-ROM drive, MissMelody-compatible ISA sound card, a PCI network card, Award BIOS (and no USB support).
I downloaded the ISO image of the latest 5.3 WaryPuppy, burnt it to a CD, set the boot sequence in BIOS to "CDROM,C,A" and tried to boot... unfortunately it didn't work - although the BIOS made an attempt to boot from the CD-ROM "Starting Windows 95")

I don't think you need to drop back to a floppy boot. It almost sounds as if the CD drive could not find a valid "image" on the CD. Did you do a "burn as image", rather than as a file? That is a common issue, especially if it the "burn as image" feature is not clearly defined within your burning programmes options. I think your machine only proceeded to boot the W95 because it saw no valid boot data on the CD.

Also, it could have been a bad burn. It is worth re-burning the CD at the lowest speed possible. (The laser gets better dye penetration at lower speeds.)

If you have no joy with Wary, it would probably be worth going back to some of the earlier versions of Puppy. (they were fine-tuned for machines without a lot of power)

I’d recommend downloading the 4.3.1 iso available here:
http://ftp.nluug.nl/ftp/pub/os/Linux/distr/puppylinux/puppy-4.3.1/

and also downloading fatfree pup 2.17 here:
http://www.fileswap.com/dl/PBz6SgIf6J/puppy-fat-free-pup-2.17.iso

Another one that gives good performance on low powered PCs is Gray’s Puppy NOP 431, available here:
http://puppylinuxstuff.meownplanet.net/NOP/puppy-431-NOP.iso (you may need a username of puppy and a password of linux)

Keen to hear how it goes.
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sfeeley

Joined: 14 Feb 2010
Posts: 807

PostPosted: Sun 08 Apr 2012, 16:53    Post subject:  

@eskimo

Quote:
To make a long story short, I'm looking for a way to boot Wary Puppy installer from a floppy drive


If you can boot the CD on another computer (that has a floppy drive), you can go to
menu --> setup --> wakepup

which creates a boot floppy that will convince your other older computer to read the CD drive.
http://www.puppylinux.com/hard-puppy.htm
(scroll down for the description of wakepup)

You might also look up the lin-n-win installation method, which uses windows to install puppy.
http://www.icpug.org.uk/national/linnwin/contents.htm

There are also programs that do the lin-n-win automatically (I've not used but here's the thread)
http://208.109.22.214/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=61404&sid=404bfabcb4660b56fdb4e0efc6d0c503

you can also yank the harddrive, stick it into a better computer, install puppy there, and then move the harddrive back. Puppy can switch between computers like that. And on really old computers (like yours) sometimes, its better to use a faster CPU/more Ram to get it installed.

Also, look up the process for making a swap partition (or swap file). Both are ways of giving virtual memory to to Ram deficient computers by using your harddrive as virtual ram (its like a paging file in windows). If you can dig up some cheap ram somewhere, that would be best, since your computer is pretty near the bottom of what will run.
(You add a swap partition using the gparted program which is part of puppy linux-- again switching the drive to a faster machine might help to do this).

And take a look at some of the other puppy suggestions in this thread. Wary is a good place to start, but some of the others might have better luck.
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Monsie


Joined: 01 Dec 2011
Posts: 633
Location: Kamloops BC Canada

PostPosted: Mon 09 Apr 2012, 03:31    Post subject: best puppy for a very old computer  

Hi eskimo,

I have a similar computer (1997 Windows 95 model) that is still in use today...
Therefore, I am quite certain that you will have to use WakePup as sfeeley suggested to boot Puppy from a floppy disk. Given the age of your computer, I would also suggest an older version of Puppy: Puppy 2.17 which you can get right here or fatfree pup 2.17 as greengeek suggested which is available over here. The reason is that newer Puppies especially Wary Puppy require 256 mb of ram. That said, I also recommend that you shop for some used ram: two sticks of 72 pin EDO ram @ 32 mb each, to hopefully bring you up to the maximum of 128 mb ram that your computer should take... assuming that you have four slots with 32 mb of ram in each slot. Lastly, I recommend that you partition your hard drive to include a swap file of 128 -256 mb of space.

Complete these requirements, and you should be able to resuscitate your old Pentium 1 such that it will perform reasonably well.

Monsie

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Dewbie

Joined: 15 Apr 2010
Posts: 1763

PostPosted: Mon 09 Apr 2012, 04:02    Post subject:  

Monsie wrote:
Quote:
The reason is that newer Puppies especially Wary Puppy require 256 mb of ram.

For frugal installation, that is:
http://puppylinux.org/main/Manual-English.htm#Manual05
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2086
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Mon 09 Apr 2012, 15:37    Post subject: Re: Installing Puppy via floppy-boot  

eskimo wrote:

...(browsing today's web with IE 4.0 preinstalled in Win95 is not funny).
...at the time when the motherboard was born USB 1.1 was not yet standardized, not sure about USB 1.0)

Yes, these are the biggest limitations. It will be interesting to see what benefits Puppy gives you on this hardware.

Another Puppy that is worth trying on hardware like this is MeanPuppy (developed by John Murga, who runs this forum), available here:

http://www.my-plan.org/storage/puppyLinux/
(The iso will be titled puppy-2.02-opera)

It is the most fully featured tiny iso that I have found and includes a self-installer for the opera browser.

Although the Puppy OS is easily light enough to run on your hardware the main problem you are likely to see is that the internet today requires a lot from the browser, and browsers are memory hogs. Puppy has a wide choice of browsers, and you can go as light or as heavy as you want.

The version of Opera that comes within Meanpuppy is a good start.

As others suggested, the more memory you can fit, the better off you will be.

One of the main benefits puppy offers over W95 is full USB support, but as you have pointed out, that won't bring you any benefit on your motherboard. (Unless maybe you can find a header cable that is compatible with those pins you mentioned...)
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