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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Misc
Am I having very old Laptop?
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mekalu2k4

Joined: 22 Apr 2014
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Sun 27 Apr 2014, 19:48    Post subject:  Am I having very old Laptop?
Subject description: Puppy works where Windows fails?
 

Hi all,

My current laptop is 18.4 inch/ Toshiba Qosmio/ X505-Q886/ i686- Intl i5 M450/ nVidia/ 4gb RAM/ 500gb HDD/ Win 7 64. Used windows for many years, changed several machines and wasted a lot of money. Fed up with Win, tried puppy Slako-5.7, it is a pleasant experience thus far.

Now my questions:
1. Am I having very old Laptop? How long normally 'linux (puppy experts)' use their old machines?

2. How do we know if any virus is entering our linux machines (on win, we have virus packages running will tell something!)?

3. I found some issues with migrating from win to linux. Especially, some word files with textboxes or tables, not the same when we open on linux/abi-word or open-office or libre-office applications. Then all my office emails are in PST files. Do not know how to put them on Linux, but reading online about it. I wonder - How you all manage?

For now, I decided to stick to my puppy at least for home usage. all perfect thus far. My belief (I may be wrong) is that machines will serve longer, if we use linux - is that right?
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 8029

PostPosted: Sun 27 Apr 2014, 19:58    Post subject:  

PST...not sure...thunderbird might import them.... exchange is a pig thats hard to get away from...not something I know much about.

Recent netbook we just got is a lenovo x60s......
this machine is a compaq deskpro from 2000 .... so the definition of 'old' varies.

I suppose with a decent operating system that can work for years prevents the rapid 'ageing' of machines that are normally discarded after a year or two.

Softmaker office is another suite that has a good reputation for word compatability.

For youself make posts on individual needs in the beginners or users section requesting help/advice ... there will be others who have had similar problems migrating and could help. eg 'How can I convert PST files for example.

mike
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starhawk

Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 2757
Location: Everybody knows this is nowhere...

PostPosted: Sun 27 Apr 2014, 21:09    Post subject:  

Your computer is almost too /new/ for Puppy!

Old for Puppy IMO is Pentium M or earlier (Pentium M, Pentium 4, or Pentium 3). Earlier than that (Pentium 2, Pentium 1 / K6-whatever, etc) is not really Pup-inhabitable territory.

For example, I have a Dell Latitude CPi D300XT from 1999. (This is a laptop.) It has a 300 MHz (not GHz -- 1 Ghz = 1024 MHz) Pentium 2 CPU, 128 MB (not GB! divide by 1024 again) of RAM, and a 20gb HDD. I have clumsily adapted the original 24x CD-ROM drive's modular bay adapter to hold a much better CD-R/RW & DVD-ROM drive (aka a "Combo Drive") from an elderly Thinkpad. This laptop is too low-power to run a modern Puppy or any reasonably modern applications. I have yet, in fact, to find a Puppy that runs on it even acceptably... streaming Flash playback on that kind of hardware (YouTube on the website) is simply not possible AFAIK, although previously-downloaded videos may play well... I haven't tested that.

I would say that the second generation Pentium 3 CPUs are pretty much the threshold between 'old but Puppy can run' to 'Puppy is not usable on this hardware'.

Outside of the Puppy universe (Puppiverse?) 'old computer' takes on entirely different meanings for me. I have a 386 desktop (vintage 1992) and a 486 laptop (1993, a gift from a friend). I have used at least two computers made by Tandy (no longer in business, but what little remains is branded as Radio Shack).

My final semester of college was spent learning the beginnings of assembly language (programming in the language that the computer's CPU understands natively) for the Commodore 64, which was sold for roughly ten years (early 1980s to late 1992 IIRC) and is the single best-selling computer in human history -- despite having a CPU speed of just under 1 MHz and 64kB (1024kB = 1MB) of RAM. There are people who still use the Commodore 64, to the point that new things are being created not just /by/ the Commodore 64 fairly frequently, but /for/ it as well. (A friend of mine once remarked that "a new use is found for that machine every single day" -- and I have little reason to doubt him!)

_________________
Loving X-Slacko 1.1! Get the PetGet patch on pg8; it's important.
Next system will be an HP MOCA-AR + Core2Duo in an innovative case... if I ever get off my butt and build it Razz
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mekalu2k4

Joined: 22 Apr 2014
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Mon 28 Apr 2014, 16:46    Post subject:  

Hi Starhawk and Mikeb,

Thanks for your responses and indeed very encouraging to me. I was bit upset when my laptop was struggling to work with Win 7. It is only 3 years I am using. My point is - when we buy laptop, we check several parameters (like processor, ram, hdd, weight, cost etc) very carefully and then take decisions after long thought process. Then suddenly after few months, some winX update is going to put that machine down? Probably MS and other manufacturers want us to keep buying new machines all the time?

I will post my questions one-by-one as suggested.
Thanks again.
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nitehawk


Joined: 13 Apr 2008
Posts: 536
Location: West Central Florida

PostPosted: Mon 28 Apr 2014, 18:30    Post subject:  

mekalu2k4 wrote:
Probably MS and other manufacturers want us to keep buying new machines all the time?


Ahhhhhhhhhh,...I believe you just hit the nail on the head!
Right now I am using Puppy 4.21 on an old (made in 2001) PIII--933Mhz--512 ram--60G hard drive(s). Works blazing fast! My "newest" computer is a Dell Optiplex GX270 from 2004 --which is currently running such stuff as Slackware, CrunchBang and Macpup 529.
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 8029

PostPosted: Mon 28 Apr 2014, 18:54    Post subject:  

I am surrounded by hawks.... should I get nervous.

Actually have been playing with windows 7 recently.
Been looking at cloning and stripping down to see what can be done with it. By default though it and vista and 8 all have the same trait of growing larger and larger unless you take control of it plus a pile of stuff running in the background that is not really needed etc etc. That is without considering antivirus but seems ok without ...i just did the hide/remove outlook and IE option which seems to keep those nasties out of the picture. Gone from a 12GB install that takes 900MB at boot to 4GB and 400MB ...better but still chunky. Thing is without getting your hands dirty you have a system that does indeed get slower and slower over time.

If the purpose of the machine is to run programs all this shiny over complicated stuff is usually a waste of time... at least its nice to have options which are much more to the point.

Mike
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infromthepound

Joined: 12 Jun 2009
Posts: 131

PostPosted: Mon 28 Apr 2014, 19:36    Post subject: Re: Am I having very old Laptop?
Subject description: Puppy works where Windows fails?
 

mekalu2k4 wrote:
Hi all,

My current laptop is 18.4 inch/ Toshiba Qosmio/ X505-Q886/ i686- Intl i5 M450/ nVidia/ 4gb RAM/ 500gb HDD/ Win 7 64. Used windows for many years, changed several machines and wasted a lot of money. Fed up with Win, tried puppy Slako-5.7, it is a pleasant experience thus far.

Now my questions:
1. Am I having very old Laptop? How long normally 'linux (puppy experts)' use their old machines?

2. How do we know if any virus is entering our linux machines (on win, we have virus packages running will tell something!)?

3. I found some issues with migrating from win to linux. Especially, some word files with textboxes or tables, not the same when we open on linux/abi-word or open-office or libre-office applications. Then all my office emails are in PST files. Do not know how to put them on Linux, but reading online about it. I wonder - How you all manage?

For now, I decided to stick to my puppy at least for home usage. all perfect thus far. My belief (I may be wrong) is that machines will serve longer, if we use linux - is that right?


I think someone is trying to get you to buy new equipment.
I find 'doze 7 will work perfectly OK with MUCH older spec computers than that.
I just set up one for someone who insisted on using win7 (32 bit). It was a 2.4P4 with 1 gig RAM, and it runs reasonably fast with no problems.
The specs of your laptop should make it fly.
You might think of a re-install, that often improves things (Except it may take a day to download and install all updates.)
JB
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 8029

PostPosted: Mon 28 Apr 2014, 19:53    Post subject:  

Should have mentioned my windows 7 tests are being done on a dual core 1.6GHz atom mini itx... boots fast and runs smoothly..indeed the size itself was not a particular hamper ...it just took up a lot of room. I suspect single core would be a little hampered as all the background stuff would then get in the way.

mike
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mekalu2k4

Joined: 22 Apr 2014
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Mon 28 Apr 2014, 21:46    Post subject: Re: Am I having very old Laptop?
Subject description: Puppy works where Windows fails?
 

infromthepound wrote:

I think someone is trying to get you to buy new equipment.


Yes. Exactly. Let me share with you all what has happened. I am not a tech person, but used a unix machine several years ago, at that time it was called 'Digital Unix OSF/1' made by Digital company. Then for years, I never really used any computer. I started using PC again in 2008, when my children needed for school. I had to play to the 'tunes of MS' and keep updating, buying virus removal SW, buying machines at regular intervals, but cannot do anything about it. I remembered the times when I was forced to buy/update to new MS-office system, when people started sending 'docx'. We were still with 'doc' in my home, so we had to buy!

This time, I was really upset when my machine gave up. Myself, my wife and children use this single machine and it never gets switched off. It is a heavy (18.4 inch, 11pound) machine, but appearance, finish of this machine so great, my children always loved it. I tried system restore as per the manual, it comes back to life, but not stable as it used to be. Then updates take loooong time, then we need to install many SWs to make it work - Servicing Packs, Norton virus, MS office (it wont work now, as I got MS-office 2010 only, some error says license is not valid, but it works, but a red ribbon on top of it always with the warning message). The list is loooong. Adobe is a great SW, it takes long time, then updates daily and forever, on and on - no end for updates for this great SW. My wife says adobe alone takes up 50% of our internet bill. Then some Java KDK, JRE, Flash, MS framework 4 (some 100s of updates are needed to make it work), then silverlight (or goldlight not sure). Then skype, vlc player, firefox, google+ chome, and other stuff. I did all those step-by-step, every night 3 times; but each time the machine comes up, but makes all kinds of noises, fans revving up, getting heated up etc. GgggRRrrr...

After that, I carried it to the shop. The tech tells me - it is the time to change, machine got old, cannot take any further beating. Then he is quick to say - new machines have arrived , choices of brands, this and that configuration, touch screens bla bla bla. I noticed his marketing tricks, but my kids were upset so I had to get a next one. At that point, I asked how much cut I get, if I trade my old machine. He put it at USD 50. I asked him what he will do with it. He said, he will pass it on to any poor student and this 50$ will go towards maintenance. Well, difficult to argue. Then we were walking through his shop and then ended up in his workshop, where my son and daughter noticed small 'puppy dogs' on the screens of computers. Those computers were old for sure, apparently playing video games, songs with cool screens. We came back home with the machine, as I need to work on the budget for new one.

But, my daughter and son told their teachers and friends in school what they saw; then one teacher told them about this 'puppy linux' (I am ashamed that I did not know much). My daughter said - daddy - this puppy linux is free! Next day my wife (a clerk) downloaded the CD at her job and we tried at home. Voila - In about 20min, we are online, could read news, check emails. So far we are using for a week nearly and the machine is not even getting hotter. It used to generate a lot of heat before, even when it was functioning well. I am reading the forums in my leisure time, learning a lot; in fact I am re-connecting myself to unix, which I forgot completely. This post alone tells me that people are not definitely throwing their old machines.

IMO - computer users invest lot of money to keep big companies like MS, Norton, McFee, Adobe and long list. I do respect their efforts in their inventions, but once I buy a product; I expect a long service if not a life time. Changing machines every 1.5 years? sorry, I am not that rich. For example, me and my family members use simple mobile phones (not smart ones) which do not have wifi or gprs etc. We use only one computer, so far no issues. May be I need to get another machine for my son, so that he does not have to wait. Right now we have time-tables on who will do what and when. But with this new knowledge, I think I can buy a used machine. That I need to carefully research. Or I will buy a new i3 machine as it might be cheaper and can return it, if any issues. But not before the new term starts, right now kids are writing exams, after that vacation time.

Sorry for long post, must be very boring! Please bear with the old man. Am feeling excited as I could save some dollars!
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Moat

Joined: 16 Jul 2013
Posts: 156

PostPosted: Mon 28 Apr 2014, 23:49    Post subject:  

mikeb wrote:
Gone from a 12GB install that takes 900MB at boot to 4GB and 400MB ...better but still chunky.

.....I suspect single core would be a little hampered as all the background stuff would then get in the way.


Hey Mike - FWIW; although I'm no "expert" (like you Smile ), I do have a single-core Atom 1.6 Ghz/2Gb RAM netbook running Win 7 Starter (with a hack to enable the Aero desktop effects & themes... Starter is soo distractingly ugly without it) and have discovered a few things in experimenting with disabling services to help free things up (as it was really, REALLY struggling, OOTB).

One is that - although Win 7 appears to be a quite a memory hog, the MS developers actually designed it that way - to utilize existing, available (unused) memory to cache certain data in the hopes of increasing the system's overall responsiveness. Kinda' good idea, it seems.

But - one of the ways it does this is via a prefetching service called "Superfetch" (IIRC). On my netbook - within a few minutes of every bootup - Superfetch kicks in and for about 8-10 minutes the CPU sits there spiking @ 40-80% with the HD being hammered away on the entire time... grrr. Of course, system response during this activity suffers quite noticably. And once complete with it's caching antics, it then repeats the process about every 45 min - hour or so. Really obnoxious.

And, unfortunately, disabling Superfetch via services.msc indeed stops the periodoic caching from running, but the system then becomes noticeably slower overall (especially opening apps) - all of the time. Damned if I do... damned if I don't. So I just leave Superfetch "on" and go make a cup of coffee when it fires off and goes thru it's routine. It's gotta be hard on the HD, though...

And after removing the bloatware and disabling many other unneeded services/processes - it actually runs pretty well on this little power-sipping platform.

Sorry for going a bit off-topic, makalu... Embarassed

Bob
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cthisbear

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 3387
Location: Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Tue 29 Apr 2014, 02:29    Post subject:  

Of course some evil types use this.

eXPerience Presents...

Windows Tiny7 Rev01 Unattended Activated CD

" STATISTICS:

- ISO File Size.............................. 699 Mb
- RAM Usage On First Installation............ 185 Mb (VMware, 256Mb RAM)
- Entire Installation Size................... 1.64 Gb
- WINDOWS Folder Size........................ 1.55 Gb
- Running Processes.......................... 25
- Install Time (In VirtualBox, 512Mb RAM).... 11 minutes "

"""""""""

" Adobe is a great SW, it takes long time, then updates daily and forever, on and on - no end for updates for this great SW.

My wife says adobe alone takes up 50% of our internet bill. "

Turn off their BS updates.>>> Adobe great SW >>> Debatable at best

" Then some Java KDK, JRE, Flash, MS framework 4 (some 100s of updates are needed to make it work), then silverlight (or goldlight not sure). Then skype, vlc player, firefox, google+ chome, and other stuff. I did all those step-by-step, every night 3 times; "

Turn them all off. Flash you could update occasionally.
All these updates...to crap you out and slow you down.
If not screw your machine entirely.

As in my Fix Windows post...

" Windows xp kept hanging on login; safe mode was avaialble

Found the cause was security essentials
Have removed it completely.
No other fix possible. "

http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=58305&start=90

:::::::

" Am feeling excited as I could save some dollars! "

Plus the heartache.
Plus you are not polluting the environment more by using your old PC.
Your internet bills will be cheaper too.

Time to shout your kids an ice cream.

And tell your friends.

Chris
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 8029

PostPosted: Tue 29 Apr 2014, 06:42    Post subject:  

Update hell...half the problem...I am not a luddite but these 'updates' are so often not of benefit.
Bear in mind the big boys like adobe, microsoft and so on are all working together and making overweight software that eventually breaks the machine is a partital intent...not being paranoid...vista for example was to made to boost new machine sales by making it unusable on the hardware that was current at the time. I believe 7 was improved as they were loosing sales due to many corporate customers simply saying NO to that mess.

adobe 8 seems to works fine...foxit does it much faster.... in other words updating is not compulsory...infact security is a paranoia based marketing tool...ignore that crap. The real insecurities are not dealt with in reality...that takes another approach but interestingly enough most of it involves uing alternative free software.

I never install any updates to XP... it has SP3 as thats ok plus some software demands it...same for 2000

win7
I did disable prefetch and superfetch...no notceable difference as others have found but then there is less to prefetch now Smile
I removed nearly all the updates that had been added ..some were unremoveable, one gives the option to remove old updates Very Happy. It works just fine. Apparently there are so many cos they will not make a SP2 as 7 is obviously too popular as it works quite well compared to vista and 8. Big companies are not inventive..they take their ideas from others most of the time or buy them out.... they sabotage good products to sell bad as that makes more money it seems.
Oh yes windows updates is now disabled... tend to be the worst part of any windows system. Nothing to stop someone adding an update manually if needed.
I like that it sort of removes packages like IE (ok not fully but good enough) ..most are taken out and again no problem... it boots fast, shuts down in 10 seconds like I would expect it to. I am aware that ram usage is proportional in part to space available ..firefox does that... this test machine has 2gb but it looks like 1gb would be fine too.

When I strip I do like to leave the system in a standard form... some software does need such as webm, odbc, mdac and stuff ... hell I now leave in the mshtml renderer in XP for a simpler life... so even my conservative methods still save a bundle. The benefit I find is a system that works as well as the day it was installed years later.

Oh yes one helpful one was winsxslite which can rebuild all the hard links of the system which may get lost over time...in my case cos I copied from a backup on ext3 Very Happy ..that plus the ln.exe binary which can copy a system preserving those hard links.... at the mo they are saving 1.7GB meaning its 3.9gb in total rather than 5.6. I tried the remove unwanted languages option but it resulted in a blue screen...probably the result of earlier fiddlings by me. Oh there is a neat font removal bat file but it does not touch the winsxs folder where the fonts really exist so ended up doing that manually... but that saves around 200MB alone.

A whole new can of worms for me who is still using 2000 as the default windows on some machines.

Off topic...well its about keeping perfectly good machines running and puppy does fit in there somehow.... and helping each other to achieve this can only be a good thing.

mike
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 8029

PostPosted: Tue 29 Apr 2014, 17:26    Post subject:  

@moat

as a follow up I tried out my clone of windows 7 pro (came with a netbook) on a pentium 3 1GHz 512MB.

It actually booted and ran ok. Memory usage was 300-400MB without doing much but cpu usage was low and behaved ok... did not have ootb nvidia driver or cmi sound which I was surprised at especially the former as XP does include a basic one. Install trimmed to 4GB... in general terms 2000 (default) oir XP makes more sense but was interesting to see it working acceptably.... vista would have killed it.

mike
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mekalu2k4

Joined: 22 Apr 2014
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Tue 29 Apr 2014, 18:27    Post subject:  

Both Mike and Chris,
Good evening. Both your responses are well appreciated, though I could not understand most of the points, you guys are more experts and terminology is not familiar to me. I do read many websites on how to clean up windows, how to configure etc. But I do not do any experiments, as I hardly find my computer idle, always it is put to use. If any configuration or setting goes wrong, we will be off-line and need to see the tech. So, we just keep using it.

mikeb wrote:
Update hell...half the problem...I
Bear in mind the big boys like adobe, microsoft and so on are all working together and making overweight software that eventually breaks the machine is a partital intent.
mike


Totally agreed, I experienced this over the years. These companies are big and smart. IMO, about a majority of PC users are on Windows. So, these companies are able to sell their products constantly and keep the clients engaged to them over the years.

mikeb wrote:

adobe 8 seems to works fine
mike

It works well, but expensive to live with. But no option again. I noticed puppy automatically reads PDF things.

mikeb wrote:

Off topic...well its about keeping perfectly good machines running and puppy does fit in there somehow.... and helping each other to achieve this can only be a good thing.
mike


Yes, this is nice at least for people who do not want to buy stuff continuously. My opinion is different. I care less to understand technology or gadgets. I rather look at usefulness at lesser investment. For me, how it serves me is more important (than how it operates internally). So, I appreciate this free software simply becoz, it works does not need any brainy work (like gr8 windows!). Then we have 'this forum' where people help juniors like me. Keep it up!

For me, right now the machine is happily running with Puppy. My kids are carrying out their school work. They hardly noticed any change, neither there is no learning curve for them. My son even made PDF things out of spreadsheets already. My wife talks to her family on skype for hours (whether we like it or not!), the webcam logitech c-920 is working well too. My daughter is doing her school assignments, no complaints so far.

SO - I do not want to change anything or experiment. We did not switch off (shutdown) for 4 days, it is fine for now. I want to try restore CD with emails and other content, but cannot do for now.

Have a pleasant night Gentle Men!
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 8029

PostPosted: Tue 29 Apr 2014, 18:51    Post subject:  

Smile

well that all sounds promising....Its nice hear of people being able to USE their computers as they do have so much to offer when they do.

If you ever have any specific questions then this forum is the place to ask and we try not to get over technical I promise Very Happy

regards

Mike
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