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Linux Which Distro for an old laptop?

Discussion in 'Software' started by Tomm, 27 Dec 2007.

  1. Tomm

    Tomm I also ride trials :¬)

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    I know, I know. Another 'which distro' thread and you probably don't care. Please hear me out :)

    I want to build a media computer for my mum for the kitchen to allow her to go on the web, listen to music, podcasts and BBC radio online. I will be using an old laptop which is a Dell C610 which runs Windows 2000 very slowly at the moment. It's a P3, 256Mb, 20Gb hard drive. I don't think hard drive space will be that important, as I'd like to play most stuff across the network from her main computer (Running Windows XP). Like I say, at the moment this laptop is slow - it probably takes around 5 minutes to boot up from cold.

    Requirements
    Wireless networking via a d-link USB stick (I presume I can just get drivers for this?)
    Compatible with aforementioned Dell laptop (with as few issues as possible please!) - Need sound, network, USB at least. It will probably be on a permanent power supply though, so battery management isn't that important I guess
    Good, easy to use networking - Allowing playing/viewing of stuff over the network SIMPLY (mostly audio and pictures, no video). Preferably using Windows workgroups (SAMBA?).
    Internet - Firefox I guess?
    Email
    Fast boot-up time - or if possible a low-power sleep state (like on my Mac laptop if possible!)
    Generally quick. No need for flashy, good-looking distros that will slow the (already very slow) computer down.

    Not Required:
    Office apps
    Games
    DVD playback (CD-drive only)

    Also:
    Simple media player requests - I don't mind it being reasonably complicated to set up, but once setup it should ideally allow a simple way of browsing albums/songs, and if possible CD ripping (though this is not essential). Even WMP is a bit too complicated for her, with the library/now playing tabs... Just MP3 required.

    I have an xbox running XBMC - the interface on that would be perfect - very simple to select an album based on folders over the network.

    In case you didn't get the picture - SIMPLE IS KEY! I don't mind a bit of setting up, but I am relatively noobish in terms of linux - though not for lack of trying! (In the past, I've tried Ubuntu, SuSe, Fedora and Knoppix, none of which have worked properly. All had issues I couldn't sort out :( ).

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance :D
     
  2. Glider

    Glider /dev/null

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    Debian + Fluxbox + thunderbird + mplayer ;)
     
  3. Tomm

    Tomm I also ride trials :¬)

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    OK, I can't argue with that :D

    Thanks

    I've just had a thought - Will it work with the trackpad that's on the laptop?
    Also: the BBC streams are real media I think - do I need real player for linux or will that play with something else? Is real player for linux any less hideous than it is on Windows?
     
  4. Glider

    Glider /dev/null

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    I recon the trackpad will work... Touchpads usually do, so I think trackpads will too...

    I use Gentoo, and on my system adding realplayer to mplayer is just a matter of adding a use flag... Probably on debian it's just installing a library ;)
     
  5. tm36usa

    tm36usa What's a Dremel?

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    I wonder why 2000 is running so slow. I dual boot 2000 and debian+fluxbox on my p2 366mhz with 192mb of ram and 2000 runs just fine, fast and agile. Makes a perfect little machine to keep by my bed and surf the web/listen to music. If linux becomes too hard for your mother to learn you could always just go with a fresh install of 2000 which schould work just fine.
     
  6. oasked

    oasked Stuck in (better) mud

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    My Dell C400 has very similar specs to your C610, but it runs Windows XP very easily. Linux will be a great solution, but there must be a problem with your current installation of Windows 2000 for it to be running slowly.
     
  7. Tomm

    Tomm I also ride trials :¬)

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    Yeah I do agree re the slowness - I'm sure it's just full of the stuff that computer-illiterate people have on their computers that slow it down. There may also be issues with obtaining the Windows disk since it was bought from her previous employer and I can't find it.

    I quite want to try and do a Linux project though - also I think when finished it *should* be both faster and simpler than a windows install, right?
     
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