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Recommendations for a better OS


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#1 sijie123

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 12:32 AM

Hi I am running Microsoft Windows XP SP3 currently on a very old computer (its 10 years, awesome isn't it?).
However, i am bound by the low specs. of the computer.
It has Intel Pentium III processor 933Mhz, 256 MB RAM, 20 GB hard disk and a 24x cd-rom.
Can you please recommend a better operating system for my computer? I need an OS that can run on this computer, and that it can work well with browsers running flash apps and Windows Apps (i know Linux supports Windows stuff by using an application called "Wine"). So in general, i need an OS that is fast to boot (preferred), and it supports Windows Apps, and it works fine with a browser running flash applications. I don't mind the display and graphics, so long as it is not of those "old" looking ones like Windows 95/95/me/2K etc... Prefer that of Windows XP (those 3D-feeling).
I dont know if I am posting this in the correct forum but i cannot find a better one.
Thank you very much for your support.

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#2 Platypus

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 02:23 AM

I'm wondering in what way you hope an alternative will be "better"? My internet computer is a laptop with 1.6GHz Mobile Sempron, so 800MHz when on battery. It runs XP SP3 with IE8, or Opera if I wish. So it's not necessarily a faster or much faster system than yours (a PIII was not a bad CPU), but it does have 512MB of RAM. I usually run with four or more IE windows, and I don't notice it running with any difficulty. Finding some RAM to take yours up to 512MB could make a worthwhile difference.

Using Linux and WINE is certainly feasible, but is more complex and you'd be looking to use an older or tiny Linux - your system doesn't even meet the minimum requirements to run the current Ubuntu for example, whereas it considerably exceeds the minimum requirements for Windows XP. I sincerely doubt if you'd find Linux and WINE to be "better" than your current setup.

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#3 Moc

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 02:43 PM

Finding some RAM to take yours up to 512MB could make a worthwhile difference.


I'd agree on that one.
There is just not enough memory to be able to:
- keep windows XP running smoothly
- use the computer actively by means of the use of other programs simultaneously.

My advice; either find some RAM upgrades, or save some money to buy a new PC. My apologies if it sounds useless, but 10 years is just enough for technology to impressively improve. Even one of the cheapest solutions for you would be a major difference with regards to performance compared to the system you are using now.


Tijn

#4 sijie123

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 09:17 PM

I understand that my computer is old, but throughout this year, i do not intend for it to go for a change/upgrade, mainly because i do not have the money.
Another thing is that for the RAM, i am afraid that the computer will not support the new RAM. The computer originally came with 128MB of RAM, but my friend threw his computer away and gave me another 128MB RAM stick, which I am using now. I do not dare to buy those 1GB RAM, 'cuz i do not wish for the computer to stop working or something. I also cannot find a 512 MB RAM easily nowadays, since most companies/shops sell up to 4GB DDR3 RAM. Those kinds of olden RAMs are not easy to find.
Back to Platypus' answer, I wish for a OS like DSL (Damn Small Linux) which I am using now. However, if you have noticed, DSL's graphics totally fails. I need something with a slightly nicer graphic.
You may say that something with a nicer graphic will require tons of RAM and processor usage. No. I do not need those kinds of fanciful graphics like Windows 7. Something slightly worse than XP (or Ubuntu family) would be nice.
I also have a huge problem with installing the OS (DSL).
I think it is because my hard disk (since it is 10 years) is failing - Error 1720 Hard drive detects imminent failure. (This is shown from BIOS)
Please can you think of a nice OS for my computer, and if possible, help me with my hard disk?
Thank you very much.

* P.S. I do not intend to go for an upgrade or repair any time soon.

#5 fueL

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 12:43 AM

First OS that comes to mind with a computer with those specs is "Damn Small Linux" which does come pre-installed with applications like Firefox and some sort of text editor. Mind you it is very limited. More info on their home page: http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/

#6 Platypus

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 01:02 AM

sijie123 is currently using Damn Small Linux, but has graphics problems with it.

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#7 fueL

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 01:14 AM

sijie123 is currently using Damn Small Linux, but has graphics problems with it.


For some reason I saw "DSL" as someone referencing the internet they had, not "Damn Small Linux." My mistake :thumbsup:

Edit: Now that I look dumb, I googled some for you

Here is a comparsion of "Lightweight" linux distributions you can give a try.

http://www.tuxradar.com/content/whats-best...ht-linux-distro

Edited by M.Joines, 22 August 2010 - 01:15 AM.


#8 Platypus

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 01:30 AM

I didn't mean to make you look dumb, M.Joines, you're smarter than me finding that good link... :thumbsup: I'd checked distrowatch, but didn't think it was that relevant for sijie123. I have liked Puppy in the past, and Mint, but I haven't tried the lightweight Mint variants suggested in the comments on your link.

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#9 Shadow Bird

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 07:22 AM

XUBUNTU!!!!!! www.xubuntu.com. It'll run on 256MB. Quite well actually. At least 8.10 did, IDK about 10.04.

#10 Baltboy

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 09:24 AM

Using another OS and emulating windows to run an app is never going to be as good or as fast as running them in windows.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
Mark Twain

#11 sijie123

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 07:57 AM

Thank you all for answering my questions.
I appreciate alll your tremendous efforts.
Firstly, in reply to shadow bird, i used Xubuntu. It worked fine but apps just closed down for no reason, no matter what i do. I juz gave up on that, think my memory not enough.

Next, i was wondering how much RAM and processor usage does the OS require for SliTaz. I hope it is usable for my computer.

Another problem is that i cannot install no matter what.
It just gives me all kinds of funny errors.
Kubuntu: Cannot install - cannot type in characters on installing - unable to generate passwords.
Xubuntu: System reboots on install
Windows XP SP3: Blue Screen of Death
DSL: Check failed (after installing)
I reckon it is because of the hard disk. But i cant solve it through software methods. Think it is failing, error 1720. (Refer to my 2nd post)
I had been doing like crazy formatting, after the system tells me of hardware imminent failure.
- This is what i have done: - delete all partitions + install NTFS partition (X5 times)
- Do 0-fill, filling all disk data with "00"
- do clean installs of many OSes.
No use at all. Someone pls help :thumbsup:

#12 sijie123

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 08:17 AM

just a quick add-on, SliTaz does not seem to work, no GUI can be displayed (I think my card not supported?)

#13 Platypus

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 08:24 AM

Error 1720 is a SMART (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) report indicating detection of a serious error, and as it says, it indicates the likelihood of imminent drive failure. If the drive is now behaving as you describe, it has indeed failed as SMART predicted. The only solution will be to replace the drive.

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#14 Platypus

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 08:28 AM

If you can indicate your system specifications (Brand & Model if it's a name-brand, video card in use if it's generic) we should be able to confirm if it is unsupported by SliTaz.

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#15 sijie123

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 09:20 AM

If you can indicate your system specifications (Brand & Model if it's a name-brand, video card in use if it's generic) we should be able to confirm if it is unsupported by SliTaz.


well It is the old compaq, before it changed its logo, so its the "compaq" thingy at boot, and the logo is "compaq" instead of the "Q".
So you guessed it, its pretty old
But i dunno whats the video card, but i think it is Direct AGP 3D Graphics card (hope this is correct)
pls help :0
* i get the hell lot of vertical bars at boot, after linux loads.




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