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Old computer, new life (I hope)

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:25 am
by JayM
I've been using a fairly new Asus Zenbook ultrabook laptop with Linux Mint on it for several months but finances have forced me to put Windows 10 back on it and put it up for sale. Eating and paying utility bills has priority over having a fast new PC. So a couple-three days ago I (literally) dusted off my 10-plus year old desktop PC that has an Athlon 64 x2 5000+ (AMD's 1st generation 64-bit CPU), 8 gig (max capacity) of 233MHz DDR2 RAM, etc. (you get the picture) and started getting it ready for use again. This puppy practically burns stove wood for power, it's so old.

I happened to see MX Linux on DistroWatch and checked out the website, read about it, downloaded the ISO (version 18), burned it to a USB stick and slapped it on Ol' Betsy here. So far, pretty darn good. This old box is surprisingly fast with MX 18, or at least faster than when running either Windows 7 or Mint, and it's having fewer issues. It took me way more time to restore my backed-up data from the Asus to Ol' Betsy (the user names and UIDs on both machines have to match exactly. Who knew?) than it did to install, update, then tweak MX to my liking, a matter of a couple of hours. In my experience it was the fastest Linux installation from initial installation to "hey, I'm pretty much done here" I've experienced, and I've been playing with Linux, or using it as my daily driver OS, since before there were desktop managers, Xwindows or even distros. Groovy! (Remember XFree86 when you had to know and configure X for your monitor's hardware specs or you could destroy it? (I did, to one.) Remember Xeyes and Neko? Get off my lawn.)

I've noticed a few wee glitches now and then (my mouse cursor theme occasionally reverts to the default, right-clicking on something in Thunar sometimes applies the default left-click action the first time, sometimes the default desktop conky comes up with a grey background and slightly garbled test on boot-up, sometimes Thinar's left-click/Open Thunar as root doesn't do anything and I have to open a shell and type "sudo thunar". But that may just be this computer for all I know: it did the third thing in Mint too IIRC and had other Mint issues as well, and I also had some Mint issues with the Asus, so ???) but so far I'm impressed. Pretty much everything in MX has Just Worked with no major show-stoppers. (So far anyway.) It doesn't feel "quite" like a spit-n-polished OS like Winders, being maybe a bit rough around the edges, but that's 1) very subjective, just my impression, and 2) Linux for you. Hey, it's free. It's also kind of retro, so no worries. I'm old so I appreciate old.

This is what Linux used to be about: breathing new life into older computer hardware, something that most of the more popular distros seem to have forgotten. The speed's adequate if not impressive, and everything seems to function OK so far, pretty much. Thanks, antiX and MEPIS people. I appreciate it.

Re: Old computer, new life (I hope)

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:01 am
by manyroads
Welcome @JayM :happy:
If you find you run out of horse power, you can try antiX... :number1:

Re: Old computer, new life (I hope)

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:15 pm
by whell
A 10 year old Asus Core 2 Duo laptop is my daily driver. Works great with MX and I see no reason to need / want anything else right now.

Re: Old computer, new life (I hope)

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:07 am
by Leo
I've been using an AMD Athlon 64 3400+ (single core) and 2GB of DDR (no 2) of RAM with MX-16 with no problem for a while now. Haven't upgraded mainly because I'm using an antique nVidia card that I can only use the VESA driver with. You should do fine...

And :welcome:
Nice bunch of people here.


Re: Old computer, new life (I hope)

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:13 am
by JayM
Takk for velkommen, y'all. (Southern Norwegian.) :smiley2:

When the financial situation is better, I have a 15" HP laptop with an Intel Core i5 CPU (and real BIOS, not this newfangled UEFI crap) that was given to me after having been dropped and has a broken CPU fan and a big dead spot on the screen. I want to have it repaired and also upgraded to 16GB of DDR3 RAM and a great big HDD, 2TB or more. If that happens I do believe I'll put MX Linux on it and use it as my daily PC. MX is just so much faster than most other Linuxen, that machine should scream with MX on it (unless the kernel's too old or something.)

I also have a really crappy little off-brand Chinese-made netbook with an Atom CPU and a dead hard drive (and keyboard, and touchpad) that I think I'll put the old 340GB hard disk from the HP in then slap the 32-bit version of MX on it just for gits and shiggles, then maybe keep it for an emergency spare or give it to one of the neighborhood kids or something along with a USB keyboard and cheap mouse.

I had a couple of configuration questions that I was going to post in the forum but I was able to figure out the solutions for myself before I posted, which says something positive for MX. I don't want to post too glowing of a first impression review though, at least not until after a few weeks when the honeymoon's over. I'll just repeat: so far, so good.