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Old computer, new life (I hope)

Here you can post a testimonial about why you like or love MEPIS. Include as much detail and info as you wish.
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JayM
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Old computer, new life (I hope)

#1

Post by JayM » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:25 am

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.
OS: MX-18.2 x64. Kernel: 4.9.170-antix.1-amd64-smp x86_64. CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ 2.6GHz. GPU: AMD RS780 (Radeon HD 3200). Mobo: ASRock A780GM-LE. BIOS: AMI P1.50 (5/25/2010). HDDs: Gigabyte 120GB SSD+Seagate 1TB. RAM: 8GB (2x4GB) DDR2-800

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manyroads
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Re: Old computer, new life (I hope)

#2

Post by manyroads » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:01 am

Welcome @JayM :happy:
If you find you run out of horse power, you can try antiX... :number1:
"Don't believe everything you think."
Pax vobiscum,
Mark Rabideau - http://many-roads.com
MX-18 5.0.0-16.1-liquorix-amd64-smp x86_64
Dell Latitude E5470
Intel i5-6300U (-MT MCP-)
Mem: 24GB SSD: 978.09 GB
Reg. Linux User #449130

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whell
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Re: Old computer, new life (I hope)

#3

Post by whell » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:15 pm

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.

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Leo
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Re: Old computer, new life (I hope)

#4

Post by Leo » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:07 am

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.

:lion:
There are exceptions to every rule...
and I know I'm exceptional... :lion2:
:linuxlove:
Linux user #415188
Linux machine #446574
Athlon 64 3400+, nVidia MX440, 2GB, MX-16

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JayM
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Re: Old computer, new life (I hope)

#5

Post by JayM » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:13 am

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.
OS: MX-18.2 x64. Kernel: 4.9.170-antix.1-amd64-smp x86_64. CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ 2.6GHz. GPU: AMD RS780 (Radeon HD 3200). Mobo: ASRock A780GM-LE. BIOS: AMI P1.50 (5/25/2010). HDDs: Gigabyte 120GB SSD+Seagate 1TB. RAM: 8GB (2x4GB) DDR2-800

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Re: Old computer, new life (I hope)

#6

Post by JayM » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:38 am

Just a follow-up: I've been using MX-18 for a month now, and I can't specifically put my finger on exactly why but the more I use it the more I like it. There was a learning curve regarding the configuration due to MX having a combination of Xfce's tools and settings and its own MX tools, and also just learning the Xfce environment which I wasn't familiar with. There have also been a few little glitches and bugs such as the one with Thunar in detailed list view, and when using any GTK2 theme but Adwaita, sometimes performing the action nearest to the mouse cursor in the right-click menu instead of just displaying that menu, but that's really just a minor annoyance. Overall, MX just seems to do its job very well. I used a car analogy before, but MX reminds me of a second-hand Honda Civic in good condition: it just does what it's supposed to do adequately, reliably and dependably. It's perhaps not as nice-looking as other cars but you can count on it to work when you need it too. Or maybe MX is like spouse-material vs. dating a red hot lover sort of person, IYKWIMAITYD. :wink:

This old computer (I have the newest available BIOS version installed in it AFAIK and that's dated 2010 so this computer's probably at least a decade old, which is like 30 or more in human years) isn't screaming fast but it performs quite adequately considering its outdated CPU, chipset and RAM. MX on it is faster than distros that have fancier-looking desktop managers, and it's way more trouble-free than even the other Xfce distros I've tested including Manjaro, and even Debian itself (which wouldn't even install on this hardware IIRC. Manjaro installed but had problems, I forget what they were now.) It doesn't put as much of a load on the CPU or RAM as other operating systems did, either. Even without checking the Conky I can tell because my CPU fan runs more quietly than it used to. It'll probably save me some money on my electric bill. :smile:

MX booted the live CD pretty fast, the installation was also fast and problem-free, so was the initial update, and within an hour or less I found that I was able to do things like install apps (just a few: MX came with most of the ones I wanted already installed), read websites and watch movies: actually use my computer instead of having to spend hours working on it post-installation as I did with Mint and others. I haven't found any show-stoppers or had any major problems like system lock-ups so far either. The few times I've needed assistance in the forums, people were always quick to help and offer knowledgeable advice that actually led toward solutions. (The forum itself is even fast to load!) On a scale of 1 to 10 I would probably have to rate MX at around a 9.5 or maybe even higher. Great job!
OS: MX-18.2 x64. Kernel: 4.9.170-antix.1-amd64-smp x86_64. CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ 2.6GHz. GPU: AMD RS780 (Radeon HD 3200). Mobo: ASRock A780GM-LE. BIOS: AMI P1.50 (5/25/2010). HDDs: Gigabyte 120GB SSD+Seagate 1TB. RAM: 8GB (2x4GB) DDR2-800

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Re: Old computer, new life (I hope)

#7

Post by srq2625 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:13 am

JayM wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:25 am
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.
The above is not quite "on the money", especially the first part:
  1. The names are mapped to the UID and are strictly presentation data.
  2. One can copy files from source to destination as root (or with elevated privs) and then use 'chown' to change ownership of those files. I do this is for a shared computer. Done carefully, the users never know the difference - it just works.
Anyway, I offer this up as a tip/suggestion for the next time you need to do this (sounds like you have plans for such in the not so distant future).

HTH

ETA: I've been using Linux off and on since Sep 2003; started out slow and it's now my daily driver and, like you, I've come to really appreciate MX Linux! I keep a Windows install around for only one thing - to update my Garmin GPS.
AsusTek PRIME B450-Plus
AMD Ryzen 7 2700 (8-Core, 16 threads)
GeForce GTS 450/PCIe/SSE2 v: 4.6.0 NVIDIA 390.116
Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 - driver: r8169
Samsung SSD 860 EVO 500GB
DDR4 3200MHz CL16 2x8GB

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JayM
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Re: Old computer, new life (I hope)

#8

Post by JayM » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:30 am

Well, what happened was when I installed MX I decided to use the same user name as on the other system (jay) but capitalize the first letter this time, and when I tried to restore with Lucky Backup it would restore the top-level files in /home/Jay and create a bunch of empty directories for everything else. The UIDs were the same for both IDs on their respective systems, just the capitalization of the user name was different. After I reinstalled MX, this time spelling the default user in all lower-case like it was on the other computer I'd backed up from, everything restored correctly including those subdirectories' contents. Some quick Googleymoogling indicated that both the UID numbers and the names have to match between the source and destination systems for restoral from one to the other to work, which is why I did the reinstall and this time spelled my user name exactly the same (it was a fresh installation anyway, so rather than mucking about trying to edit the user account it was just as easy to simply reinstall again, which takes only a few moments anyway: it takes longer to install grub than it does everything else.)
OS: MX-18.2 x64. Kernel: 4.9.170-antix.1-amd64-smp x86_64. CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ 2.6GHz. GPU: AMD RS780 (Radeon HD 3200). Mobo: ASRock A780GM-LE. BIOS: AMI P1.50 (5/25/2010). HDDs: Gigabyte 120GB SSD+Seagate 1TB. RAM: 8GB (2x4GB) DDR2-800

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Re: Old computer, new life (I hope)

#9

Post by srq2625 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:20 pm

JayM wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:30 am
Well, what happened was when I installed MX I decided to use the same user name as on the other system (jay) but capitalize the first letter this time,
Well, that's interesting. I've not tried to capitalize my user name - I have been led to believe that this was not possible. Learned something new today. Thanks.
AsusTek PRIME B450-Plus
AMD Ryzen 7 2700 (8-Core, 16 threads)
GeForce GTS 450/PCIe/SSE2 v: 4.6.0 NVIDIA 390.116
Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 - driver: r8169
Samsung SSD 860 EVO 500GB
DDR4 3200MHz CL16 2x8GB

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