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Posted: 1/11/2015 10:39:58 AM EST
I've got a very old Toshiba 445-series laptop. Pentium 133. Would it be worthwhile, or even possible, to put Linux on it?

I know nothing of Linux but thought it might be a interesting project.
Link Posted: 1/11/2015 11:54:16 AM EST
Should be very doable, especially if you aren't interested in XWindows (GUI) but just the command line. I wouldn't recommend compiling much on a 133mhz CPU (so stay away from Gentoo or LFS) but a small binary-disto would be a good fit.
Link Posted: 1/11/2015 11:59:03 AM EST
You could try "Puppy". That's a pretty light distro.
Link Posted: 1/12/2015 9:46:04 AM EST
How much ram you have will be a bigger issue than the processor speed.
Link Posted: 1/12/2015 12:38:50 PM EST
Yeah..that's is what I think I've learned since last night.

The laptop is an old, 1997, Satellite 445. I think the RAM is maybe 1.5 GB. I might be off by a factor of 100.

I was able to get the Puppy(?) version of UNIX up one time but then nothing. As I left it last night the laptop would not go past memory check so I think I'm working against other issues.

Link Posted: 1/12/2015 2:59:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/12/2015 3:04:32 PM EST by Moondog]
I'd try DSL (damn small linux) instead of Puppy. I have a Toshiba Tecra Pentium 166mhz sitting around but it has a bad cd drive, so I can't do any parallel testing with you. I have read on the DSL wiki someone has got it working on a Toshiba Satellite Pro 440CDT (P1 133MHz, 64MB RAM, 6GB HDD)

ETA: you might need to make a boot floppy, since some of the early bios at the time did not support CD or usb boot.
Link Posted: 1/12/2015 3:07:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/12/2015 3:08:21 PM EST by WhyTanFox]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By pavil58ar:
Yeah..that's is what I think I've learned since last night.

The laptop is an old, 1997, Satellite 445. I think the RAM is maybe 1.5 GB. I might be off by a factor of 100.
View Quote

Circa Windows 95? That would be a screamer with 16 MB of RAM.
ETA And to think that these days FireFox will gladly get up to 1.5 GB + memory use.
Link Posted: 1/12/2015 3:17:36 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WhyTanFox:

Circa Windows 95? That would be a screamer with 16 MB of RAM.
ETA And to think that these days FireFox will gladly get up to 1.5 GB + memory use.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WhyTanFox:
Originally Posted By pavil58ar:
Yeah..that's is what I think I've learned since last night.

The laptop is an old, 1997, Satellite 445. I think the RAM is maybe 1.5 GB. I might be off by a factor of 100.

Circa Windows 95? That would be a screamer with 16 MB of RAM.
ETA And to think that these days FireFox will gladly get up to 1.5 GB + memory use.


My Tecra has Win98 and firefox running on it.
Link Posted: 1/12/2015 4:35:23 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Moondog:


My Tecra has Win98 and firefox running on it.
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View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Moondog:
Originally Posted By WhyTanFox:
Originally Posted By pavil58ar:
Yeah..that's is what I think I've learned since last night.

The laptop is an old, 1997, Satellite 445. I think the RAM is maybe 1.5 GB. I might be off by a factor of 100.

Circa Windows 95? That would be a screamer with 16 MB of RAM.
ETA And to think that these days FireFox will gladly get up to 1.5 GB + memory use.


My Tecra has Win98 and firefox running on it.

Sure, version 3? 4? I think Win98 support dropped with v7 or 8.

It's up to 34 now :-)
Link Posted: 1/12/2015 8:13:00 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WhyTanFox:

Sure, version 3? 4? I think Win98 support dropped with v7 or 8.

It's up to 34 now :-)
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WhyTanFox:
Originally Posted By Moondog:
Originally Posted By WhyTanFox:
Originally Posted By pavil58ar:
Yeah..that's is what I think I've learned since last night.

The laptop is an old, 1997, Satellite 445. I think the RAM is maybe 1.5 GB. I might be off by a factor of 100.

Circa Windows 95? That would be a screamer with 16 MB of RAM.
ETA And to think that these days FireFox will gladly get up to 1.5 GB + memory use.


My Tecra has Win98 and firefox running on it.

Sure, version 3? 4? I think Win98 support dropped with v7 or 8.

It's up to 34 now :-)



Yes, it's vintage. I verified my cd drive no longer works, however I think I can use a pcmcia to CF adapter to copy DSL's startup folder to the hard drive, then create the boot floppy off of DSL's wiki to start the install process.
Link Posted: 1/12/2015 10:12:35 PM EST
Memory is at 144MB.
Drive is 1.2GB.

I'll play more tomorrow.
Link Posted: 1/13/2015 7:40:25 PM EST


It finally booted all the way to Windows....98! I guess my brother must have installed it; I don't recall doing that.. I'm surprised the old beast works.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:28:44 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2015 1:31:25 AM EST by zapzap]
I could use that thing for some radio work...the prices people want for some of the mid 90's generation of laptops is insane these days.

I use the Arch install/live CD to boot a P3 Dell I have so I can transfer files between it and a USB thumb drive. Works well with my CF-28 Toughbook as well...but I haven't quite figured out how to get the screen to display properly on that one yet (funny, the Toughbook has a 32GB SSD in it) and is currently running just FreeDOS.
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