Linux guru question [Archive] - Glock Talk


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Texas T
05-27-2005, 18:26
I have an OLD Compaq laptop with slightly under a gig of HD, 48 megs of ram, and I think about a P1 100mhz cpu.

Could this be used by a linux disto to run a wireless application? All I want to do is sit on the couch and surf the net while watching TV. No email, no other applications, just Firefox.

If it would work, is any specific distro recommended?

What about a wireless PC Card?



05-27-2005, 19:56
You'd probably be limited to a command-line-based Linux OS with that small amount of RAM. The X environment would be super-slow on that machine, if it would even run.

How are your coding and kernel compiling via text skills these days? :)

As far as the WLAN card goes, just visit a few Web sites and make sure the PCMCIA model you decide to go with is *Nix compatible.

Some are not. And it is a leadpipe cinch that there is no USB port. Correct?

You might have better luck with Windows 98SE in this application. Really.

Good luck.

Texas T
05-27-2005, 21:56
Originally posted by fastvfr
You might have better luck with Windows 98SE in this application. None of the cards I've found will run on W98SE; they all require XP.

05-28-2005, 08:39
Firefox requires a bit more RAM but Opera runs with 32MB.It's included in in Vector Linux 3.2 that is meant for older PC's like that one.You can download it here

05-28-2005, 08:44
The install instructions are here

It's describes what to choose for 100Mhz Pentiums during the installation.

05-28-2005, 09:51
Libranet 2.7 runs well on most older laptops.Don't try a newer version.The supplied browser will be slow but Libranet 2.7 is one of the few that runs on older laptops.

Can be downloaded here

I still think Vector Linux 3.2 will be your best choice if you can get it to install.

05-28-2005, 10:47
Originally posted by Texas T
None of the cards I've found will run on W98SE; they all require XP.

Thanks anyway, T, but I have set up WLANs involving many Win98SE laptops.

Here's how it is normally done. (

Texas T
05-28-2005, 14:13
Thanks guys!

Fastvfr... are there other cards that you're aware of that will also work?

05-28-2005, 20:19
Most any wireless card will work with NIX, you just need to use NDIS Wrapper on some of em'. It's really no big deal.

I'd probably try Vector Linux for your app, but I'd be surprised if it runs "well".

05-29-2005, 00:04
The problem you'll have is that your laptop probably doesn't have cardbus, which will limit you to 802.11b (and even then, not all cards). Also, many use the 3.3V pccard standard, so those may not be compatible with your laptop (which may be only 5V). If so, hunt out on ebay for an older 802.11b card.

05-29-2005, 08:12

05-29-2005, 08:27
With Vector Linux 3.2 you will need to download and compile drivers and tools for your wirelesss card.

Some info here on a 120Mhz Pentium with 48MB of RAM in a laptop