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Old 12-14-2010, 14:19   #1
Generalcarry
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Dell 4100 upgrades?

I have an old Dell running Ubuntu for my grandkids. I replaced the old CRT monitor with a Dell LED 20" (BIG sale $90 delivered) and now I'm thinking I could speed up the 4100 with some cheap up graded parts, or, would it be cheaper to just buy a used upgraded tower? I'm thinking ~ $200???
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Old 12-14-2010, 21:00   #2
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The Dell 4100 is about a 2000 vintage machine, if I remember correctly. It was a very fine machine when it came out but technology has greatly advanced since then. I suggest checking out the Dell auction site http://dellauction.com and seeing what is available that would better serve your needs. FWIW, I have used many Dell refurbished machines with absolutely no problems with any of them. When you unpack them they are like new inside and out. Dell has a refurbished site also, but they sell on it at fixed prices, while you can often get much better deals on the auction site. The machines are the same on both sites and they always have a wide variety of desktops for sale.
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Old 12-14-2010, 21:27   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Generalcarry View Post
I have an old Dell running Ubuntu for my grandkids. I replaced the old CRT monitor with a Dell LED 20" (BIG sale $90 delivered) and now I'm thinking I could speed up the 4100 with some cheap up graded parts, or, would it be cheaper to just buy a used upgraded tower? I'm thinking ~ $200???
Well, Looking here....

http://support.dell.com/support/edoc...zuul/specs.htm

It's pretty low on the totem pole, but far from useless(although it may be for your needs)

I hate buying Used computers, cuz you just never know.

If you can turn a screwdriver... You can assemble a PC for 250-350, that would probably be halfway decent.

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Old 12-14-2010, 21:46   #4
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OK, I got bored again... Nothing fancy here...

Motherboard and Processor -- $85
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...21971&CatId=14

250gig Hard Drive -- $40
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...7457&CatId=139

DVD Drive -- $20
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...29307&CatId=89

Powersupply -- $40
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...574&CatId=1079

2gigs of Ram -- $30
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...366&CatId=4534

After that, all you need is a case, and a few SATA cables. Call around in your area to some small PC Shops (Not Best Buy, etc..) and find out what their Cheapest case is. If you have a Fry Electronics near you, you can find cheap cases there as well...

http://www.frys.com/product/6249870?...H:MAIN_RSLT_PG

If you can get that one, that puts your total cost about $250. Do some assembling, install Ubuntu.. You have a brand new, pretty fast computer.

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Old 12-14-2010, 22:35   #5
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that mobo/cpu combo you linked looks like it comes with 2 sata cables

that would be a pretty nice machine for kids, i'll have to build something like that when mine gets a bit older. i've been playing around with edbuntu the last week or so and it looks like it could be pretty useful.

i don't think it's too difficult to install the educational packages on an existing unbuntu installation either, i the package listings & iso are available here:
http://edubuntu.org/

GCompris is the main package, and it's pretty cool. it's also been ported to win32 and is available for 20 euros (the linux version is free).
http://gcompris.net/

i'mma check out kubuntu next and see if i like the interface any better, kde/gnome & their respective custom menuing.

i have to keep my windows box around, my little guy loves to play wings of prey and mech warrior 4 (free now).
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Old 12-14-2010, 22:43   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kc8ykd View Post
that mobo/cpu combo you linked looks like it comes with 2 sata cables
Indeed it did... I didn't even notice that.

One thing I did miss though.. is he'll need a couple of case fans.. so add another 10-15(if you get cheap ones) for that... Or take them out of the junk computer he has now, and mount them in the new case. Everything w/ Edubuntu, should be reasonably easy to install in Ubuntu... you might have to add a repository, but I doubt that.. it's probably all available in Synaptic.

As for KDE... I'd rather let Rosie O Donnell put on some nice golf cleats and stomp on my face for about 24hrs, before I used KDE... I find that interface totally unusable, not to mention slow and clunky..
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Last edited by IndyGunFreak; 12-14-2010 at 23:21..
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Old 12-14-2010, 23:04   #7
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i would be surprised if the case didn't come with a fan, although if the case was inexpensive enough, it probably wouldn't (for cost savings).

and, you're right, GCompris is available in the normal repository, as is Tux Paint

lol @ kde, i haven't used it in like 8 years, i figured i'd give it a whirl to see what's changed. (last time i ran it, was on a debian box that sat under my desk at work without a keyboard or mouse, i eventually ditched the monitor and use used it for shell, tftpd, ftpd and some light mrtg work)

i just run 'em off a flash drive anyways, so it's not that hard to swap out an image for another

one of these days, i'm going to have to build another machine for linux and snag a third monitor for my desk... it's so nice that synergy+ is multi-platform


Qimo 4 Kids and DebianEdu were the two other releases i couldn't remember the names to that i also wanted to try out. a lot of it is the interface that i'm interested in, since the other packages will be common.
http://www.qimo4kids.com/
&
http://wiki.debian.org/DebianEdu
for those interested

Last edited by kc8ykd; 12-14-2010 at 23:09..
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Old 12-14-2010, 23:10   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kc8ykd View Post
lol @ kde, i haven't used it in like 8 years, i figured i'd give it a whirl to see what's changed. (last time i ran it, was on a debian box that sat under my desk at work without a keyboard or mouse, i eventually ditched the monitor and use used it for shell, tftpd, ftpd and some light mrtg work)
It actually got worse w/ KDE4...lol

KDE3, was bad... KDE4 is enough to make me wanna throw myself down a flight of stairs. It's really that bad.

IGF
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Old 12-14-2010, 23:13   #9
kc8ykd
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oh lordy, that's not good at all. i think i'll skip it then and go straight to qimo instead, heh
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Old 12-14-2010, 23:19   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kc8ykd View Post
Qimo 4 Kids and DebianEdu were the two other releases i couldn't remember the names to that i also wanted to try out. a lot of it is the interface that i'm interested in, since the other packages will be common.
http://www.qimo4kids.com/
&
http://wiki.debian.org/DebianEdu
for those interested
Never used Qimo, so know nothing about it...

I'm a Debian guy at heart... but I think using a *buntu over Debian, has some real advantages.. especially if you're a bit of a Linux virgin. Cut your teeth on Ubuntu for a few months, then move on.

That said, at least Edubuntu, comes w/ Gnome... . Looks like DebianEdu comes with... KDE..
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Old 12-14-2010, 23:44   #11
kc8ykd
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ya, i've always had a soft spot for debian since i started using it many moons ago. i always dug the apt system over rh's rpm's.

ubuntu is nice since it's all pointy-clicky, but i'm so used to junipers and cisco's that i really like the command line and config files most of the time, especially for 'server' related stuff. i hated vi so much back in the day, one of my co-workers in our systems group got me a vi cheat sheet, today i use vim for win32 i love it so i was forced to use it (or emacs) when we switch to using CVS (and some custom scripting) for our dns (forward and reverse) and ip space management, but i'm really glad i learned it.

the only down side is when i find myself trying to enable on my current debian box, or su'ing on a cisco @ home and not being able to figure out why it's not working for a couple of minutes :(

i have to say, ubuntu i think has really helped linux in general gain a foothold on the desktop market over the years. and, persistent flash drive installs has helped new users really take it for a longer test drive to help ease the transition.

i just saw that about debedu, i think i might skip that one too, heh
edbuntu was pretty fun, and it comes with the netbook interface on the installer as well

i need a pretty kid-proof interface, currently, i have to lock my windows machine and unplug my kid's mouse so he doesn't use it if he wakes up before me in the morning. i woke up one morning and all my desktop icons were in the trash bin.. luckily he doesn't understand what right-clicking does...yet...
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:33   #12
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Quite a few options and a lot of good ideas. I knew I'd need a better processor/motherboard and more memory, but items like a new fan never crossed my mind. Those edu. programs I had never heard of but will certainy check them out. I'm in Michigan and retired so this may be a perfect winter project and I know the wife would kick in some money just to keep me the hell away from her in the months to come.
I went to Ubuntu because of the good advice from IndyGunFreak and was very happy with the results. Thanks for all the help and I'll keep you informed.
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Old 12-15-2010, 06:55   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Generalcarry View Post
Quite a few options and a lot of good ideas. I knew I'd need a better processor/motherboard and more memory, but items like a new fan never crossed my mind. Those edu. programs I had never heard of but will certainy check them out. I'm in Michigan and retired so this may be a perfect winter project and I know the wife would kick in some money just to keep me the hell away from her in the months to come.
I went to Ubuntu because of the good advice from IndyGunFreak and was very happy with the results. Thanks for all the help and I'll keep you informed.
You can actually probably go cheaper, if you look at Newegg and some of the "Jetway" and "Foxconn" Motherboard/CPU combos... My only issue is, I'm not entirely sold on the reliability of those two manufacturers. BioStar... while I'm not a huge fan (prefer MSI or Asus) has a pretty solid reputation for making quality motherboards.

Building a computer really is very simple. Just a couple basic hand tools (Phillips screwdriver, and a pair of needle nose pliers might come in handy). The hardest part, is probably getting the CPU Heatsink/Fan secured over the CPU, as it is usually a very tight fit and will require a bit of force. Other than that, it's just sliding stuff in place, and tightening anywhere from 1-8 screws, depending on the device.
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Last edited by IndyGunFreak; 12-16-2010 at 09:35..
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