Author Topic: Adventures with a 10 Year Old Desktop.  (Read 32 times)

Offline buster

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Adventures with a 10 Year Old Desktop.
« on: July 13, 2019, 02:26:55 pm »
Chapter One

After being unsuccessful with speeding up an old Compaq desktop running win 7 (Look around at our club next meeting. If we all ran a 1 km race with the computer included, the Compaq would come dead last ), I took my in-law with me shopping, doing research, comparing prices and warranties, and finally buying one a week later. Most of you don’t remember how long it takes to set up a Windows machine, get rid of junk, get updates, set up email ...... She is very pleased with the result if you are curious.

So she gave me here entire old system, excellent flat screen 4:3 monitor, keyboard, and nice 10 year old computer – 3 gig ram, 500 gig hd, dvd burner, lots of usb ports, very stylish case. No hdmi port yet.

Biggest task: installing the factory win 7 from the extra partition. I’ve done this before on a laptop, but got misdirected this time by what looked like reputable sites who made it far harder than it need be. Found an easy method, and spent a good part of the morning getting updates and downloading programs I wanted. Still had lots of junk to get rid of.

Biggest surprise: The quickness! Of course, this hardware was designed for win 7, and it showed. Wired into fibe, the Internet pages came up fast. Except for first call on software, programs opened pretty quickly. Could have a few windows open at the same time with no problem.

Biggest lesson for any system: Suit the  distro to the hardware you are blessed with, and dig and get rid of memory/chip hogs running in the background. We all know this, but I for one, often neglect it in the quest for convenience.

And for all you Windows haters – this is an amazing system. Quite a surprise for me – I was going to install Kubuntu, but, having an open mind as I do..... :)

Chapter Two will be about Linux virtual machines inside this win 7, and how they work. Pretty exciting, eh?
"With all due respect John I am head of IT and I have it on good authority if you type 'Google' into Google you can break the internet, so please no one try it, even for a joke." ( Jen on 'The IT Crowd' )

Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Adventures with a 10 Year Old Desktop.
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2019, 02:47:28 pm »
But what processor and speed? Dual core, quad core?

Also, Win7 reaches end-of-life next Spring. Not that you can't use it after that but it'll be at your own risk.


Quote
Most of you don’t remember how long it takes to set up a Windows machine...

And that, right there, is why Linux is better. Sorry, couldn't resist.  :D But honestly, I still set up Windows and remember well how long it takes.

Looking forward to Chapter 2, be interesting to see you running VMs with only 3 GB of RAM. I know it's possible but you'll definitely be using some light desktop environments, I predict.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2019, 02:49:28 pm by Jason Wallwork »
Primary: Desktop w/ Win10Pro/OpenSUSE Leap  on i5-3.2 GHz w/ 12 GB RAM, 480 GB SSD boot & 2x2 TB RAID 10 array for extra storage

Secondary/Test: Toshiba Satellite Ultrabook Z830-00K w/ Win10/Kali Linux 2019.2  (i3-1.4 GHz, 4GB RAM, 128GB SDD)

Phone: Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra w/ Android Oreo 8.0

Offline buster

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Re: Adventures with a 10 Year Old Desktop.
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2019, 03:20:22 pm »
'But what processor and speed? Dual core, quad core?'

Athlon 240, 2 core, 4 threads, 3.5 GH

'Also, Win7 reaches end-of-life next Spring. '

Ummmm. When's the last time any of us installed with a 'forever after' feeling?

'And that, right there, is why Linux is better. '

The profound bitterness of a person who didn't get an absolutely, totally, completely FREE computer system like the one his friend did.
"With all due respect John I am head of IT and I have it on good authority if you type 'Google' into Google you can break the internet, so please no one try it, even for a joke." ( Jen on 'The IT Crowd' )

Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Adventures with a 10 Year Old Desktop.
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2019, 03:41:47 pm »
'And that, right there, is why Linux is better. '

The profound bitterness of a person who didn't get an absolutely, totally, completely FREE computer system like the one his friend did.

Totally wrong. Bzzzzt. My i5 3.2 Ghz with 12 GB of RAM was given to me. Also, my comment had nothing to do with it being a free system. You could have put a Linux distro on it with updates and all the software you would have needed in a fraction of the time. Same point regarding the end-of-life. Why put an OS on a system that is almost retired when you could pick one of many Linux distros that would be supported for 3-5 years, at least? These are not unreasonable questions.

But kudos on getting a free system. It's always nice when that happens. It was also hard to get excited by a free computer that you hadn't mentioned the most important part of, the processor. Up until that point, it didn't seem all that great. No wonder it's speedy, it's like an over-clocked i3, probably partway between the performance of an i3 and an i5. Congrats.
Primary: Desktop w/ Win10Pro/OpenSUSE Leap  on i5-3.2 GHz w/ 12 GB RAM, 480 GB SSD boot & 2x2 TB RAID 10 array for extra storage

Secondary/Test: Toshiba Satellite Ultrabook Z830-00K w/ Win10/Kali Linux 2019.2  (i3-1.4 GHz, 4GB RAM, 128GB SDD)

Phone: Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra w/ Android Oreo 8.0

Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Adventures with a 10 Year Old Desktop.
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2019, 03:42:58 pm »
You should post a pic of the case for us. I love a case with lots of USB ports, especially on the front. I keep getting ones with only 2 USB ports on the front and that makes me sad.
Primary: Desktop w/ Win10Pro/OpenSUSE Leap  on i5-3.2 GHz w/ 12 GB RAM, 480 GB SSD boot & 2x2 TB RAID 10 array for extra storage

Secondary/Test: Toshiba Satellite Ultrabook Z830-00K w/ Win10/Kali Linux 2019.2  (i3-1.4 GHz, 4GB RAM, 128GB SDD)

Phone: Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra w/ Android Oreo 8.0

Offline buster

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Re: Adventures with a 10 Year Old Desktop.
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2019, 01:09:33 pm »
Chapter Two: Virtual Machines inside this Win7 system

Just noting that I have 1 fully installed Linux system, and 8 virtual Linux installs at the moment, to go with 3 Windows installs. All of this is spread over 4 computer cases. I'm in no rush to lose this opportunity to recreate part of my past life with this gift system.  :) It's an adventure.

Jason warned me about this, and I have to admit he is correct - the memory is insufficient for good vm performance. Kubuntu wouldn't even install.

But it doesn't end there. I did get Peppermint and MX to run well, but couldn't get drag and drop to work with MX from Windows to MX. And yes I installed the open tools. Even more annoying, Peppermint worked quite well, except the sound system seems determined not to work. This is true with MX too. In fact it shows as an error during boot.

One more try with the new Q4OS, based on Debian Buster, that was released today. Already in the Win 10 and works well.

So unless I steal memory from the other old computer, and find a sound card, there's not much to write about for virtual machines.

Chapter Three: Why You Shouldn't do this, and Why You Should. (I know - you can hardly wait.)
"With all due respect John I am head of IT and I have it on good authority if you type 'Google' into Google you can break the internet, so please no one try it, even for a joke." ( Jen on 'The IT Crowd' )

Offline fox

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Re: Adventures with a 10 Year Old Desktop.
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2019, 10:38:16 pm »
I know what it's like to have sound issues, and on considerably newer computers than the one you're working with. Neither Ubuntu nor Mint sees my late 2015 iMac speakers - had to install a cheap pair of usb speakers to get my sound to work on it. But even on my 2015 xps, if you switch from Linux to Windows or vice versa, you don't get sound until you reboot a second time.
Ubuntu 19.04 and openSUSE Leap on 2011 iMac
Linux Mint Cinnamon 19.1 on "late 2015" 5k iMac
Ubuntu 19.04, 18.04 and MX Linux on Dell XPS 13 2 in 1

Offline buster

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Re: Adventures with a 10 Year Old Desktop.
« Reply #7 on: Yesterday at 10:21:36 pm »
Chapter 3: Who Shouldn’t and Who Should Go Through all This

Who shouldn’t -

#1. Anyone who didn’t get given an old Win7 computer.
#2. Anyone who doesn’t have the patience of Job.
#3. Anyone who has only one or two computers.
#4. Anyone who despises Microsoft with every fibre of his or her being.
#5. Anyone who has a great, light Linux distro that keeps them awake all night with an insistent voice, “Install me! Install me!”
#6. Anyone who would rather be secure for the future rather than invest in a six month OS.

Who Should -

#1. Anyone who when told by Maria that she is going back to Italy to live in six months, would say, “Then let’s make it the best half year of our lives. Come back to bed Marie.”
#2. Anyone who wants to (sort of) recapture the work and effort of the 90’s with various old parts, that for many of us was the glory years of working with computers.
#3. Anyone subject to bouts of nostalgia.
#4. Anyone who is old, and feels that somehow old things are better.

And coming soon: Chapter 4: Scrounging new hardware bits and pieces
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 10:26:42 pm by buster »
"With all due respect John I am head of IT and I have it on good authority if you type 'Google' into Google you can break the internet, so please no one try it, even for a joke." ( Jen on 'The IT Crowd' )

Offline dougal

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Re: Adventures with a 10 Year Old Desktop.
« Reply #8 on: Today at 01:22:18 am »
depending on what RAM modules you could use I likely have some..also I have this sound card if it's of use- xonar DG-D7YACM012773
you could  PM me with details etc.