The PII 350 MHz Computer Dies?!

I always hate to send hardware off to that big chipyard in the sky. However, the PII 350 MHz PC decided to give up on me. Perhaps that is why I was getting so many errors while attempting to install various distros of Linux (including those optimized for old PCs). So, for those of you that were following along with my little journey, the PII is no more…too many errors began to pop up even in steady Slackware. I made a judgement call and retired the motherboard.

In its place, I forked out 23 bucks for a PC Chips Socket A motherboard. I then slapped in a spare XP 2600 and I have the newest flavor of SimplyMEPIS and PCLinuxOS installed. It’s running like a champ and is turning out to be the best 23 bucks I’ve spent in some time. For those that want a steady board for Linux, check Newegg here.

Alas, the PII was a good board. I knew it well. So glad I didn’t have to put it down and that I could gracefully retire it on a good note. Now the slowest PC I have is the CentOS 4 gateway/firewall with a Celeron 900 (Emachines w/ a refurb Gateway mATX mobo). Works great. Sorry I couldn’t finish out all those other distros.

In the meantime, I’ve made it my mission to document some really simple things using KDE and Gnome (How-Tos) for stuff that you’d normally do in Windows. I’m attempting to track down the easiest way to setup an anonymous share using KDE and Samba (with no smb.conf or smbpasswd or smbuser alteration…no shell). Thus far this has proved quite challenging. Getting Samba to play nice without passwords and users with full write access on a share is murder. If anyone has tips or links to a great how-to, I’m all ears. Thanks for reading.

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devnet has been a project manager for a Fortune 500 company, a Unix administrator, a Technical Writer, and a System Analyst during his 10 years working with Technology.

  • http://www.akp.phelps5.co.uk Andrew Phelps

    Cant wait for the How-tos :) ive just changed from windows to linux on my laptop till i get the into it and am able to use it right for everything i need then i will change my main pc over to a daul boot for those silly software devoplers that dont do linux

  • http://sorry.not.invalid.xx nobody(I am also on your Linux box – have a look ;-) “ps -aux” )

    I also do own some old PCs and I am quite unsure if your PII350 MHz really died? You know if you got a bad RAM it could give you this thousands of strange errors while trying to install. In other words it couldn’t be installed then.

    The replacement(2600+!) is just another category of PC , I guess ;-)
    Your Celeron 900 maybe overpowered to run something that simple as it is running. You ever heard of http://ipcop.org – that ran on a PI 233 MHz with 64MB Ram and a 2GB drive.
    A PIII 450MHz is now running ipcop and servers and ftp and so on at my network.

    Installed system and broken RAM:
    Linux could not boot then (actually it really uses the memory)
    Windoze might boot up as normal, operates strange and give you month later (when system already destroyed) some faky warning messages which point to some nonsense/bogus reason.

    Therefore I will nowadays always do a “memtest” before I install anything like an OS on a PC. Have a look at http://knoppix.de – for an easy “without install” Live-CD of Linux.

    And Andrew: Another help might be the internet – as example google.com/linux or anywhere else.