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Ask Slashdot: Is It Feasible To Revive an Old Linux PC Setup? 176

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the when-real-hackers-used-fvwm dept.
Qbertino (265505) writes I've been rummaging around on old backups and cleaning out my stuff and have once again run into my expert-like paranoid backups and keepsakes from back in the days (2001). I've got, among other things, a full set of Debian 3 CDs, an original StarOffice 6.0 CD including a huge manual in mint condition, Corel Draw 9 for Linux, the original box & CDs — yes it ran on a custom wine setup, but it ran well, I did professional design and print work with it.

I've got more of other stuff lying around, including the manuals to run it. Loki Softs Tribes 2, Kohan, Rune, and the original Unreal Tournament for Linux have me itching too. :-)

I was wondering if it would be possible to do an old 2001ish setup of a Linux workstation on some modern super cheap, super small PC (Raspberry Pi? Mini USB PC?), install all the stuff and give it a spin. What problems should I expect? VESA and Soundblaster drivers I'd expect to work, but what's with the IDE HDD drivers? How well does vintage Linux software from 2003 play with todays cheap system-on-board MicroPCs? What's with the USB stuff? Wouldn't the install expect the IO devices hooked on legacy ports? Have you tried running 10-15 year old Linux setups on devices like these and what are your experiences? What do you recommend?
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Ask Slashdot: Is It Feasible To Revive an Old Linux PC Setup?

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  • try it in a VM? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2014 @01:06PM (#47326391)

    If it's just to dink around with the old software, why not try it in VMWare or VirtualBox? It would probably be less of a hassle to get to where you want to be with the setup.

    • If it's just to dink around with the old software, why not try it in VMWare or VirtualBox?

      Not a bad idea, especially considering that the old PC setup would take only minimal resources on a modern VM.

      OTOH, if you want the whole old-school experience, why not just trot down to the local Thrift Shop and snap up an ancient box for like $20 or so, and maybe spend $10 more for an old tube monitor, keyboard, and suchlike? At those prices, you could buy a second one for spare parts.

    • Re:try it in a VM? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mlts (1038732) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @01:57PM (#47326897)

      I have a machine of a similar vintage running an age-old copy of RHEL. I keep it, but the chances of me firing it up are slim to none, because I can fire up VMWare Workstation with an older OS release. Plus, even if the hardware is rock stable, it uses more energy than a modern computer and OS. Running a VM from a SATA SSD consumes a lot less power than an older 3.5" IDE HDD which might have at most 128 or so gigs.

      It is fun to fire up old hardware, but other than having the right stuff to play a game (DOSBox is good, but some older MS-DOS games won't work correctly unless they are on bare metal, and don't sound "right" unless they are played on an antediluvian FM-synthesis sound card), there isn't much of a point to it.

      • by qpqp (1969898)

        antediluvian FM-synthesis sound card

        Roland was teh siht!

      • I have a machine of a similar vintage running an age-old copy of RHEL. I keep it, but the chances of me firing it up are slim to none, because I can fire up VMWare Workstation with an older OS release.

        I still have an Intergraph TDZ 2000 workstation that I used for 3D/video editing back in the late '90s. It cost around $15,000 new, with dual PII 300MHz CPUs, 256MB RAM and dual 80GB 10,000rpm SCSI drives in RAID 0. It's still set up to dual boot NT4 and Debian 2.2, and I occasionally fire it up (if only to to remind myself what it was like to hear the jet-engine whine as those those drives spool up to speed).

        It still feels very responsive with that old OS/software combination, so an old version of Linux

  • I recommend (Score:4, Informative)

    by infernalC (51228) <<matthew.mellon> <at> <google.com>> on Thursday June 26, 2014 @01:09PM (#47326411) Homepage Journal

    VirtualBox

    • by kbrannen (581293)
      VMplayer would work too
    • Re:I recommend (Score:4, Insightful)

      by pla (258480) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @01:40PM (#47326745) Journal
      Seriously - This.

      It will take you far less effort to configure a PC emulator to look like stereotypical 15YO hardware, than it will to actually put together that hardware.

      About five years ago I had a similar personal project, to find a way to replay some of the great DOS games I had lying around, most on floppies nearing the edge of unreadability. After screwing around with various compatibility modes in Windows and even going so far as to set up a multiboot system with real live DOS installed, I ended up just putting together half a dozen Bochs images running DOS under emulation with slightly different memory management configs (remember the bad old days of extended vs expanded memory and segmented vs flat and real vs protected vs unreal (flat real)?). Once I set up one image, I cloned it and reconfigured it to the rest in under an hour, then just had to remember which games needed which styles of memory management.

      We tend to forget how much old hardware sucked. If I never have to manually hunt for an available base address, IRQ, and DMA channel again, I will consider myself blessed.
      • by rujasu (3450319)

        Bochs? Surprised you didn't just use DOSBox.

        • by pla (258480)
          Bochs? Surprised you didn't just use DOSBox.

          I did end up resorting to DOSBox for a few games that used seriously funky video modes, but for the most part, I prefer Bochs as more flexible overall. For one thing, I had a few Win95 games in the mix, and at the time getting that to work on Bochs took no effort at all, while getting it to run under DosBox took an act of god, and I hope you liked 640x480x16 color.

          That said, I realize DosBox has gotten a lot better since then... But, so has Bochs, so, I hone
          • DOSBox is good.

            I recommend against a native DOS setup like FreeDOS, unless you don't care about graphics and audio. FreeDOS actually works fine on modern hardware. The problem is that there are no drivers for modern video and audio. As far as I know, there are no emulation layers either-- no way to glue a Soundblaster interface to a modern audio interface with a DOS driver that DOS games can use. Graphics are worse. Without drivers, you're stuck with 320x200x256 color VGA or 640x480x16 color EGA/VGA.

    • Re:I recommend (Score:5, Informative)

      by Nimey (114278) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @02:37PM (#47327331) Homepage Journal

      I've gotten Debian 2.2 to run reasonably well in VMware Player. Network and SCSI worked pretty well, don't think the sound did due to a missing driver, and I had to do some work to make X use the VESA framebuffer:

      0) In lilo.conf, add "vga=791" (or another value) to the kernel invocation. May have had to compile a kernel with fbdev first.
      1) install the xserver-fbdev package
      2) copy /usr/share/doc/xserver-fbdev/examples/XF86Config.fbdev to /etc/X11/XF86Config.
      3) edit XF86Config to reflect the color depth chosen in the vga= stanza in lilo.conf; with vga=791 it's 16 bits.
      4) Same file, edit mouse information to reflect what VMware provides (device is /dev/gpmdata (I have gpm installed, otherwise probably /dev/psaux) and protocol is Microsoft).
      5) Edit /etc/X11/Xserver and replace first line with the path to the FBDev X server, e.g. "/usr/bin/X11/XF86_FBDev".

      Now you should have a functioning X desktop, assuming you installed the packages. It won't be fast, since it's just the VESA framebuffer, but it's probably the best you can get with VMware and the ancient XFree86 stack in Debian 2.2.

      Note that the VMware guest utilities will /not/ work.

    • I managed to get 320x240 working on a Red Hat 6.2 VM I tried to stand up for nostalgia. Tried a variety of drivers and kept screwing around with the config but ended up just giving up. I cobbled together a P3 from parts I had laying around and installing it there.

      • by donaldm (919619)

        I managed to get 320x240 working on a Red Hat 6.2 VM I tried to stand up for nostalgia.

        I hope you realise that Redhat 6.2 release/update came out on the 6th Dec 2011, which IMHO is fairly recent since 6.2 is still under "Production 1" support. Will it run on older hardware well yes it will providing you have checked what hardware is supported. I have actually upgraded (well reinstalled) from Redhat 3.1 to 6.1 on Proliant hardware with graphics support without issues.

        I never have recommend upgrading (not just Redhat but all version of Linux/Unix) from one major release to another, preferring

  • by javajawa (126489) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @01:10PM (#47326425) Homepage
    You should be able to run a modern linux distro, but you may need to install some old libraries to get those games working.
    • by javajawa (126489) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @01:11PM (#47326441) Homepage
      You will, however, need to be on x86 hardware.
    • by rnturn (11092) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @03:56PM (#47328007)

      The OP seems to have all the HW and SW he'd need. I'm not even sure why he's worried. Aside from the possibility of bit rot having degraded his media, I would be more concerned that the hardware would be a problem and become a major time sink -- bad capacitors on the m'board, etc., that have you chasing your tail.

      You might be able to run a modern Linux on hardware of that vintage but you might have to borrow memory from another, similar motherboard to get the installer to run. Back when I was running Linux on a 486, I had to borrow memory from another system to get the installer to run during an upgrade. Then I returned the memory and Linux itself ran fine with only 16MB. The oldest system I currently have running -- an old Pentium MMX system with only 127MB installed (it used to only have 80MB before I stumbled across some more memory in a box of parts) -- hasn't been updated to anything really recent because I no longer have any systems that use the same kind of memory that I can borrow to perform an upgrade and the older RAM, while still available, is not something I want to invest in. (Yeah... I do have plans to phase that system out in the not-too-distant future.)

  • by just_another_sean (919159) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @01:10PM (#47326427) Homepage Journal

    Why not use older hardware? Is it really so hard to find an old IBM think center or Dell computer that still has IDE, etc.? We have a few at work that I keep around because I keep telling myself that one day I will have time to throw an old Slack distro on them or Windows 3/3.5 and show the kids what it was like "in my day!"

    A quick google turned up this: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/3... [makeuseof.com]

    But I only quickly looked at it, I am not recommending it or anything...

    • Off-lease junk shows up by the pallet on fleabay and the like.

      The biggest problem for OP is that 'junk' is now probably a PCIe motherboard with a P4, maybe even an early core/core2 system, rather than something that is afraid of 64-bit address spaces and rocks AGP.

      In fact, based on a quick look, late-P4 to Core2 era corporate castoffs appear to be cheaper, at least on ebay, than the really elderly stuff (though it looks like the new gear has actual prices, while the old stuff has optimistic starting p
      • Yeah, I see your point. I guess thirteen years might as well be a century in the computer industry!

        • It's mostly the same stuff, just a lot faster(a latish PII should be mostly familiar, just 32bit and more parallel busses); but 'mostly' is a very, very dangerous word unless heroic patching of a wildly aged kernel is your idea of fun, which it doesn't sound like is the case here.
      • That reminds me, I still have my old 733MHz P3 in a closet at my parents' house, along with possibly a 350MHz K6-2 and maybe a couple of others too, I can't remember. All of them started out as desktop machines and eventually did duty as firewalls, routers and so on, until they were eventually each replaced with a dedicated piece of hardware. With a lightweight OS, they would still do great as basic machines for writing and email etc., I wonder if I can find some place that will take them.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      Why not use older hardware? Is it really so hard to find an old IBM think center or Dell computer that still has IDE, etc.?

      Yes it is hard to find an old IBM think centre that is as the original poster has stated as a criteria "super cheap and super small" The powersupply in that IBM machine alone is about 10x the size of the example (Raspberry Pi) and simply the power wasted during inefficient energy conversion while the PSU sits there idle is more than the entire consumption of the example (Raspberry Pi).

    • by Bert64 (520050)

      Just find something with PCI... Then you can use a fairly modern motherboard with easily obtainable ram in useful quantities, and use PCI cards for everything else - video, sound, and find an old SCSI controller instead of IDE.
      The board/cpu itself should be fully compatible with the older software, and using pci cards solves the problem with lack of drivers for the older hardware.

  • Since the Raspberry pi an dmany other "Micro PCs" utilizes an ARM processor, none of the Intel x86 software binaries mentioned will be usable on them. However, if the MicroPC in question utilizes an Intel x86 CPU, it should at least be feasible.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I wouldn't suggest running old distros on new hardware, just because the old code may not support essential features or even just the underlying standard (if you were planning to use something based on an HDMI output with a build that predated the HDMI standard for example).

    Still, I'm not sure what price range you have in mind, but for less than $300 you can get a fairly passable little box that runs modern Linux builds at a comfortable speed with some power to spare. I used a Zotac model for a project at

    • by rubycodez (864176)

      plenty of machines can be put into legacy device mode in BIOS, I've run os/2 warp on modern machines for business reasons

      • by dotgain (630123)
        (sorry, please disregard my previous reply, I misread you and addressed a slightly different point)
    • Newer GPUs are very, very, likely to be unsupported except in whatever fallback VGA mode they offer; but HDMI is actually pretty decent at pretending to be DVI (which is actually pretty ancient, even if you couldn't afford it at the time since LCDs were still $100 per nominal inch, in smaller sizes) so long as you don't expect sound or HDCP to work.

      Even if nothing freaks out and dies, if you want to go back in time 13 years, you are probably going to be adding quite a few PCI IDs to assorted bits of kern
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Many (if not all) of the Loki games run on current platforms, with minor amounts of tweaking. There's even a "community" of people who are keeping these things going, although they are not always committed to making them run better than they originally did. I still run Alpha Centari on my Fedora 20 box, with a small wrapper around the launching executable (to set environmental variables and correct path entries specific to the game).

    • by jandrese (485)
      Do you have a link explaining how to do this? Maybe a link to the community? I wouldn't mind getting Kohan working again.
  • Let's see... (Score:5, Informative)

    by jones_supa (887896) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @01:15PM (#47326495)

    I was wondering if it would be possible to do an old 2001ish setup of a Linux workstation on some modern super cheap, super small PC (Raspberry Pi? Mini USB PC?), install all the stuff and give it a spin. What problems should I expect? VESA and Soundblaster drivers I'd expect to work, but what's with the IDE HDD drivers? How well does vintage Linux software from 2003 play with todays cheap system-on-board MicroPCs? What's with the USB stuff? Wouldn't the install expect the IO devices hooked on legacy ports? Have you tried running 10-15 year old Linux setups on devices like these and what are your experiences? What do you recommend?

    Raspberry Pi is probably out of question as it is an ARM device. I do not think any current systems offer SoundBlaster hardware compatibility either. VESA is fine, IDE HDD should be fine in ISA mode, but you won't get UltraDMA and there's probably other limitations. USB requires a specific driver, I guess you might get some kind of OHCI/UHCI USB1.1 support if you are very lucky.

    All in all, there will probably be too many missing drivers and all sorts of weird errors to solve. I recommend that you get some vintage hardware from the same era to go with the Linux distro that you have.

    • by rubycodez (864176)

      there are sound blaster 16 emulating drivers for windows, and various VM technologies have them

      • Of course, but those are out of scope for his plan.
        • by rubycodez (864176)

          he was asking us for the plan

          of course on ebay old stuff can be had where the shipping cost is more than the item

          • Huh? This is what he writes:

            I was wondering if it would be possible to do an old 2001ish setup of a Linux workstation on some modern super cheap, super small PC (Raspberry Pi? Mini USB PC?), install all the stuff and give it a spin.

            But OK, if we change the rules and using a virtual machine is allowed, that pretty much solves all of the problems.

            • OP specified old software, new hardware. Sticking a VM (and accompanying modern OS) as a compatibility layer between the two seems sensible, and not necessarily in contradiction of "the rules". OP also mentioned using ARM-based hardware to run their X86 software. My guess is that they're just throwing words at the wall to see what sticks, and that they'll be happy with whichever solution will let them run their older software.
  • by Anna Merikin (529843) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @01:19PM (#47326521) Journal

    You've got mix of incompatible requirements here. IIRC Corel's support for L:inux ended with the introduction of libc6 and kernels in the 2.0 series. These linux binaries will not run on Debian-3, which had both. I know, I tried to keep WordPerfect for Linux going on RH-6.2 till about the time Debian-3 was introduced but it became a losing proposition.

    Worse still, source code for Linux-kernel series 1.x will not usually compile on later kernels which require an incompatible libc.

    YMMV

    • by Rutulian (171771)

      No, Red Hat 6 series used kernel 2.2 and libc6, and Corel definitely ran on it, I remember doing it. Don't know what the problem with Debian was, but it may have been a Wine issue.

      • I just checked and you're right about the kernel being in the 2-series, 2.2.x. Thanks for that; apparently it wasn't the change to the 2-series kernel that caused the incompatibilites, but to the 2.4- versions from 2.2.

        I was right about the libraries, though.

        IIRC Debian 3 was released about the same time as RH 7, which makes using anything Corel doubtful.

  • duh: arch (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vinn (4370) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @01:24PM (#47326577) Homepage Journal

    Obviously architecture is the biggest hindrance to what you proposed.

    You could get away with some modern hardware, as long as it's x86 based. Or, maybe what you really want to consider is virtualizing an old distro on other modern hardware along with a modern distro, assuming the other modern hardware supports it.

    There is some novelty in running old stuff, and I suppose everyone goes through that phase (along with the "I'm going to build a massive home network with multiple servers and run my own email" phase). But, I suspect you'll tire of it so you're just better off keeping it at a small budget and use hardware you can repurpose when you get bored with that little experiment.

  • raspberry pi is out (Score:4, Informative)

    by epyT-R (613989) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @01:24PM (#47326581)

    That stuff will only run on x86 anyway. You're better off with virtualbox or vmware. You might get lucky and get a distro from that era running on modern hardware too. You'll have to set the disk controller to ide compat mode and live with unaccelerated vesa video unless you've got a PCI slot and an nvidia vid card from that era. The drivers that ship with X back then won't validate the PCIIDs from today's cards, nevermind use them properly.

    Another option would be to install the software on your modern x86/64 install and see if it runs. If it's missing libraries, copy them as needed from the old distro (or symlink current ones to the older names) to an oldlib directory and set LD_LIBRARY_PATH to point to it. Just don't dump them in your system's lib dirs or leave the environment variable set globally. Use ldd and grep to examine what libs are missing from the binary you're trying to run. YMMV.

    The kernel guys guarantee ABI compatibility back to 2.0, but that's just the kernel. Today's userland has changed a lot from 1998-2001. It could also be that your glibc is not compiled with the compat symbols from previous glibc 2.0-2.2 versions common then, in which case you'll need to bring that over to your oldlibs dir too. That can get messy but it is doable.

  • by pinkushun (1467193) * on Thursday June 26, 2014 @01:24PM (#47326585) Journal

    I for one am keen to see how this turns out. Will you keep us updated if you do try to get the rig running?

    Oh and for the record: if I was someone who strives to be the first to say "use a vm!", I would recommend qemu / kvm :)

  • The easiest way would be to just get an old machine. 15 years ago was the birth of the Pentium III, so with not much work you should be able to find a perfectly fine 10- to 12-year-old 1 GHz PIII with 512 MB RAM for next to nothing. (I'm personally a fan of Dell OptiPlex GX corporate desktops and HP Pavilions -- generally well-supported hardware and durable.) Otherwise, try VirtualBox on the modern computer of your choice.

  • by mindcandy (1252124) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @01:31PM (#47326633)
    With enough time and effort (money being #3, but two outta three is generally all that's needed) .. yes, you can make it work.

    If it's just an academic exercise then go for it, try and find hardware from the same (or earlier) era than the disks.

    If you really want to flex an embedded device you'll be better off using recent distributions as those are customized for the hardware. Just because it's old software doesn't mean it'll run fine on newer (but underpowered) devices.

    BOTH hardware and software have improved over time.
  • You know what hardware you have around. So just go for it and see what happens. Then tell us what happened.

    If you want to avoid problems, use a current version. And don't use wine. Run it in e.g. VirtualBox. Also just do all that other stuff you proposed.

  • If you find peroid hardware sure.

    As far as the rasberri pi, its ARM cpu, If you can find old stuff ported to ARM from back then sure, but otherwise no. old x86 software won't run on ARM.
  • What do you want, step by step instructions with screenshots and Youtube tutorials for the hard parts?

    Throw some junk together. Try different hardware configurations. Dabble with the source code. Amaze us and everyone else.
    • I would love to see this funky project documented and another post in Slashdot which links to it. :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I do not want to be too judgemental, but what makes this project interesting? I could kinda-sorta understand a DOS machine with a big collection of games to try them on bare metal with that Roland MT-32 you just got from eBay. Even that I would personally do with DOSBox. But to install a wonky Linux setup with terrible hardware support and maybe get a handful of games working...meh... Where's the beef?
  • I think you want to go KVM or VMWare player. You will have just tons of problems finding diver support for new hardware on a kernel that is 10+ years old. While its true that 2.4 has been patched and maintained its been mostly fixes not nearly as much in terms of driver back-ports etc.

    Much of the software you mention the Loki games and Corel will need older libc(s) to work, and they won't work with recent kernels. You are beyond the point where a chroot tree is likely to do it for you.

    Rather then spend w

  • Most of the suggestions here are overkill, and trying to solve a non-problem.

    I'd expect most modern Linux distributions to work just fine on your old 200-era hardware. In the Linux world, that is not ancient hardware.

    Just try it. Don't bother rummaging through the closet, modern releases should work.

    • by jtara (133429)

      Whoops, sorry, mea culpa!

      OP wants the opposite - he wants to run an old Linux on new hardware.

      But, why?

  • Old hardware... (Score:4, Informative)

    by LoRdTAW (99712) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @02:20PM (#47327165)

    Old hardware is your best bet. Anything new would be unsupported by the older 2.2/2.4 kernels, PCIe, SATA, chipsets etc.
    *Slot 2 Pentium II or III CPU's and Socket 370 CPU's are perfect. If you want multiprocessor, a Tyan or Supermicro dual slot/board is a good bet but stay away from any board with RDRAM using the i820 or i840 chipsets. They did however realize how big a mistake RDRAM was and Intel made SDRAM->RDRAM bridge chips so those chipsets could use PC-100/133 SDRAM. Tyan made a dual processor i840 board with dual slot 1 and SDRAM using the bridge chips.
    *At least 256 meg of ram, 512MB - 1GB is ideal. Make sure your board supports the RAM you have.
    *An AGP Riva TNT card or better yet, a Geforce 1, 2 or 3 graphics card. 3D support may not be available*
    *Sound Blaster Live!, Ensoniq, Turtle Beach or Aureal sound cards should all work. Though the Sound Blaster Live! is probably your best bet.
    *You are also going to need an ATA hard disk (2+GB) and CD/DVD rom drive, I am unaware of any P2/3 board that supported USB booting so you need the optical drive.
    *If no onboard LAN card is present (most common scenario) you want a PCI 3Com 3c905B/C, or any PCI card based on the DEC Tulip chipset (21040/21041/21140/21142/21143). Many older Netgear FA311 cards also worked flawlessly, based on a well supported National semi chip that I think was a tulip clone)
    *Bonus: decent 19"+ Trinitron CRT monitor. I still have a 21" Sun Trinitron.

    Stay away from ISA cards as much as you can. I had a hell of a time getting my old ISA Sound Blaster AWE 64 Gold sound card running under Mandrake back in the day. And that was a "plug and play" card without jumpers. As for why to use Pentium 2/3 boards and not a pentium 4, the p4's after socket 432 willamette generation might not run a 2.2 or early 2.4 kernel. Socket 478 gained things like SATA and PCIe so its a crap shoot. Pentium 2/3 is a guarantee.

    *Nvidia hardware 3D support does not appear to be supported on 2.2 kernels. I checked the README for the oldest Linux Driver and 2.4 and 2.6 kernels were mentioned. Have a look here: http://www.nvidia.com/object/linux-display-ia32-71.86.15-driver.html [nvidia.com] and check the hardware issues section in the README!

    Have fun kickin it old school.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      some newer hw has modes for emulating older crap. like sata as ide, onboard sound as sb..(plenty of stuff from the 2000-2010 era iirc do this)

    • by toddestan (632714)

      I think I've got at least one of everything you mentioned laying around.

      If power consumption is a concern, I would try for an early Coppermine P3 processor. These usually have the 'E" suffix, such as the 600EB. These processors usually used less than 20W, which was pretty good compared to the P2 which were more like 45W chips.

      If you get your hands on a Dell Optilex or XPS from this era, these are generally good, solid machines but keep mind that the while the motherboards use the ATX power connector, the

      • by LoRdTAW (99712)

        I had shelves of that P2/3 stuff. Threw a lot of it out as giving it away or selling it was a non starter. Pained me to do so but being a pack rat isn't an option anymore.

        Though I did keep a lot of my more interesting hardware: Dual Pentium 233 on an Tyan
        Tomcat IVD w/128MB EDO RAM, Abit BP6 w/dual Celeron 333's OC'd to 450 MHz and 768MB RAM. And my First real PC, a Micron 486DX2 66 w 16MB RAM. I replaced the 486 Motherboard with the Tyan Tomcat but I still have the 486 Board with a pentium overdrive and the

  • by elgatozorbas (783538) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @02:24PM (#47327197)
    This is the type of stuff I used to find cool and tinker with 10 years ago. Nowadays, I value my time (a bit) more and prefer to dedicate it to other, more useful projects. Why waste time trying to run an old version of an OS that has been improved over the years? Processing power and RAM are dirt cheap. Even the small systems, like the raspberry pi support modern distros. It was cool to struggle with a slackware installation 10 years ago and succeed. Given enough effort and time, it can also be done on recent hardware but what does it prove? I would prefer to start a more useful and challenging project.
  • Delete it. If you haven't used it for years you never will. You're only buying yourself a mountain of lost time trying to recover and look at the same files you probably already elsewhere. Instead focus on how to stop creating the problem in the future. You've already taught yourself the lesson the hard way that there is such a thing as too many backups, at least when making them all over the place inconsistently and without scope.

    Get a CM for your notes and miscellaneous cstuff. Wikimedia works great for

  • by Arkan (24212) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @04:05PM (#47328063)

    "Ask Slashdot" from someone confortable enough using Linux in 2001 for productive work and not knowing that a Raspberry Pi or a "mini USB PC" are not running on the same architecture as the PC from 2001?

    How low have we stooped?

  • I have all those games (except tribes... don't have linux tribes) plus a few extra like Railroad Tycoon 2 and Neverwinter Nights running native and great on my Athlon 64 X2 6000+ on Debian Jessie 64-bit. There are a few howtos to get the old libraries you need. Then to run them for best compatibility, have them run on 1 cpu with the frequency locked to something like 1ghz. Runs great, runs native. The only downside from the windows versions is you don't get EAX effects.

    If you want to run the old software

  • try to make it happen...

    if you're not motivated enough after an "Ask Slashdot" then maybe you're over the whole "i can do teh Linuxes" phase

  • There are several Linux distros that are current that will run on old 386 pCs.. I don't know if Pi can do what you seek to do without add-ons etc..
  • 1. It's not as good as you remember. We actually have made progress in the last 10-20 years.

    2. You'll have to try old, legacy software once to believe (1). Been there, done that :-)

    3. Life is too short: throw it away...

  • Dunno about the rest of it, but I'd love to take the CorelDraw for linux off your hands, box, manuals, and all!

    The truth is, I can't live without the included PhotoPaint, and I prefer the older versions (I use v8 on Windows).

Put your Nose to the Grindstone! -- Amalgamated Plastic Surgeons and Toolmakers, Ltd.

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