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Linuxhelp _ Life after Windoze _ REALLY REALLY old system

Posted by: kmclaughlin Oct 6 2006, 08:38 PM

Hi All! This is my first post! Yay!

So I recently got ahold of a REALLY old system. It's a Compaq - intel 486, 16mb ram, 214mb hdd. Obviously garbage, but I have a strange desire to make it do something. I'm fairly comfortable with Linux, but I'm not very comfortable working with systems that were built 15 years ago.

Anyhow, what I'd like to do is put some distribution of Linux on this machine. I'm sure that such a thing exists, just not sure where to look. I don't have a CD-ROM, or access to the net, however, I may pick up an old ISA NIC if I can find one for under a couple bucks. Also, havign a GUI is not essential. I would prefer it in the case that it'd be possible to run a GUI without completely draining all of the system resources. Since I find that to be fairly unlikely, I'm fine with working on the command line.

Also, as a side question - does anyone have any idea if there are configurable BIOS settings? I tried mashing the keyboard, but with no success.

Posted by: michaelk Oct 6 2006, 10:37 PM

You can look at distrowatch.com and look for older, lowmem distributions.
zipslack will work.

ISA 3Com or Realtek NE2000 cards should be fairly easy to come by and easy to setup.

There should be a way to get to the BIOS configuration menu. Try F10 key

Posted by: g33k Oct 7 2006, 08:33 AM

In some systems F2 or DEL will get you into the BIOS settings smile.gif

Posted by: DS2K3 Oct 7 2006, 09:34 AM

F8 sometimes does it too - Might i suggest that you send an email to Compaq? I'm sure they'd LOVE to answer any questions that you have about this computer

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