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I would like some assistance in a decision please.
I have 2 pc's. 1 decent and 1 is a bit oldish. I also have cable net. I currently connect both pc's through a cable router and they are NOT networked together, but can be on the net individually of each other.
My problem is this;
old pc consists of - Celeron 400, 192 mbRAM, 6gb HDD, onboard sound and graphics, 14in monitor + the standard stuff (kb, mouse etc). It is essentially a Compaq Presario 5346. I also have Win XP Pro on it!
The thing runs like a dog. The net is cable but it is soooo slow. I am guessing it is because i am using XP Pro on an old pc. What I want to know is, can i use a free linux on that pc instead? Will it make a difference in the speed of the net? All I want to do with it is use it for the kids (little) so they can play on the net. At the moment, the site they go to (barbie) runs slow and it makes the games they play there impossible to play.
I do not (at this stage), have any need for the 2 pc's to be networked together, just for them to be using the cable router to access the net (my better pc will be staying with windows for the moment sorry guys) .
The cable router is a Netcomm NB2800

I well configured linux will run better on that machine than XP Pro, no question. You could very easily set up a system what would be able to run a browser such as Mozilla and go to any of the web pages and should run better than XP.

What I would recommend doing is picking something like Mandrake where you can limit the amount of stuff thats installed. You aren't going to need a whole lot.

I would definitely recommend using at most 9.2 and maybe as far back as 7.2 so you don't over tax that machine. Any of these versions can be downloaded from the net.


The only issue with going back is you might run into some compatibality things. I guess my final recommendation is to try 9.2 or 8.2, and if those are still sluggish try 7.2.

You could also give something like knoppix a shot before you go installing it all and get a feal for what its going to be like.

Get Knoppix

Knoppix is a live distro, that means you can just put the CD in and run it with out installing anything. This will give you an idea of what linux will feel like on your system and how compatible your system is going to be right out of the box. The way knoppix will run will be similar to the newer versions of Mandrake.

To get knoppix up and running, make sure you use the boot command
knoppix lang=us
to get a us keyboard, it will be the first prompt you get when the cd boots.

Try that, and good luck.
Actually, mandrake makes a single CD boot product called Mandrake Move. You can try that first. Remember that it will be a little slow because it is using the CDROM like a hard drive (ie loading programs off it, etc.)...but you can see if Mandrake is going to work on this machine.

You can get mandrake move here:

Here is info about Mandrake Move:

I don't recommend this for an everyday Linux solution, but it should be OK to see what linux does on your machine.
Sorry, but I can almost guarentee bad results on your machine.

A 400mhz machine with onboard video will be unable to handle Gnome/KDE (or at the very least it will run horribly slow).

If you have a 16mb video card you could throw in, that would solve that though. You could probally pick up one from a computer store in your town for around $20-$30

Also, I doubt that Windows is the cause of your slow net connection.

You should try the following:

1) Visit
2) Search for Avast
3) Download it, install, get the free registration key, and do the boot time scan it offers.
4) After reboot, go back to
5) Search for ad aware
6) Install, see if there are any updates, run it.
7) After removing all spyware, you'll probally need to restart (to remove any that was running, and thus was unable to be removed)
8) Next, go to System Tools - Disk Defrag
9) Run that, it WILL take some time.

This is a much more elegant and time efficant solution than linux, and is quite simple. (Alot of steps, yes, but these programs do all the work for you).

This should not only speed up your net connection, but your entire system.

If you still notice a slow connection after that, call the cable company and have them come out. Those cheap bastards might have tried to use old existing wire in the house like they did for me. If you ask them, they'll usually replace it for free though.
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