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I'd go with Damn Small Linux. Though the project is no longer supported, that hardly matters for most users. You can still get help on it from forums if needed ...
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  1. #11
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    I'd go with Damn Small Linux. Though the project is no longer supported, that hardly matters for most users. You can still get help on it from forums if needed and there are many users. DSL fulfills all the uses for the computer and its devices that you mention.

    I've also run older releases of Puppy on 64M machines (128M wasn't required until v 3.x), Beatrix (dead project), and SliTaz. Of these I'd recommend DSL for a machine as old as that you mention.

    Good luck, whatever you decide to go with. Old machines can be fun to take back to a usable state!

  2. #12
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    No...and maybe.

    So to be clear, your CDROM drive doesn't work, and you are or are not able to boot from a USB?
    My CDROM drive doesn't work. I'm not quite sure about the USB thing, though. I'm currently attempting to install GRUB4DOS because my 14-year old BIOS doesn't even have a boot menu. After I get GRUB4DOS to work, then I'll try a USB drive.

    I'll update you when I know more.

    howardfci- I would like to try DSL, but the whole project isn't supported any more (the web site's down) and there's no forum, wiki, etc for it. But if anyone here knows the precise sys. reqs, a simple overall review of it, and where to download the latest version, I would probably do a liveCD on another computer.
    Last edited by Thecovester; 11-17-2010 at 11:50 PM.

  3. #13
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    DSL web site was available to me on 10/17/10 at 11:30pm cst

    >>>>> I would like to try DSL, but the whole project isn't supported any more (the web site's down) and there's no forum, wiki, etc for it.

    Could these have been temporarily down?

    I just accessed the website (DSL information) and the wiki (Main Page - DSL Wiki) without any problem. Everything is still accessible.

    I just downloaded the DSL iso from the download page at the DSL web site (Index of /pub/linux/distributions/damnsmall/current).

    The DSL Forum messages (Damn Small Linux Board) are still readable -- but the last message I see listed is from the summer. So the forum is not active, and you'd have to ask DSL questions on other Linux forums (like here).

    My understanding is that the project is dead in the sense that the product is no longer being either updated or developed. But its web site is still available.

    The reason I recommend DSL is if you have 14 year old machine, you might need its older components. Some newer distros may not run on your older equipment.

    For example, the DSL offers the SYSLINUX boot loader, instead of just ISOLINUX, and it uses the the older 2.4 kernel, instead of the newer 2.6. Sometimes you need these older components for older P-I and early P-II machines.... but it all depends on your particular computer.

    Hope this might prove helpful. Best of luck!

  4. #14
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    Oops, make that

    "DSL web site was available to me on 11/17/10 at 11:30pm cst"

    not

    "DSL web site was available to me on 10/17/10 at 11:30pm cst"

    Sorry.

  5. #15
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    Lol you are right... I'll look into DSL. I'm glad the website's up and running (I heard somebody say it was just maintenance, but I also heard people say it was "outdated" and "not supported") and I'll definitely try it.

  6. #16
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    By all means check it out, but I would still rather go with a maintained distro which continues to get security updates if at all possible.

    Regardless of which direction you go, you might want to browse through this blog. The author mostly uses Arch and Crux, but has a lot of tips on running linux on underpowered machines.

  7. #17
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    Ok.
    Thanks to everyone for the suggestions- I have GRUB4DOS working now and I'm going to attempt to try a couple distros now. Also, I heard that DSL can actually run in Windows. I'll look into that. Again, thanks for the help.

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