"Best" distro for a lower spec machine

Ian Molton spyro at f2s.com
Mon Jul 19 15:47:14 PDT 2004

On Mon, 19 Jul 2004 21:46:00 +0000
Bennett Todd <bet at rahul.net> wrote:

> Well, I loathe it. On a 1.8GHz P4 I use, 1GB RAM, startx w/ a
> simple .xinitrc of "true" takes over 5 seconds.

A large part of which is waiting for the video card to wake up /
initialise its shit in a graphics mode. its not CPUI wastage.

> Starting Mozilla
> one of the two GUI apps I'm occasionally forced to use, takes a
> while too, 4 seconds mozilla.

Starts in under a second on my 2.1GHz Athlon with 256MB of RAM over
NFS... but anyhow, thats MOZILLAS bloatage, not X's.

> Some years back, when it was current hot tech, a friend of mine ran
> a really great regional ISP, thousands of users, routinely 30-50
> logged on concurrently, on a 486DX2-66, running BSDI. That was a
> great system.

50 modems was probably about 150-200KB/second. a BBC micro could almost
keep up with that!
> I don't like GUIs much, they just slow me down, but when ya gotta
> run 'em, give 'em all the horsepower available, don't try and do 'em
> on ancient boxes.

You probably had a different technological upbringing... I came up from
the BBC micro through RISC OS, which was (and still is) the best gui I
have ever used.

> Yeah, there are X servers that can be wedged into handhelds,

Its called XFree86...

> but I don't _think_ handhelds run office suites on X, which is what
> the OP seemed to be planning on.

Its been done. a 400MHz XScale CPU (thats ARM) with no FPU can run OO
nicely enough.

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