I have an old pc that i keep to play DOS games and to play mid files through an yamaha keboard.
my problem is that the anti virus are moving on from win 98 leaving me without much choice, I can either dual boot win XP (would never finishing loading) or install linux (ubuntu to be more specific).
it would need to connect to the net (through the network) to download the mid files and perhaps read a few e-mails and be able to tranfer the mid files to the win 98 (as its there that i have cakewalk installed).
processor: AMD K6-2 500mhz
MB: not sure but it has the SiS 8mb onboard video
network: offboard also not sure, but it has 2 usb ports.
hard drives: 40gb hd
optical: a new lg cd writer, and an old 52x cd reader
sound card: Sound Blaster 16
i know that without the details on the network card it would be hard to say but would it be possible to install ubuntu on this old timer? (driver-wise, and not be slower than win 98), or is there a better suited linux? (keep in mind that an average user that has never used linux, is the main user of this pc)
PS: is there any mid playback software on linux (like cakewalk)?
I used to run Ubuntu on the same CPU but with 1Gb of ram. Ram is going to be your issue here, the CPU while not quick will do. Ubuntu can run any of the available Window managers (it's a bit like win 3.1 on top of DOS, you can run other shells so to speak) so you would be OK with Ubuntu if you ran something like XFCE for the Window Manager. I've just re-installed Ubuntu 10.04 on a old eee pc with 512Mb of RAM and it runs OK. If you could find a little more memory it would help.
However I think what might work VERY well for you is this:
Now it's not been seeing much development in the last few years but it's designed for K5, low memory footprint and has all the music tools you're likely to need right out of the bag. It's also a Live CD so you can try it without installing it, just boot the CD.
I'd not normally recommend an old distro like this but if you are not planning on hooking to the net much and can live with knowing you have the odd security hole (what's the worst that could happen, you loose some Midi files!) then why not.