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Uses for old Computer

Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
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October 23, 2011 7:50:17 PM

I have an old computer and I am not sure of what to do with it.

Specs:
Intel Pentium4 @2.4Ghz (dual core)
Nvidia GeForce4 MX 420
256MB RAM
120GB HDD

i was thinking of running xubuntu, will it work well?
what are some other uses?
additional thoughts:
  • media computer
  • network computer (that holds shared files on the network)
  • selling?

    if you need any more info just ask
  • More about : computer

    October 23, 2011 8:00:42 PM

    Difficult to say for sure, but there's an easy way to find out. Try it and see - you have the hardware and only you can decide what is acceptable performance for your needs.

    Personally, I would put a 1 or 2 TB hard disk in it, install FreeBSD, and use it as network storage. (FreeNAS will do this for you.)
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    October 23, 2011 8:16:36 PM

    i was also wondering if it could serve as a netflix (or other movie) computer and conect it to my TV. how would 720/1080p movies work on here?
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    October 23, 2011 8:17:16 PM

    Ijack said:
    Difficult to say for sure, but there's an easy way to find out. Try it and see - you have the hardware and only you can decide what is acceptable performance for your needs.

    Personally, I would put a 1 or 2 TB hard disk in it, install FreeBSD, and use it as network storage. (FreeNAS will do this for you.)


    and will the computer be speedy enough to do this?
    how difficult is this to setup?
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    October 23, 2011 8:59:27 PM

    The only way to know if the computer is speedy enough is to try it and see. FreeBSD is not very demanding and I believe that FreeNAS is pretty simple to install. All these things are free, so have a play and see which works best for you.
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    October 23, 2011 9:17:33 PM

    well i just installed xubuntu, not done yet, but i read that it makes a old computer useable, is there a way to do this on xubuntu?
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    October 23, 2011 11:39:39 PM

    Pentium 4 1.4Ghz? (dual-core)?

    No such CPU exisists.

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    October 24, 2011 12:03:31 AM

    amdfangirl said:
    Pentium 4 1.4Ghz? (dual-core)?

    No such CPU exisists.


    2.4Ghz.... sorry about that
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    October 24, 2011 12:23:34 AM

    Personally I prefer LXDE over XFCE, but that's just preference. Either should run just fine on a rig with those specs.

    I would also do what iJacks suggested if it were up to me.
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    October 24, 2011 12:30:45 AM

    Xubuntu is a pretty solid choice. Might be a better OS to learn the Linux from.
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    October 24, 2011 12:34:16 AM

    o well i was just about done with the installation, and then i got an error (i think it was error 5 {thats probably wrong}) and it froze and nothing could be done, it said it was a disk error (it was not clean) but i did a disk check before..... any help?
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    October 24, 2011 12:51:03 AM

    Burn the CD at a really slow speed and check the MD5 checksum?
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    October 24, 2011 12:55:23 AM

    amdfangirl said:
    Burn the CD at a really slow speed and check the MD5 checksum?


    so set it to like 4x?
    (it was at 24x)
    wats md5 checksum?
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    October 24, 2011 12:57:05 AM

    Pyroflea said:
    Personally I prefer LXDE over XFCE, but that's just preference. Either should run just fine on a rig with those specs.

    I would also do what iJacks suggested if it were up to me.


    k i have no idea wat you are talking about

    theproblem with ijack's suggestion is that i dont want to spend the $60 on a terrible computer.
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    October 24, 2011 1:27:02 AM

    nnaatthhaannx2 said:
    so set it to like 4x?
    (it was at 24x)
    wats md5 checksum?


    It's a code avalible on the download website to make sure that the download is not corrupted.

    If you wish you could make a LiveUSB.
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    October 24, 2011 2:08:16 AM

    amdfangirl said:
    It's a code avalible on the download website to make sure that the download is not corrupted.

    If you wish you could make a LiveUSB.


    can i just try again by deleting all the files on my hard drive, or is it more complicated than that?
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    October 24, 2011 6:30:55 AM

    $60 may sound a lot to spend on an old computer; on the other hand, it's pretty cheap for a 1TB NAS device. But you don't have to spend anything, just use the original disk for less storage.
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    Best solution

    October 24, 2011 2:22:28 PM

    My observations:

    1. It will not like HD video and no HDMI out.
    2. It has limited ram
    3. As a file server the P4 chip will eat electricity. (it's just gone up 15% per kWh here!)

    Suggestions:

    1. Run Puppy, Slax or DSL and it's a perfectly workable desktop
    2. For any of the Ubuntu derivatives try and find at least another 256mb of ram.
    3. It could make an audio PC using to play your MP3's etc. Disk is big enough and you're not likely to worry about an old PC if you have a party or friends want to play DJ. Old sound blaster card would improve over the on-board efforts.

    For what it's worth I'm picking up a similar box this week as payment for helping a friend move house. It's going to get 2Gb of old ram I have and a DVD RW drive and replace my brothers somewhat sick EeePC 701. The extra core and 1.5Ghz speed boost will see him right for another year or so.

    Share
    October 25, 2011 12:13:23 AM

    Yeh, I have a P4 box running Fedora 15 LXDE which works quite well doing the inventory for the sewing machines we fix.
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    October 25, 2011 4:01:07 AM

    amdfangirl said:
    Yeh, I have a P4 box running Fedora 15 LXDE which works quite well doing the inventory for the sewing machines we fix.


    Would this be the appropriate time to make a sexist joke? :D 
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    October 25, 2011 10:24:07 PM

    Pyroflea said:
    Would this be the appropriate time to make a sexist joke? :D 


    no
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    October 25, 2011 10:24:54 PM

    amdfangirl said:
    Yeh, I have a P4 box running Fedora 15 LXDE which works quite well doing the inventory for the sewing machines we fix.


    with how much ram?
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    October 25, 2011 10:26:04 PM

    audiovoodoo said:
    My observations:

    1. It will not like HD video and no HDMI out.
    2. It has limited ram
    3. As a file server the P4 chip will eat electricity. (it's just gone up 15% per kWh here!)

    Suggestions:

    1. Run Puppy, Slax or DSL and it's a perfectly workable desktop
    2. For any of the Ubuntu derivatives try and find at least another 256mb of ram.
    3. It could make an audio PC using to play your MP3's etc. Disk is big enough and you're not likely to worry about an old PC if you have a party or friends want to play DJ. Old sound blaster card would improve over the on-board efforts.

    For what it's worth I'm picking up a similar box this week as payment for helping a friend move house. It's going to get 2Gb of old ram I have and a DVD RW drive and replace my brothers somewhat sick EeePC 701. The extra core and 1.5Ghz speed boost will see him right for another year or so.


    for puppy os, do i have to have a clean new disk (CD), or can i use an old one with deleted data?
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    October 26, 2011 1:00:09 AM

    nnaatthhaannx2 said:
    with how much ram?


    I use 1GiB but the min requirement is 640MiB because of a glitch in the system requirements. It only uses 100MiB idle and 200-300MiB in use.

    Lubuntu does not have this problem, needing only 384MiB, idling at 70MiB.
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    October 29, 2011 1:14:50 AM

    I know a guy that has a computer with similar specs. He uses his as a
    astericks server / DHCP server / PPPoE conection.

    He uses Cent OS with X-windows not running so it is just terminal. I forget which version though.
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    October 29, 2011 1:37:15 AM

    I'd suggest upping the RAM to 512MB, keep wxisting hdd, install antiX-M55-i686; partition
    / ext4 8GB, /home ext4 100+ GB, swap 1GB.

    Run smxi and install liquorix kernel

    have fun!
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    October 29, 2011 1:44:50 AM

    chamaecyparis said:
    I'd suggest upping the RAM to 512MB, keep wxisting hdd, install antiX-M55-i686; partition
    / ext4 8GB, /home ext4 100+ GB, swap 1GB.

    Run smxi and install liquorix kernel

    have fun!


    whats your best suggestion for current RAM?
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    October 29, 2011 2:15:43 PM

    Q:
    nnaatthhaannx2 said:
    whats your best suggestion for current RAM?


    A: . . . to create a swap file

    After install of the distro (BTW, I must have been thinking of the Toyo tires on my 4WD when I said 'M55' as it should have been M11), I'd suggest downloading and installing your favorite text editor if you do not like to use vi -- for ex.
    Midnight Commander
    1. sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install mc
    before having to append the /etc/fstab with
    1. /swapfile1 swap swap defaults 0 0
    [see e) referred to in link above].

    Then all that needs be done is to enter the command
    1. sudo mcedit /etc/fstab
    then append.

    A 512MB swap file should be plenty, so just follow the example in link.

    Best wishes!
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    October 29, 2011 3:49:02 PM

    nnaatthhaannx2 said:
    for puppy os, do i have to have a clean new disk (CD), or can i use an old one with deleted data?


    Puppy can save to a file on an existing file system or you can install it as a full OS (disc wiped) so the answer is either way is fine.
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    October 29, 2011 3:55:55 PM

    Oh, forgot to ask if you are in the UK? I might have 2x 128Mb DDR2 DIMM's I could post you if that would help.

    [off topic]
    Just in case anybody knows... I got given an old HP SFF box but the BIOS is locked down and even after doing the battery trick it's still asking me for a BIOS password (I can boot OK but I want to tweak a few things). Is there a clear switch on the old HP hardware at all or do people think flashing the BIOS is my best option?[/off topic]
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    October 29, 2011 10:50:23 PM

    audiovoodoo said:

    [off topic]
    Just in case anybody knows... I got given an old HP SFF box but the BIOS is locked down and even after doing the battery trick it's still asking me for a BIOS password (I can boot OK but I want to tweak a few things). Is there a clear switch on the old HP hardware at all or do people think flashing the BIOS is my best option?[/off topic]


    Have you tried those BIOS PW defaults you can find on the internet?
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    October 30, 2011 3:35:21 AM

    amdfangirl said:
    Have you tried those BIOS PW defaults you can find on the internet?


    Like here, do you mean?
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    October 30, 2011 5:24:13 AM

    chamaecyparis said:
    Like here, do you mean?


    Psk, you are supposed to make people Google, not do it for them ;) .
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    October 30, 2011 2:03:04 PM

    Best answer selected by nnaatthhaannx2.
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    October 30, 2011 2:51:49 PM

    amdfangirl said:
    Psk, you are supposed to make people Google, not do it for them ;) .


    Errr... What's google and how can I get IDM to work?? :p 

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    October 30, 2011 7:42:25 PM

    audiovoodoo said:
    Errr... What's google and how can I get IDM to work?? :p 


    LOL -- luv ur srcasm!

    BTW -- set up a friend, who has a similar SFF IBM, with Swift Linux -- check it out, audiovoodoo!
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    October 31, 2011 12:01:20 PM

    I'll have a look (see my rant in another thread about Fedora!) along with Mint. It looks like the field has changed a bit since I last played with Linux in any depth.
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    October 31, 2011 12:39:03 PM

    audiovoodoo said:
    Errr... What's google and how can I get IDM to work?? :p 


    It is now a sticky.

    Anyone caught posting another one of those threads will have their thread removed.

    audiovoodoo said:
    I'll have a look (see my rant in another thread about Fedora!) along with Mint. It looks like the field has changed a bit since I last played with Linux in any depth.


    Mint is really the best direction for beginner Linux.
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    !