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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:13 pm | Post subject: What can I do with a 166MHz Pentium and 16MB of RAM?
 
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I'll start by saying I'm new to the forum. Hi. I apologize in advance if this is in the wrong section, it involves both software and hardware.

I helped someone recover data from an old computer that he basically ran his entire company on for 20-something years, and walked away with a hundred bucks and said computer, which still works. Good caps. It's old and obviously I won't be running KDE 5 on it but that just means getting it to do something useful or cool in 2017 would be more rewarding. But there's just one problem! I have no floppies, and it doesn't have a floppy drive on it anyway. Here's what I have to work with instead:

Several IDE hard drives that are much bigger
Blank DVDs (kinda useless for this though)
A Pentium 4 box (2.8 GHz CPU, 2GB RAM, both SATA and IDE ports, 3Gbps 128GB SSD, running Mac OS X Snow Leopard by some miracle)
My laptop (2.3GHz i3-2350M, 8GB DDR3 1600MHz, 480GB SSD, macOS Sierra)

Also, would a heavily optimized Gentoo work on it? I'm not much of a Windows fan, and having a dedicated Quake machine doesn't sound interesting. I think I could at least run cmus, nano and clang on it to compile small programs and listen to music. I can buy a Linux-compatible USB card and a better sound card, and have a distraction free programming box

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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 6:47 pm | Post subject: Re: What can I do with a 166MHz Pentium and 16MB of RAM?
 
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It is up to you which software you will use.

You can install DOS 6.x or Windows 95 with RAM 16MB.
(Windows 98 can be installed but very slow.)

To know detailly, I recommend to ask to VCF
http://www.vcfed.org/forum/forumdisplay ... generation)

About Gentoo (Linux) :
https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Handbook:Main_Page


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 Post Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:17 am | Post subject: Re: What can I do with a 166MHz Pentium and 16MB of RAM?
 
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May I recommend Windows 95? It would be perfect for it, other than that, there's MS-DOS, like ibmpc5150 said, or there's the free, open source FreeDOS.
If it doesn't have a CD-ROM drive, I recommend getting a IDE controller card (if it doesn't have onboard IDE) and installing a CD drive, as the latter requires a CD.

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 Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:01 am | Post subject: Re: What can I do with a 166MHz Pentium and 16MB of RAM?
 
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Only as you said you're not really a Windows fan, however I've seen suggestions such as Puppy Linux with this sort of hardware.

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 Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:11 am | Post subject: Re: What can I do with a 166MHz Pentium and 16MB of RAM?
 
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Run a non-Linux old Unix. My favourite is NEXTSTEP.


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 Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:13 am | Post subject: Re: What can I do with a 166MHz Pentium and 16MB of RAM?
 
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There's not much you can do outside of Windows or DOS.

DOS 7.1 or 6.22 is my suggestion, but there are some early Linux distributions you could probably run. Maybe even Concurrent DOS or something odd like that.

Windows 95 / 98 / 98SE is the best bet for you, no matter how much you may dislike it. Otherwise, you'd be better off selling the computer and getting something more modern to actually run Linux, whatever your reasoning may be.


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 Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:50 pm | Post subject: Re: What can I do with a 166MHz Pentium and 16MB of RAM?
 
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ampharos wrote:
Run a non-Linux old Unix. My favourite is NEXTSTEP.


I do like screwing around with Apple things

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 Post Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:26 pm | Post subject: Re: What can I do with a 166MHz Pentium and 16MB of RAM?
 
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I'd rather upgrade the RAM on the computer that has 16Mb to at least 32Mb, 48Mb or 64Mb before doing anything else.

do a RAM hardware upgrade first. then run whatever OS you like.


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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:16 pm | Post subject: Re: What can I do with a 166MHz Pentium and 16MB of RAM?
 
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You could try screwing around with OS/2 Warp/Warp4, or you could try WindowsNT 3.x, or even Debian ≤3.X. As of software within the OS, you could use it for listening to MP3/WAV, or if it can't do that, a digital picture frame. Is it an Omnibook 800CT? Sorry, I ask everybody that when they say they have something with those specs.

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 Post Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:13 am | Post subject: Re: What can I do with a 166MHz Pentium and 16MB of RAM?
 
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Assuming you have a CD-ROM or CD-RW drive, you could do a lot worse than DSL (Damn Small Linux):
http://damnsmalllinux.org/

Runs as a live distro or installs to the hard drive as a low-spec version of Debian.


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