Rediculously old laptop challenge

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Rediculously old laptop challenge

Postby Scotti » 2005-11-11 00:15

Hey all,

I have this super duper old IBM thinkpad and I was wondering if anyone had any ideas as to if I could get some sort of Debian, or any Linux for the matter, on it.

When I boot it up it has Windows 3.1 on it. Ya, it's that old. I think it's a 9" display, 4Mb RAM (if that), and I don't know about the hard drive. For inputs there is only a couple audio ports, a PS/2 port, video out (for external monitor), serial port and parrellel port. For data transfer there is only a 1.44Mb floppy drive! This thing has no USB, no RJ-45, and no CD-rom!

Is it just an old and dirty paper weight? Or can I get some penguin action on there somehow?
Scotti
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Re: Rediculously old laptop challenge

Postby geoffb » 2005-11-11 01:25

dren wrote:Hey all,

I have this super duper old IBM thinkpad and I was wondering if anyone had any ideas as to if I could get some sort of Debian, or any Linux for the matter, on it.

When I boot it up it has Windows 3.1 on it. Ya, it's that old. I think it's a 9" display, 4Mb RAM (if that), and I don't know about the hard drive. For inputs there is only a couple audio ports, a PS/2 port, video out (for external monitor), serial port and parrellel port. For data transfer there is only a 1.44Mb floppy drive! This thing has no USB, no RJ-45, and no CD-rom!

Is it just an old and dirty paper weight? Or can I get some penguin action on there somehow?

Anything's possible. I guarantee you can get Debian on there somehow.
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Postby Scotti » 2005-11-11 01:31

Hehe ya, I just read that post and then decided to make this one.

The only ways I can think of is if I had an external CD-Rom with a USB to serial adaptor, or got Debian on floppy! I don't even want to figure out how many floppy disks that would be.

Actually now that I think about it, the BIOS setup screens are really old school. I think they are like this Windows 3.1 graphical setup. I don't know if the thing even has the brains support a CD-Rom drive if it had one hooked up to it.
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Postby geoffb » 2005-11-11 01:43

dren wrote:Hehe ya, I just read that post and then decided to make this one.

The only ways I can think of is if I had an external CD-Rom with a USB to serial adaptor, or got Debian on floppy! I don't even want to figure out how many floppy disks that would be.

Actually now that I think about it, the BIOS setup screens are really old school. I think they are like this Windows 3.1 graphical setup. I don't know if the thing even has the brains support a CD-Rom drive if it had one hooked up to it.

What about networking to a computer with a CD-ROM/Internet access through the parallel port?
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Postby Scotti » 2005-11-11 06:29

Wow it's actually not a bad little machine. I booted it up and I found out more on the specs:

Microprocessor: SL Enhanced Intel486
Clock Frequency: 25/50/MHz
Memory: 3712Mb
Hard disk: 172Mb
Disk drive: 1.44Mb
LCD: 9.5" color

I should try and find the Doom shareware and try it out LoL.

I'm searching around for some Linux distro's on floppy. I found this page. Under the "small distros" there are some floppy linux projects, and some dead projects. There is a couple based on Debian but their projects seem to be abandoned. I'll see what I can do with any of these.

I guess the thing is is that I need some USB to serial adaptor. With USB I could hook up an external CD-rom and even get an RJ-45 connection going. I have a Linksys ethernet to USB adaptor.
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Postby anon » 2005-11-11 08:28

You're going to have a hard time doing anyhing useful with so little memory. The oldest debian installer i can find is boo and that needs atleast 4megs. Just fitting the kernel is going to be a problem since it can't be swapped out. The smallest maintained distro I know is http://www.minimalinux.org/ttylinux/showpage.php?pid=1 and even that seems to be out of bounds (although I really dont see why, if you could compile a really minimalistic kernel yourself and set it all up ready to boot, on another system). The single floppy distros that I know of uses a compressed filesystem and needs even more ram.
anon
 

Postby Scotti » 2005-11-11 17:11

Ya true. I was messing around for a while last night. I found floppix, a single floppy distro based on Debian, but it requires 16Mb memory.

Meh, dosen't really matter. I was just wondering if it could be done. I'm sure it could be I've got better things to do, like search for a job. :?
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Postby anon » 2005-11-11 17:49

http://www.selenic.com/linux-tiny/ claims to be able to boot a system with as little as 2megs?
anon
 

Postby Guest » 2005-11-12 10:15

You could get yourself a nice disk of FreeDOS and feed it the nice (but abandoned) GreyCat distro. I got that one working with PCMCIA support (by using slack 3.5 modules and tools).

-Roel
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Damn Small Linux on old Thinkpad

Postby buelligan » 2005-11-24 01:18

A couple of things you might try:

Go to www4allmemory.com to see if you can max out the memory in your machine for a reasonable price.

Go to the Damn Small Linux website user forum and see what others have done.
Hope this helps,
Buelligan[/url]
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