[Smaug] Fedora 12 Beta now available

Peter Belew abcruzww at gmail.com
Thu Oct 29 11:39:04 PST 2009

Yes ... scrolling down ...

On Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 6:30 PM, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:
> Quoting Peter Belew (abcruzww at gmail.com):
>> I have 3 i686-class machines - an Averatec laptop with a Sempron CPU,
>> a Dell server/workstation system with a Pentium 4 CPU (2.26GHz), and a
>> gBox 'lunchbox' computer with a 1.7 gHz Celeron. The gBox is a triple
>> boot among XP, Ubuntu 9.04, and FreeBSD 7.1.
> I note without objection that the previous thread concerned machines
> _earlier_ than i686.
> There are three main consequences to that type of CPU:  (1) The machines
> are getting fragile (esp. moving parts like fans and HDs), and parts are
> now in many cases specialty items, i.e., older and slower RAM tends to
> be _more_ expensive per meg than newer and faster RAM.  (2) If your CPU
> is earlier than _i586_-class, you end up having compatibility problems
> with some distros (mostly, installation kernels) that are compiled with
> Pentium optimisation.  (3) The machines tend to have and max out at
> pretty small amounts of RAM, making life difficult using Linux other
> than in limited roles.

Yes, these old machines are fragile, the disks that came with them or
were put together with them in home-built systems are wearing out,
> Note that those concerns, other than #2 (the 586-compilation one), don't
> actually centre around the CPU itself, but rather broader system
> consequences.
>> Then there are 2 systems with 800 mHz VIA CPUs. They are quite
>> adequate for web surfing not requiring much high-bandwidth multimedia
>> usage. One of these just has Ubuntu 9.04 on it, the other has FreeBSD
>> 7.2 and Ubuntu 9.10 on it (updated through today, so basically equal
>> to today's release).
> I notice you don't mention the amount of RAM, which in my experience is
> a more-significant factor.  But, in any event, your _800 MHz_ VIA CPU
> is hardly a pre-686 processor.  Some of the much earlier VIA CPUs such as
> the "Samuel", from just after they acquired Cyrix, lacked i686's cmov
> instructions and yet tended to get autorecognised by distro installers
> as i686-class, thus causing errors when attempting to run i686-compiled
> kernels.

 These are actually "Samuel" CPUs, so there is a problem with some
distros, which as you say seem to try to run i686 kernels or other
programs and crash - I've seen that happen. Staying with generic 386
or 486 kernels works generally. But then there are sometimes some
display issues ...
>> Then there are 3 old systems with 400 MHz AMD CPUs, mainly serving as
>> backup file servers. Two run Ubutu 8.04.3 LTS, the third runs an
>> earlier version with no X. One of the LTS systems dual-boots into
>> FreeBSD 7.1, and serves as a backup for some very old files, mirrored
>> on the 2 separate disks with the 2 OSes.
> Again, you didn't mention the amount of RAM, which in my experience is
> far more important.  However, saying "400 MHz" suggests a K6-class CPU,
> which again isn't pre-i686.

I think most of these system have 512MB of RAM.
> It seems a shame, by the way, to not use those machines in a more full
> role, RAM permitting.  With a less bloated graphical environment than
> (say) GNOME or KDE, and a competently sparse runtime configuration
> (Icewm or Blackbox, virtual terminals pared down to what's actually
> needed, etc.), that class of machine should make a good desktop system.
Actually, since I rarely use the 400 mhz systems with the GUI, it's
not a big problem - I just have XFCE or Gnome for the occasional GUI
config program.

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> Smaug home page: http://www.scruz.org/

It's completely normal that you lose data on "Windows" platforms.
That's why you have a UNIX or Linux or BSD server for backups.

SMAUG: http://scruz.org/
My Web:http://littlegreenmen.armory.com/~peterbe/
UBUNTU 9.10 29 Oct '09 http://www.ubuntu.com/

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