Old computers

why I use Ubuntu

Linux allows you to use old hardware with a current, relatively secure operating system and the usual applications. I’ve put Ubuntu 9.04 on the Linux partition of my old Dell laptop mainly because of the Network Manager that has appeared in Ubuntu since 8.10. Networking Just Works with a range of WiFi cards and, importantly for me, G3 data modems over which I’m posting this. The Netgear USB WiFi adapter seems to be very slow on the laptop (works fine on desktop).

I originally installed Xubuntu on the Dell over the previous Debian Etch installation and found sluggish performance and a lot of hard drive activity compared to Debian with XCFE. After some discussion on the Ubuntu support forums, I added lxde as the window manager and that change cut the fresh boot RAM use from 130Mb to around 70Mb, so much less swapping. With 384Mb or 512Mb, Xubuntu becomes much nicer, but laptops of this age have a maximum RAM of 256 Mb usually. The fans work properly, and hibernate to swap partition works, but I need to load an applet to trigger the hibernation when I close the lid.

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.