Installing Linux on an old Thinkpad

racketboy

Member
I have an old Thinkpad sitting around my apartment and I had a thought pop into my head about turning it into a simple client machine that is a little more modernized that it is when running Win95.

Here's it's specs -- but it's been upgraded to 90MB of RAM: ($4600 retail price !!!
)

http://www5.pc.ibm.com/us/products.nsf/&#0...Lookup/_9546u9a

I know very little about Linux, but I was wondering if you could give me suggestions on what I could do with the machine.

I heard blackbox and fluxbox were good for window managers but I don't know what else would be a good fit.

I'm not expecting anything great, but if I could do basic tasks (maybe even web surfing -- with decent performance) and have support for stuff such as USB 2 and wireless networking, that would be great.

I was also thinking about it as a audio front end for a networked music collection.

Any other creative suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
 

Gaz_2_k

New Member
Originally posted by racketboy@May 19, 2003 @ 06:34 PM

Any other creative suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Fart on it!


WOOO! lets hear it for my lack of maturity


Sorry racketboy....i'm having a funny half hour!
 

racketboy

Member
Hey this is actually quite a nice machine even if it's a bit of a brick.

My wife thinks it's one of the best PCs she's worked on.

It's very sturdy.

It just need a modern OS running on it.

Serious recommendations please
 

IceDigger

Founder
Staff member
Go to linuxiso.org and download Knoppix. It doesnt require a hard drive to run it, just a cdrom drive


Its a nice distro too, but if you want something permanent try Xandros.com
 

racketboy

Member
Originally posted by Gaz_2_k@May 19, 2003 @ 07:05 PM

once again i'm sorry....and hey nice sig-pic!...when did you do/where did you get that?
no hard feelings


I made the sig myself.

I did it in Macromedia Freehand. I took a screenshot from JGR and modified an auto trace of Beat and customized it to my liking
 

racketboy

Member
Originally posted by IceMan2k@May 19, 2003 @ 07:08 PM

Go to linuxiso.org and download Knoppix. It doesnt require a hard drive to run it, just a cdrom drive


Its a nice distro too, but if you want something permanent try Xandros.com
are they pretty easy to set up and everything?

like I said, I haven't had much experience with Linux (nothing other than reading about it)
 

IceDigger

Founder
Staff member
There easy enough. Download Knoppix first, all you need to do is set the cdrom drive of the laptop to be set as the boot device and there ya go!
 

racketboy

Member
K I'm downloading Knoppix.

Am I going to be able to use *box as the window manager?

I'm not sure if I can boot from the CD on the thinkpad, but I'll give it a try.

while I'm on the subject of Linux, is there a way I can run Linux on a machine, be able to run and print from a DOS program and be hooked up to a network to access files and printers?
 

mtxblau

Mid Boss
http://www.thinkpads.com/

You may want to check in there (the forums) first before installing ANY version of Linux. Thinkpads are pickier than most - for instance, RH 7 can render a Thinkpad 600/E useless (aka fry it) because the drivers for the IR and serial ports will physically burn them out. Thankfully I learned that before making the costly mistake and used Mandrake instead - worked wonderfully.

If anything, you can ask there about the 760. There's quite a few people that've done it before (Bill Morrow is God).

You may want to also try here:

http://www.linux-laptop.net/

Although some of the stuff may be outdated. The config files are very handy, though.
 

racketboy

Member
Originally posted by IceMan2k@May 19, 2003 @ 07:34 PM

Sure
can you give me an example of a setup?

the reason I ask is my father-in-law does not want to give up his music-arrangement software in DOS.

but its a pain in but to have to switch parallel ports back and forth between his DOS box and his XP box.

I'm planning on putting in a network at their place, so having him run his stuff on a cheap, networked linux box would be helpful.
 

racketboy

Member
Originally posted by MTXBlau@May 19, 2003 @ 07:35 PM

http://www.thinkpads.com/

You may want to check in there (the forums) first before installing ANY version of Linux. Thinkpads are pickier than most - for instance, RH 7 can render a Thinkpad 600/E useless (aka fry it) because the drivers for the IR and serial ports will physically burn them out. Thankfully I learned that before making the costly mistake and used Mandrake instead - worked wonderfully.

If anything, you can ask there about the 760. There's quite a few people that've done it before (Bill Morrow is God).
Thanks -- I posted a msg there and hopefully I'll get some replies about compatibility.

More suggestions here are welcome
 

Tindo@heart

New Member
Ha, old thinkpad!
I've installed linux on an old 486/SL Thinkpad 350. It's only 25mhz and I have the maxium memory available, 20MB
4MB of RAM is built in.

I got it off ebay, and the guy sold me 2 for one.
So I used the largest HD of 210MB for a while, then got a 350MB.

I use a PCMCIA network card, parallel cable, or a serial cable for transfers. This makes installing almost all types of OSs possible. Of course the floppy
, since this model thinkpad doesn't have CDROM.

To only mention linux, I remember FreeBSD, Debian, and Redhat has been on it. FreeBSD was most fun. I guess because all I used was a floppy disk and then DL'd the rest from the net. It recognized the PCMCIA nic, connectd to the LAN that was sharing internet. very simple.

I've experimented with these little handy laptops for 2 years. One recently fried when I used a wrong power cord
and the other is a print server. Though not curently running linux. I might join you and reinstall linux on it.


The uses are up to your imagination.
 

Tindo@heart

New Member
Oh, BTW. I didn't use a ... aaa . damn, I can't remember the name
.. but i didn't use a graphical interface, or GUI like KDE or Gnome. Though I think I tried one on a redhat installation, and ran very slow.

BTW again, why do you want USB2.0 and wireless support? Does the laptop have it? or is it even possible to ugrade to USB 2.0? I'm sure wireless networking is not a problem.
 

Tindo@heart

New Member
really? I didn't know they made USB 2.0 PCMCIA card? I doubt they have the same throughput as onboard or PCI card though, right?
 

ExCyber

Staff member
As for the specs of that laptop, I have but one thing to say: Mwave! Eww, gross!

For a GUI, I had a good experience using a simple FVWM2 setup on my old machine that was weaker than that Thinkpad. For web browsing to be snappy you may have to resort to Lynx or Links, though Netscape Navigator 3.x or 4.x and Mozilla's Phoenix/Firebird browser are probably worth a shot also.

can you give me an example of a setup?
Dos apps can be run with a suitable Bochs setup, or with DOSEmu if it still works with modern Linux versions. Windows-compatible networking services (both client and server)are provided by the Samba project.

I didn't know they made USB 2.0 PCMCIA card? I doubt they have the same throughput as onboard or PCI card though, right?
If my numbers are right, modern PC Card (no, not CardBus) has roughly 10 times the throughput of high speed USB 2.0.
 

racketboy

Member
Originally posted by ExCyber@May 20, 2003 @ 01:00 PM

As for the specs of that laptop, I have but one thing to say: Mwave! Eww, gross!

can you give me an example of a setup?
Dos apps can be run with a suitable Bochs setup, or with DOSEmu if it still works with modern Linux versions. Windows-compatible networking services (both client and server)are provided by the Samba project.

Yeah I know, I'm not much for the Mwave either.

About the DOS thing, are you still able to print from DOS programs like you're running it native?
 

racketboy

Member
Originally posted by MTXBlau@May 19, 2003 @ 07:35 PM

http://www.thinkpads.com/

You may want to check in there (the forums) first before installing ANY version of Linux. Thinkpads are pickier than most - for instance, RH 7 can render a Thinkpad 600/E useless (aka fry it) because the drivers for the IR and serial ports will physically burn them out. Thankfully I learned that before making the costly mistake and used Mandrake instead - worked wonderfully.
Well it's been over a day and nobody has gotten back with me.

I'm a little paranoid now that I'm gonna screw something up
 
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