Yesterday I was given a battered 14 year old Laptop: 196Mb
RAM, 5GB hard disk and a Pentium II CPU. This hadn’t even been powered up for the last five years, but actually started fine and booted into Windows 98. The stipulation was that I had to do a military grade wipe of the hard drive leaving me with a completely blank canvas.
I was looking for something to put onto a very low resource laptop and found the wonderful Browser Linux. Based on Puppy Linux, this is an extremely cut down implementation, fitting into an image of around 80MB which turns creaking old PCs into web browsing machines. It does other stuff too – I can play CDs for example or run Google docs for word processing or spreadsheeting. I’m also writing this blog post on it.
In all honesty, it still creaks a bit – more than 3 or 4 tabs open and it starts to slow down quite noticeably – but otherwise it’s a useful browsing machine and much better use than sticking into landfill. With so few options I think it would also be an ideal starter laptop for someone who’s not particularly confident with computers.
Next project is to turn another similarly low powered laptop into an awesome vintage gaming machine – watch this space!