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Thread: A new laptop! 486/33... Floppy Linux?

  1. #1
    Maximum Bitrate kiltjim's Avatar
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    A new laptop! 486/33... Floppy Linux?

    Alright, it may not be new, and it is no where near my normal laptop, so it is definetely not going to be my mp3 player. I just wanna play with linux, and not 'risk' my normal computers.

    Problem with the thing though, it only has a floppy, and no USB ports. I guess I could add a CD drive, if I could find one that is either serial or parellel based. But, I wanna play now!

    All the distros I have looked at only have CDs for download though. Here's the question:


    Do any of you know of a distro available on floppy?


    I don't know how much space I have to play with, and functionality isn't a huge concern, I just wanna get my feet wet, and learn a little about it. I primarily want to play with network stuff, security, wireless stuff, and hardware embedding type things.
    2000 Subaru OBS

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  2. #2
    Newbie Tellarite's Avatar
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    Floppy distros

    tomsrtbt comes to mind. Not only is it a floppy distro, it runs entirely from the floppy! http://www.toms.net/rb/

    Does your laptop have a network card? You can install something like Slackware by booting with two floppy disks and then install via FTP: http://slackftp.sourceforge.net/

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate kiltjim's Avatar
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    Well, it doesn't have a networking card in it. It does have 2 card slots, but what kind they are, and whether anything I could find would be compatible is the question. Although, I guess if I got a form of linux on there, I could put a compatible card in there. But how can I get linux in there without a card?

    The tomsrtbt looks like it may work. I may try that out, as soon as I can find some floppies. I found some of the the other small distros by following his links too. Might have to try out the different versions too.
    2000 Subaru OBS

    Dell P3 @ 900 Mhz
    7" Lilliput TS w/DigitalWW in-dash mount
    80GB External HD

    I am Zero Bitrate....

  4. #4
    Newbie Tellarite's Avatar
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    Just buy an old PCMCIA NIC off ebay (3com ones have good linux support)

    Heck, here's 12 of them for 5 bucks... one of em has to work right?

  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate eugenen's Avatar
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    slackware still has the floppy sets on the cd
    the A set for example is the base os and is 3 floppies IIRC. I loaded the A set and AP set and a couple other things on a 128M CF card.

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate will1384's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tellarite
    Just buy an old PCMCIA NIC off ebay (3com ones have good linux support)

    Heck, here's 12 of them for 5 bucks... one of em has to work right?
    heck for $5 you could get a desktop - thats faster - look in goodwill
    and places like that

    I got one 486 lappy - I just put win95 on it - run simcity 2000
    and card games -

    there is a QNX demo floating around there someware - its on a floppy
    and runs on a 486

    the sad truth about linux - is you need a good computer to run it on,
    if you want a nice looking desktop - but win95 will work at a usable speed
    on a 486 - and windows 3.1 will work on older slower computers

    I would say the limit for most linux stuff out there today is a p2
    250-300mhz or faster with at least 128mb mem - a $20 computer
    - and that is most likey to slow for most distros-

    but linux can be run on a 486 - - just not sure you would be happy
    and may prove to be a huge pain in the but, unless you like the
    command line - well get used to it now - you need the command line
    in linux - in fact you have to use it - even when you use the gui -

    - but windows goes on so easy with no problems - and every thing is so
    per-ty - and no need to use the command line


    Guess that takes all the fun out of it

    Dont get me wrong, I like linux - but it can be hard to use if you
    have used windows/dos all your life - and if you ask for help -
    linux nerds will rip your head of, its like your on your own in a
    foreign country and no one speaks your language and every
    one you try to talk to is on the rag - if you really want to play
    with linux - use a live cd on you main computer - like knoppix
    you dont have to install - and it wont funk with your computer -
    it runs just from the cd - has most of the drivers you might need
    - its about a 700mb download - but worth it, they even have a
    dvd version now - if you mess up at the command line you dont
    hurt any thing - and a reboot puts it back the way it was

  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate intuitionsys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will1384
    the sad truth about linux - is you need a good computer to run it on, if you want a nice looking desktop - but win95 will work at a usable speed on a 486 - and windows 3.1 will work on older slower computers
    You had to know you were going to ruffle some feathers with that I'll be nice though...

    Quote Originally Posted by will1384
    I would say the limit for most linux stuff out there today is a p2 250-300mhz or faster with at least 128mb mem - a $20 computer
    - and that is most likey to slow for most distros
    For "out of the box" distros that's more or less correct. KDE and Gnome can be resourse pigs but there are much lighter weight desktops/window managers available for most distros, albeit it takes a little more work to get them working properly.

    Quote Originally Posted by will1384
    but linux can be run on a 486 - - just not sure you would be happy
    and may prove to be a huge pain in the but, unless you like the
    command line - well get used to it now - you need the command line
    in linux - in fact you have to use it - even when you use the gui
    Again, you're mostly correct, although for day-to-day stuff that's not really true. Utilities like YaST, LinuxConf and the like remove all the ugly command line necessity for alot of things. But then again what's so bad about using the command line when you need to anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by will1384
    but windows goes on so easy with no problems - and every thing is so per-ty - and no need to use the command line
    Yes and no - it isn't ugly but I wouldn't say it's perty either. Functional might be more accurate. As soon as an app starts using some of the fancier graphic capabilities beyond generic windows, dialogs, etc., Windows slows to a crawl with the best of them. I would agree that you rarely need to use the command line, but I also have to suffix that by saying the command line is _so_ underpowered in Windows that's it's a neusance to use anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by will1384
    Guess that takes all the fun out of it
    No arguement there but I'm a nerd

    Quote Originally Posted by will1384
    Dont get me wrong, I like linux - but it can be hard to use if you have used windows/dos all your life - and if you ask for help - linux nerds will rip your head of, its like your on your own in a foreign country and no one speaks your language and every one you try to talk to is on the rag
    Sounds like somebody has issues Just kidding. Seriously even though I'd have to consider myself one of those nerds and does speak the language already, I wouldn't group all of us into one basket. There are some <expletive deleted> out there who feel better by demeaning others who don't know what they know, but most of us, including most of the people I've met here, aren't like that. I have met a few hotheads (even here) who seem to take offense at everything (not just Linux-related) but I think most of us aren't like that. I wish we could all be better "ambassadors" for Linux but the truth is some people are just dicks.

    I think the biggest bone of contention those of us who are "in the know" have is to people willing to do no research whatsoever on their own, get everything for free, etc. In many respects Linux isn't as easy to use as Windows and there definitely are some concepts that can cause swelling of the brain if you've lived with Windows your whole life, but the swelling subsides after a while and you soon realize the short period of difficulty was well worth what you've gained. Amen.

    Quote Originally Posted by will1384
    if you really want to play
    with linux - use a live cd on you main computer - like knoppix
    you dont have to install - and it wont funk with your computer -
    it runs just from the cd - has most of the drivers you might need
    - its about a 700mb download - but worth it, they even have a
    dvd version now - if you mess up at the command line you dont
    hurt any thing - and a reboot puts it back the way it was
    Well I'd like to argue about this suggestion just out of spite but you're right, this is a great way to mess around with Linux without buggerring anything up. There are a few others but Knoppix is (from what I've heard - I've never actually used it myself) the most fully featured CD/DVD distro.

    btw I thought most of your arguements were pretty balanced and correct (I don't want to jack this thread or start a childish flame war or anything) I just wanted to leave my 2c from someone who lives on the Linux side of the fence most of the time.
    Silverwolf 2 is dead.
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  8. #8
    Variable Bitrate will1384's Avatar
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    Like I said - I like linux - and the more I use windows - the more
    I want to switch - but

    I remember - back in the day - I went to a computer store
    and got Mandrake 7, got it home - and tried it on 3 different
    computers, it would never work on any of them, so I go on
    the net, Googled a bit and then asked for help,

    I cant remember what the problem was, but it would not even install
    on one - and one it would install - but boot up to the wrong video mode
    giving a blank screen - I tried using the screens specifications from the
    manufacturer with no luck, and reinstall changing the video mode each time
    with no luck, and one would boot up and stop with a kernel panic

    I remember one was a Compaq Deskpro P1 computer 64mb mem
    one was a P2 off brand 128mb mem, and not sure about the 3rd
    - I even tried removing PCI - ISA cards

    Well any way, I would tell them what the specifications of my computer
    was - and what it was doing, I would get replies like

    Get a Mac retard
    Your to dumb to use a computer
    Its because your computer sucks - I then said then why does
    windows work just fine with no problems on any of them -
    and install with no problems, that must have inflamed there
    hemorrhoids or something, I got called a crack head - dumb sh_t ect ect
    - then they started on about windows crashing all the time - full of problems
    ect ect - I said I dont have them problems - I know how to use windows,
    I think there hemorrhoids just exploded then

    I went to about 3 or 4 forums - each time getting about the same lame
    linux fan boy stuff - and no help

    After the flame wars - I just gave up - put the linux cds back in the box
    and used windows trouble free for the next few years

    now linux is a lot better - and peeps will help you - pluss there is a lot more
    info on the net and its easy to find, linux is still sometimes hard to install
    but your only a google search away from info on what to do,

    I tried fedora core last year - but still had to use the command line a lot
    - I plan on switching to linux - I will use XP for another year or 2
    and switch to linux - with all the junk put into Microsoft Vista no
    way in hell I am going to use that junk - ie "PVP-OPM" "DRM"
    "full volume encryption" "subscription model, software" ect ect

  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate intuitionsys's Avatar
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    Sounds like you ran into a bunch of immature "windows-sucks-because-linux-is-better-because-it's-different-than-windows" types. I use both OSes, it just depends on what I'm doing. It's not a matter of "switching" for me; I just use what works best for a given task. I'm sure most Linux users are the same. I prefer Linux but I'm not married to it.

    Vista scares me too but your average joe would still rather shell out the money for it instead of venturing out into from what his perspective would be the great unknown. The majority of the great unwashed still haven't even heard of Linux, so until that changes, and software and drivers and everything ship with prebuilt computers from stores, it'll always be a power user's OS.
    Silverwolf 2 is dead.
    Silverwolf 3...?

  10. #10
    Variable Bitrate will1384's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by intuitionsys
    The majority of the great unwashed still haven't even heard of Linux, so until that changes, and software and drivers and everything ship with prebuilt computers from stores, it'll always be a power user's OS.
    I hand out knoppix cds - at the computer shop - just because of that
    and always have one with me - makes a handy desktop on the go

    I also like Morphix and keep
    a few copys with me -

    there is a live cd of Morphix that runs on older computers
    "Morphix LightGUI" not shure how low it wil go - I think I
    ran it on a P1 with 128mb mem

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