You owe it to your geek self to try Linux

4 thoughts on “You owe it to your geek self to try Linux”

  1. The first thing I’d do is add memory. I’ll send you an extra 32 MB stick of memory for free, just to get you going.You might be able to run Damn Small Linux (, and I’m pretty sure you could run DeLi Linux: are also a few floppy-based Linuxes — they’re a little hard to get started with, but they could work, and one even has the X Window system.One of the best, easiest floppy distributions is Tom’s Rt Bt ( which fits on a single floppy.Another is Basic Linux, the one with X — third is FD Linux — — development on that one has stalled a bit, but it looks promising.All of these floppy versions are fun to play with — they have vi for text editing, and can send e-mail and even browse the web with Lynx, a text-only browser (but don’t quote me on the last one).But if you have a CD-ROM drive, you can run DeLi, or even Damn Small Linux. The first thing I’d do is add as much memory as you can. A 32 MB stick of RAM won’t cost more than $5, and they’re easy to get for free. Try to max out your RAM. If you have the documentation for your computer, it’ll tell you how much you can add. Otherwise, find out what kind of motherboard your system has and do a Web search for the relevant documentation (or go to for help). If you can boost it to 128 MB or 256 MB, you’ll be in really good shape. 32 MB is doable, but not “comfortable.” But if you commit to learning the Linux command line and sticking with the lighter distros, you can make that box work for you.

  2. For the 64 MB computer, I’d try Damn Small Linux, Puppy Linux, the new AntiX (a low-spec spin on Mepis), and a custom build of Debian (I started with a commoand-line system, then added X, then the Fluxbox window manager, then the apps I wanted.)I only tried the custom system after running a bunch of other Linux distributions, which gave me my Linux sea legs, as it were, and exposed me to a whole lot of free, open-source applications. That allowed me to pick my favorites for my own Debian install.I figured out how to use apt-get to install X and Fluxbox through a Google search. Almost all the information you need for just about everything having to do with Linux is out there on the Web.

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