Yesterday I managed to put an Openbox installation on an old Dell Dimension 8200 P75t — a 75Mhz Pentium with 64Mb of memory, a Western Digital Caviar 1.5Gb hard drive and onboard S3 graphics. Pictures and proof are here.
It went better than I thought it would. Banging away at Turbo had been a good learning experience. I knew what kinds of things would help and what would hold me down.
More importantly, I didn’t waste my time with “tweaks” that would have no effect at all on the overall performance. Nothing is going to improve a boot time of 3 1/2 minutes, no matter what I try. It’s best to just let it suffer in silence.
In the end I did get a 16-bit desktop at 1024×768, with XFE as the file manager, the XFCE terminal (transparent terminal windows!) and a few other tweaks and twitches. feh was on there, as was obconf and ObMenu. A few other things.
But no Web browser, since I had no working Internet connection. The original ISA network card wasn’t doing its job, and the backup that I keep on the shelf proved too twitchy to work with a machine this slow.
So everything went on there — kernel updates, stuff from universe and multiverse, even Python — without a Web connection. How did I do it? I’m just sneaky that way.