[K12OSN] Pentium I and II still useful?

"Terrell Prudé Jr." microman at cmosnetworks.com
Sat Jul 12 15:25:21 UTC 2008

Dan Bretherton wrote:
> Dear All,
> I recently acquired two old computers that would make ideal diskless terminals 
> for a school or community computer lab.  One is a Pentium and the other a 
> Pentium II.  I set up three small LTSP based labs in Guyana between 2003 and 
> 2005, and when I left donated Pentium class computers were still being 
> shipped to developing countries by organisations such as Computer Aid 
> International and the World Computer Exchange.  Three years later, and now 
> back in the UK, I have discovered that the minimum specification that 
> computer refurbishment charities will accept is Pentium III.  This may be 
> because there are so many PIII and above PCs being donated that these 
> organisations don't have the resources to deal with the lower specs any more.  
> However, I am still hoping to find a home for my Pentium I and II, and it 
> occurred to me that the UK LTSP community would be a good place to start.  
> Please let me know if these computers would be useful to you or your 
> organisation.  I live in Reading and regularly visit East Devon, and I would 
> be happy to drive a reasonable distance from either of those locations to 
> drop them off.

I'm in the US, and I've set up entire labs with Pentium I's and Pentium
II's.  They work great as LTSP terminals.  I'm using an AMD K6-2 right
now in my home, and my Pentium I (home-built) and Pentium II (Dell
OptiPlex GX1) terminals are still rockin' and rollin'.  The only
modification I've had to make was drop in either an ATI Radeon 7500 or a
Matrox Millenium G400 in them (they were cheap and available), and I can
do full screen video w/ no problem.

Computer refurbishment charities aren't thinking LTSP.  They're thinking
stand-alone box for someone's home, and for that scenario, they're
right; PIII's with 512MB DRAM really are the minimum for any modern OS. 
A friend of mine is running Ubuntu Hardy on her PIII 700MHz laptop with
576MB, and she's happy.  But I wouldn't put it on anything any smaller
than that.


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