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Show ALL Forums  > Technology/Computers  > Linux Folks .... I could use a few suggestions please :>)      Home login  
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 Wrenchspinner
Joined: 10/19/2004
Msg: 1
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Linux Folks .... I could use a few suggestions please :>)Page 1 of 1    
I want to use a really old box I have layin around (166mhz Pentium 1) for a limited application, namely a music storage/player system for my shop.

The demands will be pretty simple as all I wanna do is transfer my existing 100gig library of .mp3, .wav and .ogg music files to a new HD I picked up for the project and then use the system for tunes when I'm workin out in the shop at home.

With that in mind I'd like some suggestions for the lightest Linux OS I could load up on such a system to allow me to both transfer my files from my main home PC into the "new" machines HD and then allow me to use XMMS or some other media player to send the tunes out to the speakers so my hours spent in the shop can be a bit more ..... enjoyable. If this works well I also have another old 133mhz box I'd like to do the same with for my shop area at work ;>)

Any help would be appreciated and let me extend a big thanks in advance for the help I know you folks can provide !

Kim
 Etruscan
Joined: 5/24/2006
Msg: 2
Linux Folks .... I could use a few suggestions please :>)
Posted: 3/21/2007 8:59:57 AM
Hi Kim!!!

I'm occasional linux user, time to time I tend to check what linux world. If you check distrowatch.com there is one you might be interested Damn Small Linux http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/ , it's only about 50 megs .


Happy hunting!!

Etruscan
 AppleGeek
Joined: 9/26/2006
Msg: 3
Linux Folks .... I could use a few suggestions please :>)
Posted: 3/21/2007 10:24:03 AM
I'd check the performance requiremnts of your audio decoders. I'm not sure 166 is fast enough.
 DeusXMachina
Joined: 10/14/2006
Msg: 4
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Linux Folks .... I could use a few suggestions please :>)
Posted: 3/21/2007 2:02:04 PM
might be worth trying FreeSBIE or similar - it's a FreeBSD (UNIX) system with XFCE

Packages aren't quite so readily available but in terms of reliability and usability on older systems, FreeBSD kicks Linux all around the room
 Wrenchspinner
Joined: 10/19/2004
Msg: 5
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Linux Folks .... I could use a few suggestions please :>)
Posted: 3/22/2007 6:36:19 AM
Thanks for all the input folks ! I haven't taken the time to open up the machines and see what kinda RAM they have in 'em, but I'll try to do so. The machines are actually old Gateway Destination systems which were sold in '96 as mutimedia computer toys so I had hoped they would be suitable for just a music player.

I picked up the pair of 'em from a local school system with wireless keyboards, speaker systems and 36" monitors along with a cuppla cool huge steel AV roll around carts for a whopping $135 for the pair !

The down side of the deal was that they had their HDs wiped clean before they were sold. While this wouldn't seem like a really bad thing, since they were originally shipped with a proprietary Gateway software package called DestiVu to make the multimedia functions interface with their original Windows 95 OS, that Gateway no longer supports, it kinda Fuxed up that deal !!

These things are really trippy ! They have RCA A/V input and outputs and TV coax I/O on the back of the CPUs which makes 'em look much more like a home stereo receiver than a computer on the back ! Both do have CD/floppy drives in 'em too.

I suppose I could just load up Windoze 95 on 'em again but that would make it a bit of a chore to get my .ogg files to play though whatever Windows Media Player that would give me since it would mean converting about 50 gigs of .ogg files to .mp3s :>(

Kim
 shryko
Joined: 10/21/2006
Msg: 6
Linux Folks .... I could use a few suggestions please :>)
Posted: 3/22/2007 10:42:02 AM
well, my suggestion would be to check out the Working Centre Linux Project

They're aim is for a system that'll make the old 486s run well, and basically make a great system for the old machines... I've got a few old machines in my closet, so, I'm planning on helping out with the project, as these machines are perfect for experimenting with programming (fry the cpu? oops. on to the next machine :P)

I'd suggest using a Knoppix or Kannotix distribution's CD to find out what drivers you may need... as well, they're CD-based distros... they'd be slower, though, as they are RAM intensive...

In the end, good luck, happy hunting, and hopefully things will get more in line with what you're looking for.
 DeusXMachina
Joined: 10/14/2006
Msg: 7
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Linux Folks .... I could use a few suggestions please :>)
Posted: 3/24/2007 7:12:11 AM
command-line MP3 players!

While you were out, 1972 called. They want their technology back.
 Montreal_Guy
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 8
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Linux Folks .... I could use a few suggestions please :>)
Posted: 3/26/2007 6:14:58 AM
Ubuntu seems like it could be a suggestion :


Meeting Minimum Hardware Requirements

A Pentium 100 is the minimum recommended for desktop systems

With Desktop - 64 megabytes RAM, 1 gigabyte HD.

http://ftp.ubuntulinux.org/ubuntu/dists/warty/main/installer-i386/current/doc/manual/en/ch03s04.html



If you want Totem and rhythmbox (Music Player) to play mp3s, you need to install "gstreamer0.8-mad"
If you want a command line mp3 player, install "mpg321".
If you want something like Winamp to play mp3s, you should install "xmms" and "xmms-mad".

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/showthread.php?t=297638



You could even run it off of the CD first, without an install , and see how it works.
 Wrenchspinner
Joined: 10/19/2004
Msg: 9
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Linux Folks .... I could use a few suggestions please :>)
Posted: 3/26/2007 9:19:34 PM
I honestly hadn't looked into Ubuntus minimum reqs though I did manage to load it onto an old 400Mhz Pentium I machine with only 184 megs of ram in it :>)

My own 'puter has Ubuntu runnin with a system of better specs than that though no where near the processor speed or ram that currenty sold machines come with. A one gig Athalon processor and a gig of 3200 (?) DDR still manages to do fine with Ubuntu.

With these 2 other machines sole purpose as music player boxes it would seem they should be able to manage that single task OK :>)

Kim
 tallngreeneyed
Joined: 8/29/2006
Msg: 10
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Linux Folks .... I could use a few suggestions please :>)
Posted: 3/30/2007 11:39:55 PM
For the 166, it can be done (been done in the past of course) but I think the 100 GB drive may be a lost cause. Chances are pretty good the bios will not pick up a drive of that size... but the fun part is Linux will. There are a number of work arounds that might get you around this issue. You can template the drive using software found at the drive manufacturer's site, which basically allows you to fool the bios into thinking it's a much smaller drive. You can also try a pci i/o card (certain cards have their own bios built in to recognize newer drives). The other trick is keep the original drive in place, hook up the big drive as a secondary drive, don't bother with trying to set it up in the bios. Just install Linux on the small drive and the kernel when it loads will recognize the big drive. Another trick is do a minimal install on a small drive and simply mount a network share with your stuff on it.

Now as for the distro, your best bet is to look old or be willing to compile. If you just want it as a box to play mp3s on, why not look at something along the vintage of Redhat 6 or 7? For your purposes you may not even need to run a gui. Just install it with mpg123 which is a command line mp3 player. Mpg123 is even usful for listening to shoutcast stations and will run without issue on that hardware. I used to run a P120 with a lightweight early version of Gnome and played all my audio using mpg123.
 rsx11s
Joined: 3/28/2007
Msg: 11
Linux Folks .... I could use a few suggestions please :>)
Posted: 3/31/2007 5:35:27 PM
A cpu that old is not an issue. But I'd use FreeBSD, not Linux, because of the higher I/O throughput. And as much ram as you can muster. How to tell if a machine needs more ram: does it have a power cord, if it does it needs more ram. *nix performs better the more ram you give it.

Speaking of I/O throughput if it were me (and yes I do this) get some 3-4 year old RAID controllers and SCSI drives cheap off ebay. I'd recommend the U160 drives and the IBM ServeRaid controllers, 4L and up. They will outperform modern computers with IDE/SATA drives in a system like this. Even with your old. Oh, get case fans too, they can tend to run hot.

OSX on a PC is another way to go. It's pretty well understoon now and a viable alternative.

Linux is for people that hate windows. BSD is for people that love Unix. I've run FreeBSD on a system smaller and older than yours and run 300 websites, 50 shell users, DNS, ftp and NNTP and it didn't even break a sweat. I'm not even sure why I have dual cpu servers, they never use the second one and the first one is idle 99.999999999% of the time. It's the disk bandwidth you need to worry about more than anything else and you're not going to ever beat SCSI/RAID - and it really is simple to set up.
 DeusXMachina
Joined: 10/14/2006
Msg: 12
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Linux Folks .... I could use a few suggestions please :>)
Posted: 3/31/2007 6:13:39 PM
OSX on a PC is not even remotely a way to go - firstly you have the hack the installer, the kernel and the hardware abstraction layer in order to even get it to boot.

Secondly, the entire OS is highly optimised and won't work on any CPU without SSE2/3 optimisation, so only Pentium 4 or later (and some AMDs) can even make it boot

- and no you can't recompile every single file to run without optimisation because most of the files for the Intel distribution aren't open-sourced fully.

- and even if you could, it doesn't have drivers for non-Apple - approved systems so unless your hardware's similar to an intel Mac, you're screwed.
Oh, and it requires at least 256mb of RAM and 1ghz CPU according to most reports.
So forget bootingit on a P1
 rsx11s
Joined: 3/28/2007
Msg: 13
Linux Folks .... I could use a few suggestions please :>)
Posted: 4/1/2007 12:34:02 PM
Maybe it makes no sense on small computers but it sure does on bigger ones. Despite the fact Apple doesn't want this to be it's taking off like wildfire on PC hardware.

And it's a lot easier than gettng say, FreeBSD to talk to your camera.
 rsx11s
Joined: 3/28/2007
Msg: 14
Linux Folks .... I could use a few suggestions please :>)
Posted: 4/5/2007 9:47:25 AM

OSX on a PC is not even remotely a way to go - firstly you have the hack the installer, the kernel and the hardware abstraction layer in order to even get it to boot.


I didn't.


Secondly, the entire OS is highly optimised and won't work on any CPU without SSE2/3 optimisation, so only Pentium 4 or later (and some AMDs) can even make it boot


This could cost you as much as $30 on ebay.


and even if you could, it doesn't have drivers for non-Apple - approved systems so unless your hardware's similar to an intel Mac, you're screwed.


You use apple compatible hardware. Which meas using a certain sound and video card. That could cost you as much as $12 ea. For this you get real iTunes which has no equivalent in the Linux world.


Oh, and it requires at least 256mb of RAM and 1ghz CPU according to most reports.
So forget bootingit on a P1


Nonsense. You haven't actually tried this have you? A 200Mhz G3 runs it fine.

The bottleneck in a small system is going to be disk bandwidth. If you use an IDE drive that came with that system originally it'll never work. But for $40 you can get a halfway contemporary SCSI drive and controller that'll be more than adequate.

You probaly DO want (but do not need) more than 100 mhz for a player, but if it's jsut a filestore/ftp server a 386 will work. Back when a 486 chip was $1000 this is what we used and it works fine for dozens of simultaneous connections AS LONG AS you have SCSI that can do overlapped I/O and your DMA actually works. Polled I/O and IDE can't even get out of its own way.

Richard
T5 Thoracic.
 DeusXMachina
Joined: 10/14/2006
Msg: 15
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Linux Folks .... I could use a few suggestions please :>)
Posted: 4/5/2007 10:21:39 AM
WTF are you on?

OSX for Intel is compiled for SSE2/3 acceleration only. that you got it going on a 200mhz G3 (a POWERPC CPU, not intel) proves nothing as you clearly weren't using the Intel version....

Although since no 200mhz G3 has a DVD drive or Firewire I doubt what you're saying anyway to be true, as OSX 10.4 won't install without those being present without the use of a hack called "unsupported utility" or copying over the whole contents of a hard drive from a supported machine..
 rsx11s
Joined: 3/28/2007
Msg: 16
Linux Folks .... I could use a few suggestions please :>)
Posted: 4/5/2007 10:53:15 PM

Although since no 200mhz G3 has a DVD drive or Firewire I doubt what you're saying anyway to be true


For $50 you can have your own.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220096929561

And you absolutely do not need "a 1Ghz processor" to run OSX. 1 gig processors wern't even around when OSX came out.

The SSE issue can be adderessed, but rather than screw around why not just get a 500mhz iMac and it'll do what you want out of the shipping box. Craigslist is a good place to find these very cheap. Itunes running on BSD, err, OSX, what more could you want?

Plus they come in a variety of attractive colors to match any decor.
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