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Re: REQ: Tiny distro with reliable wireless for laptops

On Jan 29, 4:30 am, Rockinghorse Winner <rockingho...@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Like many folks, I own laptops, not desktops. My main concern with an OS is
> will it work with wireless.

These days, most wireless devices are supported.  Even the Atheros A/B/
G/N card on my Z61P now works.  There are some devices and some
laptops which are "Linux Hostile"  They are usually the ones that were
very expensive initially, when Vista first came out, and then dropped
very sharply shortly after that.

Most Thinpads, HP Proliants, Dell Demensions, and Acer laptops have
been certified for some version of Linux, and can usually be
configured in about 30 minutes.

If you've never used Linux before, I'd reccomend that you get a
commercially supported distribution such as Red Hat or SUSE.  You
might even want to pay someone to install Linux for you.  Many small
non-franchise computer stores will do this for you for about $100 and
can even set it up so that you can still boot Windows or run both at
the same time.

There are several "Live CD" or "Live DVD" distributions that will let
you boot from the media and confirm that everything will run.  You can
even set these distributions to work with an external USB drive or

> I don't mind working with programs to install
> windows drivers, but would *prefer* not to have to think about it when I
> install an OS. So - my wish list contains a single thing: a small OS with a
> basic desktop that has wireless communication as a priority. Call it the
> 'old laptop' edition. ;)

The size of the distribution has more to do with the desktop or Window
Manager you use, and the applications you install.  If you go for KDE
4.2 with all the bells and whistles turned on, you'll need more
memory.  Even then it will run quite comfortably in 1 gig of RAM.
Very streamlined window managers like TWM or FVWM will run in as
little as 128 megabytes.  Custom-compiled kernels which don't probe
for every device in the world can give you a device that can run in as
little as 8 megabytes (Slackware has some small-kernel versions).

Applications play a bigger role.  OpenOffice can run very slowly on a
128 megabyte machine.  Xfig generates postscript (which can be
converted to PDF) and runs in as little as 8 meg, but needs floating

If you have an 80386 running without floating point, you are pretty
much down to low level functions.  You could still run a simple web
browser and simple editors, but your options are much more limited,
especially since mosts of those machines only supported about 8-16
megabytes of memory.

> *R* *H*
> --
> Watch out -- I'm postin' here.

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