[Posted and mailed]
> I currently have an old 486 w/32MB RAM running Win95 (No flames
> Very shortly, I will be buying a new computer on which to do my
> development work (running Win98 - again, no flames please!). This will
> free up the 486 to run Linux for a bit of fun, to run SPICE, and to run
> Gnu C++. OK, here is what I intend to do, and for this I expect to be
> flamed, or at least set straight.
> I intend to create a mini-network of two computers, the old and the new
> (the good, the bad, and the ugly operator, perhaps?)
Sounds fine; plenty of people have done this. You can even share printers
and disk space.
Quote:> I would like to run Windows 98 on the new computer, with dual monitors,
> using the old monitor from the 486 and the monitor supplied with the new
> computer (one for debugging). I have a very old 8-bit hercules card and
> mono monitor which I'd like to run on the 486, purely for booting etc.
> Is this a good idea?
It SHOULD work. Whether it's a good idea or not is another matter. I
doubt if you'd be able to run X on the 486 this way, except by using the
Pentium machine as an X terminal.
Quote:> I would like to use the new computer (Pentium-class) to telnet (or xterm
> or whatever) into the 486 to run any linux apps I'd like to.
> Is this a good idea?
Again, it'll work. To run X-based applications, though, you'd need to run
an X server on your Pentium machine. AFAIK, there's only one freely
redistributable X server for Windows. It's called MiX, and I'm afraid I
don't have a URL offhand; try a web search. It's not open source, but it
is free. I've been underwhelmed by it. Another possibility is a program
called VNC (again, I've no URL offhand; try a web search). This one isn't
Unix-specific -- you can control a Windows box remotely with it, in
addition to controlling a Unix box remotely. I don't know offhand if it
would work when you're not actually running X on the Linux box, though.
Quote:> Further questions:
> (a) I have a 3.2 GB disk in the 486, that currently I can only see 2.1GB
> of. will linux cure this as the Large-Disk HOWTO suggests?
It might. It depends on what's causing the problem with seeing only
2.1GB. If the manufacturer exaggerated the size of the disk, for
instance, NOTHING will help. If it's a Windows and/or BIOS limitation,
Linux will be able to see more disk space, but you won't be able to boot
from an area above 2.1GB (or maybe even 504MB). This isn't an actual
problem; it just requires some planning. Specifically, you'd want to
make your boot partition (typically "/" [root], but possibly "/boot")
fall below whatever the BIOS limit is, and use the space above that for
data or programs (e.g., "/usr", "/home", etc.). Speaking of partitions,
though, I'd recommend keeping their number to a minimum, at least until
you're familiar with Linux. The Red Hat manual is one source that
recommends creating several partitions, but IMHO this is a Bad Idea for
newbies, since you'll have no good idea of how large to make these
partitions until you're familiar with Linux and how YOU use it -- nobody
else's experience counts here, since useage patterns differ so much from
person to person. In theory, multiple partitions can make disaster
recovery easier, but you'll be more likely to encounter a minor "disaster"
in the form of an out-of-disk-space error if you create too many
partitions. If you can boot from within the first 2.1GB of that 3.2GB
disk, one good split would be to put /home in the upper ~1.1GB (or
possibly a bit more, if you expect to work with big data files) and devote
the rest to / (root), sans a swap partition that I'd put between the two.
Just be sure that all of / (root) goes in the area that's bootable.
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