Linux & X resurrected my old system

Linux & X resurrected my old system

Post by Zig » Sat, 28 Oct 1995 04:00:00



Over the last few days, I've had the chance to upgrade the innards of my
PC from a 386DX25, 4MB, 256K SVGA to a 486DX2-50, 8MB, 1MB VL Bus Diamond
Stealth 24.  Instantaneously I fell in love with my new system (well, the
Diamond quirks aside.) :)

I thought, "gee, now that I'm a computer science major, perhaps Linux
would be a nice thing to get familiar with" (seeing as how root access on
UN*X machines at school is a rare thing for one of my stature).  So I
ordered InfoMagic's 4-CD set, containing everything I'd ever want and/or
need.

The Slackware installation wasn't too bad (I gave it half of my 420MB,
14ms HD -- which is now running EIDE -- with 180 for the filesystem and 24
for the swap), once I figured out that Setup is kind of picky about the
order you do things.  Finally, I had a working system, added my personal
account.  Then I decided to get adventurous, installed, configured, and
fired up X.

When xv told me I didn't have enough memory to view a 150k GIF and xterm
dragged my system to a screeching halt, the nostalgic (but not quite as
good) feelings kicked in.  I had to look in my bin of spare parts to make
sure that my 386 was still in there, and hadn't sneaked its way back into
my PC.

I think I can understand "X -- the way to make a 50 MIPS workstation run
like a 4.77 mHz XT."  It's all _very_ clear now. :)

--
Matt "Zigg" Behrens                   | "There's a little bit of the

======================================|
Home: http://www2.gvsu.edu/~behrensm/ |        - Robert Wright,
Virtual Music Page: .../vmp/          |          "The Evolution of Despair"
a.b.s.mods FAQ: .../absm-faq/         |          Time, Aug. 28, 1995

 
 
 

Linux & X resurrected my old system

Post by Jason Garma » Sun, 29 Oct 1995 04:00:00






>>> * I think I can understand "X -- the way to make a 50 MIPS workstation run
>>> * like a 4.77 mHz XT."  It's all _very_ clear now. :)

>>> Maybe your swap partition is not big enough.

>No...I think it's just the nature of the beast. XFree86 3.1.2 (and its
>predecessor 3.1.1) on my 486/66 with 16 mB of RAM and 24 mB of swap
>(partition, not a file) is very XT-ish.  Granted, I'm using an ET4000
>and only a ViewSonic 17e -- but I am convinced that the "X" in X Window
>is borrowed from XT. :) Good old reliable CLI Linux runs great, though,
>on this platform as does MS-Windows 3.1. Much of the "Unix Hater's
>Handbook" can be disputed -- but Garfinkle et al were right on the
>mark with chapter 7. (To be fair to Linux, X on our SGI Indy with 96 mB
>of RAM isn't exactly raw speed in action either).

Well, if you have a decent video card and processor, it doesn't run bad
at all.  My p90 w/16 megs of ram and a Mach64 card runs like a champ
under X.  The main things are ram and video card, if you don't have enough
memory the thing will swap like hell, and if you have an unaccellerated
video card, screen refreshes will make you go to sleep.

BTW - how is your SGI Indy's graphic performace so bad? I've worked with
em... damn are they fast. Love the 3d games too :-)

(I used to run X occasionally on my ole 386sx16 w/4 megs of mem, and
a Trident video card.  Talk about painful.  It was even faster to
run Mosaic remotely over my 14.4 slip connection and have it display
on my screen than to wait for the machine to swap and run it locally.)



 
 
 

Linux & X resurrected my old system

Post by Alain Kna » Sun, 29 Oct 1995 04:00:00




: >> * I think I can understand "X -- the way to make a 50 MIPS workstation run
: >> * like a 4.77 mHz XT."  It's all _very_ clear now. :)

: >> Maybe your swap partition is not big enough.

: No...I think it's just the nature of the beast. XFree86 3.1.2 (and its
: predecessor 3.1.1) on my 486/66 with 16 mB of RAM and 24 mB of swap
: (partition, not a file) is very XT-ish.  Granted, I'm using an ET4000

 No problem here. XFree86 3.1.2 ELF, and its predecessors run fine & fast on my
486/33 with 16MB of Ram and 32 MB of swap. And of these 32MB, only 472 k are
even used!

 Alain

 
 
 

Linux & X resurrected my old system

Post by Bob Nels » Sun, 29 Oct 1995 04:00:00




>> * I think I can understand "X -- the way to make a 50 MIPS workstation run
>> * like a 4.77 mHz XT."  It's all _very_ clear now. :)
>> Maybe your swap partition is not big enough.

No...I think it's just the nature of the beast. XFree86 3.1.2 (and its
predecessor 3.1.1) on my 486/66 with 16 mB of RAM and 24 mB of swap
(partition, not a file) is very XT-ish.  Granted, I'm using an ET4000
and only a ViewSonic 17e -- but I am convinced that the "X" in X Window
is borrowed from XT. :) Good old reliable CLI Linux runs great, though,
on this platform as does MS-Windows 3.1. Much of the "Unix Hater's
Handbook" can be disputed -- but Garfinkle et al were right on the
mark with chapter 7. (To be fair to Linux, X on our SGI Indy with 96 mB
of RAM isn't exactly raw speed in action either).

--
=============================================================================

      Linux for fun, M$ for $$$...and the NFL for what really counts!
=============================================================================

 
 
 

Linux & X resurrected my old system

Post by Ravi Krishna Swa » Sun, 29 Oct 1995 04:00:00




>Over the last few days, I've had the chance to upgrade the innards of my
>PC from a 386DX25, 4MB, 256K SVGA to a 486DX2-50, 8MB, 1MB VL Bus Diamond
>Stealth 24.  Instantaneously I fell in love with my new system (well, the
>Diamond quirks aside.) :)

>I thought, "gee, now that I'm a computer science major, perhaps Linux
>would be a nice thing to get familiar with" (seeing as how root access on
>UN*X machines at school is a rare thing for one of my stature).  So I
>ordered InfoMagic's 4-CD set, containing everything I'd ever want and/or
>need.

>The Slackware installation wasn't too bad (I gave it half of my 420MB,
>14ms HD -- which is now running EIDE -- with 180 for the filesystem and 24
>for the swap), once I figured out that Setup is kind of picky about the
>order you do things.  Finally, I had a working system, added my personal
>account.  Then I decided to get adventurous, installed, configured, and
>fired up X.

>When xv told me I didn't have enough memory to view a 150k GIF and xterm
>dragged my system to a screeching halt, the nostalgic (but not quite as
>good) feelings kicked in.  I had to look in my bin of spare parts to make
>sure that my 386 was still in there, and hadn't sneaked its way back into
>my PC.

>I think I can understand "X -- the way to make a 50 MIPS workstation run
>like a 4.77 mHz XT."  It's all _very_ clear now. :)

What's the size of your swap partition and is it even on?
Type "free" and post the results.

Ravi
--
Ravi K. Swamy                http://www4.ncsu.edu/eos/users/r/rkswamy/www/

 
 
 

Linux & X resurrected my old system

Post by Jim Cla » Mon, 30 Oct 1995 03:00:00




Quote:

>When xv told me I didn't have enough memory to view a 150k GIF and xterm
>dragged my system to a screeching halt, the nostalgic (but not quite as
>good) feelings kicked in.  I had to look in my bin of spare parts to make
>sure that my 386 was still in there, and hadn't sneaked its way back into
>my PC.

Hmmm... are you sure that you have enabled your swap partition?
(As I have a similar setup, and use xv quite often without problems).

Quote:>I think I can understand "X -- the way to make a 50 MIPS workstation run
>like a 4.77 mHz XT."  It's all _very_ clear now. :)

Well never having owned an XT (and proud of it! :) I can't comment
(but I do remember having a quite snappy multitasking/GUI system - my old
Amiga-1000 ... way back in '85 :-)

Jim
--
       .    +-----------------------------------------------------------------+
   ,--_|\   | Jim Clark - Consultant for Real Time Australia, Pty. Ltd.       |
  /  Oz  \  |           - at Telecom's  Intelligent Network Development       |
  \_,--\_/  | 'what we see is what we get; nothing else is real' - Niels Bohr |
        v   +-----------------------------------------------------------------+

 
 
 

Linux & X resurrected my old system

Post by Ryurick M. Hrist » Mon, 30 Oct 1995 03:00:00


: * Over the last few days, I've had the chance to upgrade the innards of my
: * PC from a 386DX25, 4MB, 256K SVGA to a 486DX2-50, 8MB, 1MB VL Bus Diamond
: * Stealth 24.  Instantaneously I fell in love with my new system (well, the
: * Diamond quirks aside.) :)

: * I think I can understand "X -- the way to make a 50 MIPS workstation run
: * like a 4.77 mHz XT."  It's all _very_ clear now. :)

: Maybe your swap partition is not big enough.

There is somewhere, don't ask me, Tiny X, written to run into 4mb of RAM.

Do some digging.

However you can do some usefull things even without X.

In fact I am doing almost all in text console, less stress on eyes.

I am using X just for Xfig drawings and Xdvi previewing for my texts.

Unless you want to do some CAD or play games you will not need X very often.

And I ran X on 486DX2-66 with 8 Mb RAM and it ran quite well.

If you can't, then maybe your applications are to big, not X :)

Cheers,

--
______________________________________________________________________
Ryurick M. Hristev            ()..()/^\/^\

______________________________________________________________________

 
 
 

Linux & X resurrected my old system

Post by Kazimir Kylhe » Mon, 30 Oct 1995 03:00:00





 >Well, if you have a decent video card and processor, it doesn't run bad
 >at all.  My p90 w/16 megs of ram and a Mach64 card runs like a champ
 >under X.  The main things are ram and video card, if you don't have enough
 >memory the thing will swap like hell, and if you have an unaccellerated
 >video card, screen refreshes will make you go to sleep.

I bet you he was comparing Win 3.1 at 640x480x16 colors with X at 1024x768.
With a shitty video card like ET4000, the frame buffer updates will be slow
no matter how much memory or how fast a CPU you throw at it---these
factors are largely insignificant terms of the equation, so to speak,
since you can only push through so many pixels per second.

In 16MB of RAM, I can comfortably be compiling with a few rxvt's and xterms
open, xv launched from xfm showing a large jpeg file, and xpilots running
at 30 frames per second in a 1000x700 window.  I think that troll posts
that claim poor performance are based on misconfiguration and on subjective
measurements observed using low-end hardware.

 >BTW - how is your SGI Indy's graphic performace so bad? I've worked with
 >em... damn are they fast. Love the 3d games too :-)
 >
 >(I used to run X occasionally on my ole 386sx16 w/4 megs of mem, and
 >a Trident video card.  Talk about painful.  It was even faster to
 >run Mosaic remotely over my 14.4 slip connection and have it display
 >on my screen than to wait for the machine to swap and run it locally.)

But it ran! Thus it's bullshit that someone would have anything resembling
that experience on a machine with four times that amount of RAM and
a much faster processor.
--
I have taken all the Gates out of my computer, and it still works!

 
 
 

Linux & X resurrected my old system

Post by Kazimir Kylhe » Tue, 31 Oct 1995 04:00:00





 >>
 >[blah blah]
 >>
 >>After accounting for buffer cache space, "only" 7386 megs are actually used
 >>
 >Hummm. I most certainly hope this is a typo :-)

It's an arithmo. I forgot to divide by 1024 (or 1000, if I were a lying,
cheating HD manufacturer :))

--
I have taken all the Gates out of my computer, and it still works!

 
 
 

Linux & X resurrected my old system

Post by Zig » Tue, 31 Oct 1995 04:00:00



: What's the size of your swap partition and is it even on?
: Type "free" and post the results.

(and other helpful posts & mails surfaced as well)

My apologies to all, and thanks for the help.  (I originally thought this
post belonged in .advocacy, since it was a gripe, but now I see that is
should have been a newbie question.) :)

It appears that my 20MB swap partition was sort of forgotten about by the
Slackware setup program when I went back to the main menu. :)  It's ok
now, and it even appears to run fairly nicely.  Once again, thanks.

--
Matt "Zigg" Behrens                   | "There's a little bit of the

======================================|
Home: http://www2.gvsu.edu/~behrensm/ |        - Robert Wright,
Virtual Music Page: .../vmp/          |          "The Evolution of Despair"
a.b.s.mods FAQ: .../absm-faq/         |          Time, Aug. 28, 1995

 
 
 

Linux & X resurrected my old system

Post by Tolian Sor » Wed, 01 Nov 1995 04:00:00


: No...I think it's just the nature of the beast. XFree86 3.1.2 (and its
: predecessor 3.1.1) on my 486/66 with 16 mB of RAM and 24 mB of swap
: (partition, not a file) is very XT-ish.  Granted, I'm using an ET4000
: and only a ViewSonic 17e -- but I am convinced that the "X" in X Window
: is borrowed from XT. :) Good old reliable CLI Linux runs great, though,
: on this platform as does MS-Windows 3.1. Much of the "Unix Hater's
: Handbook" can be disputed -- but Garfinkle et al were right on the
: mark with chapter 7. (To be fair to Linux, X on our SGI Indy with 96 mB
: of RAM isn't exactly raw speed in action either).

        Really?  Linux and X on my 486dx2/66 with 20 megs of ram and 30
megs of swap runs quite fast... granted I slow it down a bit with the
rocket screensaver running as the background.. :)  Though I guess if I
had 10-20 other users using shell on my system I'd probably be thinking
of an upgrade...

--

****                  G O  T R I B E ! ! !                       ****
****  The Cleveland Indians -- 1995 American League Champions    ****
****     <gulp> I guess there's always next year. :-\            ****  

 
 
 

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