Well, it’s just going to be a quick and short post summary. I got 3 computers from my friend’s dad. Thanks Jerman! (I think that’s how you spell it) And the slowest of the bunch was a Pentium II MHz 300MB ram IBM Aptiva Machine. I checked the hard drive and it was only 10GB, i would have upgraded it, but I only had a spare 4gb so it stayed with it’s own. Now, this type of machine nowadays would be considered junk. And as many of you people know me, i assume you guessed I put some sort of lightweight Linux distro. Well you’re wrong! I did not put Linux on this machine. GIGA-GASP!!! Yeah, see I seem to have run into a problem, almost any distro, with the slight exception of Puppy, is not light enough or easy enough to use. I also did not want to spend hours customizing Debian. Puppy comes very close for the ideal distro on this machine, but I felt like trying something different today.
So I installed Windows XP Sp3. (no updates) Why? Well I know that 300MHz is the minimum for Windows XP to run ok. And it uses very little ram. But what is so special about this one? Well, I took out every single thing related to Microsoft and put in Open Source alternatives. I don’t get where you’re going with this. Follow me here. I took out, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, Windows Movie Maker (Like it can barely handle movies as it is), and hid all the utilities. Now the hard part was coming up with a free alternative, plus it had to be open-source. Let me list them off, I replaced…
Internet Explorer: The Latest Firefox 4.0
Adobe Reader: Sumatra (I use evince, but it’s not for Windows :()
Windows Movie Maker: AviDemux (Mehh does the job, I don’t think it will work right due to the machine’s low specs, but i put it in there to replace WMM anyways)
Microsoft Outlook: Mozilla ThunderBird (the best at email)
MS Audio editor: It doesn’t exist yet so I added Audacity, very simple and powerful.
Windows Messenger: Pidgin (Tech guy “likes” this.)
MSPaint: I left it there, need to draw stick figures somehow, but i added the GIMP for us pros out there on old 300MHz IBM machines.
Calculator: Super CACULATOR. TTCalcNo explanation necessary.
Notepad: Super Notepad++ for use programmers.
Microsoft Office: Meet LibreOffice. (Abiword and Gnumeric would have worked fine, but let’s go for full blown latest office suite!)
I also replaced Disk defragmentor, the file cleaner with Bleach Bit and backup utilities, the calculator and notepad. Everything was changed and replaced. I even added Miro Video Converter and a registry cleaner. All of these programs were open source. Expept maybe Teamviewer, I just love that one, it replaces Remote Assistance in Windows. But just in case you tell me about remote desktop is the dest, meet TightVNC. Now besides that. I wanted to know how well the machine would run if I replaced all it’s native utilities with free open-source ones.
And how does it run? Very well, you would not even notice the lag of added programs in there. Surfing the web with the newest Firefox is pleasant and low resolution videos, (Not from youtube, youtube is too slow on this machine) play well enough. I didn’t have time to test everything else, but i’m sure it works well enough. I trust FOSS (Free Open Source Software) that much.
So this IBM machine is for sale, my bro’s putting it on Craigslist. If you want it, it’s 5 Bucks, come and get it, I used an old Windows XP key from school, (they gave it to me) plus I added a free antivirus scanner, clamAV, but I didn’t do updates, not worth my time, you can do them yourself. I just wanted to learn if a machine can be 100% FOSS apps, and the Host OS Windows. Turns out they make a pretty good team. So if you like any of their software, remember to donate, at least a buck or a cup of coffee for your Open-Source coder friends. (UPDATE! I gave the computer to a friend, managed to break it, that’s life.)
Also another reason I wanted to do this, was because I wanted to know if people would even notice this, when I sell it, I’m not going to tell them I replaced most of the system native apps with free ones, I also remaned and changed the icons, so we’ll see if anyone even cares. But it was fun overall, and in the end, we have an old (Hardware-wise), up to date (Software-wise) Computer.
I wasn’t able to change the icons for all of them due to time. But I renamed most of them, I think. In the end, all if not most of these apps are available for your current Linux Distro. Go figure.
Posted on April 5, 2011, in Computers and Internet, Windows and tagged Clam AntiVirus, Free Open Source Software, Hertz, IBM, LibreOffice, Miro Video Converter, OpenSource, Windows XP. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.