[plug] ideas and hints wanted

Len Bird lenbird at iinet.net.au
Sun Jan 16 11:48:42 WST 2000

Bill Kenworthy wrote:

> Hi all, want some ideas please,
>     I have been asked to set a couple of low powered (486) systems that
> the families are getting from their workplace (pensioned off)  The
> likely candidates have 8 meg ram, probably dx4(100) and 500meg hard
> drives and wiped  clean. My first thought is windoze 3.11 and MSworks as
> they are mainly looking at wordprocessing for school assignments.  Games
> and internet/modem are not likely in the short term.  They are also new
> to computing so do not have any MS bias (yet!), just limited funds.  Is
> linux usable in 8meg?   The interface will have to be gui due to the
> experiance level and gui wordprocessing is much more intuitive for
> newcomers (I presume the kids use word/works at school) - is there a
> lightweight window manager system that would do.  KDE would be ideal as
> the usability is great and supplied KDE apps are good, but my experiance
> is that it takes a hefty cpu, particularly if a high resolution is
> used.  In this case 640x480 is probably all that will be used (14inch
> monitor).
>     Does anyone have any experiance setting up machines for this level
> of user.  I am interested in hints such as configuration - bother
> setting up accounts for each person, or just go for a single user
> account? only use root? (will have to educate them on how to use
> accounts etc which is a BIG drawback with only limited gains).  What I
> am after is something as usable as windows, without a lot of training or
> technical stuff for the users to do.
> BillK

There are no lack of experts out there who will tell you that just about
anything is possible
with a 486  with 8megs of RAM etc. None of them and I mean NONE will really
how to actually achieve this. You may well get the Console part to
function, but when you
start to bring in application programs, you then find out just why the damn
things got
pensioned off in the first place.

Despite the hype on this list, Windows 3.11 is probably the best (or least
bad!!!) option. It also
presents the easiest learning curve for a novice, and moreover despite all,
the shools and other
edu. establishments are more than likely to be using Microsoft O/S s and
software anyway.

No doubt you are well aware of the limitations of Win 3.11, but at least
you will not be tempted
to suicide from frustration.

I doubt not that I will get a shower of abuse from some individuals not
known for practical
approaches to practical problems. I would be more than happy if this
produced some "enlighten-
ment" in dark corners,

I wish the best of luck-----cheers     Len Bird

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