by Jeff Smith
Hello and welcome back again! This week I'd like to share with you a recent discovery.
I have good news for those of you who have an old computer in your closet or garage just sitting there gathering dust. That old machine may not be as worthless as you may have thought. This weekend I came across another distribution of Linux that is just perfect for older hardware. Its called DamnSmallLinux. I'm not trying to offend anyone, thats just what it is called. From here on, I'll just call it DSL.
The minimum requirements for running DSL is a 386 processor and 16MB of RAM. The complete installation of the operating system is only 50MB! For reference, many of the applications on your average machine take up more space than the whole operating system of DSL! DSL comes with a word processor, spreadsheet, firefox web browser, some card games, a Tetris clone and a whole lot more! If you've been curious to try Linux, but don't want to risk messing up your main machine, now there's a version of Linux for you to try that you can put on practically any old machine you have laying around.
DSL is also easily expandable via MyDSL extensions which allow you to download optimized applications (provided you have a working net connection) which provide added functionality to your old machine.
Be warned, DSL is not as easy to use or configure as Ubuntu. In fact, I'm still figuring it out myself. I recommend this for hobbyists and PC enthusiasts only. But then again, you can run it completely off of the disk, without modifying any of your existing files, so it doesn't hurt to check it out.
You can find DSL at www.damnsmalllinux.org From there you can download the ISO and burn it to a disk which you can then use to install DSL, or as a Live disk.
For those of you not familiar with the term ISO, it is a disk image file. Basically, it's a whole disk copied into a file, which can be used to recreate the disk. If you're still confused, tune in next week where I'll be covering ISO's and other disk image file types in greater detail.
See you then!