• Ewaste or usable – week 2

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    It’s week 2 of my experiment to see if two computers I have are either e-waste or usable. So this week I have decided that trying to make either lapto
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    Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

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    • #2446913

      Thin client?

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2446915

      From a cost benefit standpoint, the computers should be designated e-waste and you should spend some time pulling weeds in the garden.

      Or better yet, raising money for the World Central Kitchen to support their work feeding Ukrainian refugees.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2447040

        That is like saying that there is no cost benefit of working on the 1961 Jaguar XK-E or 1954 MG TD that is out in the barn.

        There is pleasure in lifting the hood and working on a classic car.

        Likewise, why not have some fun souping up an old laptop?

        5 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2447106

          I have difficulty comparing an E-jag to a 586 or 486.

          • #2447160

            The point is not a comparison between an “E-jag” and a 586 or 446.

            It is a matter of how to find joy your life.

            It is important to remember the words of the nineteen sixties goddess – Janis Joplin,

            “In this world, if you read the papers, darling
            You know everybody’s fighting on with each other
            You got no one you can count on, dear
            Not even your own brother

            So if someone comes along
            He’s gonna give you some love and affection
            I’d say get it while you can, yeah ….


            While gaining enjoyment from working on a 586 or 446 ain’t “love and affection” it is important to remember to find peace and happiness where and while you can!

            4 users thanked author for this post.
            • #2447167

              “get it while you can” – interesting spiritual advice. Appropriate for this world, you feel?

    • #2446958

      The i686 error message occurs when you try to install a 64 bit OS on a 32 bit CPU.

      From the Chrome OS Flex help page

      32-bit x86 and ARM devices are not supported.

      Attempting to install a 64 bit version of Linux on a 32 bit CPU will also cause this error.

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    • #2446965

      The Real Problem with an old, slow PC is that a modern OS is going to make it slow down to a pace that is in practice UNUSABLE for anything productive, even if it is technically functional. It is only really usable for getting up your bloodpressure, because that is what is going to happen EVERY TIME you use it!

      I’m speaking from experience. Installing a modern Linux on a netbook is like banging your head in the wall repeatedly. It has little purpose, but feels GREAT when you stop!

      By OLD, I mean anything earlier than a Core-I5.

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    • #2446968

      Latest full patched and community supported Debian 11.3 is shown as working.


      Be sure to get the non-free iso as bluetooth needs non-firmware to function.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2446969

      Very timely article, as my Chromebook has now reached EOL, and I have a few options before me.  I’m curious as to your solutions.

      I don’t think I want to stick to ChromeOS, or anything similar like Cloudready, so Linux would be the way to go.  Thus, the most likely path would be to wipe the drive and install GalliumOS, specifically designed for Chromebook h/w.  From what I’ve read about the switch is that here are lots of “hoops” to jump through before getting a successful switch.   Hope your experience will be less painful.  Look forward to reading your next chapter in this saga,

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    • #2446990

      imho time would be much better spent on other machines, other topics.

      - Thinkpad P15s Gen1 20T4-002KUS, i7-10510U, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 500GB M.2.
      - Win 11 Pro 23H2 WU. HP laserjets M254dw & P1606dn, Epson 2480 scanner. External monitor Dell s3221QS for old games.

      • #2447004

        Those are my only two that are end of life.  Everything else still is supported.  What topics are you interested in?  If you note for every one person that says “why even bother”, other says try this…. and the point here is in the conversation.  I’m planning to get into what is a decent hardware next.  It’s part of the weekly journey.

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

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        • #2447012

          You can put linux on just about any computer, no matter how old. I think most folks know that. We learn nothing by doing so, yet again. The various linux forums (Ubuntu, Mint, etc, etc) already do that.

          Linux, as much as I have used it, and love it, it, in its place, however, is not windows. I think ask woody started out focused on windows. Now it seems to be trying to be for “everyone”. Not sure how useful that is for the windows community. Sometimes change can benefit.

          The “topics I am interested in” – the things I look to the ask woody forum for – would be things I can’t easily find elsewhere – like @bbearren answering and solving my broken windows recovery – and quite easily, too. – priceless!

          You are clearly an incredibly smart person and with boucoup experience with many windows platforms and situations. Valuable!

          You are in the driver’s seat. Do with it as you wish. I am sure you know far more about the world of computing than I.

          - Thinkpad P15s Gen1 20T4-002KUS, i7-10510U, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 500GB M.2.
          - Win 11 Pro 23H2 WU. HP laserjets M254dw & P1606dn, Epson 2480 scanner. External monitor Dell s3221QS for old games.

          • #2447013

            I suppose I could exposit a tiny piece of my “journey” – I noted that I put win 10 home on my old Lenovo V570. I sold it to my neighbor’s (adult) kid, but chose to buy it back 4 days later as he knew nothing about computers or windows and kept trying to get me to do it for him. To me, this is an important thing that is lacking in this world – easy beginner training for computers and windows – I say “computers with windows” because if you learn linux you still know nothing about the vast majority of PCs out there. To a large extent it is a waste of time.

            That reminds me of a time back in the early 80’s when I was working for a hospital doing IBM system tech support and was asked to also see if I could help the IBM PC folks. Shortly thereafter a group of apple users asked why I couldn’t support them as well. Shortly therafter I left that company.

            - Thinkpad P15s Gen1 20T4-002KUS, i7-10510U, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 500GB M.2.
            - Win 11 Pro 23H2 WU. HP laserjets M254dw & P1606dn, Epson 2480 scanner. External monitor Dell s3221QS for old games.

          • #2447021

            Home users are moving away from Windows for their home use.  My weekend posts are specifically geared towards home users, ergo why this focus.  I’m also going to talk about Android tablets/Kindles as an optional technology tool.  Technology evolves.

            Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

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            • #2447022

              “Home users are moving away from Windows for their home use.”
              Really? Do you have links that might expand on that? Thanks! (turbotax and schwab smart street edge require windows).

              - Thinkpad P15s Gen1 20T4-002KUS, i7-10510U, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 500GB M.2.
              - Win 11 Pro 23H2 WU. HP laserjets M254dw & P1606dn, Epson 2480 scanner. External monitor Dell s3221QS for old games.

            • #2447032

              Turbo tax online does not need Windows.  There are both cloud versions and Mac versions of Turbotax.  Windows 11 honestly does not bring anything of value to the Home user.  Look around this site regarding the number of Apple and Linux users and increasing topics, it’s why I’m making sure that we ensure we are discussing Apple issues not just Windows.  I personally know of users in my office that have literally no Windows devices at home, the only PC they use is the one at the office.  Unless you are a gamer – of which this site does not cater to – Home users are moving to non Windows devices.

              • Desktop OS market share | Statista

              Then layer on the mandate to have a Microsoft account in windows 11 and the number people that are going “over my dead body…” and you get the idea.

              Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2448190

              Are home users moving away from Windows or has Windows moved away from home users? It’s not a rhetorical question, and don’t give me a non-response. I use Office 2003 because it works for me and doesn’t have a Ribbon. MY CHOICE! I like it. I not only need it, I want it and I like it. The last Windows that I liked was Windows 7. Then MS changed Windows forever and changed it again and again. Now it’s hardly even Windows anymore. It’s certainly not MY windows.

              My biggest concern is how do I maintain my computing experience, ability, and fun when MS keeps pulling the rug out from under me?

              Win 10 and certainly Win 11 are not getting the job done for me. I can manage my own stinking computer and don’t need or want MS to do it for me. Just stop, would you MS?



            • #2448191

              See tonight’s installment.  Office 2003 is your key need, correct?  But is it specifically Office 2003 or would something LIKE Office be good enough?

              Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

            • #2448350

              I’ll probably move to Libre Office when 2003 no longer works. Credit to MS for maintaining compatibility between windows and older versions of Office. They don’t have to do that but, credit where credit is due. I DON’T want a Ribbon. Ever.

            • #2448354

              I apologize. I didn’t directly answer your question. I like 2003. I’m accustomed to 2003. It is specifically 2003, or something very much like its user interface. The situation reminds me of the new Coke debacle. Eventually Coke had to reintroduce Classic Coke because New Coke didn’t taste as good. In matters of taste there is no argument. I’m right. MS is right. I vote with my pocket book. Thanks.

        • #2447214

          I’m eagerly awaiting the next installments of this topic. You go, Susan!

          I was thrilled to see this topic initiated.  I’m bookmarking each installment, so I have time to refer back to it when I undertake my own dechroming of my mother’s old 2016 Acer ‘book that stopped getting updates about 10 months ago.

          With a 15″ FHD screen, Core i5 5200U @ 2.2ghz and 4 GB RAM, it’s more of a budget laptop running ChromeOS than some tiny net appliance. It meets or exceeds the specs of the old 2012-ish Toshiba Ultrabook I had just set up to “learn Linux” on in every way except storage capacity which is easily remedied with an SD/HC card*. Specs are probably good enough to satisfy even our sanctinonymous friend upthread who doesn’t seem to be in tune with the “because I can/want to/am curious how it turns out ethos.

          *I never got to use my Toshiba because a friend desperately needed a computer just days after I got it running smoothly. Got divorce papers & found himself locked out of his own laptop a couple days later. That was two years ago, and that underpowered little Toshi is meeting all his needs. Maybe I’ll get it back sometime this year. 🥴

    • #2447005

      For a main workstation, there are a lot of ways to get something cheap or upgrade or switch O/S on a current computer to get something more useful.  For a small secondary PC, the needs that were filled by the netbook boom, you don’t want to spend what a real computer costs.  But cheap windows netbooks aren’t IMO a popular category for sale anymore.  Even the idea of having a Windows machine with less than 128GB of hard drive makes me fear it won’t even be able to patch itself.  So if you want a cheap netbook, brainstorming new ideas is worthwhile.

      I had a windows XP netbook I really liked.  I held onto it maybe a lot longer than I should have.  Mine was ewaste in my opinion, the hard drive and ram weren’t upgradable so instead of running a Linux I am used to I would have had to settle for a super light one.

    • #2447011

      For a Linux install on the Acer, I’d look at the following distros (all of which have a 32 bit version if needed)

      1) AntiX
      AntiX is designed for older PC’s, and has minimal requirements:
      “256MB RAM is the recommended minimum for antiX. Installation to hard drive requires a minimum 5.0GB hard disk size.”

      2)  LinuxLite
      Another distro (Ubuntu base) that has low requirements, and is very friendly to Windows users:
      Minimum Recommended Specs:
      1Ghz processor
      768mb ram
      8gb HDD/SD
      VGA screen capable of 1024×768 resolution

      Preferred Specs:
      1.5GHz processor+
      1024mb ram+
      20gb HDD/SSD+
      VGA, DVI or HDMI screen capable of 1366×768 resolution+

      3) MX Linux
      Debian based, and what I use on my  2008 Thinkpad 200 Laptop Core Duo (upgraded to 8 gigs ram and ssd, dual booting with Windows 10..and it runs fine!). XFCE and Fluxbox run well on older PC’s! Here are the requirements:

      A modern i686 Intel or AMD processor
      Memory – 2GB and more.
      Storage – 20 GB and more
      USB disk/CD/DVD for installation on a Physical machine

      You can test the above out easily by burning the iso’s on a flash drive. The Acer C710 apparently can support up to 8 gigs of ram (per Crucial…here’s the link). Not sure if the Acer has an SSD or is MSata, but you could just burn an iso to a large size USB stick, and boot off of that (just select persistent storage when you burn with Rufus ).

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    • #2447084

      The Acer C710 apparently can support up to 8 gigs of ram

      Depending on the exact chip set and BIOS (i.e. does it support PAE – Physical Address Extension), a 32 bit OS can only address up to 4 GB.

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    • #2447103


      How old are these laptops that they don’t have a 64-bit CPU? Do they have Atom processors? Pentium M? If not, I would wonder if they do have 64-bit CPUs but something is making ChromeOS not detect them.

      • #2447215

        Susan’s  Acer C710-2834 has 2013 Intel Celeron Processor 1007U which is a 64bit third generation  Ivy Bridge processor.  The 2 Gig is what makes it unusable to browse websites as any modern Linux Desktop really needs 4G or more to browse the web.   Note the distros mentioned above for 32-bit , Linux Lite , MX Linux are 64bit with latest version!  The 32-bit verison are either EOL are very close to EOL with old unpatched applications!

        I see only Debian , AntiX, Slackware , Gentoo, Void and Skparky Linux have 32-bit available with their latest version.  Which only Debian is a main popular Linux while all the others are very obscure with very low number of users.  These others each do have a small but vocal niche.

        64-bit reference : https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/72061/intel-celeron-processor-1007u-2m-cache-1-50-ghz.html

    • #2447110

      While some are trying to make older, slower hardware work with modern OSs, a whole other side of the hobby is working with Raspberry Pis and other SBCs (small board computers) turning them into web servers, NAS boxes, and daily use computers.

    • #2447273

      Ok. So it seems answer to my original question  is “No, Susan will not sent it. I will ewaste it.”

      I would have use both of them as is.

    • #2447521

      I’m not done with my postings. And as you keep posting anonymously I have no idea who you are anyway.

      I want them before you removed Windows 7. When you are done with your posting, will you send them to me as they were with Windows 7? Hopefully you made a backup of the original system. If so, I will be able to use them. Thank you.

    • #2448077

      Acer Aspire One ZA3: it’s max memory is 2 GB, so this one may be a lost cause.

      Acer C710 (Q1VZC): Crucial says it can go to 8 GB. 4 GB of ddr3l-1600 RAM can be less than $20 from a top rated eBay seller.

      Search for “ddr3l-1600 sodimm 8gb”, filter for just ‘Buy It Now’ to skip the auctions, sort by lowest price first, and then scroll down to those from top rated sellers (ignore the too-cheap-to-be-true, slow-boat-shipped-from-China sellers).

      Ex.- If you want to go 8 GB, here’s one for 4GB sticks, sold in a lot of two sticks, $15 each (eBay item #165492758170).

    • #2448235

      Are you paying for the transport? Why should you get them ahead of another deserving cause? cheers, Paul

      I was the first to ask for them. Plus I would use them as they are without any modification need.  I would use them until they total break down. So I think I deserve it. May be you are the second asking for them. That would need a lottery or some other way to figure out who gets them.

    • #2448627

      As an anon poster, I have no idea who you are,

      I am the only one asking for it. I am not good at reading between the lines.I take that as a no. Thanks for letting me know. A simple “no” would have been easier to read for me. Well back to my XP.

    • #2449495

      You still aren’t getting it. I have no idea who you are unless you register.

      But you are still not getting it as well. I can not register. Woody would have understood if he still was here. He allowed people to register using a work around or allow to post annon.

      • #2449556

        Yes you can.  If you truly NEED to be anonymous, then you shouldn’t be on the internet at all due to the fact that there are still ways to track down someone.  Granted it takes legal action and subpoenas, but no one HAS to stay anonymous on this site.  All you are doing it causing more work for the moderators.

        I cannot send a computer previously under my control to someone who is anonymous.  I will need an address which then makes you no longer anonymous.  It comes down to trust and you aren’t trusting me. Even Woody would understand this concept.  If I am to mail you anything, I need to identify you.

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

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