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Re: [seul-edu] X-Terminals - Opinions sought

On Sun, 24 Oct 1999, Michael Viron wrote:

> Yes, Win '95 can be run quite comfortably on a P100, as we're running a P90
> under Win '95 (essentially because the people behind "Meeting Maker" (the
> software the school is using as a scheduler) will not release even a binary
> for Linux).

I've had Windows 95 run quite well on 486-80s and P60s with only 16Mb of
RAM. The problems I've had with it are typically large apps (Office 97),
and the "speed problems" are in part that Windows 95 is way too heavy and
that most users these days are quite spoiled by fast machines. A great
example of this, some Linux how-tos until real recently still consider
running a machine with 8Mb of RAM the minimum to run X. Nowadays we think
of this as "technically you can run X with only 8Mb of RAM" but back then
people used to do this as standard fare...

For that matter, my 486dx4-120 was a more than adequate Windows box, did
everything I demanded of it (except play MP3s while I was working on other
stuff, and generally work [Windows sucks, I used to get ticked off mad at
my machine at least once a week])... (as an aside, that box was originally
my BBS machine, which I shut down to install Linux on :)

When I ran Linux everything worked well but Netscape really killed the
machine, mostly unusable with it running. It was really only the fact that
I liked Linux so much more than Windows and had no problems with it other
than Netscape sucking that I ran it that way. At least until my CPU fan
gave out, and then Windows would only run for a couple hours before
overheating the machine, and Explorer would start crashing constantly. 
Linux, even with Netscape thrashing the machine, ran significantly cooler,
it was very noticable just by how warm the air in the case was when
Windows was running.

The biggest problem I think you're going to have with using anything less
than a Pentium system as an Xterminal is the lack of video card choices.
Although I am quite fond of VLB and the long cards that came about by it,
many of the cards simply do not have adequate RAM to run 1024x768 in 16bit
color depths, in most cases 256 colors will be the limit. This is OK, but
again, Netscape sucks, and can't use colors sanely.

Another though for yall, at UTD we have set up several old Sun
Workstations up as Xterminals running Linux, and they work quite well,
given a color frame buffer and a small local disk (there might be a way to
netboot them but I haven't played with it). The reason I suggest it is
that companies are finally giving away old Sparc stations (Solaris 8 won't
be supported on Sparc 1's, 1+'s, 2's, IPX's, or IPC's) and you might be
able to acquire a few of these machines. (we actually acquired several for
a Beowulf cluster project).

Michael Hamblin            http://www.utdallas.edu/~michaelh/
michaelh@utdallas.edu      http://www.ductape.net/
UTD Linux User Group       Engineering and Computer Science Support, x2997
                           "We truly dare not waste our youth..." -Green