[nSLUG] Re: Anyone Have An Extra: Monitor (CRT), Keyboard, Mouse?

Mike Spencer mspencer at tallships.ca
Mon Jan 28 19:23:39 AST 2008

Michael (Lauzon, not Spencer :-) wrote:

> ...being an older computer I am going to have to forego KDE or GNOME
> and just use a lightweight Window Manager...does anyone know of any
> that will fit the bill?

My personal opinion is that this is a *good* way to start with Linux.
For a Windows user, the B&W console command line is a barrier to
learning.  OTOH, a simple window manager makes it possible to have
manpages, HOWTO docs, PDFs, config files and on-line docs up on the
screen at the same time that you're learning how to use the command
line in an xterm.  The value of man, apropos, whereis, locate and the
like can hardly be exaggerated.

A newbie who relies entirely on a desktop and versions of the standard
utilities that are squeezed through pop-up windows will, IMO, be held
back from learning the real power of Linux.  In learning mode, it's
not all about getting all the peripherals and cute digital doo-dads
working, watching full-motion video with surround sound or fluent use
of a full suite of office and graphics GUI tools.

My single experience with Ubuntu on an older machine (admittedly a
rather early version of Ubuntu) was that it took forever to install,
insisted on trying to boot into a desktop environment and, in the end,
never did run usably (possibly because of a high and un-met RAM

To answer Michael's question, I would install Slackware (which now has
a pretty good installation script on bootable CD) and run twm as a
window manager.  This may, in fact, require a little help getting an
optimal .xinitrc set up for a newbie.  I guessing (I haven't
installed Slack 12 yet) that the initial X config (xorg.conf) will
work without manual intervention.  The result will not, of course, be
a UI "as much like Windoes as possible" but it should run on minimal

I realize that Slackware for the newbie is deprecated by conventional
wisdom and that is probably justified for "hasten to get a fully
functional system running to contemporary standards" mode.  I'd be
inclined to go for "learning mode" myself.

Jeff> But, what Eugene and Donald (and I) are saying is that the list
Jeff> is not a replacement for manuals, howtos, or just plain trying.
Jeff> Bad question:

Yeah, well, I agree with that despite the fact that I have
recollections of being completely baffled in some cases by available
docs -- one of my personal gripes, but a 2-page rant would be out of
place here.

Eugene> I think you may have missed my point....what I was saying was
Eugene> that possibly this is not the right place to ask for free
Eugene> hardware.

Mea culpa.  I did miss your point.  Sorry.

Not to be an argumentative grouch here :-) but if you ask in a general
venue such as hfx.general or ns.forsale, there will, I surmise, be a
fair number of people with PIIs or 15" CRT monitors who think they're
worth $100+ while in a venue where at least a few otaku geeks may be
expected, there may be people who feel that anything where the solder
isn't still warm and the case smelling of monomers is obsolete and
utterly valueless. :-)

- Mike

Michael Spencer                  Nova Scotia, Canada       .~. 
mspencer at tallships.ca                                     /( )\
http://home.tallships.ca/mspencer/                        ^^-^^

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