[Mageia-dev] i686 must be Pentium II ?

Giuseppe Ghibò ghibomgx at gmail.com
Sun Sep 26 09:24:20 CEST 2010

2010/9/26 André Machado <afmachado at dcemail.com>

> > Common where? There are schools and universities are dismitting hardware
> > like with P4/2.4Ghz and 512MB RAM for whatever use (either server or
> > desktop). And even older hardware no-ROHS, which should be dismantled
> > carefully.
> You are seeing everything from a limited european POV, the P4 you say is
> being thrown away here is a top-end system in some other countries.
> Mageia is supposed to be for the whole world, not just EU/US/BRICs.
> I don't want to deprive the fun of building a router or a firewall from an
> old P133/64 with two ethernet cards, or some mediabox, but often you can't
> (and sometimes you pay of energy power in a year much more than getting some
> 30-50E linksys ARM linux based router. And when soemone try such kind of
> attempts in the real world with your distro, will be very disappointed of
> failures. That's why I in some way asked a survey of oldest hardware based
> on own experiences.
> I fully agree, At "first world" countries, Like Europe ones or USA, people
> can buy the most recet PCS, but at "Thrird world" countries - Like Brazil,
> what is part of BRIC, or many Africa nations - this is very unacessible by
> population, even with government programs, like Brazil's "Computador para
> Todos" (computer for everyone) that sells low-cost PCs with inferior
> hardware, often leftover stock lines earlier from the U.S. and Europe. In
> many department shops here, for example, Core2Duo is sold as if it were
> the last flavor of the moment.
> If, where you are, Pentium I - 4 and 32-bit platform is a museum thing, in
> most World parts, is not. I know people that, nowadays, uses a Pentium 200
> with 64MB RAM as main computer.
> Despite Mageia main target be current computers, we must think in these
> people; 32-bit will not die anytime soon. Then: Do we need compile 32-bit
> edition as i586 - and support Pentium and above, i686 - and support Pentium
> Pro and above, or do a Mageia Lite edition?
> [PS: I did not break the thread this time, broke?]
What I'm saying is that in the "real world", an hardware generation is born
for a certain software generation. Outside this you can't, if programmers
doesn't have paid a particular attention to memory consumption and
performance. And currently they haven't.

In mandriva 7.0-7.2 I was able to run vmware on a P133 with not 64 but 48MB
of RAM, and there I was running another OS under which I was running a
(TWAIN) software for page scanning for a Umax Page Office scanner, and that
was the only software available for acquiring data from a parallel port. A
bit slow but usable. The same using a modern distro on that old hardware is
no longer possible. So the feeling of being compatible with older hardware
is just apparent. This is true for even non-graphics applications. Try just
with apache, postfix, spamassassin, or even a simple modem-bridge with the
only things doing is having a modem connected to a serial port running a
getty and pppd for dialup access (that's the smallest application which
comes to my mind).

So my point was that we were keeping flags holding the brakes for
maintaining a compatibility which is just apparent. Current configuring
tools are written in high level languages, like python, with a lot of other
libraries, and they consumes a lot more memory than in the past. Even
rendering the fonts consumes a lot more. xfs was even removed from standard

Being compatible and usable with legacy system like that is certainly
possible, but not in the current way. On the software side is even worst
(e.g. some software removed in favour of other newer having the same
capability). Maybe there could be created a section called "Legacy" for such
kind of things, with much more testing.

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