[Mageia-dev] i686 must be Pentium II ?

Giuseppe Ghibò ghibomgx at gmail.com
Sun Sep 26 13:59:29 CEST 2010

2010/9/26 Thomas Backlund <tmb at iki.fi>

Giuseppe Ghibò skrev 26.9.2010 02:09:
> >
>> 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.
> You still miss the point that in Mageia community there are many users that
> find 30-50e a _lot_ of money, and we dont want to shut them out.

I'm not decreasing the value of the money, but rather I was pointing out the
false assumption that mageia (or the current inherited mandriva) would work
and would work FINE (or at all) on that hardware just because it was using a
compatible instruction set. I'm not against this, but if that we wanna
support that kind of hardware there is MUCH MORE work to do (I suggested a
LEGACY section in the wiki, but seems it wasn't caught) than just keeping
the actual flags, because in that way if we don't change then nobody will
complain. Even the simple lzma payload of rpm packages requires much more
memory than in the past with gzip. I'm not sure with current squashfs for
the initial ram disks.

I already cited there are other distro which maybe do a lot better this job.
In many countries there isn't even the broadband, dialup, nor the electrical
power for them. Right now you are almost assuming that a 10 years old
instruction set is still a no go, and that our distro is optimized like the
one of the One Laptop Per Child Project. Sadly it isn't. But there is also a
2nd point: on old hardware it is still possible to run old software and old
distros: strange but true. Such old software is still doing its dirty job.
It's not that you get a trojan as soon as you put the nose out the net.
There are still ways of configuring a distro on a LAN and trust in the
people using the terminals locally. Many schools still use them. In a 2
hours lesson at school you can't wait half an our just to have your desktop
booting..., the same if you plan an antispam server with latest antispam
tools on a server of that category (server that was doing it's dirty job
with the distro of 2 or 3 generations ago).

I also tried such old hardware, but there are much less bloated distro and
less bloated kernels (even non-linux ones) that do the job (or a specific
duty) on such hardware a lot better than ours.

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