[Mageia-discuss] New install on older machine

TJ andrewsfarm at gmail.com
Thu Jan 5 14:57:27 CET 2012

On 12/29/2011 10:14 PM, TJ wrote:
> I just installed Mageia 1 from the DVD on my brother's computer -
> Biostar M7VIG Pro motherboard, Athlon XP 1500+ processor, 512 MB PC2100
> DDR RAM, nVidia FX5500 AGP 4x video card, Samsung B2030 monitor
> connected via VGA, Asus WL-138G V2 wireless card (Broadcom 4318
> chipset). The existing OS was Mandriva 2010.2. I did a clean install,
> not an update, leaving the drive with /home intact.
> So far, so good. The install went smoothly, no problems. The monitor was
> correctly identified, and the correct resolution selected. After using
> the b43 firmware cutter to install the necessary firmware, all that was
> needed was to select the proper signal to make the wireless connection.
> After configuring the mirror list, the proprietary nVidia driver was
> installed, using MCC. Then, 619 updates were downloaded and installed,
> while I ate some lunch.
> My brother's uses are modest - some websurfing (Facebook and Youtube), a
> bit of email, watch a DVD now and then. His hardware is enough for that
> kind of work, though he could probably use a video card with DVI output,
> and some more RAM. I installed the Flashplayer plugin, Oracle's Java
> version 7u2, Thunderbird, vlc, Kaffeine, and then the latest Adobe
> Reader and Google Earth for good measure. All seem to be working fine,
> though there wasn't much time for testing today once I had everything
> installed. More testing tomorrow, but so far I'd call it an unqualified
> success.
> Just thought you'd like to know...
> TJ
Uh-oh. Make that a qualified success. Since installing Mageia my brother 
has noticed a slowdown in operation over what he had with Mandriva 
2010.2. The latest KDE, coupled with Firefox 9 is just a bit more strain 
than his 512MB of RAM can handle, I think. He might have noticed it with 
Mandriva 2010.2 as well, because the flatscreen monitor had only been 
installed for a couple of days before I put Mageia on his machine. 
Before that, he had used a CRT at a lower resolution. Even though the 
video card is handling the display, it still takes more RAM to build it.

The top command shows swap being used when there's just Firefox and 
Konsole running, and that just shouldn't be. I could go with a lighter 
desktop, but it took me long enough to settle my brother into working 
with KDE - I don't want to change things now. It would only be a 
stopgap, anyway. RAM needs always increase, never decrease.

So, I've gone to eBay and purchased a couple of 1GB sticks of used RAM 
for $25. New RAM that will work in this machine is pricey and harder to 
find than it used to be. That'll bring the computer to its maximum of 
2GB, which should be plenty for a good while.

We'll see how that works out. Another video card with a digital 
connection would probably help too, but one thing at a time.


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