Puppy Linux gives new life to Windows 95 Laptop

puppy. foster parent?

Recently I was asked to help revive a Windows 95-era laptop by installing Linux on it. Windows 95 didn't seem to have functional USB support on the laptop, and modern web browsers like Firefox weren't easily available for it.

My first attempt was to try Xubuntu Linux, which seemed to still be too resource intensive for this 96Mg RAM, 150Mhz processor laptop.

My second attempt, Puppy Linux seems to be working rather well. Except for some files I needed to copy by hand, the install went very smoothly, and the system does indeed run with low requirements, idling well below the 96 Megs of memory the system has.

It was very easy to connect to my home wireless network with the machine, and a USB drive that was plugged into the machine was immediately recognized. Further, the system now has Firefox installed as a web-browser, and good options for e-mail and word processing as well.

Now, Linux is not magical pixie dust, even when it's tailored to older hardware. With only 150Mhz under the hood, the system is noticeably slow for a lot of operations. While the Flash plugin is installed, I doubt it has horsepower to do much with sound or video.

Still, of the options available to extend the life of a decade-old laptop, Puppy Linux seems to be an excellent choice.

(A little more search engine fodder: The laptop was a Gateway Solo 2000, model "9100")

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