10 June 2011

So much history in one PC!

Open case, discover:
  • Two separate Pentium-II processors
  • An AGP socket, sundry PCI sockets, two AT-sized ISA sockets
  • a Matrox-brand PCI video card
The video card would’ve been quite the bomb in its day!

It turns out to be quite handy for putting into a dual-core 3GHz Pentium-IV machine with sundry PCI plus one PCI-X sockets plus built-in everything including video card. The machine will be used for running presentations, & rather than telling the projector to freeze the image, they can now edit a presentation on another screen, get it to the same point in the series, plus one, then minimise the old slide-show (LibreOffice Impress), flip new slideshow onto screen, maximise in under 2 seconds.

The machine was to use PowerPoint under MS-Windows XP, as it had done in the past. It had picked up an irritating virus, which seemed to do nothing except propagate itself onto any USB stick plugged in, & knife any shell-type (CMD.EXE) actions in the guts — including update the virus scanner database (it’s not normally Internet-connected). However, the plans have now been changed.

After chatting with its owners, it is now dual-boot Kubuntu Natty Narwhal & a from-scratch MS-Windows XP (just in case) & presenting with LibreOffice Impress. I will re-install (just in case) their MS-Office under XP (once I can imagine a new install key for it, as the original key has gotten narky after 3x installs), & have a go at WINEing it under Kubuntu.

The change of machine is because:
  • the original Dell box has no PS/2 sockets at all, & the XP installer flipped to text mode to ask a question, then waited for a PS/2 keystroke;
  • the new box is 50% quicker & dual-core
  • it also has 2x 512MB DDR2 DIMMs & room for two more (old box has 2x 256MB DDR2 SIMMs & that’s all)
  • there’s room for 2x video sockets as above
As a bonus, the new box has 6x USB sockets rather than 2x.

Oh, the PC (& two alternatives, & several others) were acquired for free in that the local TAFE & some high schools donated old PCs for formatting & re-use by a local primary school, however there are no MS-Windows XP drivers at all for some of the built-in devices (Kubuntu runs the whole swag seamlessly, testing was initially done with Kosmic Koala).

No comments: