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total newbie!

Please help in neophyte terms! Ha.

Just acquired an old IBM T43 from my company with no OS. How can I get this machine up and running? I am really only interested in email and surfing the net.

Anything I can do that's easy, free, and affective? I heard Linux was the place to go.

I assume I have to acquire a CD or something?




  • Goineasy9
    Goineasy9 Posts: 1,114
    edited December 2011
    I have an old Thinkpad G41 that seems to be able to run any version of Linux that I put on it, so, your t43 should work ok.

    Any Linux distro will allow you to do mail and surf the internet, and, there are many threads here that focus on the pros and cons of many Linux distros, but anyway, I'll see if I can start you off.

    I would usually tell a new user to try Ubuntu or Linux Mint, but, because of the recent switch in Window Managers, at present, they may not be the best to try. I started off with PCLinuxOS and Mepis, and, as far as I can see, these two distros still are new user friendly and have few complaints.

    The PCLinuxOS distro can be downloaded here: http://www.pclinuxos.com/?page_id=10 As far as I can see, the KDE version is a 700mb Live CD. I haven't used their installer in a while, but, since there is no OS on your Thinkpad, there is probably an option to use the whole disk while doing a default install. I can see that they also offer a Full Monty edition, which comes with all extras and codecs already installed. Having codecs and graphics drivers already installed saves a lot of time and hassle, especially when surfing the internet. Since installing Flash for the internet sites that use it (and most do) is one of the first things one does after the install. If you have a good bandwidth connection, and don't mind downloading a 3.93GB DVD, and, have the hardware to burn a DVD iso, then, I would choose that version.

    Once you have the CD or DVD, it's as easy as clicking on the install button, answering a few questions, and, a short time later being up and running.

    BTW - Welcome to the Linux.com forums, and, if you have any other questions feel free to ask. Also, if you wait a bit, I'm sure others will have suggestions that differ from mine. Although, heh, I like my suggestions better. :-)

    Edit: if you do choose the Full Monty version, when installing, choose the Internet option, from what I can see, that contains all you need for mail and internet surfing.
  • putting linux on it would be a mistake linux does get you on the internet but that is about all it is good for i would look for an old win 98 and try that first you might have to pay for it but at least you can work with it
  • Goineasy9
    Goineasy9 Posts: 1,114
    @djm18748 You're entitled to your opinion, but stop trolling. If you had a bad experience there's no need to spam the forums with your displeasure.

    Putting Windows 98 on a Thinkpad is the probably the worst idea I've heard in a long time. Not only is it a system no longer supported by Microsoft, it has none of the features of a modern day operating system, and, that includes not having the security fixes that that particular version of Windows needs to survive on today's internet.

  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,177
    The T43 is a good computer with reasonable specs and more than enough power to play with any Linux based distro. I recommend downloading Linux Mint, Ubuntu or Fedora on a LiveCD and giving them a test run to see how they handle the hardware and if you like the included software. If you find that you are enjoying the experience you can easily install your chosen distro to the hard drive.

    As for the windows recommendation, that was horribly far off. The newer age of the hardware would make it nearly impossible to get all of the drivers to work on win98, and even if you could get a windowsXP disk that release is near end of support. In addition the hardware is insufficient to run any version of windows that is currently being sold.

    If you have further questions or want more recommendation we are here to help.

    I agree with GoinEasy9, we are more than willing to help you to work through your problems and educate you, but trolling out of frustration of your current state helps no one. If you are really that frustrated with your purchase from the second-hand computer shop address it with them and put out the money to get what you want, it was your thrifty ways and initial choice that resulted in your current issues. Each person has different needs which is why Linux was created, if you feel that all Linux based tools are bad then please throw out your cable boxes, modems, routers, home DVR, GPS, cells phone and all other electronics that run on Linux and turn off your internet access (because it is primary based on Linux devices) then see how happy you are at that point, just please do not take it out on the community or offer bad advice.
  • Thanks for all the help....Soooooo, I downloaded Ubuntu to my working computer's desktop. I guess I should burn a CD and try it out that way first? How do I operate the old laptop with the CD? When I turn on the old laptop, it says, "No Operating System". Do I go in the back door somehow to open the CD? I told you I was clueless! Ha.
    Thanks. MB
  • Goineasy9
    Goineasy9 Posts: 1,114
    When the bios screen comes up, the one with the Thinkpad logo on it, my screen says to hit the blue "Access IBM" button or hit enter to get to the bios. Once in the bios, look for the boot order and make sure that the CD is the first choice. Save and exit and then try booting again. If it doesn't work, let me know.
  • sorry for getting every one upset but i asked the question how do i check if my laptop still has windows on it about two weeks ago and no one would answer me so i got rude and got all kind of responses. So if you can help please do i am trying to see if i can set up a dual boot or not on it any help would be gratefull. I am using ubuntu 11.10 and it wont rip a cd or upload pics from my camara yet it will let me listen to the cd and look at pics. I have gone thru almost every music download ubuntu offers and they all just wont rip a cd and i cant find any other program to upload pics.
  • Hi,
    I burned my disc through downloading an iso recorder. When I tried to start-up my laptop with the disc, i got as far as selecting a language ( good ) and then hit install. The message I received was...."Kernel requires x86-64cpu...detected i686cpu...unable to boot". Help! Way over my head here!
  • Goineasy9
    Goineasy9 Posts: 1,114
    You downloaded the 64 bit version of the iso. You need to look for the version that says i686, or i586. Sometimes the isos are multi arch which means that you can choose either 32 or 64 bit from the same iso, but, it may not be in your case. Some dual-core duos are not 64 bit. I have a P4 in my G41 Thinkpad that is suppose to be hyperthreading, but only uses 32 bit distros. I guess in a nutshell, go back and get the i686 version, that will boot up on your machine.


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