Re: Trying to get a really old computer to connect to the internet.

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Whiskers, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. Whiskers

    Whiskers Guest

    On 2010-11-06, Brian Christiansen <> wrote:
    > I am helping a gentleman to connect to the internet by dial up. The
    > computer is probably at least 10 years old, and was upgraded probably from
    > windows 98. I looked in add/remove programs and the option to remove
    > windows is still there, and I strongly suspect it originally had windows 98.
    > Who knows, perhaps it even had windows 95 at one point. It was there in
    > 2004 when he took over as pastor for the church that I am sorta helping out,
    > and it was already upgraded then, so he really does not know much about what
    > happened or when it really started.


    What is the computer expected to be used for when connected to the
    internet? Presumably it hasn't been up till now. No dial-up connection
    is going to be of use for anything more than plain-text email and usenet;
    most web pages these days are so big they'd be very slow to download -
    which could work out expensive if the internet connection is metered by
    the minute. Is DSL not available?

    Is the computer currently working OK for something useful? Is there
    important 'stuff' on the hard disc? If so it might be wiser not to mess
    around with it at all. If it's more than about 5 years old it has
    exceeded the 'service life' it was probably designed for and is on
    'borrowed time'. Spare parts could be hard to find, so any breakdown is
    likely to be final.

    > The computer is an HP pavillion 4533, and the processor is 454 mhz, and it
    > has 64M of memory, and XP runs very slowly, in fact, I am kinda surprised it
    > runs at all. The modem card that is in the computer is a combination
    > modem/sound card.
    >
    > In the device manager, there is an item called "simple PCI communications
    > controller", which indicates to me that there is not an XP compatible driver
    > for it, at least not on the computer. My first idea was to find and load an
    > XP compatible driver for the device.


    [...]

    It would probably be easier to replace the old modem card with either a
    'known maker' modem card, or (much better) an external stand-alone modem -
    they are still being made, and aren't terribly expensive, and a church
    member might be able to donate a good 'used' one. If the computer lacks
    a 'serial' socket, replace the old modem card with a serial card.

    It sounds as though this computer has a rather murky past. I recommend
    backing up all the data that is still required, as soon as possible. If
    you want to tinker, adding more RAM probably wouldn't go amiss (if the
    BIOS can handle it) and a re-format of the HD and fresh installation of
    the OS and applications should forestall any nasty surprises. If the
    machine really is 10 years old, then Windows 98SE is probably the 'best'
    Microsoft system it can reliably handle.

    Consider one of the free Linux distros specifically intended for old
    computers - at least they are still maintained so likely to be safer for
    'on line' use, if the users can be convinced (or just not told they're not
    using Windows any more!).

    A newer machine, with a DSL internet connection, is likely to be the only
    long-term option. The old computer could go phut at any moment.

    --
    -- ^^^^^^^^^^
    -- Whiskers
    -- ~~~~~~~~~~
     
    Whiskers, Nov 6, 2010
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Whiskers

    Meat Plow Guest

    On Sat, 06 Nov 2010 13:47:25 +0000, Whiskers wrote:

    > If the
    > machine really is 10 years old, then Windows 98SE is probably the 'best'
    > Microsoft system it can reliably handle.


    <nods>

    Plus another 64 or memory wouldn't hurt.



    --
    Live Fast, Die Young and Leave a Pretty Corpse
     
    Meat Plow, Nov 6, 2010
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Whiskers

    Mike Easter Guest

    Meat Plow wrote:
    > Whiskers wrote:
    >
    >> If the machine really is 10 years old, then Windows 98SE is
    >> probably the 'best' Microsoft system it can reliably handle.

    >
    > <nods>
    >
    > Plus another 64 or memory wouldn't hurt.


    People who try to run light linux distros on a 64 meg machine are going
    to be disappointed compared to how well Win98 works out.

    According to HP that machine will take two 128 meg 100mhz sdram/dimms 168pin

    The problem is that if you don't have some lying around and have to go
    to the store to buy some, it isn't cheap.

    You don't want to be spending much hardware money on old hardware like
    that, because something is liable to break and most new hardware isn't
    going to be good for anything else.

    Tinkering with old ware is something that works out the best for people
    who have a lot of old hardware and scraps lying around.


    --
    Mike Easter
     
    Mike Easter, Nov 6, 2010
    #3
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. rich irving
    Replies:
    5
    Views:
    5,200
    rich irving
    Jan 11, 2006
  2. Mike Easter
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    1,023
    Mike Easter
    Nov 6, 2010
  3. Mike Easter
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    399
    Mike Easter
    Nov 6, 2010
  4. PeeCee
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    495
    PeeCee
    Nov 6, 2010
  5. thanatoid
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    429
    thanatoid
    Nov 7, 2010
Loading...

Share This Page