An update to the story of the fifteen years old HP omnibook 4150 laptop I still keep running for fun. Well – it is still running quite well.
I changed the linux distribution to Fedora 18. I found it to be running a little bit better than Linux Mint. It can be stripped down very well. I got memory usage on a freshly started lxde session down to 70MiB.
Installation was quite tough. The built in DVD-drive is has big problems with self-burned CDs. Installation from an install CD failed always because of this (remember, you cannot boot from something else than HD/FD/CD with this old BIOS). I managed to do the installation of Fedora 17 by using online package repositories instead of the CD. It tool several hours.
Fedora 17 (and Ubuntu) failed starting an X-Server with this old ati chipset. That problem could be solved easily at least on fedora by installing the xorg-x11-drv-mach64 driver which was missing.
So this old graphics chipset is still supported by the newest X-Servers.
Still, there is not much you can do with this machine. It has not enough memory, a much too slow harddisk and not enough processing power. Even a raspberry pi feels much faster. Surfing is painfully slow – office work is somehow doable. Even as a server it is no good choice. Too much power usage for very modest processing power – and you’ll have a problem connecting storage to it.
The only useful application I found for this laptop was displaying video streams from the network.