November 20th, 2004, 14:57
My little sister gave me her old Gateway Solo 2500. It had (shudder) XP on it. I first tried SuSE 8.2, because it had lots of laptop friendly stuff. Not a good result, because it refused to do sound. Also, it was slower than XP.

I switched to FreeBSD 4.9, largely because I have a full set of packages on CD, and because I really liked KDE 3.1.4. I went through the optimizations, then built a custom kernel. Got sound! Also found a very nice console font at 80x30. And of course it's pretty quick. This thing has a PII 266 with 160MB RAM. The NeoMagic graphics is a puny 2MB VRAM, but works okay.

Since I don't plan to connect to the Internet, I won't bother updating or upgrading. Everything works just fine. The more I play with other OSes, the more I appreciate FreeBSD.


November 20th, 2004, 23:20
We had a few 2500 and 2550 laptops at the college and they weren't too bad. Throw as much memory as it will take in there and you should have a nice little laptop for FreeBSD.

November 21st, 2004, 00:31
I rebuilt the kernel, with some conservative shaving of useless options. I added options to allow me to use an 800x600 console display, and got sound working by adding pcm to the kernel. It's working rather well. I believe the memory is maxed out for this particular model at 160MB, but it seems to be enough. I'll have to write up a tutorial on this later.