Recommendations for operating system

Zane H. Healy healyzh at
Sun Aug 27 22:12:58 CDT 2006

At 9:13 PM -0500 8/27/06, Choctaw Bob wrote:
>I think that this just squeaks in as being on topic.

It's well on topic, I had a P90 laptop with 16MB RAM, and an 800MB HD in 1995.

>I am looking for suggestions for an operating system for a PC, specs 
>75 MHZ Pentium, 16 MB Ram, 4 GB HD, currently running PC-DOS Ver 7. 
>Original IBM PC-DOS right out of the factory sealed box.  I am 
>thinking about  putting GEM on the machine, maybe CP/M-86.  Thought 
>about GEOS, but rejected it, too closed. Specs seem too tight for 
>Linux or BSD, or at least little advantage over DOS or CP/M.
>Anyone have experience with an operating system that might work, and 
>be capable of useful work?

One bit of advice, try to get a bit more RAM, does it use 30-pin 
SIMMs or 72-pin SIMMs?  If it uses 72-pin SIMMs (and the odds are 
pretty good that it does), then it should be very easy to get a 
decent amount of RAM (48-64MB would be good) in there.  For a Unix 
variant, I'd recommend OpenBSD, it does very, very well on low memory 
systems.  You don't mention what you have for a video card, a Matrox 
Millenium, or Matrox Millenium II has great compatibility with 
alternative OS's.

The real question might be what are you looking to do with the system?

If you can bump up the RAM, and are looking for something interesting 
to try, I'd be inclined to recommend OPENSTEP, or BeOS if you can get 
them, otherwise AROS, or a couple of the other alternative OS's might 
be fun.  Check out for ideas.


| Zane H. Healy                    | UNIX Systems Administrator |
| healyzh at (primary)    | OpenVMS Enthusiast         |
| MONK::HEALYZH (DECnet)           | Classic Computer Collector |
|     Empire of the Petal Throne and Traveller Role Playing,    |
|          PDP-10 Emulation and Zane's Computer Museum.         |
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