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Mostly I still have that old 'ultraportable' laptop that is mostly like a pre-netbook era laptop and a friend and programmer needs a computer because the one he was using just broke and he has to wait until the new one arrive in 4-6 weeks ...

This laptop has no LAN connection and CD-ROM so be prepared for a real challenge!

All hardware is well supported on Windows XP (included drivers on the Windows XP CD) and on Linux out-of-the-box (but the screen need a special configuration.)

Mostly any Linux that will work well with Skype (USB or regular headset), any MSN client and a text writer for code will do.

What I have tested so far: Slitaz 2 don't boot because the floppy of GRUB4DOS don't see the USB drive (fully working and tested on my regular laptop), Damn Small Linux was working but was needing a special screen configuration that I don't remember (in the boot options of the floppy) and now I'm thinking about Puppy Linux that is seen to work totally out of the box with it but I will need an old Puppy version (1 or 2 I think) and the Wakepup floppy ...

  • If you got some ideas to help or to try I'm open!
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So it does NOT have a CD drive? The wording of your question is unclear. –  Nighthawk Sep 6 '09 at 12:16
    
no cd drive, no lan ... –  zillion Sep 6 '09 at 16:40
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closed as not constructive by Sathya Aug 5 '12 at 17:33

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4 Answers

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Frankly, I think your best bet is Damn Small Linux. It's small and fast and has an active community. Suck it up and try to figure out that display mode you forgot. It will likely be vga=xxx, where xxx is some secret code. Check out the wiki. Alos, read into persisting your settings, so that you don't have to remember stuff all the time.

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How are you planning on using Skype without a network connection?

Assuming you must have SOME form of at least passably fast networking, I suggest trying a Debian net install, which you can do from a USB memory stick. With a larger memory stick (~1 GB), you could put the CD1 image on it as well, so you don't need to net install.

The install guide documents how to install from USB memory stick. See, for example, http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/ch04s03.html.en

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I will use a wifi card so ndiswrapper will be used ... The real problem is that I cannot boot directly from usb so I need a way using floppy drive cause there is no cd drive ... I will mostly need a minimalist distro cause the hardware is outdated so Debian maybe not the best choice if I need it fast ... –  zillion Sep 6 '09 at 16:44
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