Naturally, this represents a great source of systems for testing the latest Linux distributions.
I thought it would be interesting to find out which modern Linux distro made the best OS for a supposedly "obsolete" old laptop.
With this in mind, I requisitioned an oldie but goodie: an IBM ThinkPad 2662-35U (pictured here), with a Pentium III 600MHz processor, 192MB of SDRAM and a 20GB hard drive.
Next, I set about collecting as many suitable 1-CD Linux distros as possible.
These included copies of the latest Xandros and Linspire that had been provided to me for evaluation, plus free Web downloads of the latest Freespire, Kubuntu, Mandriva One, SimplyMEPIS and PCLinuxOS distros.
After that, I compiled a list of basic requirements.
My plan was to do a quick run-through of each distro—not spend a week of tweaking and fine-tuning each one—so I needed a checklist that would allow me to rapidly narrow my search down to the one or two that are most likely to work well over the long haul.