Step 8: Puppy Linux

OK- I'm not going to debate which OS is better, all the many reasons you should use Linux, religious arguments, any of that. Use whichever OS you want. Puppy is not meant to be a replacement for your primary desktop OS.

Puppy Linux is a Linux live cd- throw it in your CD drive, turn your computer on, make sure the BIOS is set to check for bootable CDs and it will fire up. The entire operating system is 50MB in size, meaning it will also fit on a USB stick the size that you can get free from career fairs- this is worth doing as you can save files onto the remainder of the stick to use with Puppy if you don't want it to touch your hard disk.

It's pretty full featured- has a browser, email, instant messenging, basic office software (writer, spreadsheet), drawing programs, music and DVD player, CD burner and a lot of system administration tools for things like partitioning and formatting hard drives which make it very useful as a system rescue disk.

The programs are mostly chosen for their lightweight nature- rather than the latest Firefox it uses the very simple Dillo browser, for instance, with the result that it can run on even the oldest computers. I used Puppy to rejuvenate an elderly laptop (500MHz PIII, 64MB RAM, 4GB hard disk) that was too slow to run Windows ME properly and it ran like a dream with Puppy.

It isn't a panacea that will solve all your computing woes- the interface, while simple, is odd (single clicks on files or shortcuts open them and you can't change this), and like any Linux system it requires a little knowledge of how UNIX-like systems behave, but it is still remarkably easy to use. The newer versions include hardware detection so an average PC with standard components should autodetect without any problems.

But if you needed any more persuading that Puppy is worthwhile having...
Imagine you use Windows, and for some reason your installation gets damaged or corrupted in some way and won't boot up. Would you rather
a) use the Microsoft repair utility, hope that it can patch up whatever is wrong with your machine and hope that if that is possible, you will still have some of your files left at the end, and of course go to an internet cafe every time you want to check your emails
b) stick in a CD, boot into a fully-featured operating system with all the tools mentioned above that will let you recover your files, try to fix the problem yourself and let you be productive with your machine while your primary OS is down?

Download a Puppy Linux ISO here and check out the documentation and Wiki
not saying Firefox is bad ( i have it on my desktop next to Google chrome) but isn't Google chrome better than Firefox? i use both but prefer chrome.
&nbsp;I shall list all the freeware software I know that aren't listed up there...&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.onyxbits.de/giftedmotion" rel="nofollow">Gifted Motion-1.19</a> GIF Animator which runs off Java<br /> PS: The download is at the bottom most part of the page, and it really is 69KB<br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.brothersoft.com/steganography-download-137609.html" rel="nofollow">Steganography 1.0 Build 12</a> Steganography software also in the KB range<br /> Download mirrors are below the large download button which you shouldn't press unless you wanted to.<br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.google.com/sketchup/download/" rel="nofollow">Google SketchUp 7</a> 3D modeling software<br /> You have to view the <a href="http://www.google.com/sketchup/training/videos.html" rel="nofollow">video tutorials in their website</a> to know how to use it though. &nbsp;Once you do, it's a nearly indispensable tool. Until you get AutoCad that is. Make sure to download Google SketchUp 7 and not Google SketchUp Pro or it won't be freeware anymore.<br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.brothersoft.com/cadstd-lite-81963.html" rel="nofollow">CadStd Lite 3.7.1</a> 2D design software<br /> A good tool to make almost professional-looking designs. You have to read the online instruction manual to know how to use it though. If you can't find the manual PM me and I'll show you where. Again, still in the KB range, but a bit large for dial-up users.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &nbsp;All freeware mentioned in this comment has been used by me, and I guarantee safe downloads <strong>if you use the right sources</strong>. Brothersoft and CNET are good sites to get your freeware from. They also show shareware which you have to pay for to continue using 'em, so read the item of interest and everything on it carefully before downloading.&nbsp;<br />
&nbsp;BTW, I took the liberty of improving your main image. Just save the image I made and transfer it to your instructable.<br /> <br /> <br /> Guess what, I edited it using MS Paint!!!<br />
I personally hate OpenOffice. It's slow, hogs ram, and can't handle large documents(of any type) like ms office or abiword can. I like that it's open source but that's not enough to make it good. I also shouldn't have to run a persistent background process just to get reasonable load times. Sometimes portability has to be sacrificed for usability, this is one of those cases.
OK Open Office doesn't have all the fancy eye candy because the developers care more about functionality. It Still whoops the ****ing Microsoft price of $600 with an amazing $0.....
And 0 cents.
&nbsp;but if u buy a&nbsp;Microsoft&nbsp;computer, you get it for free....
didn't happen for me.<br />
or me it cost us about &pound;60 for MSoffice and all we got was excel, word, powerpoint and one note. the MS word didn't even work lol :D<br />
&nbsp;??? well I got an XP, and I got&nbsp;power point, word&nbsp;and the whole 9 yards, so...
So it's like getting the little plastic ring in a box of cereal? XD<br /> <br /> <br /> The correct term is actually nine cubic yards, because when you used to buy cement it came in units of nine cubic yards (the capacity of one cement truck), so you had to buy it and get it poured as one entire truck at a time.&nbsp; Just FYI...<br /> <br /> Really, it's cool if you get MSOffice with Windoze, the OpenOffice is just for everyone who didn't get it / doesn't have it.<br />
nine yards...of cement? I thought it had something to do with football...now I feel smart...
Nine <em>cubic </em>yards of cement. And you should feel smart, not many people I encounter know about the phrase they're using...<br />
Did you even read my comment? My problem with OO isn't a lack of eye candy. I don't think M$ office even has much eye candy, unless you count that retarded little clip. Maybe you're referring to the new 07/08 m$ office suite, which I refuse to use if I have a choice. Even considering that suite I wouldn't say M$ office has all that much eye candy, it's a word processor after all. My problem is that OO is slow and bulky and cumbersome. It hogs ram and can't handle large documents. M$ word is written in C++ with a significant portion written in assembly, that allows it to be fast and efficient. OO is written in java and has to run on a minimum of 2 abstraction layers(OS and JVM), while much of M$ word runs on bare metal. They're just in completely different leagues as applications.
What about blender?<br />
Okay, I know it's more of a game, but&nbsp;Pocket&nbsp;Tanks&nbsp;is sooooo much fun!<br /> And&nbsp;Google&nbsp;Chrome is the best browser yet.<br /> And who could forget Google Earth?
&nbsp;I like Google chrome better than firefox, it is compatible on more websites, IE is just one big crash feast. But all of them are only about 80% compatable or user friendly for that matter. I wish they would make something that just worked!
Step 5 and 6 are available for Macs, and I have used both.
Yes that is in fact true. I have a mac too and use both programs Macs 4 Ever! 
Another person to help me spread the message of Macs!
Yeah, I love my  Mac Mini so much. I have the 2009 model with a 2.26 GHZ processor and 4 Gigs of ram so yeah I am satisfied. What mac do you have
I don't have the new ones. I have the PowerPC computers only. I have a 1.6 GHz G5 PowerMac, 2004-2005, two SATA HDD bays, and maximum of 4 GBs of RAM. A PowerBook G4, 1GHz, 1 GB of RAM, 60GB HDD, 2003-2004, And a Dual USB iBook 500MHz, 256 MB of RAM, and 10 GB HDD, 2001. All of these I got for free. Yes, free. I also have a PowerBook G3, 64 MB of RAM, and a 4 GB HDD. It is a 1998 model, the WallStreet, 266 MHz. Even the iBook can play movies, games, and write code. For Storage, I have an external 500 GB HDD, that uses one FireWire cable for Power and Data.
you wont be able to run snow leopard. on the PPC processors. How did you get all of the for free????
I know. I will skip Leopard, and my idea is to take the Snow Leopard applications, and re-code them for PPC OSs. They are through family, friends, and people who don't like their old Macs. I also have a beige 7300.
puppy linux's server seems to be down<br/>which is a big bummer for me<br/>anyone have similar trouble?<br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.puppylinux.org/">http://www.puppylinux.org/</a><br/>
No its up again
And what about Blender? The open source application lets you work in 3d by: Modeling, Texturing, and Animating all in one package. And it uses our favorite scripting language, Python! It should definably be added to the list
And Perl. And Java. And Logo.
Blender is god. And thats all I have to say about that.
Agreed, agreed, AGREED!!! BLENDER IS WORTHY! ALL HAIL BLENDER!!! BOW DOWN! BOW DOWN!!! Sorry, I REALLY like Blender. It rocks. (Or it could be all the coke I just drank...)
Er, Coca-Cola. Just clarifying.
Blenders great but its REALLY hard to understand everything<br/><sub> At least it was for me</sub><br/>
GOD NO!!! HOW DARE YOU SAY SUCH A THING!!! i.e Find a tut. I'm thinking about making one. Seriously, once you learn what all that chaos actually is, you get comfortable really fast.
If you do, Please send it to me or post it<br/><sub> I'm just a little slow...</sub><br/>
If you are going to include blender you have to include google sketchup. It isn't anywhere close to as powerful as blender but it's MUCH easier to learn and much more intuitive. Plus it's free and you can always migrate what you made in sketchup in 1 minute into blender where it would have taken you 10 minutes minimum or a few hours if you don't know what your doing.
[Http://www.irfanview.com IrfanView], a great picture viewer/manipulator.
Actually, I prefer <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.gimp.org">GIMP</a>. It's a little harder to master, but totally worth it. But still, IrfanView is good for small jobs.<br/>
My impression would have been that gimp was more powerful, but had less emphasis on speed. Perhaps I need to take a look!
i use photoshop, and i didnt pay for it.
Well let me know then when the FBI come :P
<em>Well let me know then when the FBI come</em><br/><br/>actually even if i did get it illegally they wouldn't come for me.<br/>im english<br/>
You mean British.
i got it free with my computer
lucky ittle man with your photoshop and your computer and your words and their letters and and and THE?
Whats that supposed to mean, i got the first two bits, but not the end
i don't know
i foun out about gimp a couple weeks ago and use it everyday i used to make images of characters interacting from games with paint and gimp lets me do it way faster i love gimp plus its free and very easy to use after some practice
IrfanView really isn't intended as an image editor. It's a light fast slick viewer first with a couple image manipulation tools second. It does what it's built for and it does it really well. I use both.
One word:<br/><h2>Firefox</h2>
*cough* Opera *cough*<br/>

About This Instructable


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Bio: Hello, I am robots199. I love instructables as I have been a proud member for two years now. I repair computers. I am a Xbox ... More »
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