Experiments on iRU Brava-4215COMBO laptop, released in 2004 (Part 2)

Published on September 07, 2016

Experiments on iRU Brava-4215COMBO laptop, released in 2004 (Part 2)

In the comments to the previous article, fozzya wrote that iRU Brava-4215COMBO is actually an OEM build of AOpen 96NKU01G02. On iRU stands proud inscription "Made in Russia." I don’t know how much in reality these laptops were assembled in Russia, perhaps it was assembled from ready-made blocks, or maybe the nameplates just stuck. Nevertheless, the product for iron came out very suitable.

In the first part I told about the laptop itself and its small modifications, now it's time to see which operating systems this laptop can pull.

We have time to experiment!

Now the Linux world is much closer to me, so I'll start with it.
The first distribution kit which completely allowed me to refuse tools under Windows for work was Ubuntu 9.04. I decided to put it. Despite the fact that Ubuntu 9.04 was placed on the iron five years ago, everything is fine and quickly established.

The authorization screen is pleased with its brevity and simplicity:



I think it is worth recalling that the old hardware eventually gets worse and worse in Windows, and in Linux, on the contrary, the new hardware does not always work as it should (and sometimes it doesn't work out of the box) , and over time, the situation with drivers and support for outdated (moderately) devices is getting better.

All the iron worked out of the box, PCMCIA, USB and Wi-Fi, sound, video, nothing to complain about. The only interesting thing is that Wi-Fi does not see access points, in the name of which there are punctuation marks, for example, dots or spaces. I had to connect to the network with a wire. No problems, stuck and received all the settings via DHCP.

Of course, by today's standards, Ubuntu 9.04 is still a dinosaur piece and I would like to update it and be able to install applications. For obvious reasons, the repository has long been unsupported and not updated, but it exists, although it is somewhat hidden. You can get a live repository by changing all entries in ru.archive.ubuntu.com in the /etc/apt/sources.list file to old-releases.ubuntu.com , and the section containingsecurity.ubuntu.com , just need to remove.

The design of Ubuntu 9.04 is minimalistic, everything is simple, clear and in its place, and most importantly, the interaction with the system is damn convenient!

After updating the system, you can put some software:



For the convenience of working with MC files, there is simply no equal:



We set up my favorite audio player and try to listen to MP3:



No problems at all. Taking this opportunity, I decided to screen out the office screen saver, pay attention, it’s still Open and also Sun:



What kind of work without a browser? I updated Firefox to the latest version available in the archive repository, in principle, the pages are readable, although not quite the way modern browsers draw them:



I want to see how productive iron is twelve years old, why not run HD video on a Pentium 4?



The video went like clockwork, without jerks, squares and ladders, I had to, however, take pictures on the camera, the screenshots of the video in old versions of Linux do not scale and in the screenshot the image turns out to be horrible.



In principle, you can leave Ubuntu 9.04 for surfing the Internet is quite enough, even though the OS is very old, but we go further and the next test subject is Runtu 14.04, quite modern OS, and the animated download with the northern lights is just something :



Runtu 14.04 has an Openbox shell on board. Wi-Fi already sees all networks. Quite a normal modern browser:



I had to shoot the camera again, in Openbox, in order to take a screenshot, we need dancing with a tambourine, for which there is no time, because I want to try as many as possible.

The video works quite well, besides, you should not forget that we are using a generally fresh OS:



The following experimental Linux Mint 18 operating system. The installation is fairly standard, after installation, there was some kind of tupnyak on the authorization screen, after authorization everything It became in order. The graphics in Linux Mint 18 are just super, the icons are drawn very clearly, in terms of design and accuracy, the distribution kit can be easily set to 11 on a ten-point scale:



I’m not writing about the fact that all the hardware has started, this is understandable. The browser works and looks just great:



I was once again amused by the ads in the newly installed system, I wonder how the ads are selected, when nothing particularly is known about the user, there are no search queries.

The video is again in order, no brakes, no problems. The only thing that strains is the fact that the noise of the cooler was clearly heard, it is obvious that iron resources became more needed:



Let's put something heavier, Fedora 24 will work fine. It looks pretty damn nice, but the interface noticeably slows down, even typing is delayed in a regular text editor, just like in old movies about hackers:



No complaints to the browser, except that the overall responsiveness of the system is not very:



With the installation of packages in Fedora there is some hemorrhoids, we put RPM Fusion, then VLC. When I tried to start the video, instead of the image there was a black screen, the sound worked. The cooler plows without stopping. I highly recommend not putting Fedora 24 on weak machines.

It makes sense to try to put something modern, but not very resource-intensive, such as Runtu XFCE 16.04:



The speed of work is decent, but at the same time the cooler is noisy. The video does not slow down:



At the time, I also used an excellent openSUSE distribution, let's try its modern version of openSUSE Leap 42.1:



Yes, that’s right, the official x86 version of openSUSE Leap 42.1 does not exist.

Next were Gentoo which did not launch the Live DVD. Arch 4.6.4 rose on the login in the text console after installation. Debian 8.5 also starts in the console, graphical skins do not start, neither GDM3, nor LightDM, nor KDE. CentOS 7, like previous OS launched without graphics, in the console.

My working OS is Kubuntu 14.04, let's see how it will work on the old iRU Brava-4215COMBO.

Kubuntu 14.04 slows down, especially on disk operations, the cooler just howls.

The browser looks quite modern, but it is expected to be slowed down:



Radio in the browser is playing quite well:



You can install proprietary drivers on a video card, and yes, there is still a driver for this old stuff:



After installing the proprietary drivers on the video card, the OS interface has become much more responsive, it all worked quite quickly. The video draws well:



Inkscape and Gimp are required for my work, both editors are great at slowing down, it's impossible to work.

Modern Kubuntu OS 16.04 with KDE5 is installed and launched, the cooler is noisy, there are jambs with appearance, the interface is more or less responsive, the graphics subsystem does not work exactly as it should:



Video playback works without any complaints:



Fresh Ubuntu 16.04 OS is installed, but except for the window greetings and a cursor on a black background, I did not see anything.

Having an old, even somewhat already rare laptop, I wanted to have a ponastalgic. For the experiment I tried to install Windows 95. Photos, to my great regret, have not been preserved. In the Windows 95 installer, the PCMCIA ports did not work, the USB mouse did not work, but the laptop's touchpad worked. After launching, I grabbed the following problem: Insufficient Memory to Initialize Windows. Now I know how to get around this problem, but when I was taking photos, I didn’t bother much and started installing Windows 98:



After installation, I grabbed the same problem as Windows 95:



I gave my laptop to parents for a long time, so I experiment with Windows again 95 and 98 I do not have the opportunity, but with Windows 2000 I managed to play well:



I managed to put all the drivers on all the hardware I had, PCMCIA started up, the sound, even the driver I managed to fasten.

A modern browser cannot be installed on Windows 2000, I had to install a browser of that time:



Here is another screenshot of the system properties:



And the screen:



Remember this fun toy like Pinball? It is here:



But I could not start the video at all, I did not find VLC under Windows 2000, codecs could not decrypt the modern codec, instead of the picture there is a black screen:



And this is how the Wi-Fi connection in Windows 2000 looks like, after some dances with tambourine:



Windows 2000 left behind a lot of positive impressions, instantly fast, pleasant, but neither the antivirus is stuck, nor the modern software, so leaving Windows 2000 to parents on a laptop is not a good idea.

Windows XP naturally worked on this laptop, I showed it in the first part of the article , so it's time to try something a bit more modern:



In principle, the OS is installed and running, but there are no drivers for the Windows 7 laptop video card, so there’s no reason to compare the picture not.

Of course, I tried to install Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, both got up. This is how the launch of Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 on the Pentium 4 looks like:



After that, this error appears: I



’m wondering why I didn’t run Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

So, a lot of distributions and operating systems have been tried, you still need to choose what to leave for parents to use on this old laptop, the OS should satisfy such criteria as speed of work, reliability, clarity and ease of use.

The choice was between Windows XP and Runtu-Lite-14.04. I settled on Runtu-Lite-14.04 for three reasons: reliability, safety from viruses and modernity. Windows XP is still good, but not very safe anymore, I found the choice of a totally russified, light-handed Linux distribution more rational: The



cooler is almost inaudible, the browser is smart and modern enough to support plug-ins to clean up all rubbish:



HD video runs without problems, although it parents do not need:



In Runtu-Lite-14.04, everything works well for parents, just right.

This is how the new life of the old iRU Brava-4215COMBO laptop began in the modern world.