Say what you will about Debian–the development process is slow and plodding, the distribution is always trailing-edge and Debian is always the last to get everything–but installing it today reminded me why I still like it.I need a temporary holding place where I can experiment. I want to move my genealogy page to a new piece of software, and I want to migrate this blog to WordPress.

The only spare computer I have right now that works reliably is an ancient P2-266. I don’t know how that ended up being, but I’ll work with it..

The system has 192 MB of RAM. I have a pile of DIMMs, but it doesn’t like most of them. So 192 it is.

Ubuntu’s installer won’t load on this system. It tries and tries, but after several hours, the only result is a graphical screen with a heron on it and a mouse pointer.

Debian just loads in text mode and doesn’t complain. It asks a few questions along the way, and it’s slower than the last few installs I’ve done, but it’s steady.

I’m confident I could get it to work on my 486 too, if I had the need or inclination (I don’t). I’ll save the 486 for the day I want to set up a DOS box for some old-school gaming. Probably in another 10 years.