Old Computer Challenge


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Have you heard of the Old Computer Challenge running from July 10th to July 16th 2023? It is a chance to dig out your really old computers and relive those far gone days. The challenge is to use a computer with 512MB RAM and 1 CPU throttled to it’s lowest frequency.

Read more here: https://dataswamp.org/~solene/2023-06-04-old-computer-challenge-v3.html

My Plan

So far this is my plan for equipment. I don’t have a really old computer so I will need to throttle some not-so-old equipment.

==Lenovo IdeaPad==

I have a 12 year old IdeaPad with an AMD E1 CPU. I have managed to hobble this device and will run:

  • OS: antiX Linux
  • RAM: 512MB limited via Grub options
  • CPU: Limit to 1 CPU core via Grub options
  • CPU frequency: Limit to the lowest value via TLP settings

To accomplish this you can set the Grub command line value to:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=“quiet maxcpus=1 mem=512M”

For TLP settings edit /etc/tlp.conf to set these values:




And there, I now have 777Mhz single core IdeaPad with 512MB RAM!

Backup Plan

As a backup plan I also have a Knoppix install. However this is a bit more of a pain since I have to use these options manually at every boot:

knoppix maxcpus=1 mem=512M

Then after booting I need to rate limit the CPU by changing the value of a file like so:


echo 777000 | tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_max_freq

HaikuOS Virtual Machine

I will also be running HaikuOS in a VirtualBox virtual machine. I tried running HaikuOS on my IdeaPad but there was no way to limit the CPU frequency, apparently there aren’t power saving drivers to do that with this CPU. But in a VM I can set it to use only 1 CPU then set an execution cap on the CPU. So I will be running:

  • Host OS: Windows 10
  • Host CPU: i5 8500 3GHz
  • VirtualBox OS: Haiku OS
  • VirtualBox RAM: 512MB
  • VirtualBox CPU: 1 with execution cap of 25%

Will you join us on July 10th?

Daily Logs (sort of)

Day 1

Days 2 to 4

Days 5 to 7 - In Which Life Interrupts