model name : Pentium III (Coppermine)
cpu MHz : 700.000
I think that this machine should be able to handle Ubuntu Jaunty, so I give that a whirl.
Unfortunately, Gnome Desktop environment put too much of a strain on it, so once again, it's time to find the best Window Manager/Desktop Environment for this particular machine.
1) Gnome Desktop
2) Xubuntu Desktop (whole meta package)
6) E16 (Enlightenment)
The install was a full-blown Ubuntu Jaunty install. After the Gnome failure, I added Xubuntu-desktop, lxde, fluxbox, openbox, and e16. I then removed the ubuntu-desktop.
*Note* I chose to start with the full install to create a machine that was as end-user friendly as possible. I have in the past used the 'CLI only' install via the F6 install disk boot option. This CLI only option is fine for me, but again, for the typical end-user it may not be complete enough.The Jaunty boot time is a very respectable ONE minute and 5 seconds.
Now to the Window Managers. A quick chart to show from login manager to complete window manager readiness:
Gnome (Ubuntu) 2 minutes 50 seconds
Xfce (Xubuntu) 2 minutes 20 seconds
Lxde 25 seconds
Fluxbox 24 seconds
Openbox 5 seconds
E16 5 seconds
The responsiveness of the above window managers seems to be directly proportional to their load times.
I do realize that xlde is an Openbox derivative, but that 20 extra seconds adds configuration that I feel may be relevant to the typical end-user; desktop icons, panel with launchers, etc.
I again, would probably use e16, although, openbox has me interested as well. But for the purpose of this machine's build,the typical end-user; the choice is lxde.
Application preferences so far:
File Manager: Thunar over Pcmanfm
Web Browser: Epiphany over Firefox