Best version of system software for Powerbook Duo 230?

I've recently acquired a Powerbook Duo 230, and plan to erase the drive and start fresh with a clean installation of the system software.
I can install any version of the system software from 7.1 through 7.6.1, and I am wondering what your suggestion might be given the fact that the computer has a 120 meg hard drive, 12 megs of RAM, and a 33 Mhz 68030 processor.
I plan to give this computer to a college student to use MS Word (probably v 5.1a), MS Excel (probably v 4.0), and maybe for Internet access or AOL.
I am leaning towards installing a system that can make use of Open Transport (ease of configuring the machine for Internet access using OT PPP), yet I am hesitant to install a system that will consume too much of the limited hard disk space, or tax the 68030 processor to the point of making performance seem sluggish.
I would greatly appreciate your opinion on this matter.

Thanks in advance,
Jim Johnson
james3jAsked:
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TheHubCommented:
System stability and functionality are more important than speed or space. More space is cheap now. Refurb Zip Drives are $100.00, $135.00 new.

Reformat with Drive Setup 1.3.1 (do not use version 1.3)

Installation procedure for 7.5.5:
Install System 7.5 - reboot twice with new system, let it rebuild the desktop if it wants to.
Upgrade to 7.5.3 - reboot twice, let it rebuild the desktop if it wants to.
Upgrade to 7.5.5 - reboot twice, let it rebuild the desktop if it wants to.
Upgrade Open Transport to 1.1 - reboot (I cannot remember if this step is necessary or not...the upgrade installer for OT 1.1.1 will prompt you if it is required).
Upgrade Open Transport to 1.1.1 - reboot.
Upgrade Open Transport to 1.1.2 - reboot.
Upgrade to QuickTime 2.5 - reboot.
Install FreePPP version 2.5.3 (much better than OT/PPP).
Save the System Folder in a Stuffit File as a backup.

Installation procedure for 7.6.1:
Install System 7.6.1 - reboot twice with new system, let it rebuild the desktop if it wants to.
Upgrade Open Transport to 1.1.2 - reboot.
Upgrade to QuickTime 2.5 - reboot.
Install FreePPP version 2.5.3 (much better than OT/PPP).
Save the System Folder in a Stuffit File as a backup.

Seriously consider that programs are bigger and RAM is cheap. A 20 MB chip from:
http://www.datamem.com/apple.htm
is, at this very moment (prices change daily), $104.00.

If you do not want to spend any money on the machine, throw away most of the contents of the Apple Extras folder and all the inits and cdevs designed for other machines that the stupid installer program clutters up your system folder with.

• Note: All reboots with ALL Extensions and Control Panels ON.

GoodLuck, TheHub
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