Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 14th Mar 2008 21:52 UTC
Linux "When my girlfriend visits me, she has to work on a mini PC while I use my laptop to finish whatever I postponed at the office. Her PC has a 1GHz VIA processor and 128 MB of RAM and runs Ubuntu. You can imagine how slowly it boots, even with Linux installed, and GNOME runs so slowly that it's quite irritating. I didn't want to reformat and install a lightweight Linux distribution like Fluxbuntu because the mini PC doesn't have a CD-ROM drive, and I already had 10GB of data that would have taken a long time to back up. Instead, I found and installed some lightweight software to improve her computing experience."
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PCs are cheap now days
by WorknMan on Fri 14th Mar 2008 22:31 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

"When my girlfriend visits me, she has to work on a mini PC while I use my laptop to finish whatever I postponed at the office. Her PC has a 1GHz VIA processor and 128 MB of RAM and runs Ubuntu.


With as much time as you probably spent trying to whip that clunker into shape, you could've gotten a budget PC for next to nothing that is a lot faster than what you have. IMHO, unless you're using it as a router or server, anything with 128MB of RAM and can't be upgraded should be under consideration for retirement.

Reply Score: 1

RE: PCs are cheap now days
by oma2la on Fri 14th Mar 2008 22:49 UTC in reply to "PCs are cheap now days"
oma2la Member since:
2005-07-05

But what if you simply don't have the money?



I think the guy who wrote the piece lives in Romania where a lot of people, through no fault of their own, are pretty strapped for cash.

It seems wasteful to dump a working PC when it's still productive.

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: PCs are cheap now days
by Doc Pain on Fri 14th Mar 2008 23:19 UTC in reply to "RE: PCs are cheap now days"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

But what if you simply don't have the money?


Very valid argument. Why abandon something that works? Furthermore: If you take the time to create and tweak a "taylor your own" system, you learn something about it. This kind of experience can help you in other situations.

I think the guy who wrote the piece lives in Romania where a lot of people, through no fault of their own, are pretty strapped for cash.


Wasting money, even in small amounts, is not neccessary a sign of wealth of intelligence. :-)

It seems wasteful to dump a working PC when it's still productive.


This seems to be an indoctrinated concept to increase re-buying everything after a certain amount of time. In Germany, we have the term "Wegwerfgesellschaft" (pr: vagverfgasallshuft; tr: trow away society), you don't re-use working things, you don't repair them even if it's a one minute work - no, you simply buy new suff... Your neighbor has new? You need new, too! You even need better than him! Throwing away working stuff increases the amount of electronics garbage on the dump. Flora and fauna do say "thank you", don't they?

I've still got a 300 MHz P2 with 128 MB RAM, running FreeBSD + XFCE 3, along with OpenOffice 1, XMMS, MPlayer and many "old fashioned" pieces of software. The system is able to do much more than a brand new PC from the shelf that is treated as a better typewriter! It's still in use. The 150 MHz P1 with 128 MB RAM, too, as a backup server, working fine for more than five years now. Cannot imagine, eh? =^_^=

Today, my uncle tried to "revive" a 300 MHz system, using up to date Linux software. Didn't work, of course, but he cannot afford a newer computer.

Some concepts that I know from the time when I was raised in the GDR: Don't cry for what you don't have, do the best with the things you have. Use the best tool for the job. Nothing is entirely useless. Money and working time are exchangable, but when you've got no money, just invest your time, and you'll reach an acceptable result. You have the power to do it, because you are able to learn. Idiots can buy everything from the shelf, but they cannot create something on their own. The person building something by himself is smarter than the person just buying for it. It's always easy to buy something new, but it's more responsible to keep good things intact and working, and it increases your skills.

Don't take it too seriously, but notice the truth within. :-)

Reply Score: 16

RE[3]: PCs are cheap now days
by whartung on Fri 14th Mar 2008 23:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: PCs are cheap now days"
whartung Member since:
2005-07-06

Also, just because something is cheap, doens't mean it can't be wasted. We all revel in the new technology, but at the same time can lament that we need this much horsepower to do the same tasks that have been essentially unchanged for the past 10 years.

Yet, a 10 year old machine is not even viable today.

It's been making me want to move back to the simpler tools of software development just I can curtail the resources needed just to create software. Speaking mostly of Java now, the modern IDEs and app servers etc. are just SO BIG, and so hungry, yet are still aggravatingly slow. We used to be able to support companies on a computer with less power (and storage/RAM for that matter) than the iPhone. Now we need rooms filled with them.

Just seems like we're on a treadmill and it doesn't get appreciably better. It still takes forever to get apps out, and they're still slow.

It seems modern machines have just enabled more buearacracy than actual work.

Just lamenting, you can't go back, just hard to see the progress beyond gradients and bouncy buttons sometimes.

Reply Score: 10

RE[4]: PCs are cheap now days
by Sodapop on Sat 15th Mar 2008 00:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: PCs are cheap now days"
Sodapop Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, it's viable to me. It would also be viable to my friend who would love to have a computer but can't afford one.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: PCs are cheap now days
by B12 Simon on Mon 17th Mar 2008 12:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: PCs are cheap now days"
B12 Simon Member since:
2006-11-08

It seems modern machines have just enabled more buearacracy than actual work.


I only wish I could have put it that well!

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: PCs are cheap now days
by WorknMan on Sat 15th Mar 2008 00:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: PCs are cheap now days"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Guess it depends on how valuable your time is, really. Though I for one don't believe in the concept of keeping up with the Jonses, neither would I spend several hours trying to get (for example) a sound card to work when I can drive down to Fry's and get one that works out of the box for $30.

Just for the record, my main PC is about 5 years old.. a P4 2.8ghz, so you gotta know that I don't run out and buy the latest, bleeding edge stuff. But a 1ghz PC w/128MB of RAM? I'd probably draw the line at around 1.4ghz ;) I'm just not gonna cripple my productivity just because my PC doesn't have the horsepower to run the apps I want to.

I guess if you can't afford it, then you can't afford it. But if you can afford it and you have a PC that's slower than snot on a doorknob and/or eating up more of your time than it should, you'd probably be doing yourself a favor by picking up a new one and give the old one to someone who needs it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: PCs are cheap now days
by Doc Pain on Sat 15th Mar 2008 01:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: PCs are cheap now days"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Guess it depends on how valuable your time is, really.


Learning time is always time well spent. :-)

[...] neither would I spend several hours trying to get (for example) a sound card to work when I can drive down to Fry's and get one that works out of the box for $30.


That's correct, of course, I wouldn't do so, too. But remember: When you're interested in "reviving" older hardware, computer stores usually don't carry the parts you need. For example, my sound card is a cheap CMI thing for less than 10 Euro, works better than the built-in VIA AC'97 soundcrap. Money well invested. The good thing about PCI is: It's present from P1 class processors up to modern systems (which usually include built-in sound stuff). So instead of trying to figure out how to activate a strange nonstandard loadmyfirmwarefirst crap sound card, I'd buy a new one. If it's too complicated to get the sound card running, it's crap anyway. Nearly all good sound cards - even the old ones - are standard compliant or relatively easy to set up.

Just for the record, my main PC is about 5 years old.. a P4 2.8ghz, so you gotta know that I don't run out and buy the latest, bleeding edge stuff.


Similar here, P4 2.0 GHz, still with SDR-SDRAM (taken from the previous system) because I'm to mean to buy DDR-SDRAM. :-) I'll better change the complete system when (a) this one stops working or (b) this one does not fit my (futire) needs anymore. But actually, I don't see any reason to invest in IT infrastructure. Never change a running system that serves you perfectly. :-)

Another thing regarding buying things: Better buy something that's good for a long time than something that is considered "best" for a moment, revealing that it's crap after a few months. (Furthermore: The worst solution prevails.)

But a 1ghz PC w/128MB of RAM? I'd probably draw the line at around 1.4ghz ;) I'm just not gonna cripple my productivity just because my PC doesn't have the horsepower to run the apps I want to.


Running specific applications is a point for a good decision, I agree. You're using your system for productive reasons as it seems. What do most home users do? Listen to music, playing videos from the web, treat their PC like a typewriter. That's what they can do with a 300 MHz PC, too - granted that the respective software is installed. For example, LaTeX doesn't need tons of RAM, but produces better looking documents than (insert your favourite hate word processor here). :-)

I guess if you can't afford it, then you can't afford it. But if you can afford it and you have a PC that's slower than snot on a doorknob and/or eating up more of your time than it should, you'd probably be doing yourself a favor by picking up a new one and give the old one to someone who needs it.


Yes, I agree with that. It's just up to your individual feelings how much time you are willing to invest. Or, on the other hand, give up, that's possible, too. I would not invest time to get an older system running when I've not got a valid (!) reason to do so (e. g. no money, sufficient power for the particular job).

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: PCs are cheap now days
by helf on Sun 16th Mar 2008 01:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: PCs are cheap now days"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually, 486s had PCI slots ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: PCs are cheap now days
by Doc Pain on Sun 16th Mar 2008 20:40 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: PCs are cheap now days"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Actually, 486s had PCI slots ;)


Yes, I have some of these boards here. In the 486 era, VLB got obsoleted soon by PCI to extend the ISA possibilities, and got standard from the 586 era on.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: PCs are cheap now days
by helf on Mon 17th Mar 2008 01:27 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: PCs are cheap now days"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

on some shelf I actually have a 486 board that has 2 ISA, 2 PCI, and 3 VLB slots. also has 168pin AND 72pin slots. its a WEIRD motherboard. Must've been one from that transitional phase...

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: PCs are cheap now days
by elsewhere on Sat 15th Mar 2008 06:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: PCs are cheap now days"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

But a 1ghz PC w/128MB of RAM? I'd probably draw the line at around 1.4ghz ;) I'm just not gonna cripple my productivity just because my PC doesn't have the horsepower to run the apps I want to.


It's not the speed, it's the memory; throw an extra 128MB in there and it opens a world of possibilities.

I've got an old Dell tower with a PIII750/256MB, I've thrown a couple of extra drives in an use it mostly as a backup server on my home network. Cost me an arm and freaking leg when I bought it something like 8 years ago, and I guess I refuse to stop using it just because of that expenditure. But it has KDE and runs most standard apps just fine. Konq, Opera, OOo2, etc. I avoid firefox because, well, I don't have 128GB of memory, but beyond that it works well enough that I would categorize it as usable. Sure, it takes longer to boot, and apps take a little longer to start up, but once running, there's little *perceivable* difference with my snappy dual-core lappy. I wouldn't want to use it as my day-to-day, but I wouldn't feel too guilty giving it to someone else for their day-to-day, depending on their needs.

I do think there's too much of an emphasis on "must-upgrade". I think things have gotten out of hand. Hell, I've got an old Compaq corp PC from our company with a PII450/256MB and XP Pro. For web browsing or even using MS Office, it's adequate and would work surprisingly well for many people (our company gave them away to the employees when we did a forklift upgrade many years back, and I know people that still use them as the "family" PC). A stick of RAM or a faster HDD will often work wonders for a PC, much more cost-effectively than replacement.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: PCs are cheap now days
by helf on Sat 15th Mar 2008 22:14 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: PCs are cheap now days"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

heh...

/me hides his NeXT from view that he uses daily...

33mhz Motorola 040 with 128MiB 60NS EDO RAM (slow), 1GiB internal SCSI-2 HDD, 2GiB SCSI-2 external hdd and external CD-Rom... ;)

Hell, it'll do word processing, web surfing, ssh, IM, music in various formats, games (doom, nethack etc etc)... ;) Who needs your fancy multighz CPUs and your fancy peripheral buses that are clocked faster than my CPU...

p.s.

Heres a screenshot of my glorious desktop ;)
http://helf.freeshell.org/screengrab-02-15-2008.jpg

yes, be jealous. I know you are.

Edited 2008-03-15 22:19 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: PCs are cheap now days
by Michael on Sat 15th Mar 2008 00:47 UTC in reply to "RE: PCs are cheap now days"
Michael Member since:
2005-07-01

Mini PCs with VIA processors are not cheap. I assume it's a mini-itx system. I looked into putting one of those together in the past but it works out more expensive than a second-hand laptop.

If you're really strapped for cash, there's no computer cheaper than an unwanted desktop PC. Today I'd just say "get an eeepc". But seeing as you've now got this machine, you may as well use it.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: PCs are cheap now days
by pandronic on Sat 15th Mar 2008 08:29 UTC in reply to "RE: PCs are cheap now days"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

I think the guy who wrote the piece lives in Romania where a lot of people, through no fault of their own, are pretty strapped for cash.

Take it from someone who lives in Romania - he did have the money to buy a faster PC. What the hell do you think we do here? Feed on tree bark and work on C64s?

Edited 2008-03-15 08:30 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: PCs are cheap now days
by cypress on Sat 15th Mar 2008 08:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: PCs are cheap now days"
cypress Member since:
2005-07-11

Hi, I'm the author of the article. I bought the minipc with a friend, a year ago or so. We wanted to use it as a video monitoring station but we abandoned the project. We needed something small and silent, so we bought the mini-pc. It was just laying around so I thought of using it as a work station for my girlfriend. And yes, we are actually doing quite OK here in Romania ;) As the person above said, we're not feeding on tree bark, nor jump from tree to tree to get to the nearest bus station.
The logic is simple: why throw away a perfectly good PC?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: PCs are cheap now days
by lemn on Sat 15th Mar 2008 15:51 UTC in reply to "RE: PCs are cheap now days"
lemn Member since:
2007-01-05

Yeah, all of us romanians are living in huts and hunt for food ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: PCs are cheap now days
by sbergman27 on Sat 15th Mar 2008 18:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: PCs are cheap now days"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Yeah, all of us romanians are living in huts and hunt for food ;)

But don't the vampires make you nervous? Then again, I guess it's like anywhere you live. You just get used to it. I live in Oklahoma, and people ask me if I worry about the tornadoes.

Edited 2008-03-15 18:17 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: PCs are cheap now days
by steverez1 on Sat 15th Mar 2008 19:00 UTC in reply to "RE: PCs are cheap now days"
steverez1 Member since:
2006-12-06

I agree even my old P4 computer I put to use in a MAME cabinet but I have also seen old computers even setup at a small farm where its only task was to open barn doors.


Besides sometimes those old DOS games just seem to work better on older computers than VM's (and its more fun)

Reply Score: 1

Benchmarks?
by Hozz on Sat 15th Mar 2008 00:02 UTC
Hozz
Member since:
2007-03-19

I was waiting for the author to show some numbers to back all of this up. It's not that I'm not aware that fluxbox +all the stuff he threw in is going to be hella faster than a standard ubuntu install, but why not back it up with some numbers, or even just some subjective comparisons in load times to justify the article?

Plus, I'm sure the author has a bunch of previous experience with other software often recommended for slower systems (XFCE comes to mind), but there's little in the way of comparisons with these alternatives. All in all, a good, quick article, but not very in depth, at all.

Reply Score: 3

Not-so-recent PCs
by WereCatf on Sat 15th Mar 2008 16:46 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

I am very much strapped for cash so I just use whatever I can get working. And I've learned to value even older hardware as long as it works and does what it is tasked with, even if it does perform a little slower than modern hardware. My desktop PC is a AMD Sempron with 768mb RAM, and it's more than powerful enough for my needs. It plays WoW just fine, compiling stuff doesn't take too long, all the hardware is well supported...My gf has a Athlon XP 1.4ghz with 512mb RAM and she too is just happy to use it and play WoW on her machine (though I think the FPS is pretty poor, I would want to give her better gfx card but I just haven't been able to find anything suitable). Our file server is a 1ghz Athlon with just 128mb RAM, and even it performs admirably.

I don't think I'll be buying a new computer in years, I just can't justify it in any way. If you don't use all the extra power your new machine brings with it, you're just basically throwing some of your money down the toilet.

Reply Score: 3

Vintage hardware here, too
by DeadFishMan on Sat 15th Mar 2008 17:41 UTC
DeadFishMan
Member since:
2006-01-09

Up till recently I was using a P4 1.5 Ghz with only 256 Mb of RAM due to a faulty mobo. For some reason that I didn't bother to pursue anymore, the mobo wouldn't accept any memory module that I tried to put on it except that 256 MB sucker (And oh boy, I tried: I still have a couple of 512 Mb memory sticks lying around to prove it!)... And to make things worse, the PS/2 mouse adapter was burnt so I had to choose between using an old serial mouse (meh!) or use a newer USB mouse, which also costed me a few extra bucks as I had to acquire also an additional USB hub because the mobo only had two USB ports: one permanently taken by the el cheapo webcam and the other was reserved for our portable no-brand MP3 player and the digital camera.

Windows XP runs perfectly on such setup out of the box but don't even think in loading more than the absolutely required - in my case : MS Office, Photoshop, Corel Draw and Dreamweaver - and don't run too many apps at a time. Windows is well known for having its performance degraded over time and if you factor in the stuff that you have to install such as anti-spyware + antivirus + firewall (Hey, my illiterate family has to use the computer too, right? No way that I can avoid those!) the poor performance is practically taken for granted.

Surprisingly, Debian Testing + KDE ran really snappy on this piece of s*** for years reliably. Hell, I could be running Firefox with several tabs open and I would still have enough juice left to run OO.org, Valknut, Konversation, Qcomicbook and Amarok at the same time with little to no slowdown (though OO.org would take forever to load with so few RAM!). That gave me confidence to keep going with it until I could have saved some money to replace it (Real life keeps sucking all the money that I can get at a faster rate than I can earn it.... ;) )

Now that I bought a brand new laptop and a new computer (that I just acquired because it was a bargain!) I can finally ditch that clunky thing. However, I won't dump it: my sister wants it so she will have it. She has even lighter needs than most people: she only visits some social sites, loads music on her music player, instant messaging and the occasional document that she has to put together for the college so this thing will suit her needs perfectly.

Why purchase something brand new that costs real money when you can perfectly get by with what you have?

PS: The Debian + KDE combo used to work on the Celeron 800 Mhz with 384 MB of RAM, too. I just had to be a little bit more patient... ;)

Edited 2008-03-15 17:53 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Vintage hardware here, too
by Doc Pain on Sun 16th Mar 2008 20:55 UTC in reply to "Vintage hardware here, too"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

And to make things worse, the PS/2 mouse adapter was burnt so I had to choose between using an old serial mouse (meh!) or use a newer USB mouse, [...]


Serial? Old? Na, interrupt driven event handling seems to be more modern than USB's polling. And if you get a tree button serial mouse, you can have mouse wheel emulation, too. :-)

Why purchase something brand new that costs real money when you can perfectly get by with what you have?


A valid consideration. And even few money still is money.

PS: The Debian + KDE combo used to work on the Celeron 800 Mhz with 384 MB of RAM, too. I just had to be a little bit more patient... ;)


As a note, I noticed that many Ubuntu-like Linusi refuse to load on systems that do not provide ACPI... I didn't investigate this behaviour and possible workarounds any further, so it's just a note of an observation. :-)

Reply Score: 2

Vampires
by cypress on Sat 15th Mar 2008 18:35 UTC
cypress
Member since:
2005-07-11

Actually, I live in the Transylvanian part of the country. I tend to roll my eyes whenever a foreigner asks me about Dracula ;) ))))

Reply Score: 1

RE: Vampires
by DeadFishMan on Sat 15th Mar 2008 20:43 UTC in reply to "Vampires"
DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

Actually, I live in the Transylvanian part of the country. I tend to roll my eyes whenever a foreigner asks me about Dracula ;) ))))


Oh c'mon! How can a foreigner go to Transylvania and *NOT* ask anything about Dracula??? I know I would! ;)

Reply Score: 2

Nice job reinventing the wheel
by arokh on Sat 15th Mar 2008 18:54 UTC
arokh
Member since:
2008-01-29

There is already distributions for this exact purpose, and you even knew about it!

I'd call you lazy for not wanting to do a backup, but you actually went ahead and wasted a lot of time doing this stuff. Time better spent with your girlfriend doing something completely different if you ask me...

Reply Score: 1

I like the article
by kernel_daemin on Sat 15th Mar 2008 19:17 UTC
kernel_daemin
Member since:
2008-03-15

Actually this article is very useful to me, especially for the links to these light weight applications.
I am in a similar position like the author. But the user in needed is my mom. Recently my mom gets a PC in her work - an old machine 600Mhz Duron with for my luck 512MB RAM and just 13GB HDD. You can imagine how fast all works. There is a XP installed and just a single account for all the users. None of them really knows how to work on that pc and I proposed a solution for my mom ;) . I'll make her a bootable cd with Slax installed and a flash key for user data. ;) So who want let's do some mess in Windows, she will use linux.
Someone above said something about money, buying new parts and so on. In this case it is a job pc - used primary for time killing - internet and music and of course the company do not want to buy a cutting edge machine, especially here in Bulgaria - the same as in Romania. ;)

Reply Score: 1

This sounds like a job...
by StephenBeDoper on Sat 15th Mar 2008 20:43 UTC
StephenBeDoper
Member since:
2005-07-06

...for BeOS!

Skimming through the article, it sounds like a perfect situation to use BeOS (plus VLC, Firefox, Transmission, JukeBox/CL-AMP, PE, and ImageViewer). And it wouldn't require any special tweaking to run acceptably on a 1Ghz CPU (as Eugenia has said here in the past, 1Ghz is already more than fast-enough for BeOS).

Reply Score: 2

RE: This sounds like a job...
by helf on Sat 15th Mar 2008 22:17 UTC in reply to "This sounds like a job..."
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

right on! ;)

I used to use BeOS R5 on a p1-233mmx overclocked slightly with 192MiB of ram and it ran really well. Plenty fast for websurfing and general use.

Reply Score: 2

Sad Part
by deathshadow on Sat 15th Mar 2008 21:21 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

Is if you just put back on it what it was designed to run - Win98, it would run circles around ANYTHING you can come up with in a modern linux distro.

Though an older version of linux with an older version of KDE - something like the old "Storm" Linux, would also be better suited to the task.

A modern distro on that level hardware? Total /FAIL/ even with fluxbox. (Especially if you left GDM in place to handle logins)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Sad Part
by sbergman27 on Sat 15th Mar 2008 21:26 UTC in reply to "Sad Part"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

DSL-N would be a good choice for 128MB. It's not limited enought to require DSL. DSL does fine on much less than that, but the apps aren't as nice.

Careful attention to maximizing shared memory can achieve remarkable things.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Sad Part
by helf on Sat 15th Mar 2008 22:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Sad Part"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

DSL is really good. I dunno if anyone mentioned it (I haven't read all the comments) but PuppyLinux is also a good distribution for aging machines.

Reply Score: 2

Minimum is Here.....
by rakamaka on Sun 16th Mar 2008 01:58 UTC
rakamaka
Member since:
2005-08-12

My Laptop..Gateway Solo9100 366 MHz YES it is 366MHz 256 MB Memory and Obviously Windows XP. I have removed all fancy graphical effects fom XP Increased paging file to 1GB. It runs FANTASTIC with DSL wireless. I can run Word or Excel, Firefox,ComodoFW, Avast and listen audio cd SIMULTANEOUSLY at 800x600 res. No problem whatsoever and I use lots of freeware for windows.
Ubuntu refuses to get installed on my 366 MHz, and lightweight linux distro=win 3.1

Reply Score: 2

Thats what Im aiming for
by robertojdohnert on Sun 16th Mar 2008 18:27 UTC
robertojdohnert
Member since:
2005-07-12

With my distribution PC/OS. The article was helpful for me when I was deciding to put together the minimal install CD. The minimal install CD works with a 450mhz 128mb of RAM machine although I do recommend 192mb at least.

Im still working with it, the first incarnation is going live tonight but because of this article an updated distro with lots of light software will be in the works.

http://pc-os.org in case any of you are interested.

Reply Score: 1

Scare you
by Doc Pain on Sun 16th Mar 2008 20:38 UTC
Doc Pain
Member since:
2006-10-08

I'd like to scare you with a true (!) story! One of my first UNIX systems was a P1 with 150 MHz, a 6 BG HDD and 64 MB EDO RAM. Running a FreeBSD 4.x system, I did the following things at once:
- play MP3 files with XMMS
- compile the kernel (lasted 24h)
- downloaded something via wget
- record a CD-R with an 8x Mitsumi recorder (ATAPI)
- and still be able to surf the web with Opera.
And hey, it worked! I still have the "coffee machine" (called this way because of the power switch which was taken from a coffee machine) and aim to revive it, at least as a file server.

And today, I hear people complaining about skipping audio playback on recent hardware... :-)

Reply Score: 2

keeping hardware too long
by unclefester on Sun 16th Mar 2008 22:57 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

It is good to keep hardware going but people just overdo it. A 1 Ghz P3 system is worth about $20 now or even free. Why keep ancient 300Mhz machines alive at all? I bought a dual 933Mhz P3 with 2GB of RAM and SCSI RAID for $100 over a year ago it is probably worth a $50 maximum now.

Reply Score: 1

Mini PC as a thin client
by Different on Mon 17th Mar 2008 08:18 UTC
Different
Member since:
2007-07-03

Mini PC make a great thin client as it's underpowered but yet cheap enough

Get a high end PC as the server and get the mini PC to run the Windows apps from it

You can use software such as ThinServer

www.aikotech.com/thinserver.htm

Reply Score: 1

CentOS5 + IceWM + iDesk
by gilboa on Tue 18th Mar 2008 05:25 UTC
gilboa
Member since:
2005-07-06

My laptop is a 10 y/o Dell Inspiron 7000 with a 366Mhz PII CPU and 256MB of memory.
I'm using CentOS5 i386 w/ IceWM (WM), iDesk (desktop icons) and parts of XFCE (Mostly the Thunar file manager).
In general this setup eats ~90MB of memory. (NFS, SAMBA, SSHD and a number of others services active)

The only major issue is Firefox's (both 1.5 and 2) memory consumption - a problem that hopefully be resolved in FF 3.0. (Due in RHEL 5.2)

Funny thing, though. I've got a second laptop - a modern C2D with 4GB of memory running F8 with a fully customized KDE (w/ composition), VMWare, etc and at times (especially when I'm writing code) the PII laptop feels far more responsive...

- Gilboa

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