Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 12th Dec 2012 21:47 UTC
Linux "This tree removes ancient-386-CPUs support and thus zaps quite a bit of complexity [...] which complexity has plagued us with extra work whenever we wanted to change SMP primitives, for years. Unfortunately there's a nostalgic cost: your old original 386 DX33 system from early 1991 won't be able to boot modern Linux kernels anymore. Sniff. I'm not sentimental. Good riddance." Almost 21 years of support for a professor. Not bad.
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RE: Yes you CAN run your old 386
by Morgan on Thu 13th Dec 2012 11:03 UTC in reply to "Yes you CAN run your old 386"
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I've held on to a Windows 95 disc and license, two Windows 98 discs and licenses, a Windows XP Home disc and license, and a BeOS 5.0 Pro disc. I bought all of them new. One of the Win98 sets is OEM so it's legally tied to a machine that died long, long ago, but I don't think Microsoft will mind me running it on the only machine in my collection old enough to use it.

I'm not sure why I still have them; even the XP set is unnecessary as I have XP Mode on my Windows 7 workstation. I suppose one day they will go on eBay (except that pesky OEM Win98 set, and BeOS of course) but for now they stay in a drawer out of sight and mind.

My point with all of that nostalgia being: Yes you can legally acquire old commercial software, you just have to be vigilant about licensing. As long as the license permits a transfer of ownership and the original owner can be verified, you won't be breaking any rules. Besides, most software more than fifteen or so years old is considered abandoned by their publishers for anything but trademark infringement or reverse engineering. That doesn't necessarily apply to the gaming world (see for an awesome example of resurrecting old games the right way) but otherwise it's common knowledge.

And none of this is meant to take away from your first sentence. Free software is a beautiful thing, for the reason you stated and so many more. ;)

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