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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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 Parent Score: 10

RE[2]: PCs are cheap now days
by Doc Pain on Fri 14th Mar 2008 23:19 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 Parent Score: 16

RE[3]: PCs are cheap now days
by whartung on Fri 14th Mar 2008 23:37 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 Parent Score: 10

RE[3]: PCs are cheap now days
by WorknMan on Sat 15th Mar 2008 00:43 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: PCs are cheap now days
by Michael on Sat 15th Mar 2008 00:47 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 Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: PCs are cheap now days
by pandronic on Sat 15th Mar 2008 08:29 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 Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: PCs are cheap now days
by cypress on Sat 15th Mar 2008 08:43 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 Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: PCs are cheap now days
by lemn on Sat 15th Mar 2008 15:51 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 Parent Score: 1

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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: PCs are cheap now days
by steverez1 on Sat 15th Mar 2008 19:00 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 Parent Score: 1