Linked by Howard Fosdick on Tue 15th Jun 2010 21:06 UTC
Linux All of us who use computers create a problem we rarely consider. How do we dispose of them? This is no small concern. Estimates put the number of personal computers in use world-wide today at about one billion. The average lifespan of a personal computer is only two to five years. We can expect a tidal wave of computers ready for disposal shortly, and this number will only increase. And as if that isn't challenge enough, there are already several hundred million computers out-of-service, sitting in attics and basements and garages, awaiting disposal.
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noirpool
Member since:
2009-09-09

Even fairly recent computers are made obsolete by the lack of drivers unless you want to install an old versions of Windows on it.

Linux (particularly Mint or Ubuntu) is very qualified for computer use, as older chipsets, such as my integrated 855 (yes, 10.04 still has a problem with me) gives the user a complete 3D desktop with compiz/fusion and with the overall improvement in speed, and visual quality with the fonts it's like getting a new computer.

My Dell Latitude X300 is barely qualified to run Windows Vista (and the graphic drivers had glitches and ran in 2D). Under 7 NO graphics support is offered. Under Ubuntu 9.10 I have a lovely desktop that can do anything a Mac can graphically.

I've installed several Internet Cafe machines here in Seattle with the new Ubuntu 10.04, and with a small tweak so folks can use the Guest account from the login window, traces of previous users are eliminated with a simple Log Out/Log in..

For even older computers I'm eyeing Haiku. My brother-in-law gave me an eee-PC, the kind without a hard drive, and although I haven't removed the windows yet, a solid state drive is VERY qualified to run Haiku, because, unlike Windows or Linux, there is not the constant writing to the hard drive. Haiku applications run completely from ram once they are in. (I'm not using firefox..)

Waiting for Arora and the Wi-Fi to be more complete.

This would allow even a very slow 400 Mhz PC laptops with 256K to 512K of ram to be used, which is pretty much useless for anything but Windows 9X; to be used as a very fast and glitch free computing environment.

Oh yes. One last thing.

Regarding the small screen of the 7 1/2 inch eeePC screens (800x480 I believe). The interface from the original BeOS works beautifully on such a screen!

No netbook remix needed..

Reply Score: 6

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

For even older computers I'm eyeing Haiku. My brother-in-law gave me an eee-PC, the kind without a hard drive, and although I haven't removed the windows yet, a solid state drive is VERY qualified to run Haiku, because, unlike Windows or Linux, there is not the constant writing to the hard drive. Haiku applications run completely from ram once they are in. (I'm not using firefox..)


Indeed. I've got a pile of various Dell/HP/Compaq/Generic PII/III boxes that I've tested Haiku on. Most of them run it reasonably well, although the biggest problem is usually lack of accelerated graphics driver support still. On older, slow machines, the VESA driver supplied with Haiku isn't so nice, but it does work.

Waiting for Arora and the Wi-Fi to be more complete.


Are you still talking about Haiku here?

The native Webkit browser is called WebPositive - and it's quite complete already. The R1/Alpha2 comes with it. Wifi is still a bit unfinished. I can use it on my Acer Aspire One as long as my router is unsecured (even WEP gives me issues, though it's supposed to be supported)

This would allow even a very slow 400 Mhz PC laptops with 256K to 512K of ram to be used, which is pretty much useless for anything but Windows 9X; to be used as a very fast and glitch free computing environment.


I assume you meant 256MB to 512MB. That's still suitable for running Win XP on, BTW. Haiku runs OK with 128mb in my experience, although that's pushing the lower limits and you'll end up using swap.

Older laptops have finicky hardware, funny video chips, funky audio chips, etc. PCMCIA support in Haiku is still non-existent as well, making it difficult to add ethernet/wifi cards to these older machines in the future, as many of them often only had a single USB 1.1 port.

Reply Parent Score: 2

noirpool Member since:
2009-09-09

Oops. Sorry. I *DID* forget about WebPositive!

A very, very good application.

The main problem with using Haiku on the web will probably be Flash, but we do have Steve Jobs and the iPad many thanks for the assist here.

..and yes. I did mean 256M to 512M (not K).

Edited 2010-06-15 23:07 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

rhy7s Member since:
2008-08-04

I've installed several Internet Cafe machines here in Seattle with the new Ubuntu 10.04, and with a small tweak so folks can use the Guest account from the login window, traces of previous users are eliminated with a simple Log Out/Log in..

I'd be interested to know what tweak you are using to achieve this?

Reply Parent Score: 1

moondino Member since:
2010-03-27

For even older computers I'm eyeing Haiku. My brother-in-law gave me an eee-PC, the kind without a hard drive, and although I haven't removed the windows yet, a solid state drive is VERY qualified to run Haiku, because, unlike Windows or Linux, there is not the constant writing to the hard drive.


The "finite number of writes" issue is a misnomer for current-generation drives.

The chips are rated at roughly 100k writes, although this is a bottom limit for QC. Most blocks are good for 1-2M. Aggressive block management will ensure the vast majority of long-lived blocks are used, while the earlier bad blocks are cycled out.

Simple math will confirm this:

2M writes * 64GB drive = 1024000000 billion cycled bits.

1024000000 billion cycled bytes / 6Gbps SATA III = 1975.3 solid days of 100% SATA III write utilization.

Even if these numbers are overestimates, the sheer quantity of data which must be written implies a long lifetime for a SSD for anyone who isn't writing custom software to blow it up, then running that software for a very long time. That sort of repeated mechanical abuse of a magnetic drive isn't good, either.

Magnetic drives are prone to mechanical failure, with these failures spread across their whole useful lifetime. SSDs do not spontaneously fail at even close to the same rate, with the hypothetical write problems occurring, predictably, after years of use.

The only reason not to buy a SSD is cost.

Reply Parent Score: 4