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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I have many old computers around that are P2, P3s and Pentiums, and I do not think they're bad to use.
Often they also run the latest things around, just not those which use a lot of CPU time and RAM.

It's normal that a distro like Ubuntu won't install on something which is not at least a P3 full of RAM. That's already bloated on newer machines, and I do not know why one would expect it to install on something 13 years old.

That said, if one gets a Debian or Slackware system for example, and then strips it down (one can also remove the sysinit system for example), Linux can run also in 16 megs or less.

Once I custom-made an uClibc distro for my 386sx 40 mhz with 4 megs of ram (which is now probably dead), and Linux ran quite well. I even played module files and CDs on it.

PIIs and PIIIs are quite fast, and they will even run the latest Firefox and Opera.
Pentium 4s are very fast at almost everything and I don't know why people feel that now they're slow or "ancient".

My brother is, right now, using a Linux computer with a Pentium MMX 233Mhz processor with 32MB of RAM as main machine. And it doesn't feel bad.

As long as a computer runs, it's always useful.

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