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Re: Archaic Hardware (was: "complicated" and "archaic" console)

__/ [Larry Qualig] on Sunday 19 February 2006 07:56 \__

> Roy Schestowitz wrote:
>> __/ [Larry Qualig] on Sunday 19 February 2006 06:36 \__
>> > < snip>
>> >
>> >> > The important thing to remember is that the console can be as easy to
>> >> > use and as capable as the GUI, you can do pretty much everything in
>> >> > it. Which means that old "junk" hardware that isn't even capable of
>> >> > *running* X11 and modern windowmanagers, or don't run them well at
>> >> > all, can run very well indeed and be quite capable machines even now.
>> >> > Maybe some use can be put to pratically antique hardware eh folks?
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> It's rarely worth the electricity consumption though.
>> >
>> >
>> > Out of curiousity guys... (Roy & Liam) - Where do you draw the line as
>> > to what hardware is still useful and what isn't? From the thread it
>> > sounds like Liam is thinking of running something on an old 386 and Roy
>> > wants "newer" hardware.
>> It  sure  sounds like Liam eyes a 486 (or earlier). I once worked  with  a
>> 75MHz Pentium at work. It wasrunning Mandrake and was only useful for run-
>> ning  GIMP  in the background, once in a few weeks. The other machines  at
>> the office were Windows workstations and an iMac. I thought about grabbing
>> an  old 166MHz machines from home, but I soon realised it would be  useful
>> for  nothing. It didn't even have an Ethernet card and handling it was not
>> worth  the time. It often boils down to needs for an upgrade, which  makes
>> matters utterly unappealing (appalling rather).
>> > Of course a lot of it will come down to what you plan on doing with the
>> > system.
>> >
>> > Me for example... I have an old Dell - something machine. It's a P3-800
>> > with 512 Megs of RAM. I have a little over 250-Gigs of HDD space in
>> > there (250G + 15G) and I'm up this late tonight installing the Kubuntu
>> > DVD on the machine (so I guess it has a DVD drive as well).
>> This  is  not a low-spec machine. It's very workable with just  about  any
>> UNIX  variant.  Such machines are possibly what Bill Gates smashes with  a
>> hammer  for light amusement. He did, after all, suggest that hungry  chil-
>> dren  in  Africa use mobile phones and PDA's to "connect with  the  modern
>> world".
> Just a couple of minutes ago I bailed out on the "Kubuntu DVD" install
> and went with the generic Ubunutu-CD (5.10) instead. The main reason is
> the DVD had read errors about half way in to the install. I could have
> burned another DVD from the ISO but then I started thinking about this
> a bit.

Not  that  it matters, but it would be ego food if you had burned that  CD
with Nero upon Windows XP (or that built-in Roxio-bred wizard).

> It's not like my desktop SuSE system where I want OpenOffice, Gimp and
> all that stuff. This machine is basically going to be sitting in a
> storage room down in the basement serving files. I don't really need
> (or want) all that extra stuff on it. So I went with the "ligher"
> version of Ubuntu and figure that a Gnome setup would also be nice.

It  gives diversity and accommodates stubborn installations (haven't  come
across  one yet). It is also a valued step towards familiarity with  other
desktop  environments,  which improves one's judgment. I still use  Ubuntu
for all my VNC needs, of which there is one that is associated with my em-

> The Dell machine itself isn't all that bad. It's actually built very
> well and is extremely quiet. It's old enough to have been built in the
> day when Dell made high quality PC's. The new Dells... it seems like
> the quality on the newer desktop units has dropped a bit lately.

Yes,  I  came to realise the factor of machine _role_, which is why I  run
Ubuntu at work. Look at the result:

09:24:21 up 131 days, 1:14, 6 users, load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00

It's  Ubuntu 4 by the way. I never even bothered to have it patched. Never
experienced a bug or was forced to reboot, yet. Linux can be boring.

>> > I'm not 100% sure what I plan on doing with this. Most likely it'll be
>> > some sort of file server. I'm thinking of using it as a destination for
>> > backups of the other machines. So being a file server CPU performance
>> > isn't all that critical so it should have more than enough oomph to do
>> > that. I might also fool around with putting an IMAP mail server on
>> > there too.
>> This  gives  me a window to introduce another use of low-end Linux  boxes.
>> The  'mother ship' is at the University and it is backed up  automatically
>> (cron  job) on the local SAN. Everything I ever do involved an SSH connec-
>> tion to this machine, either from work (Ubuntu) or from home (SuSE). These
>> machines  are  also used for replication of the hard-drive in  3  isolated
>> places  (using recursive SCP). How does it relate to the subject at  hand?
>> None of these machines is high-spec'ed. Power and capacity is not needed.
>> > So back to the original question... what would you guys think is too
>> > old for service?
>> /What/ service? That's the question.
> Not really sure yet. A separate box with some big disks for file
> backup. Maybe an IMAP mail server. (IMAP would be very light duty
> work.)  Hopefully I can find something interesting to do with it.
> Otherwise it's something out on the network that I can experiment with.
> Wow, it's 3:00AM out here... time to start downloading the updates and
> get some sleep.

With large hard-drive capacity, you can make use of rich media, either au-
dio  or video. When I come to think of it, the main purpose of my computer
at  home is for music. The other is SSH to other workstation, which  makes
it  merely a terminal, a host, a relic. Yet, it obviated the need for that
Windows  98 laptop, which I recently handed over to my sister. No more Wi-
namp. No more PuTTY.

Good luck with the new machine,


Roy S. Schestowitz
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux     |     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
  9:25am  up 1 day 21:44,  9 users,  load average: 0.54, 0.26, 0.09
      http://iuron.com - next generation of search paradigms

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