Anything about old PCs, their uses, related OSes and their users
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Yesterday, I was offered a 15" LCD monitor on freecycle. This was sitting in a cupboard for years and the owner wanted to absolutely give it away to make room for more stuff. I went and collected it. There were so many things offered on freecycle yesterday, I didn't want anything else. If someone here is looking for some IT stuff and don't mind it old, I encourage them to give freecycle a shot.
I am not even going about looking for this sort of info. It is just right out there on major sites.
Now a Bankruptcy means lower funds and if this City moves to Linux and uses existing PCs as best as possible, then goes to older PCs when needed, it might be a good move.
However, after all this, if there is a bailout there, then there is little hope.
Detroit is so poor, that this house can't be maintained.
This is too much of an aside, however the book Collapse by Jared Diamond is an interesting related read.
I am not saying that Linux is the only solution. However, if a company or city has serious financial issues and they are over spending in IT, then there is a high chance that they are doing the same in other areas also. Then, if this organization has to survive, then it has to be operated in console mode and any bloat identified and eliminated.
I read this a while ago on a main site. Searched for this and adding it here. Once a City crumbles, then unwanted things happen: http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2012/08/...umping-ground/
Note: This can be sensitive to some, so adding the caution here. Also, there are a lot of trackers etc., on that link, so try to read it in console or text only mode if possible.
This sounds a bit too much to me sometimes, however need to be open to info. from all. Now, I understand this is a global site so if you are interested in local info., then perhaps you can look for similar local sites online.
The more I remove the rosy picture from my mind, the more I see things as they are and consider practical aspects, it gets better for me in using IT resources.
Looking at all these issues in practical terms, it appears that all that we have seen here will only spread both in quantity and quality to other cities as well. Then there will be an end point to all this downturn, this will not be pleasant. At this point and a 6 months to a year after that folks will see they have to get more practical and use only stuff that is REALLY useful. At this point along with older PCs and linux, even ballpoint pens may come back in a big way: http://www.stationeryreview.com/2011...ballpoint-pen/
Power will also be expensive, so why boot PC if task can be done by ballpoint pen and paper ?
Some wonder if am a very negative person or a pessimist. However, I am trying to see things as they are
and as they will be, this is a practical approach. Rosy pictures are good for entertainment purposes but they are very undesirable for business, work and other practical decisions.
I don't have a crystal ball and am not into divination etc., However, I do believe that history repeats itself and we all have Gutenberg and Wikipedia. When we take pieces from similar times in history, together with current data, then a better, more realistic picture of the future emerges.
Malls are vital for sales and are at the forefront of sales pretty much. Look at all the dead malls in America that can easily be found via you tube. This trend is increasing and not decreasing. This is just a slight indicator of things to come.
A real strong signal will be drop in revenue of phone, power and other utility companies as there are several groups of clients who are unable to pay. Sooner or later, these clients will be dropped. As this trend escalates, due to dropping revenues, these utility and phone companies will be forced to reduce staff. (Edit: Smaller ISPs maybe forced to just close. So, it will help to have extra copies of your favorite Linux OSes before hand. Consider alternate net arrangements. DL anything vital on the net and keep a hard copy of it burned to CD/DVD.)
Based on all the info. so far, when things get bad, it will get to be like the Great Depression. Due to the effects of such a situation, we can even see top level people ending their lives or disappearing. Also, we can see crime increase like it did during the great depression. Here is info. on one such from the past: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/history/...john-dillinger
On a different note, a very nice person offered me Zip Drive and media for the same. Once I collect them and try them, I will share the review here.
In this regard, it is good that more linux goodies are coming out like this one for older PCs with 1.4Ghz CPU and 1Tb Ram (hope those with 512Mb Ram can use 512Mb swap and get away with it: http://emmabuntus.sourceforge.net/
I didn't DL this ISO, however I went thru the list of apps being offered with it, it was a very educative experience. I hope that more such are offered. More is always better than less in this case. In a few years many of these OSes will disappear from the net. So, if you like something it is better to DL and save it.
There was an amazing site called bettahelp.com it offered excellent advice on how to care for Betta Fish and related stories. The owner was very nice and even offered to mail me a heater for my Betta Fish at her cost for winter. The site went down a long time ago and is never back. I don't keep pet fish anymore, but still regret not DLing that site to this day very much. Sites come and go, there are hosting fees, domain issues, site owners move on with their lives etc., So, if you like something on net and find it very helpful, DL it and make a hard copy of it on CD/DVD. Once it is gone from net, it is gone.
To be sincere, I was a painter of these rosy pictures before. I have worked in sales before including IT sales.
Also, I paint rosy pictures: http://rvijay.deviantart.com/
I have given mini abstract paintings for free to some former coworkers and grocery cashiers.
These were much appreciated. I keep a few sometimes in my wallet. These are good to see
when stuck in traffic or waiting for an appointment etc.,
I might do Linux art in the future.
The not so great part in this regard is that a lot of good FREE open source software for artists
is coming out in 64bit architecture. Having older PC is not that convenient for this.
However, I feel it is better to make do with what is available.
So I know quite a bit about Rosy Pictures and how they can be used to mislead.
Alas Babylon is a very good book to read in regards to this thread. It is a fairly old book
but still in copyright. Literature is fun and relaxing.
The one great thing about Linux community is that assistance is offered when asked in a friendly
and polite manner. There is no negative human behavior for the most part. This makes it encouraging
for others to contribute in the best way they can.
In case I am absent here for a while, it means that I have nothing new to share in this thread
and am more busy with real life. Then it will be a good time for those interested in this thread
to go back and review some of the links provided here before. Even before, I have been on and off
on LQ, sometimes even took few years break from here at times.
MS is not bad. We all need money to live. Selling is not bad, even via this thread I am selling ideas.
Also, since this is linux site, I am just speaking about over spending in IT. It is almost sure
those cities that are doing bad are overspending in other areas as well, the specifics of which will never be known to small persons like myself. We can very vaguely only guess them to be
construction, having extra employees etc., Also, economy is not constant, it is always flowing, sometimes
it is up and sometimes down, sometimes it is quite up and sometimes quite down.
Zip Drive Collection
I walked for 2 hours and collected the Zip Drive, media offered via freecycle. It was a good experience, returned
home by bus. The zip drive has to be mounted at a mount point for 100Mb media.
Sometimes it doesn't work and have to try again.
We are always told that the web is becoming more powerful and we need better PCs,
this made me look into Dillo browser more that was designed to work on even i486.
Getting used to it is a process. For web email login etc., this is still not working for me and I use
lynx browser for this. Seamonkey browser only if very vital and there is no other choice.
Books and DVDs were offered via freecycle today. Apart from clutter,
the time involved in arranging the pickup and getting the item(s) are
precious, so unless really needed, or the item will give me a new good
location, contact I will not try to get items from freecycle.
Glad to find this topic has already been well looked into by the Linux Community, excellent solutions
porvided so many choices. As usual, I would DL all these lightweight ones and store. Atleast the top 5.
It also helps to see the selling points of new PCs, speak to even sales folks on the floor and see
why they feel the newer PCs are better and for what tasks. Then look for apps on net
that will do the same tasks with linux on an older PC. This is the best logic and a wonderful
learning experience I got from yesterday. If this is the case, I can get away with Floppy Drives itself.
Peter: nCurses, nOS and twin are all tempting as they even support youtube. So a tempting try for sure
for the future. However, I feel a bit lazy at this point having spent so much time with Puppy Linux.
If browser is tha main drawback for using older PC, it seems best to get a light weight browser.
I thought of marking this thread as solved a few pages back, now I am glad I didn't. It has been such an
awesome learning experience. If anyone has anything else related to share, please do so without any
hesitation. Even if no one uses it immediately, it will be a good reference point for the future.
Thanks in advance for this.
Someone offered me cables on freecycle, this was an old pickup that was already arranged.
However, ice pellets are falling, so am taking it a bit easy before going to collect these.
I wish to walk for this appointment also, watching the scenary, the people and even just
the skies is a wonderful experience.
Yesterday the weather was perfect, I had a very nice walk for 3 hours
to and fro, went and collected my Cable. The traffic was very light and not
too many people on the street, so the sky was also good to watch.
This thread has shown me many times that I am thinking in a box and need
to think more openly. Here is one such again. I have been focusing mostly
on desktops. Think of older laptops and suddenly this thread becomes
P3 Laptops on sale locally for 55 bucks. This is not so bad a deal.
Glad there is still demand for older laptops. Lowest price I have seen for a
laptop locally. The P4 for 30 bucks deal is still on.
This means that the P2 Laptop is around 30 bucks if one is found.
Considering this, there is still a lot of value for this thread.
If such a laptop is found, there is so much info. here to keep it functional
and useful. The more related info. I gather, the more I am glad that I didn't
abandon this thread/topic. Laptops are more easily stolen, lost.
However, if one can use an older laptop, then the chances of it being lost
are greatly reduced, moreover if data is backedup properly, then even
if laptop is lost, the loss is not so big as compared to a new one.
If used well this old laptop will give great returns for its cost. Now if a P3
used laptop is 65 bucks (with tax/metro ticket to buy), then a used P2
laptop is worth around 20 to 30 bucks, if these can be found.
So, this P2 laptop suddenly becomes very functional with all the tips
discussed here. I suggest all here interested to locally look for one such
laptop either online on freecycle etc., or spread the word around with your
contacts. Or better yet, perhaps you have one such gathering dust in
your attic or cupboard.
On a differet note, CD and DVD burners are still very valuable and in
demand. If you can get one at a very reasonable price or for free,
simply grab it. If you find a desktop or laptop with some parts stripped
at a goodwill store, then still grab it for parts, if it has CD or DVD burner
PSU, memory etc and costs around 20 to 30 bucks.,
See, I am not saying that Linux is permanent. There is a lot of change with Linux itself. Some of the earlier developers of Debian,
BSD and other very older distros seem to even be no more even now. Also, we are getting new hardware that do new tasks sometimes
and these may need new PCs, OS. But not all will need these. So, with Linux we can reduce this rate of change and forced upgrades.
I remember my earlier days with Linux in 2003 or so, I got laid off from a job selling high end PCs and was given collective lay off after 9/11.
Then my PC had a virus and it crashed. I had to reinstall OS and start from scratch, bought CD burner for 75 bucks or so to
backup stuff then. DVD readers were just about coming in. I decided to learn Linux to avoid virus etc., Initially, I had
several issues with linux and it will not boot, hang a little after basic boot with hardware error message. Had to make
hard drive secondary etc., with jumpers. Also, once it started working, there were several other issues. The guy who
helped me for free on the net was real patient. Finally, at the end I asked him what distro you are using, it seems to work so well ?
He responded: "Floppy Linux" I was dumb stuck. He was so good that he didn't need anything else to support me with my then most
recent hardware !! If I were that good today and said that, folks will think I am a Ghost, evil spirit or Vampire.
They will not believe I am a human.
It helps to listen to the complaints of PC users very carefully, specially the more serious ones and the ones that
repeat often. Then try to find Linux solutions for them. This is an amazing chance for Linux to develop and grow.
Chances are most likely, solutions to these issues already exist.
30K Greek Households loosing power monthly: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-0...ity-each-month
Above is a good picture of what happens after bailout inregards to power. No power = no PC use.
Tablets are a blessing in this case, use them minimally for vital tasks in wifi spots
and try to charge them when needed at a public place where allowed or at the
place of some one with power who allows this.
There is so much learning in this thread, to be sincere I don't have time to go thru it all.
Here are my weaknesses in relation to this topic: Complacency, over-confidence and fatigue/laziness.
If these are overcome, then I will learn more here and be more comfortable with older IT stuff.
However, with time the chances are getting to be less likely and I will face the related results.
If you have any info. related to old PCs don't hesitate to share here. We can just dump all
info. in this thread and use what is needed as and when needed.
I am working on reducing uptime again and using pen, stereo, eReader, color pencils more.
This is good for eyes and also more green.