the last few months i’ve been in a tinkering phase with my computers. discovering that the latest and greatest does not need to run quickly..
my second computer, an old athlon (i think) single core machine with 1 gig of RAM had been gathering dust in my shed. i bought this in wagga when my first built computer at 19 finally bit the dust in an emergency. my athlon at the time cost me a pretty penny, but did its job with good old windows XP. it was starting to struggle at the end, then one day, it just stopped. the fan would spin, everything would light up, just no boot.
i didnt have the heart to throw it out, but that day i decided the time to go into the mac world. i bought myself an imac, and well, my pc gaming hobby didnt pick up any time soon 😛
anyways, a few months back i though “what if its NOT the motherboard??” i went to a local computer store, bought a decent power supply, and shock horror – it was alive again. okay, i say alive, incredibly slow. i could of reinstalled windows on it from scratch, but even so, what was the point? the operating system had JUST been retired and there was no way in hell i was going to install vista. what about linux??
i played around with ubuntu back in the early days. throughout the years of my athlon, it got a lot of different bits and pieces to get it running still. that had probably something to do with it, but even if it was original, i could never get it working properly. my girlfriend has ubuntu running on her tiny netbook and it was working fine, no issues at all. i downloaded the latest version, wiped the old data and tried again.
wow, it worked. sluggish, but worked.
i did a little research, and discovered a bare bones version called lubuntu. to be honest, this suited me more regardless. with a couple of clicks here and there, you can almost make it look like a windows machine. and that’s what i did. a google search here and there, and all of a sudden i have a 2004/5 era machine that works flawlessly. its not speedy, and HD streaming video stutters, but it browses the web perfectly, plays videos fine, even bittorrents without a hitch. lubuntu, the version i run is a LITTLE fiddly compared to the original ubuntu but its nothing i couldnt fix. we’re talking windows level fixes.
i did the same with another old laptop. this thing is a core 2 duo that i bought for work long long ago running vista. now, its working like a charm and is my work machine instead of trying to tap along on the ipad. even my macbook air – i enclusively console game these days, so i removed the last of my space on my macbook air and installed lubuntu on here too. there’s moments when i DO need to jump back into normal mac OS (airview) but 99% of the time im in the linux side. it’s been quite interesting, wonderful and relitively easy how well this is all going.
so much so i bought myself a cheap little tablet today. an 80 dollar 7 inch tablet. i thought i’d use it for work web things, and just hotspot my phone. but im discovering how well this little thing goes. i’ve already installed a few apps and this little sluggish but capable tablet works a dream!! ive been reading my instapaper through this 🙂
just wish i had the cash for a new phone 😉 the iphone 4s will have to do for quite some time 😛