VectorLinux
July 23, 2014, 10:07:23 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Visit our home page for VL info. To search the old message board go to http://vectorlinux.com/forum1. The first VL forum is temporarily offline until we can find a host for it. Thanks for your patience.
 
Now powered by KnowledgeDex.
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Please support VectorLinux!
Pages: [1] 2
  Print  
Author Topic: The joy of old hardware.  (Read 6661 times)
blackbelt_jones
Member
*
Posts: 56


« on: September 18, 2007, 07:11:30 pm »

This is actually a response to the last post in my "Well Allright!  Okay!  You win!" thread.

I don't know if I mentioned this in here before, but I recently decided that, not being a gamer, there's no reason on earth why I need recent hardware. 

About three years ago, my brother built me a custom computer with a 3.0 ghz Pentium 4, a fancy nVidia graphics setup, and a gigabyte of RAM... and for three years now, it's continued to break down. It's been in the shop about seven or eight times.   The graphics card had to be replaced within  two months.  The motherboard has been replaced twice.  The real problem with spending a lot of money on a computer is that when it breaks down, you are obligated to spend more money on it.  Well, f**k that.  The last time my fancy computer broke down, I just couldn't see sinking another dime in that thing.

So now I'm all about old hardware, and this where Linux excels.  According to Microsoft, you shouldn't even try to run the most basic version of Vista on this computer, which I purchased at Babbage's Basement in Ithaca for 75 dollars.  It's a Pentium three with 255 mb RAM, and Vector Soho runs great.  I have another computer that I purchased for sixty dollars, so I divide the work between the two of them, so I divide up the work between the two of them, and I can't say I notice much of a performance difference, so long as I don't try to long onto second life or run Beryl or something.  That's probably about 20 per cent of the cost that I paid for my state-of-the-art computer even BEFORE the repair costs started adding up.  And if one of these breaks down, I just need to go get another.


I write, surf, listen to internet radio, watch You-Tube videos,  On the other computer I use ktorrent to download and upload files all day and all night.  I process avi files into DVDs, and watch mpg files.  I study Linux manuals, and use text2wave and lame to make study mp3s.  Except for generating fancy 3d graphics, there's very little that I can't do with two old computers that I can do with one new one.

One thing, though.  I don't regret the fact that this spring I spent 400 dollars on a top-of-the line LCD monitor.  That includes the very finest service plan Cicuit City had to offer.  For the next four years, I can drop this bad boy off a truck, and I can get it repaired or replaced.  A monitor is a place where you really get to see the money that you spent..  It really adds to the experience.  There things use a lot of electricity, but it shuts off automatically when the "blank" screensaver kicks in, and that makes up for it, I'll bet.
Logged
thump
Member
*
Posts: 34


« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2007, 07:31:06 pm »

Hi, blackbelt_jones, glad to see you here. I guess you were serious about
your views on VL.  Wink
 It's too bad about your custom computer, breaking down really s**ks. Using Vector on a lightweight computer, well, it really shines. If you ever get the newer one running,  you should try using the latest VL stable on it. That's when it really rocks!  Grin
Did you ever find what you needed for networking? Granny Geek has a how-to on a simple way to use nfs with for a simple home network.
Gotta go, need to make me some chow.
Bill

 
Logged
The Headacher
Louder than you
Global Moderator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 1545


I like the bass to go BOOM!


WWW
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2007, 11:26:24 pm »

That's the beauty of older hardware: if it has survived this long without breaking down, there's no reason why it should do so now. I have an older p3 600 MHz laptop (I bought it second hand),  and it has been far more reliable than the newer laptop I bought less than 2 years ago. Also, it has a nice magnesium casing, not the plastic crap that's on modern laptops.
Logged

Most music on my soundcloud page was arranged in programs running on VL.
nightflier
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 4018



« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2007, 05:06:21 am »

Before Linux, I also found myself caught up in the "newer, faster, better" rat race. With kids into gaming, more than once did I spend hundreds of dollars in upgrades just to run the latest game.

Now my old boxes just keep on going.

However, monitors and input devices are worth the money to upgrade and maintain. I do not miss flickering displays and lint-clogged ball mice.
Logged
easuter
Global Moderator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 2160



« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2007, 05:56:28 am »

Before Linux, I also found myself caught up in the "newer, faster, better" rat race. With kids into gaming, more than once did I spend hundreds of dollars in upgrades just to run the latest game.

Now my old boxes just keep on going.

However, monitors and input devices are worth the money to upgrade and maintain. I do not miss flickering displays and lint-clogged ball mice.

Indeed, I used to be a gamer (pretty "hardcore" at one stage) and did spend lots of my hard-earned money buying upgrades just to run the latest and greatest first-person-shooters.

Its different now, my computer is a work horse and thanks to Linux (especially VL) it still has plenty of life in it.
Logged

lagagnon
Global Moderator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 1922



WWW
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2007, 06:45:00 am »

... not the plastic crap that's on modern laptops.
Well said. I feel for all the people changing over to laptops from desktops because the price of laptops has dropped so much in the last 2 years. But as always, you get what you pay for, and many modern laptops are a POS as far as build quality goes. Many of them will probably be in for very expensive repairs not long after the warranty runs out... Angry
Logged

"As people become more intelligent they care less for preachers and more for teachers". Robert G. Ingersoll
Vxt
Member
*
Posts: 86


« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2007, 08:56:45 am »

Warranty -only advice - buy local & hope it's never needed !

I suppose it's all a matter of profit margins, now it is  so slim, most pre-built
 towers off the shelf cannot be duplicated individual parts
 by the home consumer (total costs - I have  Undecided compared many)

Quality - yes ~ There is no satisfactory substitute for choosing & assembling your own components
The motherboard in particular -which  determines most of other peripherals

OLd iron - good value - BUT no Sub for pure CPU power or bus  in/Out data speeds (if needed)
 
Plastic - widely used term but which type - there are thousands, some very good indeed
Magnesium is expensive, far more fragile than (quality) synthetics
BTW - how many realize magnesium is very flameable - burns so intensely,  almost impossible to  extinguish ?

(I found that out the hard way-  Grin got pretty 'exciting' for a while)

Quality - now there is a term not necessarily related to end-price

Delving into how LCD monitors are constructed - there is no justification to prices compared to CRT monitors

Not in  materials, Mfg costs or precision to align components - electrical values & three emitter "guns"
LCD screens  are more fragile - even tapping may create "dead" pixels !

Colour purity/view angles _  CRTs still have edge

Only one "native resolution' -for LCDs,  which is not as good as it should be

Not unusual for CRT's (TV or monitors) to last many years
Lcds - have bad reputations for longevity
 If I get too tempted - at present only Samsung has a 'no_dead_pixels' warranty policy

But - (always a but?) have  read reports where the owner had to fight to have that  honoured

Coming into cold weather now - that 19 inch room heater of mine still refuses to die .....
And the weight of the beast - just so I don't have to lug it downstairs !

All the rest - heck, won't be long all will run on flash memory - few moving parts ?
 Lets see - wireless - If more reliable - sure would be nice to trash those tangled  miles of cords

Just so long as - parts  don't get TOO small ( ever miss-place your cell phone) ?
Darn  thing  Angry should have a built-in "trace beeper"
Logged
The Headacher
Louder than you
Global Moderator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 1545


I like the bass to go BOOM!


WWW
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2007, 09:12:11 am »

Magnesium is expensive, far more fragile than (quality) synthetics
BTW - how many realize magnesium is very flameable - burns so intensely,  almost impossible to  extinguish ?
May be so, but I haven't treated the new laptop worse than the old one, but it has lots of deep scratches, whereas the old one has hardly a scratch in the paint ( they did a heck of a paint job too ).
Perhaps other manufacturers use 'better' plastic than Asus though.
 I do know magnesium flammable, but I do not intend to burn my laptop Wink...

Logged

Most music on my soundcloud page was arranged in programs running on VL.
Vxt
Member
*
Posts: 86


« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2007, 10:00:52 am »

Your case  may be 'powder coated' - or even anodised !

The right ignition point heat  (very localised) might  surprise you
however it wasn't a "case" that caused the fright
 (welding extension tabs on parts never suspected to made of Magnesium)

> Lifting brackets  on a new camper (MINE) !
 
Scratches are cosmetic - unless el-cheapo 'plastics' ~ if dropped, you may find out   
>  which is more fragile !

Case material -another Mfg consideration, electrically isolating case  to components

It is MORE expensive to make dies for extruding "maleable plastics" !

Old friend was a highly skilled tool & die expert_
He worked on Avro Arrow project b4 moving to west coast as machine shop foreman

His shop specialised in die manufacturing -I had NO idea how intricate/co$tly  that industry is !
How I drooled over his own per$onal lathe & milling machines

HE knew quality -  materials & workmanship - was one of those
it's_gotta_be_perfect_or_die_trying  Pros

Why did he retire - everything was re-tooling into  CAD /CAM Mfg'ing
 
So - it's not just "joys" (of quality in old hardware) that is fast disappearing _
Logged
BlueMage
Vectorite
***
Posts: 274



« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2007, 05:52:49 am »

Before Linux, I also found myself caught up in the "newer, faster, better" rat race. With kids into gaming, more than once did I spend hundreds of dollars in upgrades just to run the latest game.

Now my old boxes just keep on going.

However, monitors and input devices are worth the money to upgrade and maintain. I do not miss flickering displays and lint-clogged ball mice.

Indeed, I used to be a gamer (pretty "hardcore" at one stage) and did spend lots of my hard-earned money buying upgrades just to run the latest and greatest first-person-shooters.

Its different now, my computer is a work horse and thanks to Linux (especially VL) it still has plenty of life in it.

I still am a fairly hardcore gamer - my only advice, is when you upgrade, get the absolute top-spec stuff you can.  And don't buy end-of-tech-tree stuff, as I made the mistake of earlier - I got into the last of the AGP cards on the verge of PCI-e becoming standard.  Foolishness on my part.

However, spend your money well, get the best you can, and you'll have a machine that'll degrade fairly gracefully for at least two years.  A hardcore gamer would get their money's worth back in entertainment in those two years anyway, in my experience.

But yes, thanks to Vector, number of older machines here have had life breathed back into them.
Logged

Acer Laptop:  Vector 5.8 SOHO Final & Windows XP Professional & USB (still alive!)
Compaq POS (almost dead): Vector 5.9 Light Beta 5
Quad-core BEAST: Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit & Vector 5.9 64-bit beta-2
Old 500MHz media box:  Vector 5.8 SOHO Final (dead)
701 EeePC:  Puppeee (based on Puppy 4.01)
Joe1962
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 2499



WWW
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2007, 08:04:36 am »

BTW - how many realize magnesium is very flameable - burns so intensely,  almost impossible to  extinguish ?
And if you don't believe it, check out MacGyver, Last Stand (season 1 episode 7), which I watched recently... Grin
Quoting from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_problems_solved_by_MacGyver:
Quote
In order to open a locked security van, MacGyver creates a "thermite" torch using magnesium filed from a racing cycle frame and rust held in a long tube and lit with a roadside signal flare.
Logged

O'Neill (RE the Asgard): "Usually they ask nicely before they ignore us and do what they damn well please."
http://joe1962.bigbox.info
Running: VL 7 Std 64 + self-cooked XFCE-4.10
lagagnon
Global Moderator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 1922



WWW
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2007, 08:07:23 am »

However, spend your money well, get the best you can, and you'll have a machine that'll degrade fairly gracefully for at least two years.
Two years? Is that it? That works out to about $2.75 a day to play games ($2000/730). Sorry - I guess I'm not a gamer obviously. It would seem to me to make a lot more sense for gamers to go out and buy a Wii or XBox for 1/8th of the price of a decent gaming computer ?? No?
Logged

"As people become more intelligent they care less for preachers and more for teachers". Robert G. Ingersoll
easuter
Global Moderator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 2160



« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2007, 08:31:20 am »

However, spend your money well, get the best you can, and you'll have a machine that'll degrade fairly gracefully for at least two years.
Two years? Is that it? That works out to about $2.75 a day to play games ($2000/730). Sorry - I guess I'm not a gamer obviously. It would seem to me to make a lot more sense for gamers to go out and buy a Wii or XBox for 1/8th of the price of a decent gaming computer ?? No?

Well thats exactly why I stopped gaming altogether, it was a waste of money.
Logged

blackbelt_jones
Member
*
Posts: 56


« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2007, 09:10:49 am »

Quote
Quality - now there is a term not necessarily related to end-price

Delving into how LCD monitors are constructed - there is no justification to prices compared to CRT monitors

Not in  materials, Mfg costs or precision to align components - electrical values & three emitter "guns"
LCD screens  are more fragile - even tapping may create "dead" pixels !

Colour purity/view angles _  CRTs still have edge

Only one "native resolution' -for LCDs,  which is not as good as it should be

Not unusual for CRT's (TV or monitors) to last many years
Lcds - have bad reputations for longevity
 If I get too tempted - at present only Samsung has a 'no_dead_pixels' warranty policy

Well, this is all kind of disheartening... but my goodness, my  lcd monitor is beautiful... (23 inches, 2ms response time) and if I DON'T get the four years use that I paid an extra 80 dollars for, they will be hearing from me... oh my yes.  My original point is that spending extra on a monitor gets you a more "Deluxe" experience than spending extra on a computer... if you're a non gaming Linux user. 
Logged
Vxt
Member
*
Posts: 86


« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2007, 11:54:41 am »

MacGiver - that was an interesting show -but sometimes far-fetched
or questionable principles of science

(Why not just use a battery to "weld" ~ (dont try this @ home) !
 But most small pumps would use aluminum con-rods_
 
Wierd science is very informative - there is one "filler" program I have seen -
The chap is in the street, demonstrating basic physics then asks anyone watching him  to explain

(I am typical to  most asked -  few are guessed  correctly)

The monitor is definitely one item to go "deluxe"
Since it is used ALL the time & does most to enhance the experience
BTW _ Don't  Wink believe the advertisements RE "speed" of responce (E.G 2ms)

OEMs fudge HOW that is measured - in gray-scale  & only half a cycle

How to Assess

Horsepower of universal electic motors is a prime example -
Have even recently seen  120v/15Amp 'shop-vac motors' rated at TEN HP -
The FACTS
Code:
volt x amp divided by 746

The new batch of vehicles & advertised "horsepower" is also "fudging how all is measured" ! 

There is  no sub for cube inches or  amperage capacities
There is no Sub  for truths to separate  facts from flights of fancy 

Caveat emptor
Logged
Pages: [1] 2
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!