Don’t be aghast. That was just a headline. Overreact much? Get offended easily? Don’t. Relax and read the story…
Sure, I’m one of those guys. I like to tinker with old computers. Who doesn’t? Well, mostly people who don’t have the time to.
In this case, I had an HP rp5000 POS system (not piece of sh*%#t, but point of sale) that a good friend installed Linux Mint on and bequeathed to me.
I haven’t had much occasion to use it, but since my Windows 10 and Mac boxes have not been behaving well lately, I decided to expand my Linux arsenal.
My daily driver is an external IDE hard drive running Ubuntu Mate attached to an HP Compaq desktop with Core 2 Duo Intel processor. The desktop computer has 4 GB of RAM. The IDE drive is enclosed in a Rosewill case.
One of the cool things about this setup is that it wakes from sleep instantly.
Yes, I mean instantly.
I either shake the mouse or press the space bar on the keyboard and it immediately prompts me for the password to transport me to the desktop for instant access to my applications. I’m on the web in seconds–just like my Chromebook.
This is a system–Ubuntu Mate, running off a USB external hard drive hooked up to a desktop computer. It’s faster than both the Core 2 Duo Windows 10 desktop with 4 GB of ram as well as the 21.5″ iMac Intel Core i5 with 8GB of ram running macOS High Sierra that we have under our roof.
But, while Ubuntu Mate can do no wrong on my unconventional setup in my eyes, I wanted to try writing a post on my newly updated Linux Mint rig.
It features 1 GB of ram and a 120 GB IDE hard drive.
You have to be a certain age to remember IDE drives. These were standard back in the day. Now, SSD are all the rage and rightfully so. But, people are either discarding their old computers or they are collecting dust in closets or store rooms–and unnecessarily so.
Linux is the answer to the question that is, “What do I do with something like a Pentium 4?”
Well, you can either put Ubuntu Mate on it of course, or you can try and run Linux Mint.
Mint is awesome as is Mate. The Pentium 4 processor combined with only 1 GB of ram was my concern.
Sure, in theory and in base system requirements, Mint will run on the Pentium 4. I suspect Mate would run better, though.
With vintage computers, you have to consider the time for installs of this kind to begin with, too.
If you are rushed for time, then projects such as this are really not best initiated.
In the case of my Pentium 4, I already had Linux Mint running. It just hadn’t been updated or even used for quite some time. I wanted to try it to see if it was practical for even something as rudimentary as blogging.
Well, Pentium 4’s can run hot. They always were capable of higher temperatures. But this is a 2 GHz processor. The machine originally ran Windows XP which is nothing but a security liability these days (although it was a rapid performer on a box of these specifications back in the day).
The short answer is that I’m typing fine. I’m navigating fine. And performance is on a par with both Windows 10 and macOS High Sierra for these tasks.
It is not as fast as Ubuntu Mate on the Core 2 Duo, 1.86 GHz Intel processor with 4 GB ram. The hardware is not as capable with only the Pentium 4 2 GHz processor and 1 GB of ram.
That said, it’s getting the job done as I round the turn on the final 1/4 mile of this post.
I get hot running on days when it’s hot outside. I wear less so I don’t get as hot. I cleared off the text book on the top of the side vents of the P4 so it could breathe easier and it’s not letting me down.
I think seniors tend to be discounted like old computers but they shouldn’t. Seniors just need to figure out a way to repurpose themselves in order to remain viable and productive.
They also need a helping hand from hiring chiefs.
Machines are not human beings. Machines are usurped by more powerful machines. Human beings do not similarly scale; they evolve, adapt and realize different missions as they age.
The experience factor plays into how large a role humans assume as they age. Unlike vintage computers that require human intervention for the opportunity to be utilized, human beings can chart their own course–provided the powers that be give them half a chance.
Additionally, while being exponentially less expensive, it also turns the negative that is traditional aging out of the work force, into the positive that is experienced workers confidently completing job assignments well into later life.