Upgrading PCs

An article on upgrading PCs made me chuckle. The result was spending dollars per percent of improvement in performance. They have no clue because they assumed M$ and that other OS was part of the solution. They are the problem for performance.

Assume you have two PCs, one fairly recent with 1gB or more RAM and a decent hard drive and the other years older and slower. Both have that other OS. Both take 60s to boot and even another 30s to allow you to use the desktop after logging in. Perhaps 10s to open OpenOffice.org.

Install Debian GNU/Linux on both. On the newer machine do a full desktop installation and open the ports for XDMCP and X. On the older system do a minimal installation plus X. Add the line “X -query ipaddress of newerPC” without the quotes and ipaddress is the network address on your LAN for the newer PC to /etc/rc.local.

The older machine will boot in about 30s and open a login screen to the new PC. Logging in will take 5s. Once you have opened and closed OpenOffice.org it will take as little as 2s to open it again. So, you get a 5X performance improvement and can use it on two computers for $0 and some time.

Which do you think is the better return on investment? Imagine if you can run 30 older PCs this way. The return on investment just gets larger. You can even use LTSP on the newer machine so the older machines boot over the network and your effort drops further for greater benefit. I have been doing this for years in schools. It works. With Debian, setting up LTSP is trivial. A few commands does the trick. If you own the LAN for a lab you can create your own DHCP server automatically and be in business.

Even if you only have one PC, typically installing GNU/Linux on it will give 2X performance improvement for $0. That’s infiinite performance gain for $0, a bargain.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
This entry was posted in Linux in Education, technology. Bookmark the permalink.

96 Responses to Upgrading PCs

  1. oldman says:

    ““oldman” There’s no ‘Us’.”

    “A disappointment I shall have to live with somehow, Mr. Chapman.”

  2. Richard Chapman says:

    “oldman” There’s no ‘Us’.

  3. oldman says:

    “Surviving cancer may have been one of my other joys too but you took it upon yourself to decide what joys I have and don’t have.”

    Mr. Chapman, all I did was make a comment, as you do regularly. I would much rather have a discussion, but all you seem to be able to muster are comments.

    that having been said, I do have to admit that I probably should have just kept my mouth shut and let you have your exchange with Hunt. You should indeed have been allowed your small pleasures in life.

    “Gee “oldman” how Old are you?”

    I’m old enough to have worked with Unix from Bell Labs when it was truly something new, been around when DIX 2.0 allowed networking to take off. and been on the internet when SIMTEL 20 was one of the major places to go. AND I spent a lot of time with software from microsoft and a lot of other companies as well.

    I’m also old enough to have learned that the best tools for a given job are not likely to all be found in one place. And that listening is a two way street, Mr. Chapman.

  4. Richard Chapman says:

    I’m glad to hear you survived cancer “oldman”. Surviving cancer may have been one of my other joys too but you took it upon yourself to decide what joys I have and don’t have. Gee “oldman” how Old are you? Are you trying the start a relationship with me?

  5. oldman says:

    “Besides using GNU/Linux, I have yet another joyous fact to wake up to every morning, I’m not you.”

    As a cancer survivor, I find the notion of waking up with joy because of the software I work just the slightest bit sad. There are many more important things to be joyous about. I think you need to get out more. possibly turn off the computer occasionally.

    “Make noise and make people dance,”

    And yet I have witnessed you do essentially the same elsewhere. I presume that that is OK because you are on the “right” side of the discussion, eh Mr. Chapman?

  6. Richard Chapman says:

    I know the facts. They stare back at me every day from my monitor. I don’t need to run around chasing them down for someone who doesn’t even want them. Ignorance based in a commercial interest is an ignorance of the most entrenched kind. “References == attempts at argument validity.” Sorry, oh one with the unfortunate moniker. It means doing a little dance for you. You don’t come here to learn the truth about Microsoft and GNU/Linux, you come here to make a lot of noise. Make noise and make people dance, oh, and proudly display your unfortunate moniker.

    Besides using GNU/Linux, I have yet another joyous fact to wake up to every morning, I’m not you.

  7. Mike Hunt says:

    Yea, Pogs, because something like this NEVER happens with FOSS.. oh wait:

    http://penguinday.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/the-most-effective-terror-weapon-against-its-own-work-force/

    See? Now this is what I was talking about, references to back up an argument. Learning FOSS zealots?

    References == attempts at argument validity.

    Opinion != any chance of valid argument

  8. bla says:

    Pogson:

    “unlike commercial software where good ideas and hard work allow one to receive a pay-cheque and to remain anonymous and have one’s job cancelled or out-sourced”

    Yea, Pogs, because something like this NEVER happens with FOSS.. oh wait:

    http://penguinday.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/the-most-effective-terror-weapon-against-its-own-work-force/

  9. I write M$ so I don’t give their trademark more hits. They can pay for their own advertising.

  10. bla says:

    You know Pogs, I never understood why you write “M$” and think it is derogatory and some sort of statement. It’s not.

    Microsoft is an American capitalistic corporation, so why writing MS with a dolloar sign would even enrage them?

    It’s like trying to critize Lenin’s writings by just crying “he is a communist, a communist!” and writing his name “Len☭n” well, duh. He IS (was) a communist. That’s the whole point.

    If some one would tell Lenin in his lifetime “you’re a communist!” do you think he would be angry at that?

    Similar with Microsoft. Writing “M$” and telling the world that Microsoft is full of capitalists.. yeah, so what. They ARE capitalists and care about money. No one disputes this. Not even Microsoft.

    How is “M$” in that context even insulting?

    Makes no sense.

  11. Mike Hunt says:

    We’re the facts

    Pfft. That’s just sad.

  12. Richard Chapman says:

    We’re the facts that “back up” the claims of FLOSS being a major part of commerce. It’s called the Internet and it’s built on FLOSS with elements of proprietary closed source constantly trying to weasel their way into a command position.

  13. Mike Hunt says:

    Millions of people make money creating, distributing, installing, configuring, maintaining etc. FLOSS. I do.

    You have no facts or evidence to back this up. Again you’ve not proven anything.

    I think I’ll leave it at this since you seem incapable to allow yourself the opportunity to see that your opinions are not fact and that all you’re doing is devaluing your reputation.

  14. Millions of people make money creating, distributing, installing, configuring, maintaining etc. FLOSS. I do.

  15. Mike Hunt says:

    Count ‘em and report back to us…

    But what about your previous statements:

    Consider M$. 100K+ employees. Most are salesmen.

    You have a link for that? How about:

    It is a great leveler and allows anyone with a good idea and hard work to succeed, unlike commercial software where good ideas and hard work allow one to receive a pay-cheque and to remain anonymous and have one’s job canceled or out-sourced…

    You’re skirting the main point which is that FOSS software offers little or no monetary benefit.

    You can cling to your ideology and find a “bad guy” but the truth is FOSS doesn’t pay the bills.

  16. oldman says:

    “If you are alive and your means of providing food, shelter and clothing to your family because the jobs are in Redmond, WA, you might think it rates consideration.”

    How do we go from using commercial software based on microsoft products to help get our work done to having our jobs in Redmond, Pog?

    Lets look at it another way, Pog? Ideology aside, why should I dump tools that make me productive and go back to tools that make me less productive? What is the community going to do to earn my business?

    “M$ got lucky in that they operated long enough under the radar to establish their monopoly and solidify it.”

    I lived through the same era Pog, and based on what I experienced, Microsoft got where they are in spite of their shenanigans by a combination capitalizing on a bone headed moves of their competitors to earn the business.

  17. If you are alive and your means of providing food, shelter and clothing to your family because the jobs are in Redmond, WA, you might think it rates consideration. Why else do we have anti-competition laws? Without them, the criminals would take over the world. M$ got lucky in that they operated long enough under the radar to establish their monopoly and solidify it.

  18. see http://sourceforge.net and https://github.com

    Count ’em and report back to us…

    Sourceforge says, “We thrive on community collaboration to help us create the leading resource for open source software development and distribution. With the tools we provide, 2.7 million developers create powerful software in over 260,000 projects. Our popular directory connects more than 46 million consumers with these open source projects and serves more than 2,000,000 downloads a day. SourceForge is where open source happens.

    GitHub says, “626,029 people hosting over 1,799,612 git repositories

    Debian GNU/Linux, alone, has 1K developers putting together a distro with 29000 packages. Imagine how many developers are upstream of Debian.

  19. Ray says:

    “M$ does to businesses what Hitler did to people, kill them.”

    That still doesn’t compare to millions of people dying.

  20. Mike Hunt says:

    Consider M$. 100K+ employees. Most are salesmen.

    Do you have references to back this up?

    There are around 300K FLOSS projects.

    Do you have references to back this up?

    There are millions of FLOSS programmers.

    Do you have references to back this up?

    FLOSS is a legitimate model for software development that a programmer can choose.

    Do you have references to back this up? Here’s an article that proves your points wrong Pogson:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/30/technology/business-computing/30open.html?_r=1

    It is a great leveler and allows anyone with a good idea and hard work to succeed, unlike commercial software where good ideas and hard work allow one to receive a pay-cheque and to remain anonymous and have one’s job cancelled or out-sourced…

    I’m really disappointed in you Pogson. You use to be a public school teacher and you’re expecting people to accept this drivel? Presenting narrow minded opinions and trying to pass them off as facts is not something I would expect any sort of educator to do.

  21. M$ does to businesses what Hitler did to people, kill them. M$ is anti-competitive, not what I think is best for global IT. M$ made sure that OEMs and retailers excluded competition for years to make its products the status quo. This may have pumped up M$’s channels but squelched OS development around the world and created a fertile monoculture for malware.

  22. Ray says:

    “Sometimes that is a healthy relationship where the leader makes the world a better place and sometimes it is a sick relationship where the leader wreaks death and destruction. e.g. Stalin, Hitler, Bill Gates, …”

    Wait, since when did Bill Gates = Hitler? Hitler killed millions of people, started WWII, and had splitted Germany in it’s aftermath.

  23. M$ has behaved more like a tyrannical regime than a business. M$ has threatened governments with closing up shop if a government strayed to GNU/Linux. How is that normal business? Why can M$ not be content to compete on price/performance? M$ sees harm to others as good for them.

  24. Richard Chapman says:

    They come here to form antagonistic relationships. Just for the record dear invaders, there’s no ‘us’. I haven’t signed on to your relationship formula of blog destruction.

    Section 3 Paragraph 3 of the Microsoft Technical Evangelist Handbook: Take on members of the target Blog. Form a personal antagonistic relationship with one or more or them. Keep the focus of the attack away from the primary message of the Blog. The key is to raise the level of destructive chatter to the point that the Blog is effectively neutered.

    rp: emphasis added by me

  25. D-G says:

    “It is a great leveler and allows anyone with a good idea and hard work to succeed, …”

    Yes, Pog. Please do tell us where the hordes of FLOSS developers are who have succeeded. By success you do mean that they are earning their livelihood by writing FLOSS software, don’t you? That’s interesting because — FLOSS developers employed by companies aside — the great majority of FLOSS developers have a real job. And for them developing FLOSS software is a side gig, a hobby. Some success indeed.

    “… unlike commercial software where good ideas and hard work allow one to receive a pay-cheque and to remain anonymous and have one’s job cancelled or outsourced…”

    “[R]emain anonymous”. Pog, are you for real? So you agree that the incentive for most FLOSS software is purely ego-driven because developers want their spot in the limelight? Yes, that makes sense. The public displays of FLOSS drama queens on their blogs, mailing lists, discussion boards, and so on always makes for mediocre entertainment. But unfortunately not for good software.

    “Stalin, Hitler, Bill Gates, …”

    No shit, Pog. Have you alerted the historians? They’d be most interested about how Gates commited genocide. Were the victims your brain cells? Sure seems like it.

    ONE MORE THING: for fairness’s sake, Pog, could you make an effort to start QUOTING? Quite frankly, it’s even more harder to follow your ramblings when one doesn’t know to whom you’re answering. You know how to QUOTE, right?

  26. oldman says:

    “ometimes that is a healthy relationship where the leader makes the world a better place and sometimes it is a sick relationship where the leader wreaks death and destruction. e.g. Stalin, Hitler, Bill Gates, …”

    Let me get this straight…

    Putting Bill Gates in the same class as Stalin and Hitler isn’t over the top, but Microsoft’s machinations to move their business forward as documented in US DOJ vs MS are, eh?

    I sure that you wouldn’t say this if you didn’t believe it Pog, but you have to know that this kind of extreme position is not going to be accepted by the majority of people as anything valid.

    Thise same people are also not going to be particularly impressed by the implicit position that because they do not use the software that you feel is correct to use on their computers, they are somehow weak.

    Does that not sound a bit arrogant to you?

  27. It is a trait of humanity that weak folks out-number strong folks and the weak folks naturally gravitate to a leader who has any kind of idea. Sometimes that is a healthy relationship where the leader makes the world a better place and sometimes it is a sick relationship where the leader wreaks death and destruction. e.g. Stalin, Hitler, Bill Gates, …

  28. If you cannot read, perhaps you should not post here.

  29. Consider M$. 100K+ employees. Most are salesmen. What’s the average salary? How much does the company earn per capita compared to what the employees get. Are the employees well paid?

    There are around 300K FLOSS projects. There are millions of FLOSS programmers. Being a FLOSS programmer is voluntary. FLOSS is a legitimate model for software development that a programmer can choose. It is a great leveler and allows anyone with a good idea and hard work to succeed, unlike commercial software where good ideas and hard work allow one to receive a pay-cheque and to remain anonymous and have one’s job cancelled or out-sourced…

  30. M$ is the only one who can sell their OS at an obscene profit on hundreds of millions of PCs by default. That is monopoly. Fortunately that monopoly should end this year. M$ will have to compete on price/performance at last. They haven’t had to do that for more than 20 years because IBM granted them a monopoly on the IBM PC.

  31. Alex says:

    Congratulations, Robert.

    You must be doing something right to attract so many Microsoft astroturfers here. Must have hit a nerve or two 🙂

    Their arguments are old and recycled. Perhaps they should go and buy some new arguments. But I guess that does not matter, because their purpose is to drown out information in noise. Makes me sick to the gut reading them – so much hate bubbling up there.

    I never understood this fanboyism to Microsoft. At work I used to argue with a boneheaded dick like these who would just say that Firefox sucks, just to start an argument. What a bunch of losers.

    Alex.

  32. Ray says:

    “Time to start moderating mr. Pogson.”

    We can always ignore them ;).

  33. Mike Hunt says:

    Linux doesn’t undermine anything. It is what it is and people drive it to the state it’s at.

    I have no idea what you are trying to say; your statement i nonsensical.

    Stupidity gets you nowhere Mike. Like the other guy said, go see a doctor and get your head examined.

    *sigh* Actually that was me that you are quoting.

    Seriously, are you guys even trying or is this your best?

  34. Mike Hunt says:

    Nonsense. Many FLOSS developers are well paid by businesses that want to secure/customize FLOSS for their purposes. Check out the list of contributors to Linux. A large fraction are employed that way.

    Excellent, this is grand.

    The article you quote is from a Linux zealot who is referencing a survey from the Linux Foundation, who are not known to be objective but very much the opposite.

    However, even if I overlook all of that, there is absolutely no statistical evidence to offer facts to back up the claim that:

    1) “many FLOSS developers are well paid”
    2) “Many FLOSS developers are well paid by businesses”
    3) “A large fraction [of FLOSS developers] are employed that way”

    The article simply talks about how “over 5000 individual developers from nearly 500 different companies have contributed to the kernel” since 2005.

    The article then goes into detail about frequency of kernel updates, which companies are contributing to kernel updates, and development times per year.

    There is absolutely no mention of salaries and no mention of anything other than 5000 people contributing to kernel updates.

    How does that compare to the multi-billion dollar software industry? The tens of millions of programmers who earn an income from software development?

    You’ve not disproved my initial argument which is that “Linux is predatory too since it attempts to undermine business by promising a free solution which undermines the free market. Software developers can no longer make a living.”

  35. “They are the ones that insist on monopoly and will do anything legal or not to get monopoly and to maintain it.”

    I statements like this demonstrate that Pogson has failed English 101. Let look at the definition of monopoly shall we?

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/monopoly

    Monopoly:
    1
    : exclusive ownership through legal privilege, command of supply, or concerted action
    2
    : exclusive possession or control
    3
    : a commodity controlled by one party
    4
    : one that has a monopoly

    If Microsoft were a monopoly then they would be the only ones who sell operating systems as no one else could because they would have exclusive control.

    The existence of Apple and their operating system render any statement that Microsoft is a monopoly moot as they compete with Microsoft.

    The existence of Red Hat and their Linux operating system render any statement that Microsoft is a monopoly moot as they compete with Microsoft.

    Problem Pogson?

  36. oldman says:

    “Time to start moderating mr. Pogson.”

    I find it fascinating that all of the supposed “anti” linux people are having a detailed discussion making their cases and all some of the so called “pro” linux types can manage is to call for you to kick us out.

    so much for freedom.

  37. oldman says:

    “You can choose to be self-abusive.”

    It’s not self abusive to want to use what WE consider the best tool for the job Pog. Whether you like it or not most of the best personal productivity tools are only to be had commercially. There is a world of software beyond the userland toolkit of Linux or the FOSS community Pog, and it is far richer than you seem to understand and quite a bit of it is either free or low cost.

  38. nightgoblin says:

    I didn’t even bother to read comments on this post. In addition to ‘regular’ anti-freedom handles (I bet you can trace them to just 1 or 2 IPs) there is at least one guy pretending to be GNU/Linux user. Time to start moderating mr. Pogson.

  39. Spock Shatner says:

    I cannot believe this statement:

    Linux is predatory too since it attempts to undermine business by promising a free solution which undermines the free market. Software developers can no longer make a living.

    Linux doesn’t undermine anything. It is what it is and people drive it to the state it’s at. Stupidity gets you nowhere Mike. Like the other guy said, go see a doctor and get your head examined. Your just a M.M.M. (MicroSoft Mad Man) spewing FUD thicker than a horses excrement.

    It’s like saying you shouldn’t play hockey with your pals because it endangers the NHL. Predatory? The only thing that’s predatory is the Mad Cow Disease in your brain and the M$ you vouch for.

  40. Amen! I like to read and write and discuss. It’s what I do. It’s who I am. You can see far more extreme positions and actions from Ballmer and his buddies as shown in the e-mails revealed in US DOJ v M$. They are the ones that insist on monopoly and will do anything legal or not to get monopoly and to maintain it.

  41. Mike Hunt wrote:”Software developers can no longer make a living.

    Nonsense. Many FLOSS developers are well paid by businesses that want to secure/customize FLOSS for their purposes. Check out the list of contributors to Linux. A large fraction are employed that way.

    The same goes for many of the big projects. Smaller projects are part-time activities of developers, supported by small business and so on. Many projects are funded by businesses who sell the service of supporting the product.

    There are many other ways developers are rewarded for generating FLOSS. By generating FLOSS they get to use FLOSS libraries at no cost, a big advantage for projects of any size.

    Seeing a different model of software development as “cheating” or unfair is a sign of insecurity. I can understand that in the case of Oracle that charges $thousands per CPU and M$ that charges $hundreds per PC, but the ordinary folks creating software for fun or profit have nothing to fear from FLOSS. If you happen not to like FLOSS for any reason, that’s OK. You can choose to be self-abusive.

  42. oldman says:

    “It seems your posts are putting Micro$oft apologists into a panic.”

    I’m not so sure of that. More likely they are bored and the over the top nature of Pog’s posts with their sometimes dodgy “Proof” of his positions are a tempting target for “debunking”. I my case, I comment where I think Pog is wrong. I hope he will acknowledge the other side, but I have no hopes of converting him.

    I suspect The vast majority of computing could care less that this site exists.

    If Robert Pogson does not want to hear those of use who do not just rubber stamp his views, he can either ban us all or ever shut off comments entirely.

    Its his choice.

  43. Mike Hunt says:

    Is it a double standard when the Red Cross donates blood? No.

    I think that’s a distortion of reality if you think that Linux and the Red Cross are both offering society the same level of value.

    The Red Cross saves peoples’ lives with blood whereas Linux offers a product – nothing more.

    My biggest beef with M$ is that they are predatory rather than business-like.

    Linux is predatory too since it attempts to undermine business by promising a free solution which undermines the free market. Software developers can no longer make a living.

    The school where I worked had 40 copies of XP donated but we paved most of them because maintaining the OS was too difficult.

    So because it didn’t work for you it shouldn’t/won’t work for anyone else? That inductive reasoning doesn’t support much.

  44. Certainly not a double standard. This is just evidence that M$ acts to preserve its monopoly above all else. The school where I worked had 40 copies of XP donated but we paved most of them because maintaining the OS was too difficult. XP also performed very poorly on our hardware.

    Is it a double standard when the Red Cross donates blood? No. That is there normal mode of operation. My biggest beef with M$ is that they are predatory rather than business-like.

  45. Mike Hunt says:

    M$ will give their OS away for $0 to stop some schools and governments from switching to GNU/Linux.

    As appose to Linux distributors who always give it away? Double standard much?

  46. They should just ignore me. I install GNU/Linux occasionally and M$ installs that other OS many times per second. What are they worried about? 😉

  47. Joe says:

    It seems your posts are putting Micro$oft apologists into a panic.

  48. Why is it that that other OS gets tired even when fully patched? GNU/Linux only gets better from patching.

  49. Haven’t you heard about WGdisA?

  50. So, you like to spend money for stuff you don’t need or use? That’s crazy. Why would anyone do that? It’s not an investment since the depreciation rate on PSU is about 30% per annum.

  51. M$ will give their OS away for $0 to stop some schools and governments from switching to GNU/Linux. What are they afraid of? Freedom.

  52. The minimal OS of a thin client boots very quickly. How long does it take to start X?

  53. D-G says:

    “What’s the difference? What are you scared of Mike? Don’t draw back down like a wimp. Windows 1.0 is better than linux?”

    You probably can’t grasp the concept that it’s a useless exercise comparing Windows XP (2001) with, say, Ubuntu 10.10 (2010), and then drawing conclusions how Windows is inferior because it supports so much less hardware out of the box.

    But that’s the only kind of lame FUD argumentation that puny reverse trolls like yourself will ever be capable of.

  54. D-G says:

    “Huh? Didn’t get the comment did you. You cannot simply clone winblows on your new machine. You cant just pop out the drive and put it in another.”

    Yes, you can do both.

    “In fact, your better off dead than waiting on the phone for M$ to allow you to reinstall their OS on your new machine.”

    Funny. Cloning my legally purchased copy of Windows to a new computer (yes, I deleted it from the old one, of course) has worked for me every time. And I never needed to call Microsoft.

    Why don’t you just stop making up ridiculous boogeyman stories?

  55. D-G says:

    “Desktops. Desktops. Of course notebooks have had some concern for power. Desktops have not.”

    My god, Pog, stop it. Your very own blog entry is about DESKTOPS. And to say that DESKTOPS nowadays don’t have a concern for power has to be the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever read. Shall I fedex you my computer which has a 400W PSU and a Core2 Quad and two hard drives and an optical drive and a dedicated graphics card? Then you could see for yourself that it draws about 45W when idling. You fail again.

  56. Dann says:

    Double post I know, but I should mention…

    At one time I was using an old 800Mhz with 64MB video card to do some programming, browsing and listening to music.

    At a screen resolution of 1920×1200.
    Using FluxBox.

    And it only lagged playing video files.
    I’m sure Windows 95 “MIGHT” be able to perform as well. For a few months until the registry gets bogged down. And the viruses come marching in. And since it’s not supported by M$ anymore, probably some bugs will mess things up. Getting drivers would be a pain, I’d have to use linux to get online since Win95-XP are toast if browsing without Anti-Virus. Plus I’d need anti-virus and anti-malware and anti-spyware, flashblock, javascript block, a decent browser (firefox 2?), and who knows if VLC is built for win95. No recent version anyway. And I’d need a license.

    If time is money, than GNU/Linux (Debian) is a much better use for what I get out of it.

    Oh and for all you Windows Fan Bois, I have Office 2007 on Crossover Linux Pro. Runs much faster on Gentoo than on Windows XP/Vista/7, even though it’s hideous to use. (I keep it on there as an expensive decoration and use libreoffice for work.)

    The only good thing about windows was 3.11, since much of it was built in assembler it could run on < 512 k of ram. Very difficult to use nowadays for anything more than a story-writing machine.
    200 MB hard drive.

  57. Dann says:

    Funny how the trolls that argue against you mainly use “people don’t want that” or “it doesn’t matter with today’s PC’s” as arguments.

    When faced with technological superiority, even if it is not ground-breaking, leads them to deny, redirect, or shrug off proofs, if they don’t question it every step of the way first.

    It’s wearying having to wade through these comments that add nothing to the discussion and I am constantly amazed at your ability to remain calm, Pog. Obviously you’ve been through this more than I have.
    Keep up your defence.

    Even though I don’t use thin clients or prefer them, at my work I do use just a Tower plugged into the network and ssh into it to get things done. (It’s a high-end 4x core with NVidia 210 video card) Doing so saves energy that would be used on a monitor; since I have X installed on both machines I use, it’s not needed.

    I don’t know how these trolls can actually advocate wasteful behaviours. It’s repulsive. Then again, it’s where Microsoft gets its revenue stream from.
    Which is ever drying up.

  58. Mike Hunt says:

    What’s the difference? What are you scared of Mike? Don’t draw back down like a wimp. Windows 1.0 is better than linux?

    What does that even have to do with what I said which was to perform a fair apples-to-apples comparison? I see a lot of FOSS proponents performing this comparison of current day Linux (e.g. Ubuntu 10.10) against XP.

    I have some discs of Linux distros from that time period and they don’t even finish a hardware check let alone install.

    Just buy, buy, buy that … [and more incoherent babblings]

    Move the goal posts much? First you guys complain that Microsoft is dumping their product at below market prices but when that argument is quashed it’s “buy buy buy” and watch the price increase and get locked in. Which is it? Depends on the argument?

    Mike, the world is dominated by our Nazi OS (You do notice how the windows logo has the swastika).

    Are you for real? Do you even listen to what you’re saying? You are comparing a company that sells software to a regime that killed millions of people.

    Do yourself a favor and see your GP for some Prozac. It will make reality a little less distorted.

  59. “Assume you have two PCs, one fairly recent with 1gB or more RAM…”

    One gig of ram as a standard for modern? LOL you are using from the 90s?

    “Both have that other OS.”

    OH NOES Voldemort â„¢!

    “Both take 60s to boot and even another 30s to allow you to use the desktop after logging in. Perhaps 10s to open OpenOffice.org.”

    On a Pentium 2 or 3 because you are using something from the 90s.

    “The older machine will boot in about 30s and open a login screen to the new PC. Logging in will take 5s. Once you have opened and closed OpenOffice.org it will take as little as 2s to open it again. So, you get a 5X performance improvement and can use it on two computers for $0 and some time.”

    $0 because your time is worthless. LOL such a return investment that you have lost functionality and compatibility compared to Microsoft Office! you assume that a user will only do word-processing on a desktop. What no multimedia such as audi..oh wait not supported or broken never mind. Surly I will be able to connect to the internet..oh wait wireless does not work never mind.

    “Which do you think is the better return on investment? Imagine if you can run 30 older PCs this way.”

    And do nothing with them because they were made useless. YAY!

    “You can even use LTSP on the newer machine so the older machines boot over the network and your effort drops further for greater benefit.”

    Assuming that any of those machines can connect to your network, you get to clog up your network applying and reapplying patches to do nothing. Don’t upgrade your kernel because who knows what that will break but don’t leave it downgraded as it is insecure!

    “Even if you only have one PC, typically installing GNU/Linux on it will give 2X performance improvement for $0. That’s infiinite performance gain for $0, a bargain.”

    [citation needed]

  60. Ray says:

    Please, stop spamming the comments.

  61. Win Again says:

    “And are you being fair and comparing Linux from 2001 to XP? Or are you comparing Linux from 2011 to XP? That would not be a fair comparison.”

    What’s the difference? What are you scared of Mike? Don’t draw back down like a wimp. Windows 1.0 is better than linux?

    The “Multiple Sclerosis Fighter” said it spot on.

    Just buy, buy, buy that M$O$. It’s only $99 (+ $199 in a year or two(+ $299 in a year or two(+ $399 in a year or two(+ $499 in a year or two(+ $599 in a year or two))))).

    Mike, the world is dominated by our Nazi OS (You do notice how the windows logo has the swastika).

    Cheers to our campaign ‘linoox fighter’! Continue the battle. But pal, do email a copy of the winblows H8te ultimate edition keygen when it come out next year :).

  62. oe says:

    Mr. Pogson:

    It seems there must be a lot of folks on the Microsoft dole getting Waggener Edstrom checks cut to them. Your points resonate with me having had to do IT on the side as a volunteer or “knowing enough”. Old PC’s are worth using if the hardware is “good enough” and I have some friends chugging along quite happily with 8 to 10 year old equipment doing Web 2.0 stuff. On older is good for servers, agreed there too, I put a poor man’s server and playing around with a shunt load plug and a multimeter, a old Pentium II underclocked to 50MHz was only drawing about 35 Watts with no monitor and one HDD running, any other general purpose machine from the last 5 years would be eating more juice. One of these posters is right, my time is worth money; spending 1/2 a day on the phone with HP and Microsoft and then getting a repair shop’s quote for fixing a relatives Win7 laptop that wouldn’t boot was just one of a couple of bad post Vista fixes. Debian/Pupply/Ubuntu and Slackware once their setup are good for years of use. FOSS packages allowing me to employ boilerplate scripts to automate tasks which is enabled by open standards save a lot of time and effort on my part. Time I spent learning the OS 15 years that is still relevant today is time not wasted by arbitrary change. Your point about swapping your whole HDD was one heck of a pleasant surprise that LINUX allows that has saved me a lot of grief. I could go one but I’ll leave it at that.

  63. Mike Hunt says:

    Actually I think the original article is a bit of an irrelevant context.

    Computers these days are so cheap that it rarely is cost effective to upgrade them rather than just toss them out and buy something newer with more power and donate your remaining clunker to the local schoo … oh wait. I see your point.

  64. Desktops. Desktops. Of course notebooks have had some concern for power. Desktops have not.

  65. lpbbear says:

    Ahhh, speak ill of Windows and the “Outhouse Door” opens…..in blow the “Children of the Corn”, the “True BeLIEvers”. Breath in that aroma. Don’t it smell goooood?

    (Simple solution….GET RID OF THE TROLLS!)

  66. Mike Hunt says:

    GNU/Linux beats XP for speed which beats “7″

    And are you being fair and comparing Linux from 2001 to XP? Or are you comparing Linux from 2011 to XP? That would not be a fair comparison.

    I have tried several older distros (e.g. Redhat, Knoppix) from 2000-ish and they fail miserably on new hardware.

  67. Multiple Sclerosis Fighter says:

    Loonix said
    “And yet most home users aren’t going to be cloning more installations than they have computers for and those computers will have a 99% chance of already coming with a Windows license.”

    Huh? Didn’t get the comment did you. You cannot simply clone winblows on your new machine. You cant just pop out the drive and put it in another. In fact, your better off dead than waiting on the phone for M$ to allow you to reinstall their OS on your new machine.

    M$ needs to make money off of us. So that’s why I buy it over, and over, on all my computers. I dish it out every single time. Their customer service sounds like an idiot though “bleeze wait on da lines, danke yoo!”. So, I just pop another couple of bills on the nazi OS.

    Seriously… just pay for the OS guys.

  68. Loonix fighter says:

    Oh and if you want another comparison. My 2 year old, considered a higher end gaming laptop of the time, laptop with a Dual core Penryn has a TDP of 25W. On the other hand, I still have the PII that I pulled out of my computer that I upgraded back in 1999 to a PII 233mhz. You want to guess what the TDP of that PII was? 35W. Basically you have to go back to the original Pentium 100mhz chips to get a lower power draw than the chip in my laptop.

  69. D-G says:

    Pog, why are you evading him? Here’s what you wrote not long ago:

    “Old PCs often have 250W PSU while THE NEWER ONES HAVE 100W JUST IN THE CPU AND WANT A 400W OR LARGER PSU.” (emphasis by me)

    Dell, Core2 Duo or Core2 Quad, 235W power supply. Does this ring a bell? These are the specs of the Dell Optiplex 960 he posted.

    “I never wrote that a modern PC has to be a power guzzler.”

    Yes, you did. See above.

    “All that an ordinary user needs is a watt as proven by smartphones.”

    Huh? I didn’t know that all smartphone users have thrown away their PCs or their Macs. Maybe they have dumped their old GNU/Linux computers.

    “The old machines idle a lot. It makes no sense to have 100Watts used at idle.”

    Old Machines? Wait a minute, weren’t you just talking about how old machines drain a lot less power? And now you’re suddenly concerned because they’re idling while pulling 100W. What kind of opportunistic argumentation is that?

    It’s also very funny because a modern off-the-shelf PC with a modern CPU with at least four cores and an efficient 400W+ PSU will usually idle at around 50-60W. Choose your components a bit more wisely and you can achieve 40W easily.

  70. oldman says:

    “All that an ordinary user needs is a watt as proven by smartphones. The old machines idle a lot. It makes no sense to have 100Watts used at idle.”

    That is your value judgement Pog. I know you can’t stand the waste, but your average pc user is more concerned about what their system can do, and probably doesn’t care about power consumption, boot time, reboot time or whatever.

    Speaking of which, my new Dell Precision M6500 Laptop has a 256Gb solid state disk that allows windows 7 x64 to boot in about 15 seconds, reboot in about 10 seconds and sjut down in about the same time. The cost to add this to the system was about $500.00 The boost in speed that it gives me when I am running my usual collection of virtual machines is worth every penny.

    Besides 5 virtual machines running on a fairly powerful system will beat the power savings of running several physical ones anyway.

  71. Loonix fighter says:

    And the figures for the Athlons come from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_AMD_Athlon_XP_microprocessors#Desktop_CPU

    Only 6 of those chips out of the entire list of desktop Athlons has a TDP of less than 60W. All the rest average at the upper 60s and lower 70s. Conroe and Wolfdale Core2s draw 65W and you can look up any benchmarks to see that their performance over single core Athlons is far and wide.

  72. Loonix fighter says:

    “I never wrote that a modern PC has to be a power guzzler.”

    “Old PCs often have 250W PSU while the newer ones have 100W just in the CPU and want a 400W or larger PSU.”

    The implication is quite clear.

    “It’s just that a few years ago the standard PC was not a power guzzler with single-core, small RAM and lower clock-speed.”

    Bullshit. The average, single core Athlon XP processor had a TDP of around 60-75W. A modern 45nm Core2Quad has a TDP of 65-95W. Even at the max draw of 95W that is marginally more than the TDP of an Athlon XP 3200+ at 80W and yet the Core2Quad is vastly more powerful and performant. Even if you went to the midrange in draw for say an Athlon you are only looking at a drop in TDP to say around 45-50W. A Conroe Core2 can beat those things by a long shot at only 65W TDP. I’m sorry, but your claims are almost all bunk and ignore the fact that modern processors are magnitudes more powerful and in most cases barely more draw than even the average chip is more than 6 years old.

    “Downstairs I have a modern quad-core CPU that runs 95W!”

    And? I have an Athlon XP 3200+ that draws 80W! Which provides the best performance for draw? Hint: It’s not the Athlon.

    “That’s mainstream these days. Some of the gamers and server guys run 125W CPUs.”

    No, the mainstream chips are the Core2 mobile chips that draw about 30-45W and the desktop chips that draw about 50-60W. The only chips that come close to 125W TDP is something like the Core 2 Extreme QX9xxx which is such a niche chip that almost no one but idiots who would spend 1000 bucks on a chip own.

    “All that an ordinary user needs is a watt as proven by smartphones.”

    If that were true, no one would be using PCs. And for better performance I could just get a Core2 solo that draws 5.5W. It’s going to blow away your smartphone quite easily.

    “The old machines idle a lot. It makes no sense to have 100Watts used at idle.”

    It makes no sense to have any machine on if all it does is idle. That’s the point of sleeping and hibernation modes. Secondly, modern CPUs have quite intelligent power management to lower power draw drastically when idle unless you go out of your way to disable that.

  73. I never wrote that a modern PC has to be a power guzzler. It’s just that a few years ago the standard PC was not a power guzzler with single-core, small RAM and lower clock-speed. Downstairs I have a modern quad-core CPU that runs 95W! That’s mainstream these days. Some of the gamers and server guys run 125W CPUs. All that an ordinary user needs is a watt as proven by smartphones. The old machines idle a lot. It makes no sense to have 100Watts used at idle.

  74. Loonix fighter says:

    So how does that at all address anything I posted? I notice how you haven’t yet responded about the Optiplex 960 that demolishes your claims of a modern PC not being able to work with a 250W psu yet I posted one that can run with a Core2Quad with a 235W psu. Then you can’t actually provide any examples of how Windows has “wrong drivers” except to make a disingenuous comparison between probably a Linux distro that is a year old or less to a 10 year old version of XP. So instead of actually addressing anything you just throw out a bunch of bullshit and try to deflect and then call yourself the winner. IS that really the best you’ve got?

  75. Ray says:

    “So, you get a 5X performance improvement and can use it on two computers for $0 and some time.”

    Pog, the before time was 100 seconds, while the after was 37 seconds. It’s not 5x faster, it’s only 2.7x faster.

    And the downside is that Youtube tends to slow down more, since Flash needs more memory on Linux. 🙁

    Link: http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/systemreqs/

  76. Nope. I don’t need or want to buy “7” or “8” or anything ever again from M$. I can do everything I need to do with GNU/Linux. People for whom I work appreciate the increased performance of GNU/Linux. I have seen “7” running on a few PCs, tried it myself and read others’ comparisons. GNU/Linux beats XP for speed which beats “7”. We had 12 new PCs delivered with XP. One teacher wanted to go back to that other OS so I put “7” on it and she stuck with GNU/Linux on an old machine. It was faster.

  77. Can’t take competition eh? M$ could produce a new version of their OS that could run on 8 year old PCs but it doesn’t bother. That’s OK. GNU/Linux can do the job better. We did get a few new PCs in with XP and students who had been used to 8 year old PCs running GNU/Linux as thin clients were amazed at how slow they were. Same goes for 7 on a couple of new machines we bought for the bosses. One runs GNU/Linux and it is visibly faster.

  78. Loonix fighter says:

    That was meant to be “pre-SP1 version of XP”. Either you need to do a fair comparison between Win7 and your latest Loonix distro or you need to throw an equally old, aka 2001 era, Linux distro to compare against your pre-SP1 XP. Otherwise you’re being completely disingenuous in your comparison.

  79. Loonix fighter says:

    BTW, what version of Linux are you comparing against this pre-SP1 version of Linux? Are you also comparing to one that come out in 2001? No, I’m sure you’re comparing it to a version of Linux probably only a few years old which makes your comparison completely bunk. If you tried to through a 2001 version of Debian on a new machine I can guarantee almost nothing would work.

  80. Loonix fighter says:

    :Exactly. With GNU/Linux you can copy an installation from old hardware to new hardware and it will work.”

    In pixie dust land, maybe. In the real world, it’s not nearly what you claim.

    “With that other OS you will get endless “new hardware detected” popups if it boots at all.”

    Yet, I have never seen this with the 100s upon 100s of machines I’ve imaged over the years.

    “Where I last worked I tried copying XP from an old Netvista IBM PC to another model and had a half a dozen of those things pop up.”

    Did you miss the part where I said:

    “Care to provide an example that doesn’t involve a 10 year old version of Windows? Say point one out from Windows 7?”

    As I said, provide an example of a version of Windows that ISN’T 10 years old as would be the case with your NetVista machine.

    “With GNU/Linux the drivers that are not built in are loaded from the hardware detection each time.”

    You mean except for if it’s a new model of hardware with no support? Linux can’t work magic. Secondly, even if it DID detect the hardware, you would still have to go and get it installed. The system doesn’t just magically install new drivers with no intervention.

    “No need to search the web or a CD for drivers.”

    Yeah, you have to search the web for the arcane workarounds to get that piece of hardware to work that almost never work. That’s so much better than *gasp* popping in a CD or going to the manufacturers website. *rolls eyes*

  81. Exactly. With GNU/Linux you can copy an installation from old hardware to new hardware and it will work. With that other OS you will get endless “new hardware detected” popups if it boots at all. Where I last worked I tried copying XP from an old Netvista IBM PC to another model and had a half a dozen of those things pop up. With GNU/Linux the drivers that are not built in are loaded from the hardware detection each time. No need to search the web or a CD for drivers.

  82. Loonix fighter says:

    “Usually it is not legal for a home user to install that other OS by cloning. ”

    And yet most home users aren’t going to be cloning more installations than they have computers for and those computers will have a 99% chance of already coming with a Windows license. Nice try, poggie.

    “That other OS often will have the wrong drivers.”

    And yet you provided not a single example of one of these “wrong drivers”. Care to provide an example that doesn’t involve a 10 year old version of Windows? Say point one out from Windows 7?

    “Since GNU/Linux ships with all its drivers, a clone will often work right away.”

    Unless you want to use the proprietary nVidia or ATI drivers, or the Creative drivers which don’t usually get laid done with many distros. Secondly, who creates a clone without verifying that you have all the right drivers? That sounds like something only an idiot would do.

    “No tuning required. All your settings are cloned as well.”

    Yeah, just like when you clone a Windows install. I’ve cloned hundreds of machines at work and have never had to tune anything with the image unless we happen to get a brand new set of hardware. And I know you’ll claim “but I don’t need to do that with Loonix!!” except that often you do especially if you get newer model video card that nouveau or something doesn’t support and thus you need the latest drivers from nVidia. This has happened.

  83. Usually it is not legal for a home user to install that other OS by cloning. That other OS often will have the wrong drivers. Since GNU/Linux ships with all its drivers, a clone will often work right away. No tuning required. All your settings are cloned as well.

  84. Loonix fighter says:

    “When installing to the hard drive of an old PC it is much faster to just copy from a previous installation. This can take as little as 10 minutes.”

    Umm, duh? Who doesn’t just reimage a machine to reinstall the OS? Why would any go through the hassle of a manual install at this point in time with tools like Acronis, Clonezilla, etc.

  85. Loonix fighter says:

    And this: http://i.dell.com/sites/content/business/solutions/brochures/en/Documents/desktop-optiplex-960-customer-brochure-en.pdf is where I got the figures. Hell if you want you can even go with the small form factor with a 235W PSU. And I was wrong, it’s not a Core2Duo that Optiplex has a Core2Quad. It’s highly doubtful that your Xeon is at all in the same league at 255W or 235W.

  86. Loonix fighter says:

    “The old PCs actually use less power than newer ones.”

    Sure, if you look at it only from the dimension of absolute. If you look at it based on performance/watt new hardware blows away your ancient computer. Besides, if you are that worried just underclock your CPU and video card and it still blows away your old shit.

    “Old PCs often have 250W PSU while the newer ones have 100W just in the CPU and want a 400W or larger PSU.”

    A brand new Optiplex 960 in the desktop form factor has a 255 watt PSU with a Core2Duo that beats the socks off of whatever old computer you have lying around.

    “The cost of energy to build, material, pollution and energy consumption during use are all reduced if machines are kept until they die.”

    Sure if all you ever do is dump this stuff in the garbage. But that’s pretty much a duh conclusion as it is.

  87. When installing to the hard drive of an old PC it is much faster to just copy from a previous installation. This can take as little as 10 minutes. The old PCs actually use less power than newer ones. Old PCs often have 250W PSU while the newer ones have 100W just in the CPU and want a 400W or larger PSU. Some of the old PCs have 25W processors because they had small caches and low clock speeds. The cost of energy to build, material, pollution and energy consumption during use are all reduced if machines are kept until they die.

  88. Mike Hunt says:

    Which do you think is the better return on investment?

    Buying the new system with Windows 7 is the better ROI because I consider my time worth something which is what so many of you FOSS advocates forget to factor into the equation.

    I find that installing Linux on a new system – or old system for that matter – costs me on average 2 – 4 times the amount of time to “get it just right”.

    If I used FOSS solutions every time, I’d go broke very quickly.

    If however time is no object and you are not wanting to get paid for your time, I suppose FOSS on an old dumpster-dived tower makes perfect sense.

    With the old “refurbished” PCs, let’s not forget of course the harm to the environment you are causing due to the inefficient energy usage – that power sucking CRT is going to make your lights dim.

  89. Loonix fighter says:

    That was meant to be 8 years old not 10.

  90. Loonix fighter says:

    The benchmarks I listed were running on an Athlon XP 3000+ which is a 10 year old processor and cold start times were barely more than 2 seconds. Warm starts on Linux and Windows were under 1 second. So if you were getting something as high as 2s on old Xeon server doing a warm start of OO.o that is not even remotely LIKE NEW performance. That’s WORSE than what you can get from an 8 year old Athlon.

  91. We were under 2s using an old IBM Xeon server with stuff already in RAM so we got like-new performance from 8 year old clients and server.

  92. For a terminal server the user of the thin client gets access to the loaded apps and libraries just by logging in. His hard drive does not have to seek from NY to LA to load files.

  93. Loonix fighter says:

    Oh and you have to be lying about the startup times for OO.o. According to benchmarks by OO.o ninja, http://www.oooninja.com/2009/03/multiplatform-benchmark-30.html, even the worst cold start time of OO.o is 4 seconds. The plain Windows version starts up in 2 seconds and on a warm start is under a second.

  94. Loonix fighter says:

    “Which do you think is the better return on investment?”

    A brand new 400 dollar laptop that will not only be more energy efficient but will blow away that many years old computer in speed. So in the end, your time and money are better spent on a new system.

    Also, why do you use deceptive times when you tested OO.o? For Windows you give only the cold start time yet for Linux you give it the warm start time. Well of course an app will open up faster the second time it’s been opened.

  95. D-G says:

    > Both take 60s to boot and even another 30s to allow you to use the desktop after logging in. Perhaps 10s to open OpenOffice.org.

    Where’s the video proof? Oh, you mean you pulled those numbers out of thin air!? I never would’ve imagined.

    > Assume you have two PCs, one fairly recent with 1gB or more RAM and a decent hard drive and the other years older and slower.

    Yes, Pog. Let’s assume the average user has TWO PC’s scraped together from the junkyard. Can you conjure up any more unbelievable scenarios that at best are only relevant for the tiny minority of people who thinks it fun to scour dumpsters for computers and spare parts?

    > Even if you only have one PC, typically installing GNU/Linux on it will give 2X performance improvement for $0. That’s infiinite performance gain for $0, a bargain.

    Wrong. Installing GNU/Linux will make you wish you were never born.

  96. Bender says:

    It is always the same talk: not enough memory? Buy more, it’s cheap etc. It is always the same, putting a bandaid on broken leg. Wrong solution to the real problem. As always hardware is insufficient 😉 Of course, it sometimes is but as with viruses, that other OS is never the problem.

    The same story with the new vapourware 8, they shortened the installation time from 23min to 8min, supposedly the hard disk was the bottleneck 😉 Of course all this happened on the same configuration so i ask, was it the hardware the bottleneck or that other OS :)??

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