The main box (built from parts to run Ubuntu, but has also run Linux Mint, Puppy Linux, Damn Small Linux):

  • ASROCK AliveNF6G-VSTA NVIDIA GEForce 6100 motherboard. Sound, network, & video were all included;
  • AMD Athlon64 Brisbane 2.1GHZ Dual-Core processor (but I only run 32-bit due to not wanting to mess around with Flash, and a problem with private records in Pilot-Link);
  • Corsair XMS2 2GB memory (2 of 1GB DIMM)
  • Two hard drives: 130 GB with separate partitions for / and /home, and 250 GB backup drive;
  • As I write this, it’s running Ubuntu Karmic.
  • Case? Who cares about the case? It’s got front-USB and front-sound-jacks, and it’s black. I got a 500-watt power supply. It was on sale when I got it, and I don’t think I’ve seen it for sale anywhere since.
  • I inherited a 17′ CRT monitor when a friend of mine, who used to work in the IT unit at Columbia University, pulled it off a hand truck when it was on its way to a recycler. It still works… and I’ve decided I don’t need the desk space that much (it does take up a lotta room).

Acer Aspire AA-150, with 140GB HD and 1GB memory. It dual-boots either Windows XP (came with) or Ubuntu Netbook Remix [Karmic];

HP Laptop DV6000 with Vista. Never again will I buy a laptop from HP; I had trouble with the power cord jack while it was in-warranty, and then the wi-fi card stopped working after the warranty ended; replacing the card didn’t help. I subsequently found that there was an overheating problem with this laptop, about which HP knew and kept silent; the wifi problem is a motherboard problem. This laptop mostly gathers dust, but I occasionally use it at work (about which, more at some other time). No longer. See this post.

Der FrankenComputer, a box built from the cast-off disjecta membra of other computers: a motherboard/chip from here, memory from there, a couple of hard drives from somewhere else. Originally, the motherboard/chip ran Windows 98. I’ve used Xubuntu and Linux Mint with Fluxbox window manager, but it’s running Puppy Linux now. I gotta sing the praises of Puppy Linux somewhere-or-other; it’s really made this old beast a useful machine again. Puppy Linux came with .mp3 & flash codecs from the virtual gate. The box runs video only barely, but it streams music, plays CD’s, surfs the web (it’s in the garage, so I sometimes use it to look up repair instructions), and, after a bit of tweaking, runs Java.

I also use a Palm Z22. The forty-two-or-so of us worldwide who still use Palm devices mourn their passing; a handheld with instant-on, that does not require a monthly service fee or access to too-elusive networks, is apparently an idea whose time has already passed. I’m an anachronism, a dinosaur, with a processor in my hand. No more. See this post.


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