From my perspective, I use those VMs either to isolate services (another Linux image on the VM) or use it to test apps I write for customers who use Windows. If the customer requires that an app works on a certain version of Windows and a certain browser, the only way you can be sure it actually works is to run it on that OS and that browser.
Everybody's use-case is so different. I'm an old-hardware hound. Perhaps also an old hardware-hound. Maybe they're synonymous.
I was attracted to fiddling with the old stuff for a reason related to cessanfrancisco's but also somewhat different: I still remember when tight efficient code was an end in itself. It signified a professionalism and pride of workmanship that has been largely superceded by the demands of the modern proprietary software vendor where quantity of output delivered on short deadline is the absolute measure of value and success. A couple of programmer friends who work for those aforementioned vendors tell me that one of the reasons that Linux is such a good OS is that it still cares enough to "do it right". Well, by and large it does. Nothing's perfect. But Linux certainly gets much much closer to this ideal than a certain software entity that shall remain nameless. So, installing Linux and seeing it revitalize a machine that is only considered "old" because of a cynical campaign by an industry that foists such obsolescence upon us, is my way of saluting the practitioners of those ideals of old, and also, frankly, my way of giving a metaphorical finger to the rent-seeking interests who want to keep us forever chained to the upgrade hamster wheel.
Tinkering with old boxes is not for everybody. I've got the time to treat it as a hobby. I must confess to also running a brand spanking new box that is absurdly overpowered for the work that I task it with. But though friends and family are wowed by the multi-monitor multi-threaded fully-decked-out monster, it always feels to me as if it's lacking something. It's the old boxes that I bring back to life of which I'm most proud. They seem to have a character and class that's somehow missing from the sleek, LED-lined, water-cooled towers that still end up all looking the same.
Inane ramblings of a sentimental old fool.
I've described myself before as "the Fred Sanford of computers". I don't own a machine that's less than 6 years old, and most were either given to me by people who thought they were too old to be of any use, built from spare parts, or bought for well under $100. I've got machines 10+ years old still chugging away doing useful things.
I just don't get excited about the new hardware like I once did. Sometime a few years back hardware got capable of doing everything I needed it to do, and as long as I can rev up every couple of years, I don't mind staying 4-8 years behind.
Now, at work, this is different. I'm kinda jazzed about my new laptop with an i5 and and SSD -- finally I can run multiple VMs without the OS choking. Even there, though, I'm the guy who likes to find cool uses for old gear that's been put out to pasture.
PS -- "hobby OS"? I'm pretty sure we left that behind a few years ago, maybe somewhere between powering Google, the NYSE and the International Space Station.
My laptop is five years old but has a lovely matte screen. I just don't understand why almost every new laptop has a glossy screen.
I think that I'll buy another one on eBay for spares but I might build a high power tower that can handle video editing.
FYI my laptop is a HP Compaq 6715b, dual core, 2GHz, 4GB memory
On another note, the laptop I was "given" at work is a single core AMD with 1GB of RAM that chugs like hell in Windows (even with nothing running). I think the machine is about 6-8 years old cuz it had XP stickers all over it. I haven't tried installing *nix on it because 99% of the stuff I use at work is Windows only, so I'd have to run a VM inside Linux, and I have no idea how well that would work with only 1GB of RAM. Fun times.
Last edited by CharlesA; December 17th, 2013 at 07:51 AM.
...or 482 of the world's top 500 supercomputers including every single one of the top 10. Unix powers 12. Windows? ...2. Likely MS-subsidized white elephants so they wouldn't be left off the list...."hobby OS"? I'm pretty sure we left that behind a few years ago, maybe somewhere between powering Google, the NYSE and the International Space Station.
As for running linux in a VM on so little hardware I would not advise it, rather just install something like cygwin if you want some linux features.
I need to try out dragonfly bsd as it seems to be a hybrid between monolithic & micro.
Last edited by mips; December 17th, 2013 at 04:32 PM.