Your computer should last for decades

Forum Forums Kafeneio Chats In a Greek kafeneio Your computer should last for decades

  • This topic has 33 replies, 15 voices, and was last updated Oct 21-1:36 pm by ModdIt.
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  • #44460
    Moderator
    christophe

      I ran across this interesting “rant” today. A vlogger talking about how computers shouldn’t be treated as disposable objects to be discarded every few years. Seems right up our street, as it were. This guy is very entertaining, and the message is logically solid. So I thought I’d share it here:

      http://lbry.tv/@Lunduke:e/a-computer-should-last-for-decades:e

      confirmed antiX frugaler, since 2019

      #44488
      Member
      sybok

        Thanks for providing the link; it is a good message – old is not necessarily bad.

        The buyers decide what do they buy.
        Some more or less related points
        1) – Reminds me of discussions when some Linux kernel module is orphaned, deprecated and subsequently removed.
        2) + At least, some software providers offer LTS (Long-Term-Support)/ESR (Extended-Support Release) versions.
        3) + There is a program for mobiles to support Android/Google for at least a certain number of years; I looked it up once
        4) – [Second hand information] Recently, I’ve read a complaint on a forum of a guy who had to buy a new washing machine and he mentioned surprising decrease of “non-smart” models in the offer.
        5) + My mother told me the European union plans to enforce less e-waste by demanding that e.g. the TVs are easier to repair, batteries in mobile phones easier to replace etc. (I wonder if lead-free solders are contributing to more e-waste being generated and how is it related to the discussion below the video where someone mentioned the solder [not sure if lead-based/free] connections started to break.)

        #44491
        Member
        ModdIt

          Hi sybok, smart washing machines, buzzwords. Worse is use of unsuitable materials which corrode on contact with
          alkalines. We wash with alkalines. Welded drum shafts, Changing the drum bearings is a terrrible job even for the
          highly skilled. Known on Phillips Hotpoint Candy. Lack of spares. I paid for a Miele, was really pissed off when the
          drum speed sensor failed and I had to buy an assembly with brush holder and brushes with the excuse brushes needed
          replacement. Profitable bullshit, but at least i could get the parts.

          Lead free solder is often a problem, but joints commonly fail on devices with leaded solder too. Lead free had or has
          a major whiskering problem. Joint looks moldy, on ic you get short circuits.
          Generation of E Waste in Germany is also driven by so called recycling centers where recycling not upcycling reuse or
          further use is aim.
          An artikel is also regarded as recycled if it is incinerated by the way. Thermic recycling…

          My mother told me the European union plans to enforce less e-waste by demanding that e.g. the TVs are easier to repair,
          batteries in mobile phones easier to replace etc.
          Be good if that happened.

          With regard to phones my feeling is more attention will be paid to ensuring phones are backdoored and batterys remain hard
          to remove which facilitates tracking. I am convinced the Huawei ban came because the company refused to backdoot its products.

          Germany is pushing for total surveilance on EU level.

          the most famous backdoor on chinese devices came from US by the way, take over of Juniper code.

          There is a program for mobiles to support Android/Google for at least a certain number of years; I looked it up once,

          I guess you mean android 1. Famous on Motorola and Pixel. Motorola is Lenovo and i think pixel devices are made by them too.
          You trade your data and movement profile for the updates.

          @christophe, most of the computers I work with are 10 years old, some more.
          My atari ST is powerful enough for Text and E Mail maybe even browsing, if i can find a browser that is. It was groundbreaking
          along with the high resolution monitor SM124. Bread box c64 and amiga from my neighbour were limited in comparison.

          #44494
          Member
          fatmac

            I still use a 2008 Toshiba Satellite Pro on occasion, it’s slow but still works on the web OK, if I didn’t use the internet so much, any old computer would do.

            Linux (& BSD) since 1999
            Ultra Small Form Factor & thin client computers

            #44501
            Member
            sybok

              @Moddit, my item no. 3): Indeed, I meant Android 1 (but felt lazy to search for it).

              Upcycling: The advantage of modern internet age is the spread of online bazaar’s where you can offer (free or fee) your older stuff to be reused if someone is interested in it. I usually do that but sometimes, nobody answers and it ends up in the recycling center.

              #44517
              Member
              ModdIt

                online bazaar’s, were very useful, unfortunately often crap for silly prices on offer last few years here,
                sadly users also get many ignorant offers, many useful items going straight to bin to avoid stress.

                When I see prices on Craigs List and similar it makes me sad we are so far away.

                I would prefer unlocked bootloader and AOSP based system to android 1. interestingly some google pixel devices
                were easy to unlock and mod. Lenovo phones are good, my K3 Note was a deal changer regarding high res screen and
                powerful hardware.
                I ordered it in China and quickly learned how to flash modified rom etc, sometimes still use it for a travel device.
                Edit,
                Regarding some of the comments in the Rant.
                The first real home computers were often modified very quickly hardware wise, added memory, drive controllers,
                especially. @t our group we made loads of memory upgrades on atari ST, at first piggy backing chips and running extra
                wires from the controller chip. Later with home etched circuit boards. My ST came with 512 Kb RAM. Very quickly upgrated
                that to catch up with the Mega version. Adding a second drive was also popular, 3,5 inch
                floppy had higher capacity. Later came Mega Drive, a big box with a tiny controller and if I remember correctly 10GB
                capacity. Still much smaller than the HDD mods for Apple 2 though, a harddisk at that time was a rarity.
                Controller mods were also needed for systems using data cassettes, terribly unreliable,
                way of using iron oxide music cassettes for data stores.

                Atari ST was a huge step forward against the Amstrad and C64 which were pretty prevalent. My neighbour had both.
                The Amiga was more of a gaming machine, brother of my neighbour owned one. his apple 2 used a whole desktop, nothing
                much left original. i learned a lot from them, the family was called Ohm, the father radio and tv technician.
                Ohms law for them= fix it modify it. I lost track of the younger brother, the older one was later admin of a university
                network and more or less lived in the hardware lab.

                When (or if) winter comes to us I will try and fire up the ST. That was my first useful computer, history gathering dust
                in the loft along with Apple 2 and one apple 2 clone. Commodore labelled printer still there too, a TEC Starwriter A3
                monster. It recieved a TEC ROM to match its hardware, as a commodore it could not BI directional print and made about 10
                Characters per second instead of 40 later.

                • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by ModdIt.
                • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by ModdIt.
                #44777
                Member
                catfood

                  2007-2011 hardware currently. One just because I like it, one just saved from being trash.
                  If you like simpler(non “Smart”) things, like BIOS/MBR, optical drives, HDDs, etc you have to keep looking for “new” old hardware

                  Computers are like cars, old ones can be fun, but good to have 2, so you can always keep at least one running.

                  Howdy Jessie.

                  #44927
                  Member
                  seaken64

                    Thanks Christophe. I have only one computer less than 5 years old. 6 or 7 more less than 10. Over 30 more are more than 10 years old. But only from P4 up can even be considered as daily drivers. And dual core seems to be the tipping point for a truly capable daily driver. Linux is the savior for everything 20 years or less.

                    I’ve been very disappointed in Android’s longevity. I have a few tablets and smartphones that no longer run the software I relied on for portable TV viewing. Seems I can’t really use an Android more than about two or three years. I find myself using my Windows 10 laptop for the portable TV viewing since it works and I have it. But it’s a shame the tablets have been abandoned and no longer work for this purpose.

                    I wonder if our kids and grandkids would ever appreciate a classic PC in the same way as a classic car. I doubt it.

                    Seaken64

                    #44928
                    Member
                    seaken64

                      2007-2011 hardware currently. One just because I like it, one just saved from being trash.
                      If you like simpler(non “Smart”) things, like BIOS/MBR, optical drives, HDDs, etc you have to keep looking for “new” old hardware

                      Computers are like cars, old ones can be fun, but good to have 2, so you can always keep at least one running.

                      I’ve saved so many computers from the trash that I now have a lot of backups. I have a couple of favorites but when they go down I always have a spare to pull out and replace it while I work to get my favorite back in action. One of my favs is an old Gateway laptop. It’s not the fastest or best I have but I like it just the same. WinXP SP3 slowed it to a crawl. I put antiX on it. Unfortunately it has a video issue I can’t figure out, so I use a backup while I try to figure it out.

                      Seaken64

                      #44942
                      Member
                      catfood

                        I know Chromebooks have a security “shelf life” of 3-5 years. I can only assume similar to android updates. My oldest hardware is a netbook which is basically a boombox, remote, or other “tablet necessities”

                        Honestly, multiple antiX live USB’s w/ persistance & /storagepartition is a game changer, I can break everything with sid and fix it faster than before. Or just copy what I need out and start over.

                        Howdy Jessie.

                        #45048
                        Member
                        rayluo

                          Computers can always last for decades, physically. And it is capable to run same software that came with it, and handle same workload. But then there is the thing called Internet which is constantly changing. Like/hate it or not, some modern websites (such as an online email service whose web interface contains tons of tabs and buttons), they just demand lots of RAM for it to be rendered. If you happen to need to use some of such websites, your older computer would be struggling to keep up. Sad but true.

                          The bottleneck of our computers are most likely their insufficient amount of RAM. Personally, I have a collection of computers which RAM range among 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB. Such a spectrum allows me to gauge the tipping point: 1GB is sufficient only for lightweight web surfing, 2GB can barely handle the aforementioned RAM-hungry website WITHOUT multi-tab browsing, 4GB seems a must for multiple RAM-hungry web pages. YMMV.

                          Kudos to antiX and its team. antiX consumes minimal amount of RAM, so leaving maximal amount for other applications. Besides, the CPU load icon, RAM load icon, and the conky are all enabled by default, giving us a convenient way to monitor the resource consumption of our computer. That makes hanging with older computers more … hmm … predictable.

                          PS: This post is written on my 1GB RAM netbook, which was already slow when it was brought brand-new at late 2000s and then were just sitting in my drawer. Now, I won’t necessarily say it runs faster than before, but at least it is now running with an actively-supported OS, and serving some purpose. That is good for it, for me, and for the environment.

                          #45140
                          Forum Admin
                          rokytnji

                            Pretty much a Base Iso CD. A external amp to power some speakers. A fancy jack to hook up computer head phone jack .
                            Stored music. If land line access is available. Internet radio is now accessible.

                            All crappy hardware can be used like this. My other old crap are PDF manual holders. Being in the desert. I burn up dumpster computers till they won’t boot up anymore.
                            Aint worth replacing the hardware anymore. Inverter for Panasonic CF – 48 screen problems was 15 bucks. Ext CRT was a bit too big to lug around with a laptop.

                            Even music on console player with a terminal on Slitaz will boot and run on must ancient hardware. Just don’t pick the latest release since your box will be a specialty box. Same goes for older versions of AntiX. One does not need tons of functions and the latest software for a jukebox or repair manuals.

                            If you are stuck with Pentium 2 and 128 MB of ram as your main box. Well? Sux to be you. DSL, WOMP, SLITAZ, AntiX. Plus. You better learn something new.

                            It is referred to as command line utilities.

                            Sometimes I drive a crooked road to get my mind straight.
                            I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute off it.
                            Motorcycle racing is rocket science.

                            Linux Registered User # 475019
                            How to Search for AntiX solutions to your problems

                            #45143
                            Member
                            PPC

                              Hi, just my two cents:

                              I liked the idea the vlogger wanted to convey, but, for all practical things, a computer older than 12-15 years has probably so low specs that it’s useless for all most modern uses (navigating the web, streaming video, office work, modern games, etc) but even computers with 2 decades can be used for specific tasks, like Roky said, and I mentioned before here on the forum: there are command line tools that allow you to access e-mail, newsfeeds, render basic webpages, read e-books, listen to music, stream audio, manage your files, use a calendar, perform calculations, edit documents, play some games and, even if I never tried it, view pictures… Most of that works, out of the box in antiX full…
                              … but, unfortunately two “decades” in “tech time”, equals much more time in “real life”- it’s like trying to drive a chariot in a busy highway- it serves the same basic propose as a car, but should you do it? Only if you have no other way to get the end result…
                              Case in point- you can watch a youtube video on the terminal, but should do you it?

                              mpv -vo caca http://youtu.be/mUicofUy3Bk

                              P.

                              • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by PPC.
                              #45151
                              Forum Admin
                              rokytnji

                                After I posted. Wife phoned me and informed me that she bought me one of these for xmass.

                                P 14″ 2-in-1 Touch Teal Chromebook
                                HP
                                Model: 14a-na0090wm

                                around 200 bucks for a touch screen < Walmart black Friday sale >

                                In case anyone is interested
                                link

                                Sometimes I drive a crooked road to get my mind straight.
                                I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute off it.
                                Motorcycle racing is rocket science.

                                Linux Registered User # 475019
                                How to Search for AntiX solutions to your problems

                                #49868
                                Member
                                catfood

                                  Firefox is generally fine for 5-10 tabs on 2G RAM, but that’s also always with adblock/ublock, or more. If I allow any website to stream videos for all the ad’s it wanted to, then yes, RAM overload crash generally ensues.

                                  Howdy Jessie.

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