Skip to main content

Use open source to breathe new life in old hardware

Michael Kanellos, one of the lead contributor to CNet's news.com (opens in new tab) has an interesting post where he talks about ultra cheap hardware and their relative worthiness.

Rather than cutting edge technology, he talks about obsolete technologies like the Athlon K7 500MHz which is on sale for around a fiver.

Auction sites like Ebay are flooded with such computer hardware. In fact, you can easily find dozens of cheap complete computers for less than £10 excluding P&P on ebay.

For example, a Dell GX100 featuring an Intel Celeron 600MHz, 128MB memory, a 10GB hard drive and a CDROM can be had for only £9.99.

The only catch with that being that there is no software or operating system. It is indeed paradoxical that software never loses value over time when compared to hardware.

But obviously, you can use open source software to breathe new life into old hardware. Indeed even an old Celeron 600MHz can be very helpful as a hardware firewall or a media centre using available open source solutions.

And believe me or not, it is much better to have a dedicated computer for a particular task than trying to lump all your applications together.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.