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Re: free software mini pc

Okay, just a few cents from me.....

I don't think you can ever rely on a machine having full main line kernel support one day, still having it 3 or 4 years down the track.

The drivers change, some disappear too -- there is never going to be any guarantees. The same goes for all sorts of packages that you might run as well.

I had some small ARM machines which worked very well on Lenny, but they are terrible on a very similar Squeeze install. As newer distros come about and the Linux kernel gets larger and larger, there are all sorts of reasons why an older machine won't be suitable without going for a very custom setup with lots of thinning out of the kernel. Too much work to do that.

In history, I remember a P133 machine being "quite powerful" and it was at the time, try running anything recent on such a machine today and you'll be so let down. You get more RAM on a portable tablet these days or even a basic smart phone, forget about the processing power, hahaha.

Your ideal solution would be great, but it isn't likely to be fulfilled and if it ever is, then I wouldn't think you'll get all that much longevity from it.

Okay, now I'm going to do a simple car analogy thing -- not that related, but hey, bear with me. My first Holden Commodore was a VS Series II model. When I got that car, I was advised to buy the newest Commodore I could afford (I already decided on a Commodore). After a few years it suffered a transmission problem and it was too expensive to fix, so I replaced it with a VT Series II. In time I ended up with my current car, which is an MY10 VE. At every point, the newer car was much better than the previous car in so many ways -- even though it was still the same "basic" range of vehicle. I suggest you might take the same approach with computer hardware, buy the best you can afford that meets as many of your aims as possible today, understand it won't last "forever" and plan for a replacement later, you are sure to find so much better value down the track.

Heck, I may as well take this a little further. My Galaxy S i9000 mobile cost near $800 and now a brand new replacement of the exact same model is available under $400, but the S2 is so much better and under $600 with double the warranty [proper legitimate AU stock, not imported from overseas with limited warranty and support]. Sure, my i9000 is still good, but if I was to be buying a phone right now, I wouldn't go past the S2 ... of course I have dreams for the S3 or maybe the Galaxy Note.

Anyway, back to the main point of this thread. I hope you find a suitable device that matches your criteria as much as possible, or even fully. But don't count on it lasting for more than a few years without you pulling your hair out, hoping for a faster, better and far more efficient device.

Oh and the raspberrypi with 1GB at $35 .... hmmm I don't think so. Looks like a nice toy, but far too low in the memory stakes today at 256MB for $35.


Kind Regards

Andrew McGlashan
Broadband Solutions now including VoIP

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