An interesting conversation at work inspired me to do todays article. Topic at hand was a brochure of one of the local supermarkets featuring a very nice desktop system from HP. For a small 900 euro’s you could get your hands on a sleek black compact tower with a 2 gigahertz Octo-Core system. Dvd writer, 2 160 gig drives, 2 gigs of ram and so forth and so forth. According to the folder you could chat with your friends, write emails, process video, play games and calculate the winning formula for the lottery without a glitch. (well maybe not that last one). Coming to think of it, that is one whoopass machine for that money. (you could line it up with a mac pro , but no-one dares to place these two machines in the same room.. The price difference might destroy the universe). But the question is: Do you realy need this amount of power ? And if you do .. For what ? Ok, this might be the only machine capable of at least getting Vista Premium running at a half distant speed (i kid, i kid ! ) But seriously : What do you do with 4 cores ? How many things can you do at once. I mean .. If the end user could keep up with the average word processing / surfing / chatting etc that this machine can handle. The average home user would have to be able to become a lovechild between superman and the flash with some serious ADD on the side. The only way to push this baby to at least halfway its 50% load is probably by never closing any application, run Vista pro with ALL of the eye candy turned on and of course pour frozen syrup into your hard drive in the form of Norton Internet security.
If I look at what the average user does I wonder what kind of system you really need ? To prove my point I have pimped up an old machine to do just these basic tasks. My little niece is in need of a machine that allows her to chat, surf and check her emails. Nothing major. She needs to take a peek at some word documents and that is about it. So I took a look at the old G3 Imac I found at the dump (yes, you heard me right) I found it at the local recycling station when I was dumping the old wood from our living room floor. It has A 15 gigabyte hard drive, some 300 megs of ram and a G3 400 Megahertz processor. It “came” with a fully installed version of OSX but I decided I would be better of installing XUBUNTU for PPC on it. This version still exists for PPC processors and gives you the ability to do some nice things with your mac. The XFCE graphical interface is light and sober but very effective. And with Firefox, Gaim , Openoffice and Thunderbird (AND the Gimp) it gives her a great looking, fast (yep ! its FAST) and free machine. So why not ?
So what DO you realy need ? Let me put the question out there to you guyz : What is the absolute minimum configuration that u still use to do your average work : Surfing the web, Checking your Emails, Chatting, doing some word processing and crop and flip the occasional picture ?
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