Linux Makes for Greener Computing

Does Linux make for greener computing?  I hope so.  Our world is too filled up with garbage as it is.  If Linux can let an old computer have some life for somebody who just needs to surf the web, type papers, and do some instant messaging, I say “go for it”.  Too many people “need” the newest type of computer they can get.  I can see if you are a gamer (but then why don’t you just buy a PS2/3, Gamecube or Xbox/360 and be done with it?) but everyone else who just uses their computer for ‘net, word processing and communications doesn’t really need anything more than a basic Linux box with those features.

Now, if somebody does CAD work, music editing, some sort of Photoshop work or something else that has a specific function, then they might need the newest, shiniest version of Windows out there.  They may even need a Mac.  But, for general computing (the things I mentioned above), most people don’t need anything more than a basic box running (I’ll hazard a guess and probably get shot down here) a Pentium III with 128 or 256 megs of ram with a low-resource desktop environment (Xfce or Fluxbox, etc).

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What do we think?

1 thought on “Linux Makes for Greener Computing”

  1. I agree with you wholeheartedly. The government does, too. They’ve been a huge proponant of only using what they need. As a guy who works in the Troubleshooting industry, let me be the FIRST to say that, YES, the government is using antiquated POS stuff.

    But it DOES get the job done.

    The problems with this process of thought, however, are these:

    1. Old Computers are HARD to maintain. If something goes wrong with them, you’re hosed. Do you know how HARD it is to find a Full-Height HDD, or even a 71-pin DIMM? If it breaks, it’s broken, unless you want to pay an arm and a leg for legacy repair specialists to work on it…and at that point…?

    2. There are currently two HUGE factors that keep the world at large from adopting some variation of *ix. No, Microsoft isn’t one of them. *ix, for the common man, has an even bigger NOT USER FRIENDLY sign on it than DOS did, and several variants of *ix are OPEN SOURCE. THose people out there who only want to write e-mail, chat, and surf the net? Statistically, they’re part of that group that knows only two things about PCs and how to run them. Those two things are JACK and SQUAT. ;) Add to that the fact that software support for *ix is for medium to advanced users AT WORST, and the idea of having an end user run *ix becomes more and more daunting.

    The third problem isn’t really a problem. It just IS. And that’s the human element. Humans usually don’t posses the kind of restraint to simply buy what they need. Even if they KNOW they only need X, they want the OPTION of being able to do Y and Z.

    These three things, IMO, are what will keep such a wonderful idea from becoming that wide-spread. It should also be noted that, no. *IX doesn’t make for greener computing. Greener ANYTHING, for that matter. Having the good sense to recycle your electronics makes for greener computing. Any number of text-based OSs can run on older hardware, but the USER has to be willing to take that step. And the hard truth is, it’s such a tough step to take that it’s usually not taken.

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