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ZDNet: Seventeen years old and state of the art

Jul 24, 2001, 13:00 (63 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Evan Leibovitch)

We were whining about an "aging" Pentium II 400 relegated to server duty just before coming across this column, centered around building a Mandrake 8.0 machine out of a Pentium 166. Says the columnist:

"This, to me, is one of the most underrated benefits of Linux and other open source operating systems. Linux is driven by users rather than vendors, and many users view software upgrades as a way to move technology forward, and not as an excuse to dump hardware.

Have a look at Windows XP or Macintosh OS X. What's the oldest hardware that can run them? Two years old? In the proprietary software world, a system of Mutt's age is a doorstop. In the open-source world, it's slower and relatively less flexible than the current stuff, but hardly ready for the dump.

The quality and flexibility of Linux and open source applications are key benefits as developing countries struggle to compete in today's heavily computerized world economy. Levels of technology that are considered commonplace here are simply out of reach for those at average income levels in many developing countries."

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