[blfs-support] Knowing when to ditch an old (desktop) system

Ken Moffat zarniwhoop at ntlworld.com
Wed Dec 31 17:21:17 PST 2014

On Tue, Dec 30, 2014 at 03:19:42PM -0500, Michael Shell wrote:
> Another angle is the obsolescence of the *hardware* itself. Has anyone
> attempted to maintain a very latest system on older hardware, and if so,
> what was the result - increasing slowness due to ever increasing demands
> on the hardware, or is this at least partly countered by coding
> improvements? How does GTK3 fare in this regard compared to GTK2?
 On this point, my first amd64 had a massive 1GB of memory (I
suspect it was still 133 MHz).  When I first managed to install a
version of almost-LFS on it (that was before cross-lfs had become a
separate project), I ran some benchmarks on it and confirmed that for
those (ssl tests, probably some ogg encoding : imagine that - using
a lossy format because disk space was limited!) it was indeed faster
than using it as i686.  By the time I got rid of it a couple of years
ago, I was thinking about moving it back to i686 because compilation
of userspace was so slow and needed so much memory : for that, I
blame each new minor version of gcc ;)

 For use as a desktop (_my_ usage, no Desktop Environments) it still
worked adequately but compilation had become beyond a joke.

 I've also built a more-featured 7.6 desktop (much of xfce) on my
atom netbook - it mostly runs ok, but compiling firefox-34.0.5 took
over 10 hours.  In general, if you are compiling then a
well-specified recent system makes things much less painful.

 OTOH, audio capabilities of modern hardware are often lacking - one
of my machines was a mac ppc64 (we all make mistakes) and networking
was not its strongpoint so I re-encoded some ogg rips to a lower
sampling rate to lessen its problems (playing music from an nfs share
while compiling often stuttered before I did that).  Similarly, I
have some low-frequency example .au files.  On my most recent
hardware, none of these are playable, only audio at 44K1 or 48K.

Nanny Ogg usually went to bed early. After all, she was an old lady.
Sometimes she went to bed as early as 6 a.m.

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