May 18, 2010
Running better, on next to nothing!
This is my first post written on a solid state computer. I am running the elegantly minimalist Puppy Linux from a 128 Megabyte Compact Flash card inserted into the IDE adapter I bought (described and pictured here) which fools the laptop's BIOS into thinking that there's a real hard drive there. It's shockingly quiet, and frankly, I didn't think it would work. (As Sigivald warned, "many of the very cheap flash-to-IDE adapters are at best flaky and persnickety at booting - even when they swear they're bootable.") This thing just booted right up with no need to do anything to the BIOS.
Even more amazingly, I have a ridiculous old clunker Gateway (Solo 1150) landfill laptop which I was ready to throw away because it was completely useless. The hard drive had failed, and it would not boot with nor recognize any hard drive, and I tried five. Plus, the cd-rom was broken, and it was too old to boot from the first generation USB ports. No way to get anything in there. Almost as one those deliberately futile afterthoughts, though, I tried the CF drive, and that hopelessly dead computer suddenly booted right up! I was dumbfounded, for it will not recognize any hard drive. As to what could be going on, I'm clueless.
All I know is that I am very impressed with this solid state business. I realize that flash memory deteriorates over time, but then, so do regular hard drives.
This seems almost like revolutionary technology. So clean, so quiet. No moving parts. Downright spooky.
By the way, I tried the 128 Megabyte CF card only because I had it lying around and wished to experiment. Puppy is a small scale, highly efficient OS, and 128 Megs is the absolute minimum size drive required.
This whole thing is so pared down as to be almost, um, survivalist in nature.
Yet it not only works, it is faster. And the battery is discharging more slowly.
It actually seems better.
If someone had told me about this, I would have been skeptical. But seeing is believing.
MORE: Yet another advantage of running Linux generally, and Puppy particularly:
Detective Inspector Bruce van der Graaf from the Computer Crime Investigation Unit told the hearing that he uses two rules to protect himself from cybercriminals when banking online. The first rule, he said, was to never click on hyperlinks to the banking site and the second was to avoid Microsoft Windows.I hadn't thought of that, but it makes sense.
posted by Eric on 05.18.10 at 12:06 AM
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