Technology emerge fast in today’s world. Computers are getting faster and faster in processing speed. Memory capacity is increasing. Hard drives, USB flash drives and other storage devices are also increasing in storage capacity. Interfaces are also evolving considering new touch screens that were released in the market. Devices are getting smaller and smaller too, making it more portable to users.
But it’s surprising I didn’t use all of these “high-tech” gadgets.
In my humble abode, I am using a desktop computer. The processor? Pentium 3!
Pretty old right?
Memory capacity? 128MB which was later upgraded to 256MB last 2010.
Hard disk capacity? 20GB using IDE interface. Again, an old interface considering Serial ATA emerging in the market.
And I am also using the big old bulky CRT Monitor. Ironic to the fact that most people are using LCD/LED type monitors.
Another interesting thing to note is that, my desktop computer still has a floppy hard drive in it. Though, I didn’t use that drive anymore.
I heard friends and other people talking about their computer, buying new peripherals, upgrading memory, buying new terabyte-size hard drives, etc. Yet here I am, keeping my head low, humble with the simplicity of what I have.
I’ve been using my old computer for around 4 to 5 years now. Perhaps more than that. But one thing to note here is that I am satisfied with what I have.
When I heard people talking about their machines, I am never jealous. I am satisfied with my simple old machine because it served me well. My current computer is enough to accomplish my task.
When new motherboards and CPU’s where released, I never thought of buying them as long as my current computer is still workable.
So how did I manage to survive using my old computer?
I have mentioned my hardware specifications. But another thing that matters here are the software used.
My OS (Operating System) is Windows XP. (note: I am using Windows 98 before I upgrade to XP).
The usage of my Windows XP is primarily for school works (that was before when I was schooling). In other words, projects and homework usage. Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel Spreadsheets are of major use here.
Aside from school works, I also need simple games for my entertainment. In spite of the current hardware specifications that I have, I manage to install and play Battle Realms, Disciples II, and All-stars Dota (Warcraft). However, I admit that I cannot install other games that needs heavy graphics. I cannot install games that needs greater hard drive capacity and memory because of my hardware limitations.
But in spite of that, I manage to play more than 100 games in my box. I bought a USB game controller and install NES and SNES emulator.
From there I played Super Mario Bros. 1,2 & 3, Tetris, Contra, racing games, puzzle games, and other popular and entertaining arcades.
I also have LAN card attached to my motherboard so I can access internet. I manage to graduate from school and submitted all those projects and homeworks using this machine.
What more could I’ve ask?
The Other Side
Well, it doesn’t stop there.
After I graduated, I begin to have interest in Linux OS.
What makes me interested in Linux is its capability of to run in low-specs machine like mine. And you don’t have to purchase Linux because it’s free. Another thing that interest me is it’s technical-deliciousness. It’s different from XP by the sense that you need to tweak some stuffs technically in order to make things work. Linux for me is technical compared to XP. An installation on Windows XP, for example, might be as simple as clicking of “Next” button, then press “Install” button. But things gets different from Linux because you need to install through command line by typing `sudo apt-get`. Technical right?
Linux may also have a UI button for installing and other stuffs, but most of the time you need to be technical in order for things to work on Linux. I will discuss this more in a separate article.
So now I have Linux. What happen to XP?
The answer is, I still have it. My computer when “powered on” (boot is the proper term here, but I’ll avoid technical terms as much as I can) allows me to choose which OS to start: XP or Linux.
With Linux, I can download several softwares and games without buying them because it’s free.
With Linux, I can also use Open Office software to replace Microsoft word in my Linux machine.
It’s also internet capable. And even some XP programs can run on my Linux box. Again, this is another satisfaction for me.
It is in my Linux OS that I do and learn my programming stuffs. From there I learn and develop websites (create website so to speak). I also installed development tools for me to program C/C++, PHP, etc… for my programming needs.
On the moral side, one lesson to pick from this article is how to be satisfied with what you have. If you reflect more on this, it would really get into your spiritual life and everyday living that happiness can be seen over simple things.
On the technology side, it’s not really necessary to upgrade your system everytime a new technology emerge. As long as the needs are met, as long as the task are accomplished.