Ubuntu on a Dime

The Path to Low-Cost Computing

by James Floyd Kelly

I will never—never!—purchase an expensive computer again. It’s getting almost as bad as purchasing a new car. You drive it off the lot and it immediately drops 10 percent or more in value. And when you buy new hardware and software, one week later the same computer is $200 cheaper or—even worse—a newer model with more and better hardware is out and is $300 cheaper! Argh! I go through computers fast in my line of work. I wear out a laptop in about two years. My desktop computer frequently has half a dozen or more operating system reinstalls in a year so that I can take screenshots of the installation, test software compatibility, and more. I’m always pulling out some piece of hardware to pop in a newer piece of hardware. (I’ve been known to drop a piece of sensitive hardware—another trip to the computer store!) Costs start to add up. In late 2008, my test computer (nicknamed FrankenPC) died. The autopsy I performed was inconclusive; I think the little desktop just lost the will to compute: RIP, FrankenPC. I found myself sitting down and listing the things I wanted in a basic little desktop test PC: • I wanted to keep the cost down. Under $250 would be great, but was it realistic? • I needed to be able to access the Internet (a realistic expectation these days, right?). • It would be one of three computers that I would use for e-mail: laptop, netbook, and desktop.

  • Apress; July 2009
  • ISBN: 9781430219736
  • Read online, or download in DRM-free PDF (digitally watermarked) format
  • Title: Ubuntu on a Dime
  • Author: James Floyd Kelly
  • Imprint: Apress

About The Author

James Floyd Kelly is a professional writer from Atlanta, Georgia. He has written numerous books on multiple subjects, including LEGO robotics, open source software, and building your own CNC machine as well as a 3D printer. He is the editor-in-chief of the number one MINDSTORMS NXT blog, The NXT Step (TheNXTStep.com), where he is joined by fellow NXT experts who share their knowledge and designs with other robot fans around the world.