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Posted: 4/25/2013 12:07:16 PM EDT
I gained possession of a six year old desktop and figure I should do something with it. :) I'm intrigued by packet stuff and especially APRS, but am not sure how much I'd actually use either of those. I'm sure finding a dedicated antenna wouldn't be a problem.

What else should I consider? What would you use an old desktop for?
Link Posted: 4/25/2013 12:09:15 PM EDT
[#1]
put linux on it and it will be very useful kubuntu has tons of amateur radio programs in the repository
Link Posted: 4/25/2013 12:10:45 PM EDT
[#2]
No problem with that as I've run Linux in the past. But then what radio-related use would put it towards? I need some inspiration here.
Link Posted: 4/25/2013 12:14:46 PM EDT
[#3]
Writing a simplex repeater with DTMF control for linux could be a fun project.
Link Posted: 4/25/2013 12:21:28 PM EDT
[#4]
Quoted:
Writing a simplex repeater with DTMF control for linux could be a fun project.


Dtmf is a pain. I found a couple forks of multimon but none work well with alsa.

Put any Ubuntu/debian flavor on it like mint. Get fldigi and xastir. You could also put chirp in it.
Link Posted: 4/25/2013 12:30:42 PM EDT
[#5]
I'd just put a fresh XP install on it.  Updates, and then only install the software you need, no AV, and it'll run anything you need for Packet, APRS, FLDIGI, etc... Ham software is pretty low for HW requirements.  For my go kit, I use a Dell Latitude C610.  It's handy, because it has a serial port, and can use two batteries at once.  XGA resolution is nice, this way pixels aren't too small.  Plenty of horsepower (1ghz p3) for FLDigi.
Link Posted: 4/25/2013 12:31:15 PM EDT
[#6]
Quoted:
put linux on it and it will be very useful kubuntu has tons of amateur radio programs in the repository


Anything useful that will run on a 266MHZ and 128MB of RAM
Link Posted: 4/25/2013 12:54:10 PM EDT
[#7]
Quoted:
Quoted:
put linux on it and it will be very useful kubuntu has tons of amateur radio programs in the repository


Anything useful that will run on a 266MHZ and 128MB of RAM


Link Posted: 4/25/2013 12:57:41 PM EDT
[#8]
fill it to the brim with pornography

packet station?
Link Posted: 4/25/2013 1:17:33 PM EDT
[#9]
Install Linux and a large RAID array, then fill it with porn.
Link Posted: 4/25/2013 1:19:52 PM EDT
[#10]
Quoted:
Install Linux and a large RAID array, then fill it with porn.


Packet BBS full of pron????
Link Posted: 4/26/2013 4:00:42 AM EDT
[#11]
I'm still using my "old" XP desktop!  I am typing on it right now


Link Posted: 4/26/2013 6:16:04 AM EDT
[#12]
Quoted:
What would you use an old desktop for?


Target practice.

Link Posted: 4/26/2013 7:27:01 AM EDT
[#13]
When you start playing with the OS's, the same machine will run Linux way faster than XP. There are some pretty awesome little setups out there. You might look into creating an Allstar node. The interface (unless you make your own) is less than $100 (little cheaper than IRLP) and Limey is a repeater controller all in 1 link in a box.

I dual boot a older 1.8GHz machine (gonna create an allstar node at some point with it) with FreeDOS (install FD first) and then Mint. Makes it handy since Chirp doesn't yet support the surplus batwings and FreeDOS will run most of the RSS software on a modern processor.
Link Posted: 4/26/2013 7:56:19 AM EDT
[#14]
I've used an old XP machine for a couple of years now as a shack PC. It was running XP Pro at 2GHz or so, with 1GB of RAM, so it wasn't a bad example of the breed by any means. It will run what you want/need but...I just replaced it with a refurb from Newegg that's a Win7-Pro, 3+GHz dual-core, 64 bit machine with 4GB of RAM and Oh. My. God. It was like I had been chained down for the last couple of years and now I'm FREEEEEE! Sooo much faster, smoother and more reliable. And it was short, short money, only $250.

Unless you are totally tapped out, I'd shit-can it and go get one of those Newegg refurb's. Get a 7-Pro machine so you can use Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) in case you ever want to remote your station.

And if you are very masochistic, then sure, go ahead and load up one of those really great Linux OS's. And before all you Linux-types start telling me I don't know what I'm talking about, I speak from experience, having run a production MythTV installation for my family for 3 years until I just couldn't take it anymore
Link Posted: 4/26/2013 8:12:49 AM EDT
[#15]
Quoted:
Quoted:
put linux on it and it will be very useful kubuntu has tons of amateur radio programs in the repository


Anything useful that will run on a 266MHZ and 128MB of RAM



with that kind of speed i would put dos on it and run motorola rss
Link Posted: 4/26/2013 11:06:35 AM EDT
[#16]
Ubuntu 13.04 was just released !!

I'm a linux fan, easy decision for me....

At the first sign of aggravation or the first point of opportunity...  windows is overwritten with linux !!

Link Posted: 4/26/2013 1:38:31 PM EDT
[#17]
Quoted:
I've used an old XP machine for a couple of years now as a shack PC. It was running XP Pro at 2GHz or so, with 1GB of RAM, so it wasn't a bad example of the breed by any means. It will run what you want/need but...I just replaced it with a refurb from Newegg that's a Win7-Pro, 3+GHz dual-core, 64 bit machine with 4GB of RAM and Oh. My. God. It was like I had been chained down for the last couple of years and now I'm FREEEEEE! Sooo much faster, smoother and more reliable. And it was short, short money, only $250.

Unless you are totally tapped out, I'd shit-can it and go get one of those Newegg refurb's. Get a 7-Pro machine so you can use Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) in case you ever want to remote your station.

And if you are very masochistic, then sure, go ahead and load up one of those really great Linux OS's. And before all you Linux-types start telling me I don't know what I'm talking about, I speak from experience, having run a production MythTV installation for my family for 3 years until I just couldn't take it anymore


don't let a piss poor distro sour you on linux - it's totally g2g

I don't care how production it was - it's not like there's a linux authority out there that decides which versions are ready for prime time
Link Posted: 4/26/2013 2:32:42 PM EDT
[#18]
Quoted:
Quoted:
I've used an old XP machine for a couple of years now as a shack PC. It was running XP Pro at 2GHz or so, with 1GB of RAM, so it wasn't a bad example of the breed by any means. It will run what you want/need but...I just replaced it with a refurb from Newegg that's a Win7-Pro, 3+GHz dual-core, 64 bit machine with 4GB of RAM and Oh. My. God. It was like I had been chained down for the last couple of years and now I'm FREEEEEE! Sooo much faster, smoother and more reliable. And it was short, short money, only $250.

Unless you are totally tapped out, I'd shit-can it and go get one of those Newegg refurb's. Get a 7-Pro machine so you can use Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) in case you ever want to remote your station.

And if you are very masochistic, then sure, go ahead and load up one of those really great Linux OS's. And before all you Linux-types start telling me I don't know what I'm talking about, I speak from experience, having run a production MythTV installation for my family for 3 years until I just couldn't take it anymore


don't let a piss poor distro sour you on linux - it's totally g2g

I don't care how production it was - it's not like there's a linux authority out there that decides which versions are ready for prime time


I've used Ubuntu, Mint, and something else that escapes me at the moment (it didn't last long). They all sucked, just differently. By "production" I mean it had to work and work reliably--the family was counting on it. It couldn't be just fun hobby time. I've also used Linux (Fedora Core) for embedded app's at work. These systems went into real production (thousands sold). I've earned the right to be sour on Linux!
Link Posted: 4/26/2013 5:14:42 PM EDT
[#19]
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
I've used an old XP machine for a couple of years now as a shack PC. It was running XP Pro at 2GHz or so, with 1GB of RAM, so it wasn't a bad example of the breed by any means. It will run what you want/need but...I just replaced it with a refurb from Newegg that's a Win7-Pro, 3+GHz dual-core, 64 bit machine with 4GB of RAM and Oh. My. God. It was like I had been chained down for the last couple of years and now I'm FREEEEEE! Sooo much faster, smoother and more reliable. And it was short, short money, only $250.

Unless you are totally tapped out, I'd shit-can it and go get one of those Newegg refurb's. Get a 7-Pro machine so you can use Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) in case you ever want to remote your station.

And if you are very masochistic, then sure, go ahead and load up one of those really great Linux OS's. And before all you Linux-types start telling me I don't know what I'm talking about, I speak from experience, having run a production MythTV installation for my family for 3 years until I just couldn't take it anymore


don't let a piss poor distro sour you on linux - it's totally g2g

I don't care how production it was - it's not like there's a linux authority out there that decides which versions are ready for prime time


I've used Ubuntu, Mint, and something else that escapes me at the moment (it didn't last long). They all sucked, just differently. By "production" I mean it had to work and work reliably--the family was counting on it. It couldn't be just fun hobby time. I've also used Linux (Fedora Core) for embedded app's at work. These systems went into real production (thousands sold). I've earned the right to be sour on Linux!


Almost every thing the community health center I work at runs of linux. The mySQL, zero-clients, and what not are all Linux based. Works great for that application. Also, modern MIS degrees are completely Linux based.
Link Posted: 4/26/2013 6:17:41 PM EDT
[#20]
Really surprised to read these responses about linux...  obviously don't know the details behind what you were running on them or the apps involved, but I have almost no issues with linux.  Granted, I am not a big linux desktop user... most of my experience has been setting up and running server versions... web/Apache and file server/samba (samba servers running at the house and at the office)...  linux based web servers at the house and through a dedicated server through an off site provider...  there is a reason the internet runs on linux machines...

With a Windows machine, you will have to restart/roboot many more times than with linux...  I can leave my linux servers running for months with no issues...  yes, there is a learning curve..  not bad

I do use a desktop distro of ubuntu on a couple of laptops that I use to pound out some code mostly Java and OpenGL using netbeans, codeblocks and Eclipse...   doing some C++ stuff with my kids in college..   these things run fine, no issues and haven't had to purchase any software for them... none..as in everything I use is free...

I have various versions of linux running on no less than 5 machines including a rasberry Pi  (playing with opengl es) and I have a fraction of the issues with the linux machines that I do with the Windows machines.   The only real issues I have with linux is getting all of the libraries and dependencies installed correctly.. that process is not as 'download and install' friendly as it is with windows...   but with the desktop versions of linux, most software is really easy to install... pretty much just like windows at this point.

No brainier for me....  if I can do it with linux...  linux is the right option...  And I can make an old dog of a computer run respectfully fast with linux...

Not trying to push linux or argue the point of the other posters experiences...   just wanted to let you know my experience with linux has only been positive...  and I am a pretty active linux user.
Link Posted: 4/26/2013 7:01:36 PM EDT
[#21]
Quoted:
Really surprised to read these responses about linux...  obviously don't know the details behind what you were running on them or the apps involved, but I have almost no issues with linux.  Granted, I am not a big linux desktop user... most of my experience has been setting up and running server versions... web/Apache and file server/samba (samba servers running at the house and at the office)...  linux based web servers at the house and through a dedicated server through an off site provider...  there is a reason the internet runs on linux machines...

With a Windows machine, you will have to restart/roboot many more times than with linux...  I can leave my linux servers running for months with no issues...  yes, there is a learning curve..  not bad

I do use a desktop distro of ubuntu on a couple of laptops that I use to pound out some code mostly Java and OpenGL using netbeans, codeblocks and Eclipse...   doing some C++ stuff with my kids in college..   these things run fine, no issues and haven't had to purchase any software for them... none..as in everything I use is free...

I have various versions of linux running on no less than 5 machines including a rasberry Pi  (playing with opengl es) and I have a fraction of the issues with the linux machines that I do with the Windows machines.   The only real issues I have with linux is getting all of the libraries and dependencies installed correctly.. that process is not as 'download and install' friendly as it is with windows...   but with the desktop versions of linux, most software is really easy to install... pretty much just like windows at this point.

No brainier for me....  if I can do it with linux...  linux is the right option...  And I can make an old dog of a computer run respectfully fast with linux...

Not trying to push linux or argue the point of the other posters experiences...   just wanted to let you know my experience with linux has only been positive...  and I am a pretty active linux user.


pretty much this

I mean dude all software sucks in different ways windows included, I just think linux often times sucks less
Link Posted: 4/26/2013 10:30:17 PM EDT
[#22]
Well,

I personally run centos/redhat for most my production boxes...

Now, I've got plenty of windows too...even my 2008 r2 pdc

But, yes put Linux on it...

Will work just fine!

Bret
Link Posted: 4/26/2013 11:18:50 PM EDT
[#23]
Quoted:
Ubuntu 13.04 was just released !!

I'm a linux fan, easy decision for me....

At the first sign of aggravation or the first point of opportunity...  windows is overwritten with linux !!




same here i use it almost exclusively now

kubuntu has an awesome repository of ham radio applications... it is the very first list in the package manager

im on ubuntu now, and have other computers running many different flavors like kubuntu, xubuntu, debian, fedora, slackpuppy, and backtrack 5 (backtrack5 is the EBR of linux)


eta: i dont like mint btw, that is the one distro i have had problems with

i learned on fedora and ubuntu and have even got my 70 year old dad using it now

Link Posted: 4/27/2013 1:01:58 AM EDT
[#24]
Quoted:
Quoted:
Writing a simplex repeater with DTMF control for linux could be a fun project.


Dtmf is a pain. I found a couple forks of multimon but none work well with alsa.

Put any Ubuntu/debian flavor on it like mint. Get fldigi and xastir. You could also put chirp in it.


I rolled my own DTMF detector a long time ago using some FFT libraries - wasn't terribly difficult as I recall. It surprises me that it would be a problem now. You could rip the DTMF code out of Asterisk or another project that does tones.
Link Posted: 4/27/2013 1:03:47 AM EDT
[#25]
Quoted:
I've used an old XP machine for a couple of years now as a shack PC. It was running XP Pro at 2GHz or so, with 1GB of RAM, so it wasn't a bad example of the breed by any means. It will run what you want/need but...I just replaced it with a refurb from Newegg that's a Win7-Pro, 3+GHz dual-core, 64 bit machine with 4GB of RAM and Oh. My. God. It was like I had been chained down for the last couple of years and now I'm FREEEEEE! Sooo much faster, smoother and more reliable. And it was short, short money, only $250.

Unless you are totally tapped out, I'd shit-can it and go get one of those Newegg refurb's. Get a 7-Pro machine so you can use Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) in case you ever want to remote your station.

And if you are very masochistic, then sure, go ahead and load up one of those really great Linux OS's. And before all you Linux-types start telling me I don't know what I'm talking about, I speak from experience, having run a production MythTV installation for my family for 3 years until I just couldn't take it anymore


I didn't want to be the turd in the punchbowl but since you brought it up...

A $35 Raspberry Pi will be significantly more powerful with significantly lower power consumption. The electricity savings alone would probably pay for it within a year.
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