A few weeks ago we decided it was time to replace our aging Athlon XP based desktop with something a little more agile and a lot more efficient. We chose to build an AMD Zacate e-350 based system utilizing our existing SATA DVD writer drive and 320gb SATA drive. Add in 8gb of RAM and a sweet little case and you’ve got yourself an excellent web development, image editing, word processing box that uses next to no electricity (sub 30w full tilt), is virtually silent (one small CPU fan and one PSU fan) and is USB 3 compliant. Oh yeah, the best part, Lubuntu.
Lubuntu is effectively Ubuntu Linux that runs LXDE for the GUI instead of Gnome or Unity. LXDE is extremely fast and with very little annoying “eye candy” – I love it. Lubuntu comes with lightweight programs installed as default. It uses Chromium for a browser, though we chose to install FireFox as we like it better. AbiWord comes as the default document editor, though we chose to install LibreOffice as it is a more competent Office Suite. We also installed Gimp for image editing. So far, so good. It’s amazing how fast start up and shut down times are as well as just handling basic web tasks (checking email etc).
The Athlon system had been running Windows XP Pro SP3 and held 1.5gb of RAM onboard. In the past I have run Windows 3.1, 95, 98/98SE, XP, Mac OS 7-9.1, X.2-5 as well as Slackware, Ubuntu and Linux Mint all at home. At work I have experience with most of the previous OS’s as well as Windows Vista and 7.