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Update : Unorthodox Computer Challenge


Yesterday, I announced that I will be taking part in the Unorthodox Computer Challenge over the next few months and was met with quite a bit of comments and recommendations. As the challenge starts at midnight, I wanted to clarify a few things while I clean off my desk.

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How long will this last?

Based on the number of computers I have on my list as of this writing, it seems like it will be 20 weeks but it could be longer if more devices are added to the list.

I will be putting this test on pause for the following events: FOSSETCON, Ubuntu Release Parties, etc. I will be adding the time I missed to the test to ensure that I give each device 2 full weeks.

What is your criteria for selecting a machine?

There are several minimum requirements that I have set in place to select the machines I will be using as part of this test:

  • Software – The device must support a browser compatible with modern HTML5 standards. This rules out things such as WebTV, PalmOS, Commodore64 machines and Tandy.
  • Hardware – While this is subjective, I am used to machines that pack a lot of horsepower. The machines I selected for this perform far lower then anything I currently use as a daily driver. I am capping RAM at 2 GB of RAM for x86 and 3 GB for ARM.

Why don’t you have any Apple Mac Book Pros on this list?

Aside from my extreme disdain for Apple products, I would not call these “unorthodox” computers as thousands of people do use these as daily drivers. While it would be “unorthodox” for me to use one of these machines, I cannot justify the cost as it would be more expensive then many of the machines I have on the current list combined.

What is the end goal of this project?

I am fortunate enough to be able to use some very high end computers as my daily drivers, not everyone is in the same boat as I am. I want to learn to do more with less.

What will happen in the event that one of these machines is determined to be unusable?

My goal is to spend 2 weeks with each of these machines however if a machine proves to be too unusable for me, I will reserve the option to terminate the test early after exhausting all other options.

How often will there be updates to the tests?

This depends on how well the test goes. I will strive to make a post every day however if everything goes well, you can expect a few days between posts.

What hardware/software is fair game?

In order to make the test fit my needs, I will be employing the following hardware in several of the tests

  • A Universal DisplayLink 3.0 Docking Station with Dual Displays
  • Dual 23 inch Displays
  • Full Size Keyboard and Mouse
  • 8 TB of Local NAS Storage
  • Flash Drives and Flash Media as needed

There are no restrictions on software however I will use the stock operating system that is designed for the unit with the latest updates whenever possible. Cloud Storage is also fair game and will be used extensively.