Steve Pacenka

Email: <spacenka AT SPAMFREE lightlink DOT com>

Current Debian Platforms: several Sparc (Ultra) and x86 for production use (light-duty server, workstation, and laptop) at work and home. A couple of Sparcstations kept alive for testing openoffice.org2 and Xorg video drivers.

Former Debian Platforms: PARISC, m68k, and PowerPC to learn the hardware.

Why I contribute to Debian: One of my motivations is to prevent the manufacture of new computers. Debian's cross-platform nature lets many types of hardware be turned into workstations and small servers for small businesses, workgroups, and schools. There are far too many completely viable computers being discarded as the US Microsoft-Industrial-Complex (and Apple as well) keep adding features which require faster and faster CPUs, more and more memory, and larger and larger hard drives. Basic home/office functions of a computer, plus digital photograph editing and compressed audio listening, can be accomplished with a 300 MHz CPU, 128M RAM, and a 6G hard drive. Intel Pentium II, AMD K7, Sun Ultra 5/10, Apple Powermac 7300 are good hardware for most people and are available for little more than shipping costs due to the falling price of new hardware. Unfortunately the price of new systems does not reflect the cost to society of resource depletion or toxic and solid waste management.

Debian Sarge and Etch unlock the utility of these discarded machines, providing plenty of application programs which can interoperate with software on newer platforms. Debian also makes great moderate-scale servers, far less vulnerable to attack than Microsoft ones.

I volunteer at Babbage's Basement which rehabs old computers for sale to raise funds for a children's science museum.


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