I needed to do some very light network monitoring.  All I had sitting near me was a very old Dell computer with a 600MHz PIII processor and 256M of RAM.

No problem, I figured… just go linux.  It’s light.  It will work.

It installed quickly and flawlessly.  The only disk I had nearby was a Kubuntu Hardy, which I was really worried about installing due to the whiz-bang KDE interface.

To be honest, it came up pretty quickly and was only a bit slow under KDE.  After installing my personal favorite desktop, XFCE, the system moved along nicely (and there were no bouncing cursors!).  In fact, it moved so nicely it was surprising, especially for a PIII with 256M RAM.  Rest assured that it wouldn’t run Windows like that.

The box is now sitting in the network room, monitoring some switches without issue.  After installing X11vnc, I can monitor the desktop from my desk.

Next time you need to do something and only have old hardware, try linux.  You won’t be disappointed.