New Programs for Hardy?

Mackenzie Morgan macoafi at
Thu Dec 13 07:41:12 UTC 2007

On Dec 13, 2007 1:58 AM, Blaise Alleyne <balleyne at> wrote:

> > Why is there so much focus on keeping the Ubuntu installer to the very
> > limited size of a CD-R ISO?
> > I mean, this modern world of computing we live in, the 700MB capacity of
> > a CD-R isn't much to play around with really.
> >
> > I think sooner or later, Ubuntu is going to grow beyond what's possible
> > to squeez onto a 700MB iso and be forced to adopt the benefits of DVD5
> > storage. Maybe that time is approaching quicker than expected by some.
> >
> > Just my 2 cents.
> >
> I think it's very valuable to have Ubuntu run off a Live CD as opposed
> to DVD. Most modern computers will have a DVD drive, but many older
> machines do not. One of the advantages of Ubuntu and GNU/Linux in
> general is that you don't need a new computer to reap all the benefits
> (unlike say, Windows Vista). Keeping the contents on a single CD makes
> it much easier to share, distribute and install for many people.
> Additional applications can also be downloaded from the repositories.<>

In my family, we have 5 computers.  My laptop is the only one with a DVD
drive (the drive's broken too...gotta get that fixed because as it is I
can't even use regular CDs either).   If Ubuntu ceases to be a CD-based
distro, I'll have to switch the others to Debian on the next reinstall.  One
of them has already switched to Debian.  Ubuntu with 192MB of RAM on a 5GB
hard drive was only barely better than XP.  There are no plans to junk any
of these computers either.  When the hardware works, age doesn't matter.
And when the hardware doesn't work...well, so far the only piece of hardware
to fail has been an $8 CPU fan, and there's a video card that, at this pace,
is looking to die somewhere around 2012 (video cards die very slowly, it's
been dying for 3 years now but is still usable if you don't let the computer
go into standby).  Remarkably, there has never been a single issue with the
Pentium II's hardware.

I know they're "obsolete," but the reality is that people don't replace
hardware for the hell of it.  Gamers, yes, but they're sticking to Windows
for obvious reasons.  They are not the target users for Ubuntu.  Sending an
email from Yahoo webmail would be the same for my mom on that old Pentium
II, her Pentium III, her Pentium IV, and my 1-year-old laptop, therefore she
has 0 reason to upgrade anything at all.  Most people don't heavily tax
their computer and don't get something new until the magic blue smoke
escapes.  I got a job this year where I walked in and there was a Gateway
2000 running Windows for Workgroups 3.1 sitting on the desk next to a
slightly newer Gateway running Windows 98.  The mindset is "it works, why
change it?" and I agree with them.  For anyone who isn't changing it just
for the sake of poking at things ("if it ain't broke, take it apart and fix
it"), so for anyone who lacks the mindset of an engineer, changing anything
at all about the computer's hardware is very scary.  Software is slightly
less scary.  At least they do that on a somewhat regular basis (I hope)
through updates or installing/uninstalling software.  Getting anyone but a
hardware-lover to upgrade 1 piece of a computer (CD to DVD drive, bigger
hard drive, more memory) instead of trashing the whole thing (which they
probably won't do because the old one works fine and the new one costs
money) is nearly impossible.  Wearing a Geek Squad shirt may make it easier
to convince people to buy things they don't need though.

Until CD drives go the way of 5.25" floppy drives, I think we need to keep
install CDs around.  Making DVD isos with more stuff available is fine, but
the main part of the distro should fit on a CD.

Mackenzie Morgan
Linux User #432169
ACM Member #3445683 <-my blog of Ubuntu stuff
apt-get moo
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