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Re: autoconf-2.68b released [beta]

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: autoconf-2.68b released [beta]
Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2012 10:14:08 -0800
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:10.0.1) Gecko/20120209 Thunderbird/10.0.1

On 03/02/2012 09:54 AM, Bob Friesenhahn wrote:
> the available computers might be donated computers
> from the late '90s or early 2000s

Well, I dunno, I doubt whether this is much of a
third-world issue; it's more of an backwater
first-world issue.  Let me try to explain.

At UCLA we often get donations of discarded servers,
and they're usually about five years old.  Once
we're done using them (the Solaris 8 boxes I'm talking
about are a dozen years old and still ticking), nobody
wants them except maybe computer museums, as the
energy cost of running them far exceeds any economic
value you get out of them, even in the third world.

As I understand it, our Solaris 8 boxes are still alive
mainly for licensing reasons, to run proprietary software
that I'm not involved with and which we can't afford to
upgrade.  I expect this is the a common reason old
Solaris 8 machines are kept running elsewhere too. 

Third-worlders tend to use cell phones and notebooks,
not vintage AC-powered servers from the 1990s.  And
they tend not to worry about proper licensing.  So it's
first-world backwaters that have to deal with the old
stuff, and we are the people most likely to benefit
from .gz files.

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