A long while ago — just before buying the MacBook Pro — I already complained about software bloat. A year and two months later, it is time to complain again.

I am thinking on renewing my MacBook Pro assuming I can sell this one for a good price. The reasons for this are to get slightly better hardware (more disk, better GPU and maybe 4GB of RAM) and software updates. The problem is: if I am able to find a buyer, I will be left without a computer for some days, and that's not a good scenario. I certainly don't want to order the new one without being certain that I will be paid enough for the current one.

So yesterday I started assembling some old components I had lying around aiming at having an old but functional computer to work with. But today I realized that I also had the PlayStation 3 with Fedora 8 already installed, and that it'd be enough to use as a desktop for a week or so. I had trimmed down the installation to the bare minimum so that it'd boot as fast as possible and to leave free resources for testing Cell-related stuff. But if I wanted to use the PS3 as a desktop, I needed, for example, GNOME.

Ew. Doing a yum groupinstall "GNOME Desktop Environment" took quite a while, and not because of the network connection. But even if we leave that aside, starting the environment was painful. Really painful. And Mono was not there, at all! It is amazing how unusable the desktop is with "only" 256MB of RAM; the machine is constantly going to swap, and the disk being slow does not help either. I still remember the days when 256MB was a lot, and desktop machines were snappy enough with only half of that, or even less.

OK, so GNOME is a lot for 256MB of RAM. I am now writing this from the PS3 itself running WindowMaker. Which unfortunately does not solve all the problems — and the biggest one is that it is not a desktop environment. Firefox also requires lots of resources to start, and doing something else in the background still makes the machine use swap. (Note that I have disabled almost all of the system services enabled by default in Fedora, including SELinux.)

If I finally sell my MBP, this will certainly be enough for a few days... but it's a pity to see how unusable it is. (Yeah, by today's standards, the PS3 is extremely short on RAM, I know, but GNOME used to run quite well with this amount of RAM just a few years ago.)

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