Cutting Edge Linux

Geek Stuff:
I am back to being at cutting edge of linux. I spent most of my spare time last week updating my 2 home computers to the latest version of the linux kernel 2.4.1. This sounded like a nice simple proposition when I decided to download the kernel and start the compile going. As it turns out you need to update about 6 other package before you can even start on upgrading the kernel. With a little prodding and poking I managed to get every updated only to get to the point of reboot and the machine not coming back. I grew up using Slackware linux which is a very simple no thrills linux install, but more recently I have been playing Redhat at work and Suse at home. The down fall of using these installs is they hide things and add little tricks to make easier for the user. The thing I missed was adding ram disk support to the kernel so it can load the usb driver so it can see the keyboard when starting up. I hadn’t configured this since I don’t have any USB devices or ports on the machine. After an other kernel recompile I now have this machine up and running.
When should you stop using a machine?
I have always thought that you should first about about what you want to do with the computer then buy a one that can do it. Chances are that the machine will still be able to do same things in 6 months or a year without having to be replace it with the latest and greatest version. I tend to go for mid to low end machines when I buy new ones. My first PC computer is still with me. I bought a 486 DX2 66 in 95 with 4 megs of ram and a 540 meg hard drive. Along with upgrading the kernel of the machine to 2.4.1 I also added a 60 gig hard drive. Yes you heard right I added a 60 gig Maxtor ata100 hard drive to the machine. The machine has slowly been upgrade over the years to now include 32 Megs of ram, an aditional 4 Gigs of disk space, 2 network cards and an ATA33 hard disk controller and finally my new 60 gig hard drive. This machine acts as my file server and holds all my emails plus MP3 versions of all the CDs that I own. So I guess I will stop using my 486 when it nolonger powers up even then I might be tempted to buy a new power supply first before sending my faithful computer to the recycling plant.