My plan is to uninstall all desktop applications and run everything over the Internet. So why would I need a huge PC? All I need is enough power to, more or less, run a web-browser. And since I realized in my popluar article, that I cannot keep 100s of gigs online just yet, I might need a couple of 100 GB of storage. This is the first part of when I look into alternatives of hardware devices to replace my “installed” PC.

I want it be small, silent and give good value for money. And of course look good next to m flatscreen since I have my computertable in the diningroom (!).

I really really want your opinions on this. Comment, send me suggestions and I guarantee I’ll give it a look! Heck – I might even buy a device if it’s cool enough!

In this first part, I’ll give you an overview of what alternatives I’ve found so far.

First alternative is the beautiful Mac Mini/Aopen Mini:

Mac mini Aopen mini

But they’re quite pricey, both starting at somewhere around $5-600 for a complete system. And to be honest, they’re kind of overkill for what I want. It’s like driving a Ferrari with the handbrake pulled.

VIA have some interesting moterboards called mini-ITX and nano-ITX that are extremely small, silent and low-powered. And there are several extremely small cases for this form factor:

Form Factorsminiitx1.jpg Nanode Psile

But again, it’s pricey. You need to spend $150 on the motherboard and memory. Then you have to add a power supply and case and some kind of local storage (even though a USB stick will do for booting). At the end you almost end up at $400 anyway.

But what about just buying the cheapest hardware I can get hold of? Or even used at ebay? Some mATX board would do. Well, I think the case for the mATX-computers are too big. And to be honest – don’t you think this “regular” hardware is boring? ;)

I started to look for special solutions out there and find an interesting concept called woopwoop. It got me to some cool boxes like the norhtec.com solution called Microclient Jr:

Microclient Jr

I will definitly look into this little beauty in future parts.

With the above article I realized that the solution has to be some kind of Linux device made for “thin client use”. There are some companies offering dedicated “thin clients” that also include Firefox/Mozilla. One of them are Devon IT, which in reality are clients with VIA CPUs.

Devon IT

Or maybe a small “cube” called TeaCube will work for me? This is one small computer! But I wonder if it can run Firefox or some other browser? I will check that out!

Teacube

Also, this article at linuxdevices.com cover a bunch of pre-built alternatives that might be perfect for me.

Also, don’t forget that I need to store all my files somwhere. None of these cases are big enough for 2-3 3.5″ harddrives. So I need some solution for this aswell. I will get back to you on that – please comment if you have any suggestions. And remember – I prefer uninstalled!

So stay tuned. In future parts I’ll try to go into detail how to live my uninstalled life. Who knows, maybe I don’t even have to install the operating system?!