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Linux appeals to a specific population of computer users – the tinkerer. This is the user that loves nothing more than to take systems apart, rebuild them and tweak them within an inch of the computers life. They are more likely than not to have old systems sitting around, waiting for the right moment to ressurect one. Personalities such as this love Linux for its ability to provide them with hours of fascination an education.
Computing power once grew in leaps and bounds, but now has stagnated and left many a metal carcass in its wake. This is where Linux shines, especially for the tinkerer. Servers once required their own PC, now they are simply a hard drive in a case, connected to a network. Linux revives the old server that’s running on ancient hardware, and turns it into a streaming media server. No need to purchase an expensive streaming media box when an old system can be recycled with Linux.
Another excellent use of Linux is for a gaming server. Want to set up a LAN party for your friends, but don’t have the money to put out for a server? Source out an old PC that has a decent processor on it, such as a Pentium III, and install a version of Linux that is geared towards gamers. For less than $100, you can set up a LAN in your garage and invite your friends over for a night of virtually blowing each other to bits.
Those who have a desire to learn more about their computers and what they can do are best served by starting with Linux.