I was going to write a straightforward request for advice for buying a refurbished mini-PC from eBay. There seems to be millions of these for sale at £50 to £100 as offices, I am told, either upgrade or issue staff with laptops. YouTube vlogs are suggesting that potential buyers of Raspberry-Pi as a lightweight toy desktop consider these instead.
I am aware of Haiku’s hardware compatibility database. However, these mini-PCs are by definition older generation and have extremely middle-of-the-road graphics and other components. Not having to consult this database would remove another source of friction to getting a PC in your hands on which to try Haiku.
Broadly speaking, is there much to fear from buying refurbished mini-PC, of mainstream brands (HP, Dell and the like), from eBay without reference to the hardware list?
My next question is to what extent to which we can make prospective Haiku users aware of these machines? I have lived in Apple-land for the past decade or so, and was not aware of how Wintel hardware was developing in this time, beyond having a vague idea of the Intel NUC. The sheer affordability and compact size of these refurbished mini-PCs (and the ecological benefit to be had from repurposing them rather than buying new) make them an excellent gateway to Haiku. Can we get these into people’s homes as a TV set-top box, for instance?
The ones with intel core i3, i5 or i7 and intel graphics should work great, in my experience. More exotic intel atom Celeron and pentium and AMD versions you will have to check out
In generall most I’ve come across worked, sometimes some issues.
aslong as you are prepared to report bugs it’s probably fine.
I’ve been buying mini/micro desktops for quite a while now, (especially pre used), & have suggested the same to others using Linux & BSD as desktops, if they want something cheap but functional, even if the internal storage is meager, you can always add an external drive via USB…
Presently I have 2x HP T520 thin clients running Haiku - 1.2GHz dual processor - 2GB ram - 16GB M2 SSD.
Wouldn’t fancy browsing the modern web with 2GB of R.A.M.
Ha, ha, they aren’t fast, but they are adequate…
(I even removed 1GB ram just to see if they worked, & they did…)
A little off-topic, but I’ve got two Acer laptops with identical specs (other than one having a touch screen, and the other not), with Celeron CPUs (probably Atoms in disguise!) and 2GB of RAM. Both are running Linux Mint MATE, and perfectly happy to play YouTube videos and browse web pages. Granted, you can’t have many tabs open in Firefox, but it works fine.
Even on my main PC (Ryzen-based mini PC), I don’t play YouTube videos full-screen, and rarely have it set to play HD video. 480p is fine for me, and that suits the two Acers.
Just as a quick note, I bought a used HP mini-PC a couple of weeks ago for 130€ from Germany, and it came with 16Gb of ram.
Having it running as a media PC under the TV (with Linux Mint Cinnamon) is what’s freed up my laptop to use Haiku as a “daily driver”.