The Samsung 840 SSD drives have dropped enough in price that I bought one (for this year’s combined sinterxmasbirthday). Then I pulled my older AMD machine out of the storage closet and installed OpenSUSE 12.2. Which in itself isn’t much of a story, except that installing from a silent USB stick, onto a silent SSD, with a energy efficient low-power CPU and a silent fan is an eerie, creepy experience. A machine that, within the limits of my hearing and against a background of one humming hard disk in a NAS box, is totally silent while doing work — that just doen’t fit with my ideas about how machines work. Kind of like electric bicycles and cars need some kind of noisemaker to announce their presence, otherwise they are scary as well.
The difference an SSD makes is amazing; those little starting-up fireflies from OpenSUSE buzz around like they’re cooked up on amphetamines and cold-start to KDE (with auto-login) is something like 15 seconds. It’s moving into my laptop, where I hope it will also have a positive effect on battery life.
And for noisy working machines, I can always stick to my Core i7 with three bricks full of spinning rust; that really sounds like it’s doing some work, especially when building KDE in a FreeBSD VM.