3D Printing hobby without buying new computer

When I decided to jump into 3d printing as a hobby one objective was to do it all without having to buy a new(er) computer and doing it all with a 5yr old decent quality Chromebook and an IPad 8. Now 3 weeks into my 3D adventure the computing side has been a little bumpy and I’d love to see a video on possible budget 3D 100% cloud ecosystems.
In the end I abandoned the cloud idea and dug a 12 yr old HP laptop PC out of the closet and with fear and trepidation installed Linux Ubuntu, FreeCad, Cura and $15 of RAM and it works pretty darn well though I can expect FreeCad to crash periodically. After 35yrs of using Microsoft OS I was nervous about Linux but other than some application installation learning curve it was very easy moving to Ubuntu.

Here is an article about which distributions of Linux are most like Windows: [U]Top 5 Best Alternative Linux Distributions for Windows Users

I haven’t had a Windows machine for years, I started using Linux Mint when it 1st showed up as a Linux distribution and for the most part been using it ever since. I stray evey now and again to see what else is out there but always seem to return to Mint. Personally I prefer MATE over Cinnamon but that’s just a personal thing. I don’t run any of my printers off PC at all. I have a Raspberry PI hooked to each printer running Octoprint. Raspberry Pi’s are small computers without a desktop, keyboard or such. You access Octoprint using a web browser and can control the printer from there.

Now, now @Gramps, be fair. You can run a desktop with keyboard, mouse, and even hi-rez monitor on a Pi. A Pi 4 actually makes a fairly reasonable Linux platform. I tried to make a NAS out of a Pi 4, but I have way too much storage for that to work well.

I didn’t say you couldn’t use it as desktop @Ender5r I said you didn’t need those things to use it. Try using Winders without a keyboard, mouse & monitor. I thought about using a Pi when my laptop died last week. The Pi is an amazing little computer.

Thanks @Ender5r. Somehow those Linux flavors eluded my research. I used to be a command line guy but as Windows got better I got lazier!
@Gramps, I started to head in the Octoprint direction recently then couldn’t find a raspberry pi for less than $80! I’ll wait until prices come back down I think.

just discovered a real downside to my cheap-a$$ pc, Cura features are missing because they need a much newer version of OpenGL than my gpu can handle. Not wedded to Cura though.

@DAC Great idea. I have added it to my backlog. There are a number of online slicers available and if you are using a Creality 3d printer they now have a whole ecosystem you can use from a smartphone or browser.

I used to be a command line guy too. I even used DecWriters (a piece of gear no doubt @Irv_Shapiro is very familiar with) to control jobs. Those were the days. Thank goodness they’re gone. I do not consider it lazy to use a GUI. I consider it relief from the torture of having to do everything via cryptic commands, all of which were created to make things easier for the computer, not the humans using them.