I have a quick screenshot for you, and then you can go back to your surfing:
Look closely at the numbers in that picture, and you’ll see why I shared it. That’s the Thinkpad, running Crux. In the picture, you have screen running a four-panel split, with htop, rtorrent, iftop and a root terminal, all at the same time. In the background, mocp, elinks and mc are also running. The root terminal is doing a system upgrade, compiling while everything else is working. This is an X-less system, with everything running against the framebuffer.
And the memory usage is hovering around 30MB.
Not a bad, for an average-grade Celeron with a meager 192MB of memory to start with, that was obsolete seven years ago. Don’t give up on your old hardware, friends. There’s still a lot it can do for you.