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Linuxwatch Budget System of 2001 267

Posted by Hemos
from the for-real-people dept.
A reader writes "Linuxwatch.org has posted their Budget System of 2001 in response to LinuxHardware's 2001 System of the year. Boasting their system is 13% of the price and plenty of power for "normal users". Running at 1.4Ghz with 256MB RAM, it doesn't seem to bad for "normal users"(whatever that means)IMHO."
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Linuxwatch Budget System of 2001

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  • by fmaxwell (249001) on Friday January 11, 2002 @06:17PM (#2826199) Homepage Journal
    The "average user" is someone who surfs the web, sends the occasional e-mail, and writes letters. And that user does not significantly benefit from a ghz-class machine. Put them on an "old" 700mhz machine from a couple of years ago, and they do just fine. More and more individuals and businesses are realizing that the computers that they already own work fine for what they do. People no longer drum their fingers waiting for programs to load, files to compress, and spreadsheets to recalculate.

    Sure, there are a handful of people who really do need fast machines, but, as Apple has realized, you don't need to have ghz+ machines to satisfy the average user.
    • by Afrosheen (42464) on Friday January 11, 2002 @06:41PM (#2826359)
      Looks like you've fallen into the 'measure performance by clock speed' trap that others following Intel-compatible architectures often do. Mhz/ghz is NOT a measure of speed when comparing risc-like chipsets from Motorola and IBM. Alot of g4's can outperform Intel chips that run at twice the mhz rating. AMD has just proven this when you compare the new AMD XP chipsets to Intel chipsets. The AMD's can smoke Intel chips that cost alot more and run at a higher clock speed. They have more instructions per clock cycle than the Intel chips do, among other things.

      Don't be fooled by mhz ratings, pure and simple.
      • Where are the classic MIPS ratings? It's a simple but fairly accurate statement on how fast a processor will go. A 486 100MHz and a Pentium 100MHz has the same MHz, but not the same MIPS.
        • MIPS is even more misleading then Mhz in pure form. MIPS = Milions of Instructions Per Second.
          Risc processors would win a lot in MIPS terms vs CISC at the same MHz since RISC processors tend to be more superscalar.

          An actual measure of work should be used, like the SPEC.
          • Re:MIPS dammit! (Score:3, Informative)

            by isdnip (49656)
            That would be true IF that's what MIPS really meant, and I'm not referring to the already posted "meaningless indication" joke. But it's not.


            MIPS was a measurement created (I suspect by CMP) back in the 1960s. It was the amount of processing power that a CPU had in terms of IBM 360/50 machine instructions. (Millions of IBM Instructions per Second.) Not cycles of the machine being measured, but normalized against a 360/50's work/clock being "1".


            The 360/50 was a classic CISC machine, with the kind of complex addressing modes that only a BAL programmer could love. RISC demonstrated that simple instructions generated by a compiler could often outperform microcode. But that came later: As IBM developed the 360 and 370 lines, work per clock cycle varied. MIPS was normalized.


            At DEC, we faced demands for comparison between the VAX and 360 families. (Apples to squash, really, but you know how people want simple comparisons.) In raw CPU capability, an early CISC VAX-11 was not far from a 360/50 in work/cycle. But the measurement we used was the VUPS (VAX unit of processor speed). Again, it was a performance measurement, not a clock timer.

      • Don't be fooled by mhz ratings, pure and simple.

        I was benchmarking systems back when 4mhz Z80s were fast. I'm not "fooled" by mhz ratings. That's why I just used a generic term of "ghz class" rather than getting into pissing contests about whether a 1.66ghz Athlon XP was faster than a 2.0ghz Pentium 4.

        But, no reputable benchmark in the world, whether MFLOPS, SPECmarks, Whetstones, Dhrystones, or something else, is going to show the new 800mhz iMac or a 700mhz PIII to be in the same class as a 1.4ghz Athlon XP.

        And that's why I used a fairly generic term that everyone would understand rather than saying "the average user does not need a 2500 Dhrystone class machine."
    • I would toss games into the average user catagory these days.
      Many "non-gamers" enjoy Golf games, or flight sim stuff. While these games arne't quake, they can be proc. intensive. A lot of calculations go into figureing out what a golf ball needs to do in order to bahes realistically.
    • by Dominic_Mazzoni (125164) on Friday January 11, 2002 @06:47PM (#2826389) Homepage
      Keep in mind that the average Linux user - even if he/she isn't a programmer - spends a fair amount of time compiling software.

      And for compiling software, processor speed makes more of a difference than just about anything else.

      Besides, even though this is a budget computer, you don't want the absolute cheapest computer ever, you want something with a reasonable price/performance ratio. Processors slower than this one give you a lot less performance for hardly any savings, while faster than this one give you a little bit more performance for a lot more money.
      • by drix (4602) on Friday January 11, 2002 @07:13PM (#2826508) Homepage
        Precisely. In fact, I'd go ever further and say that, if you spend a lot of time compiling, you should always forego getting the fastest processor and the market and buy 2 of whatever costs half the price, and build yourself an SMP box. First, the performance gain with SMP is basically linear for compilation, assuming you're using a good value for make -j. Second, it's been my experience that a pair of 700Mhz PIIIs usually beats my 1.5Ghz P4 handily for kernel compiles and many other things. Granted it's kind of comparing apples to oranges but it's a starting point.
        • On the dual processor theme, the X Window System probably takes as much CPU scrolling your terminal window during the make as the compiler takes churning out your code. Having a processor handling the screen while another processor sends it the stuff to draw is a good idea.
          • Or even better, just do a make -s and use both processors for compiling.
            • From "man make"

              -s Silent operation; do not print the commands as they are executed.

              -j jobs
              Specifies the number of jobs (commands) to run simultaneously. If there is more than one -j option, the last one is effective. If the
              -j option is given without an argument, make will not limit the number of jobs that can run simultaneously.

              I'm not sure what making make silent gets you as far as using SMP for compilation (considering terminal output is pretty free these days), perhaps you meant "make -j"?
              • Quoting the parent of my comment:

                On the dual processor theme, the X Window System probably takes as much CPU scrolling your terminal window during the make as the compiler takes churning out your code. Having a processor handling the screen while another processor sends it the stuff to draw is a good idea.

                I did mean make -s, which, regardless of how much effort it really takes a processor to scroll a ter \minal window, would be solution to the parent's problem.

    • The Average User uses AOL.

      The Average User uses Windows.
  • Linux Watch (Score:3, Funny)

    by Talinom (243100) on Friday January 11, 2002 @06:17PM (#2826202) Homepage Journal
    Oops, I thought they meant a watch running Linux at 1.4Ghz with 256MB RAM.

    Booya! I'll take one of those.
  • by stevens (84346) on Friday January 11, 2002 @06:19PM (#2826210) Homepage

    I'm glad they highlight the budget system. As a software developer, I find most of my desktop cycles are spare. Even builds I do on a server. Budget systems can do more now than supercomputers a few years ago.

    What the computer industry really needs are some breakthroughs in software development to enhance stability and usability.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Friday January 11, 2002 @06:20PM (#2826217) Homepage
    for the same price you can get a turtle beach - santa Cruz. nice linux support, and it beats the tar out of the soundblaster live in specs reliability and system stability. (SBLive is NOT PCI2.1 compliant and does leak noise onto the PCI bus. link about it here [viahardware.com]

    Otherwise, couple that machine with a nice 15" Flat panel display and you have a nice Lan-party Box.
    • by Lumpy (12016)
      forgot a link.... soundcards compared [pcavtech.com]

      This will give hard specs about the SB live compared to a ton of other cards... Heck the SBLive is of lower quality than the SB64PCI.

      I want to see the New Audigy line spec'd out. did they finally fix all the audio problems or is it a Live warmed over.
    • by 2Bits (167227) on Friday January 11, 2002 @06:44PM (#2826379)
      In our company, computers are not even allowed to have sound card, coz:

      • Employees are sitting too close to each other, sound card would just disturb other people
      • Everyone is in one big room (for better communication between employees, that's what we're told), so no sound insulation
      • Sound card does not add any value to coding and debugging
      • The company is against pirating music from Napster
      • The company is against sound pollution
      • The company is a software development house, not a music content creator
      • You are supposed to work, not listen to radio during company's time
      • It saves money for the company. When the company makes profits, everyone will be better off (last time I checked, the company's making profit, and those who are better off seem to all have pointy hair. Well, we don't have snacks anymore, as this is not healthy. So I guess we are better off too...)
      • If you have everyone close together in one big room, I can almost guarantee that a significant proportion of your people (the ones who don't have to spend a lot of time on the phone) are wearing headphones and using CD or MP3 players.
      • Sounds like a horrible place to work. Do they allow smiling? What about yawning? I'm sure laughing is a huge no-no. :)
      • by spoonyfork (23307) <spoonyfork AT gmail DOT com> on Friday January 11, 2002 @07:11PM (#2826498) Journal
        ... that's why god created headphones

        ... audio feedback during computer interaction is invaluable, especial those those with visual disabilities

        ... distracting your left brain while your right brain plugs away actually increases productivity in some people

        ... getting your nazi on doesn't save money, it creates a stiffling environment devoid of creativity and self-expression

        • heh heh, .blah should have been a TLD.

          "come visit us at business.blah"
      • 1) BUY HEADPHONES

        I agree about noise pollution, but when I can't listen to music while I work I go crazy. Music provides a beat to code to :)

        There's a big difference as far as distraction between listening to NPR and listening to background music...
    • Can you back up the claim that the SBLive is not PCI compliant? References? Tests? The page you reference is quite vauge, and having had many problems with the crappy VIA KT133A chipset (and NO SBLive), I'm skeptical.

      I used to have an es137x which would hang my alpha hard, and came to the conclusion that it was because the es137x violated the PCI spec (don't remember the specifics now -- unterminated PCI bus transfer?). More than one card from them violating the spec would not be a coincidence.

      --Bob

    • by DeeKayWon (155842) on Friday January 11, 2002 @07:27PM (#2826579)
      (The article is slashdotted, so I'm assuming by your post that they chose the SBLive for the machine).

      The Linux support for the Santa Cruz is nowhere near that of the SBLive.

      First, the SBLive will give you hardware mixing in Linux, so there's no need to worry about which apps use which sound daemon. The CS4630 driver doesn't do this.

      Second, The sound quality of the SBLive in Linux is much better than in Windows. Chalk that up to the Linux emu10k1 driver guys who have created better DSP patches for the emu10k1 than the guys at Creative.

      Finally, there's no evidence that the SBLive's non-compliance has had adverse effects in any OS other than Windows, at least not that I've seen or heard. I've heard many testimonials from people with the SBLive/686B combo who have no problems in Linux.

      Your gripes would've been applicable had this been a Windows box, but it isn't.
  • by EraseEraseMe (167638) on Friday January 11, 2002 @06:22PM (#2826234)
    It's interesting to see how prices for hardware continually drops while software prices (Non-free as in beer software) maintain or increase in price. The total system cost for machine listed in the article is $399..Now, let's add Windows...$99, an office suite $150, anti-virus software, $59...We've almost immediately doubled the price of the machine by merely adding functionality. This is quite possibly why people accept paying extragavant prices for software; it's a trade-off..lower prices for hardware, higher prices for software = maintain status quo of computer system pricing.
    • Now, let's add Windows...$99

      full official version of Red Hat 7.2...$70. It's as easy to install as any version of Windows I've tried.

      an office suite $150

      Even a Windows office suite doesn't cost $150. You can get OpenOffice.org suite [openoffice.org] for only the cost of downloading 48 MB (three hours over a 56K modem).

      anti-virus software, $59...

      Don't overpay. Here's Norton AV 2002 for $20 [softwareoutlet.com].

      We've almost immediately doubled the price of the machine by merely adding functionality.

    • Someone else said you pay to much for software, I think you are way under. Windows XP Home is $99, pro $199. Before XP if you wanted to do a fresh install you'd have to pay $199. $99 was for the upgrade version.

      Office suite $150? Here [dirtcheapsoftware.com] is Office XP, $359. Remember, you can't use the upgrade on a fresh install.

      And anti-virus software... that should be free - but you are pretty much on target.

      One day, Microsoft's advertisements will read:
      Now With Windows XY, A FREE 3.4Ghz Computer!
    • Of course... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by clontzman (325677)
      It's interesting to see how prices for hardware continually drops while software prices (Non-free as in beer software) maintain or increase in price.

      This argument gets thrown around all the time, and it's never made much sense to me.

      Obviously, the reason hardware prices have gone down is because the cost of building computer components goes down over time. On the other hand the cost of expert software programmers has tended to go up because you're paying for a salary rather than a physical component. You really can't compare physical processes to intellectual resources.

      • Obviously, the reason hardware prices have gone down is because the cost of building computer components goes down over time.

        No, the reason hardware prices go down is because hardware companies have competition

        Cost to design and engineer a CPU or video card costs $X .. company sells enough to cover costs, and (slowly) starts dropping the price because now they only have to worry about manufacturing costs.. If they didn't drop their prices, their competition begins to steal their marketshare.

        Software company releases an OS or Office Suite, and sells enough to cover programmers time. They then see they have no competition, and decide "well, we'll just keep the price the same - we have no reason to lower our prices, because we have no competition."
      • Re:Of course... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Tattva (53901)
        the cost of expert software programmers has tended to go up because you're paying for a salary rather than a physical component

        OTOH, the number of units sold has dramatically increased, and since RnD is mostly a fixed cost and the incremental cost is a CD and an oversized box, Windows has been getting more and more profitable over the past 12 years. I expect Microsoft will be forced to do one of two things as hardware gets cheaper: either lower prices for the general-purpose windows platform, or move home users to a more targeted consumer platform that will be so focused on household tasks (web, IM, games, letters, multimedia, etc) you would have a hard time describing it as an operating system.

        Microsoft will simply not be able to convince hardware makers that over half their costs should be software, and you will see non-pc appliances really take off if Microsoft doesn't address this. Microsoft isn't stupid, so they will be forced to change. In the end the second scenario is probably best for customers anyway since home users don't need the complexity of a full operating system and the best solution is not to hide the complexity like Windows ME does, but to not have the complexity in the first place.

    • Office Suites. (Score:3, Informative)

      by saintlupus (227599)
      an office suite $150

      Here's an interesting little secret for Mac OS and Windows users looking for a good office suite. AppleWorks 6 is only _39 dollars_ from the Apple Store for Education. Runs on Windows, Classic Mac OS, and natively on OS X. That's what I'm running on my home and work machines. And the filters for MS Office are top notch.

      Come to think of it, you could buy AppleWorks instead of MS Office for your machine now, and use the money you saved on the license to buy this _entire_ budget system. And a monitor. And a NIC. And all the other parts people mention are missing from the currently Slashdotted article.

      --saint
      • then what do you think the odds are of getting Apple to port this to Linux? I'd buy it in a second. from reports at MacExpo, it seems like Apple is cozying up to the Linux community.
      • How do I get to the store for education? Even at $79 (the regular price), it's reasonable, but I couldn't find any mention of a Windows version. Is that only available through the education store?
  • by dperkins (63220) <davidrperkins@NosPaM.gmail.com> on Friday January 11, 2002 @06:24PM (#2826253) Homepage
    ...if their budget system is 4 times faster than my system?

    *blush in shame*

    And I consider myself a geek...
    • Not ALL geeks need the fastest computer out there. I'm perfectly happy with running my 450 everything works great, and since I play very few games it's more than enough for coding on. Of course if I could really get a machine that cheap I'd probably do it, I am getting tired of dual boot.
      • by JanneM (7445)
        especailly geeks do not need the fastest system around. We do not necessarily need the latest games, we tend to use laTeX rather than Word, editor and compiler rather than an intgrated IDE and so on. I'm still doing half my work on a P133 HP Omnibook, just because it has the best laptop keyboard I've ever used...

        /Janne
    • Think of it as running on 'antique hardware' you get extra geek points for that.
      • "Think of it as running on 'antique hardware' you get extra geek points for that."

        Cool..

        I've got Red Hat 5.2 running on a 1990 Gateway 2000 20mhz 80368 with 8mb RAM in separate, socketed DRAM chips, with an ATI OEM video card with a screaming 512kb video RAM going into an early '90s 13" Gateway 2K CrystalScan 1024NI monitor.

        Only thing missing from the original box is the 5.25" floppy drive, which is now a CD-ROM, and the original 65mb rll HDD, which is now a 320mb WD HDD...

        Uptime is currently a taste over 6 months...

        How's that for cool?

        t_t_b

    • You could buy all sorts of expensive hardware so that you could run lots of cool apps...but a true geek will take a slow machine a tweak the hell out of it to be able to run the same stuff.

      Never underestimate the geek clout gained by statements like, "I got x to run on a box that only had y (MHZ, MB, GB, whatever)."

      (besides...being able to play quake3 at 10 fps is a *skill* god damn it!)
      • Never underestimate the geek clout gained by statements like, "I got x to run on a box that only had y (MHZ, MB, GB, whatever)."

        How true! My 486 DX4/100MHz with 24 megs ram and a 540 meg HD made a wonderful XFree86 machine. Windowmaker, netscape, and mpg123 all running at the same time, with mpg123 playing back 128kbps full-stereo 44.1KHz audio; and everything else was still usable. Fine desktop machine, indeed!

        I'd probably still have it setup today if I didn't need it more as a webserver+router w/nat+testing ground for software+cvs server. Oh, and the 540 meg HD has since died (after quite a long time of dedicated service).

        Yeah, uh, this is on-topic because I'm showing how true it is, and this geek-muscle hasn't been flexed in quite a long time 8)

  • ... because even the webservers don't feel like working. Linuxwatch.com has been successfully slashdotted. Anyone who got through mind posting the hardware configuration of this wonderful budget beast?
  • Very good question (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DragonWyatt (62035)
    It's just like the AC on the site asked (paraphrasing), "Great box, where's the vendor?"

    I know that the place I work for would probably buy lots of these for an appliance app we've designed and sell, if we could get decent no-hassle quick-turnaround warranty service on them.
  • Some of the local big box retailers have had 900Mhz Celeron systems complete with 17" monitor and printer for $399 after rebates.

    I know some people hate eMachines, but my two have been problem free, including one which is now more than 4 yrs old.

  • Good for a lot (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JanneM (7445) on Friday January 11, 2002 @06:30PM (#2826290) Homepage
    I like really fast systems; I simulate brain areas for a living (or, well, for a PhD), and like lots of speed. The reality is, however, that even with an application like that, I spend a very small time actually running the simulator, and most of my time in an editor, writing code, writing papers, or writing grant proposals. This system, overall, would probably make me just as happy as a biggest-bang-of-all kind of product.

    The only app I can think of that would require the best PC available (and that does not simply require the fastest system) is games. You want to run really serious simulations or hardware design apps? Well, get a big workstation or a PC cluster or something. You want to run smaller stuff? Run it on an ordinary PC, maybe get a cup of coffee while it churns - or get some text written while the simulator is working.

    We're approaching the inflection point where it simply does not apply to get steadily faster, more potent computers. Last years machine - or that of three years ago - will do pretty much everything you throw at it. Not even MS has been able to increase system requirements at the same speed hardware has improved for the last couple of years.

    /Janne
    • Re:Good for a lot (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Forkenhoppen (16574)
      Not true. Video decoding takes a lot of work, and for that, I'd estimate DivX requires over 600MHz for the higher-quality content. Likewise, if you're like myself and working in the software development industry, you need at least that to recompile all your code in a reasonable amount of time. (I'm talking about under Microsoft Visual C++ here.)

      This, of course, assumes you have a decent video card, because otherwise you have to worry about YUV->RGB conversion taking time too, when we're talking DivX. Likewise, DVD decoding needs at least 500MHz even with full hardware support. Anything less than a Duron's not gonna cut it.

      Then let's not forget audio. If you've got a Soundblaster Live or Audigy, then you're fine, but for those poor souls (like myself) who're still using onboard audio like AC97, Windows 2000 and XP is always running the audio through a software mixer. So if you're listening to mp3s and you have a sound theme enabled, that's eating into it all too. (Not much, mind you, but there is a small hit. That plus the way onboard audio is so cheaply done.. I'd make an uneducated estimate of somewhere between 40-60MHz lost to audio playback. Plus 100MHz for an mp3.)

      And lets not forget about USB, the BIGGEST hog of CPU ever. If you have a cheap webcam, then every time it snaps a picture you're gonna drop 100 to 250 MHz. A USB or bus mouse is likewise gonna suck some MHz, but mind you not half as many. Scanners and printers likewise suck up USB resources, but usually only when in use. Rule of thumb; if it's USB, and it's hooked up, it's slowin' something down.

      Don't even get me started on modems.

      So really, while you can use an older system, you're going to need to keep using the older hardware with it. You know, the hardware that actually IS hardware, and not just a bunch more wires going into the CPU. If you're using a serial mouse, an ATi or (recent) nVidia video card, a hardware modem, and a SB Live, then you're partially right, in that something around the 700-800MHz mark is sufficient. But if you've got (or are planning to have) a dozen peripherals daisychained through one of those ridiculous USB hubs, or are one of those people who insist on beta-testing^B^B^B^B^B^B^B^Bpurchasing games the day they come out...

      Personally, I think anything less than 1GHz on IA86 is just stupid at this point. Anything more you want to spend, if you're not planning on playing games, get disk space and memory. 512MB is a good safety for memory. If you have DSL, then budget at least 40Gb for diskspace.
      • I think you're overestimating DivX. Even under FreeBSD (which isn't renown for it's Multimedia) I can run DivX great with a PII-400. Granted my Video card (a G200) supports Xv so I don't have to do the YUV->RGB conversions (which is a big time saver).

        Not that you're going to be using the modem a lot when watching DivX files. If you get a real modem (not a winmodem) the cpu requirements are really quite modest, especially for anything that has a 3 digit Mhz rating. I never observed my system with USB stuff running, so I don't have any comment on it, other than I'm not surprised that it's kind of a pig considering that Intel invented it...

        I certainly don't agree with your last statement. I'm not a big 3D shooter fan (more of an RTS, Roguelike, and turn based person myself), so my current hardware is more than sufficent for any games I want to play. Memory is something of an issue, but when you can buy 256MB for less than a meal at a good restaruant that isn't a valid excuse anymore.

        I wouldn't buy any I86 machine slower than a Ghz today, because the saving aren't worth it. Just get the processor that has the most bang for the buck and be happy. Apparently that's somewhere around 1.4Ghz according to the article. I also think some people pay too much for their video cards these days, but that's a topic for a different thread.
    • I agree.. except that not even games require the fastest system available anymore.

      I've finished Return to Castle Wolfenstein on my 800 Mhz Pentium III with GeForce2 card - it ran without any problem at 1024x768, I even turned up the detail level on the graphics.

      And that's a three-year old motherboard with just PC100 SDRAM, and a 100Mhz system bus. It's still just an ordinary hard drive, no UltraDMA, the video card and CPU are both a year old... heck, I couldn't sell the whole thing second hand for more than a couple hundred bucks.

      And it runs Wolfenstein great at 1024x768!

      I don't plan to upgrade until the next ID game engine comes out. I don't know what Intel and AMD are going to do in a year when everyone's upgraded... where is the software that needs more power than last years system?

      Unless you're doing video editing, software development, or something else unusual, there hasn't been any need to update for over a year now.
  • by roguerez (319598) on Friday January 11, 2002 @06:30PM (#2826291) Homepage
    I tried to post a comment at that site, but it seems their comments system is down (slashdotted?). Anyway, I'll post it here:

    I miss a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse, a floppy drive and a cpu cooler (you'll need a good one with that CPU: it will not burn out your pocket, but WILL burn out itself and your motherboard if you don't cool it properly).

    Furthermore, keeping a cdrom drive out of the equation isn't really honest. Almost any desktop box needs one. I don't know whether a NIC is included in the "system of the year", but this is the same as for a cdrom: almost any desktop box needs one.

    I guess we can double the price for this so called budget system, because working without input and output devices (silly unneeded things like a monitor/keyboard etc) is a bit difficult.
  • Looks like they're /.'d, i guess it just goes to show that a budget desktop isn't a budget server.
  • Nice idea, and I'd buy one if they were on sale, but it does seem to be missing a few things such as a keyboard, mouse, monitor, and most importantly a power supply (I doubt that $40 case comes with a $300 Athlon power supply). No CD-RW or DVD either, but I guess that's OK for a budget box.

    Does anyone actually sell these type configurations for $500 ?
  • Uncreative System (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tempmpi (233132) on Friday January 11, 2002 @06:35PM (#2826327)
    I think there system lacks any creativity. Now that you can buy all the processing power an average user needs very cheaply, why do they just make a budget system centered on performance ?
    They should made a system centered on low noise or one that has good look or something other that isn't found in every system now.
    What about making a small and quite system using a shuttle sv24 barebone [hwextreme.com] with a passive cooled c3 ? Or a dual duron ?
    And why did they just use 256 mb ? Now that ram is that cheap, they should brought at least 512 mb while that 1.4 ghz athlon isn't really needed. Or what about ECC sdram ?
    • They should made a system centered on low noise or one that has good look or something

      Exactly. That's why I ditched my full tower case for this three-foot cube [caseoutlet.com] (the black and blue version which is a spank ass queen in person). It cost $200, but I'm the only one on my block that has one. And when I bring women home with me and they cry out "Good God, what is that jet-engine sounding ottoman-sized monolith sitting next to your desk!?!," it's worth every penny.

  • 1.4 Ghz? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ImaLamer (260199) <john.lamarNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday January 11, 2002 @06:38PM (#2826345) Homepage Journal
    I'm running 750 Mhz Slot A Athlon [classic] on a windoze box. This is a smoking machine even with the huge over head of XP. All the fluffy things don't seem to slow me down.

    The difference seems to be the amount of ram. I've went from 128 to 384 and cut my boot time in half, so it seemed. When I dual-booted from this box, linux smoked and I've never seen a faster machine.

    My linux box is simply a 333Mhz K6-2. Nothing seems to be slow there. I must admit that I don't run X, quake or etc... but it seems to be enough.

    A budget system at 1.4Ghz seems to be a little much. But while we are on the subject, the amount of RAM seems to be low considering that RAM is so cheap.

    I could be wrong, I can access the page.. or any page at Linuxwatch.
  • by itsnotme (20905) on Friday January 11, 2002 @06:40PM (#2826354) Homepage
    One weird thing that I saw, I was looking up the mobo and some of the stats on the motherboard say that it supports up to 1.2ghz cpu's and yet they're trying to put a 1.4ghz cpu into it?
  • by UserChrisCanter4 (464072) on Friday January 11, 2002 @06:47PM (#2826392)
    I noticed the circular for my local Fry's advertised a desktop (w/o monitor) for $299 this morning. 900Mhz Celeron, 128MB RAM, 20GB HDD. When I looked closer, it said it was linux 1.3-based (whatever the hell that means, aren't we on the 2.4x kernel now?). The ad declared that it supported "e-mail, web browsing, and word processing", and that "Windows [was] available for additional charge". So it really does appear that these sorts of machines are being sold retail.
    • I live in Dallas, and noticed that ad also. It's not a 900mhz celeron here, it's some gimpy Cyrix III 733. Actually, here's the link to Outpost.com that advertises it: http://shop4.outpost.com/{PD9xBw5eHHyDFgHKdVuDKKeg 00KnawTRGn4LuypMZ87dJ475kx47|-923709581810043960/1 68694047/6/7001/7001/7002/7002/7001/-1|-7215197308 176380348/168694048/6/7001/7001/7002/7002/7001/-1| 1010790663969}/product/3194620/ Damn what a messy, horrible link. At any rate, I don't know what a "Linux 1.3 shell" refers to, maybe Caldera 1.3 or something?
    • I think you're confusing two systems advertised by Fry's (unless they are advertising something different where you live than they are here).

      The 900MHz Celeron is $349 (after rebates) and is from eMachines. It includes Windows XP.

      Their $299 "Linux 1.3" machine is a 733MHz Cyrix III chip. It does not come with WIndows XP, though you can buy it as an OEM-priced add-on.

      I bought the latter last week (after my server failed to come back up after a power failure). It's a nice small case, fairly quiet, though it does have a fan. I ignored their lame Linux 1.3 system, and swapped in my old disk with RH 7.2. (I had to re-install, because the old kernel was for an Athlon.)

      So far it seems like a nice enough system. It is running as bothner.com. I use my laptop for development, so speed has not been a problem. I haven't managed to get the video to show more than 1280x1024, though Xconfigurator claims the builtin AGP card has 8MiB.

  • by mystery_bowler (472698) on Friday January 11, 2002 @06:49PM (#2826398) Homepage
    on such a system, because that would explain why it's /.'d all to heck. ;)

    No chance of a mirror, eh? How about a Google cache?

  • Free (Score:2, Funny)

    My Dad threw it out last year, A P75 with 32 MB and an 800 MB dirve. Its headless, but it runs slackware 8.0 and is my dns, mail server, web server, ssh server and pop mail client for the whole family. For style I spray painted it green, but ran out 3/4 of the way. Gotta love it.
    • I have a lab at work that includes a few interesting boxes, a bunch of routers and switches and network connections to test and demonstrate and teach the stuff we sell, and a bunch of helper boxes whose job is to answer pings, display tcpdumps, run web and ftp servers with exciting files like "1MBjunk.txt" and "100MBjunk.txt", run MRTG and other network collectors, etc. Because AT&T was once a computer company (:-), we have a bunch of boxes that the IT People (Mordac the Preventer and his bean-counting kin) have forgotten about, with cute little death star logos on them and then-fast P66 processors, but usually disk drives that are 1GB or less.


      RED HAT REALLY CHOKES BADLY AUTOPARTITIONING SMALL DISKS. It likes to keep things proportional and make sure there's lots of room in /home and /var and /tmp, and picks how much space /usr and I think /usr/local get, and if you try to install GNOME or KDE, even after ditching enough other stuff to make the "total" space requirements fit, it wants to put more stuff in /usr than it has room for and doesn't adapt well. And of course now, it can't even do an install from one CDROM (on the web server, since my P66s didn't have CDs), and insists that all the files it downloads from FTP need to be in the same directory, so even my FTP server's once-huge 4GB drive doesn't have enough space to install 1.3GB of CDROM on the hard drive, whereas before it could serve any netbooters from the CDROM in the CDROM drive (not blazingly fast, but I don't need that.) Sigh.

  • by WyldOne (29955)
    You don't have permission to access / on this server

    And I thought we were slash.

    But, Hemos you should give them fair warning before you post a hardware realted article. You know we're a bunch of OCP junkies
  • Since AMD stopped production of the K6 line of CPUs quite some time ago, finding older CPUs can be a bit hard. And even so they are still about equal in cost to the Duron line of proccessors.

    A local middle school recently got a bunch of K6-(2/3) 555mhz systems for $269 each, the best that can be done with Durons is ~$450 each.

    The main advantage to the older K6 line though is the wide variety of cheap integrated Super Socket 7 motherboards that were made.

    Computer prices could drop another $100-$150 if some more companies made some cheap OEM-ish integrated motherboards for the K7 line of CPUs. (the few ones that are out there are not in large supply for third party buyers and they are not /nearly/ cheap enough to be a better deal then a seperate video card. Integrated sound is doing good on the platform though.)

    Prices would drop even further if a cheezy 1 IDE channel Make Stuff Work style Motherboard was made. You know, 2 RAM slots, 2 or 3 PCI slots, integrated AGP, etc. Heh. Yah it would suck for many causes, but damnit, I have had quite a few requests for such systems! (I do custom build jobs, most of what people want now days are e-mail terminals with a wordproccessor)
    • Prices would drop even further if a cheezy 1 IDE channel Make Stuff Work style Motherboard was made

      The exist - you can get basic mobos with 2 PCI slots and some IDE for cheap. There's not much point in doing less - it saves you little and limits your target market too much

  • Sure would be nice to see more than

    "403 go away and don't bother me".
  • Slashdotted Servers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by batobin (10158) on Friday January 11, 2002 @10:18PM (#2827300) Homepage
    I really don't see what the big deal is with slashdotted servers. I've had two of my own articles posted on slashdot, and rode the wave just fine....ON A CABLE MODEM.

    Yes, it's true. I hosted a review / editorial site on a Cox@home cable modem for around a year and a half. Never had a problem. It maxed at 30k/sec upstream. Images might have been slow to load, but the entire page always loaded in less than 10 seconds (and rest assured, it had plenty of images, screenshots, and data to load). I think the problem lies less with the amount of visitors going to the site, but with the inefficient page designs with inefficiently placed and uncompressed images.

    But then again, maybe I'm just blowing my own horn. :)

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