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Re: First Box

Wow, ask a question and use a bullshit email address.  Nice.

Quoting Vonleigh Simmons (nospam_(_at_)_illusionart_(_dot_)_com):
> 	This is going to be a large email so please bare with me. I'm going 

> 1. The case:
> 	The case they like in the article is an Antec SX630II which is only 
> $65. I've looked at a lot of cases and they all seem to be $200 and up, 

Sounds fine.  The Powersupply and cooling are the most important
things to life span.  I'll generally only use Antec power supplies
(5V is 5V, not 4.5V).
Frys has lots of cases for < $100.  So do their peers.
Mine lives in a cabinet.  4 fans, 400 Watt PS, room for 5 disks.
It's not ugly, but that was incidental.
If found a nice Enermax case with 350W PS for $75 6 weeks ago.

> 2. Processor:
> In the article they recommend the Athlon XP 2400+ (2.0 GHz) OEM.

I have an ECS mobo I like and Frys (and others, I'm sure) were
selling it, the K7S5A-Pro with a Athlon XP 2400+ for $99.  I have
a 900MHz that's just fine.  Built in ethernet, sound (I don't use)
USB and so forth.

You *need* 2+ GHz for Windows.  While 150MHz Sparc 10 is getting
a little annoying to build on now that I use x86 > 1GHz more often,
a 486 can firewall a T1 just fine and a P200 is pretty brisk with
X and fvwm (GNOME/KDE are less sprightly).  I've gotten P200's
for free.

> 3. Motherboard:
> 4. The rest:
> 	For the video card, sound card, input devices and hard drive I 

You miss something critical: RAM.
You can buy that $30 512MB SIMM.  You may spend 12 hrs debugging
your machine when you find it's a TAD out of tolerance in heat.
(part II of why I use good power supplies - 4.5V + marginal RAM =
signal 11s.  I had a machine that would core all over when it was
compiling hard and running graphics (like a hyperactive screen

So I use Kingston, Mushkin and Crucial.

My ECS board runs OS of my whim at the moment, it mounts all data
from a 2U that's always on - the house server.  It's got decent
video, mediocre sound, a really good IBM PC keyboard that I've
hauled around for years and a USB trackball.  I lent my Roland UA-5
to a friend who's doing USB work for FreeBSD with hopes that I'll
have external sound with RCS & TOSLink outputs working on it.  I'm
tired of it only working on MacOS.

"The Rest" is up to its role.  If you're hacking on it, good video
and an LCD screen are worth it. Companies are finding that LCD's
will pay for themselves over CRTs in power savings and airconditioning
savings in under a year.  You can't do fine color work on LCDs,
but most of us don't do that.  I plug in a CRT when I want to do
accurate Photoshop/GIMP work.

My old house server was a K5/233 with 100GB of disk and a 16 port
serial card.  Old machines *will* die (I've lost two Sparc2's this
year) and I moved to a 2U which was quieter, lower power consumption
and not as likely to eat it.  It used to be a DSL firewall until
I got a (dead silent) soekris a while ago (133MHz) for wireless
and firewall and house DHCP and DNS.

I use a boot disk (2GB is plenty) and have the rest of stuff on
large disk.  data disk != boot disk.

$70    $100      $50  = $220  for top components at 256MB_(_at_)_2GHz,
                              don't be cheap.

Add more fan ($10), video ($0-$400) and keyboard/mouse ($free->$10->$100)

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