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Matts (1087)

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I work for MessageLabs [] in Toronto, ON, Canada. I write spam filters, MTA software, high performance network software, string matching algorithms, and other cool stuff mostly in Perl and C.

Journal of Matts (1087)

Friday December 12, 2003
06:38 AM

Need a new machine

[ #16302 ]

My current computer (ted) that runs and pretty much my entire network is slowly dying. It's started making horrible noises. So I have two options:

- Fix the noises (this probably means just a new PSU as it's the fan making the noise)
- Get a new computer.

On the latter option I have been looking around at what I can get. I can go for basically three types of machines:

- A 1U machine (because one day I may wish to rackmount it)
- A cheapo build-it-yourself box from somewhere like Scan
- A pre-built desktop

So the other day I went and looked around PC World (yes, don't say it, I know) for their cheapest options. I found that the cheapest PC they sell is the eMac. Strange, but true.

So now I'm left with a dilemma - can I run my network (email, DHCP, DNS, Web, NAT, firewall, etc) from an eMac? I think probably yes, but it might prove more difficult than getting a cheapo build it myself box and sticking linux on it.

Two interesting side-points: I don't have a monitor in the house any more (last one broke so I threw it out) so the eMac solves that problem nicely. And secondly you don't seem to be able to buy a PC for less than £500 (I don't *need* a P4-2.5Ghz thank you - ted is a P3-500 and manages just fine). If anyone knows different I'd like to hear it.

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  • One of these (Score:2, Insightful)

    1U boxes are all very well but they don't really care about the noise they make. This may be of concern in a residential setting ;-)

    Have you thought about one of these [] ? - small, fanless, reasonably quick and not too expensive.
  • I have a eMac at home and it does basically what you are asking for. 1000 euros, + upg to 1Gb ram from crucial, and it's great! Ideally it would run Mac OS X Server, but normal panther works fine. You could also run Yellow Dog Linux. It's up to you.
    life is too short
    • Plus, if you get AppleCare you are totally covered for 3 years. I usually don't go for the extra cost service agreements on things like electronics, but when I think of all the things that can happen with a computer over 3 years, it seems like a good deal. This is especially true if you're going to have it running 24/7 as a server.
  • cheapo PCs make a huge amount of noise. However if you're going for something slow it should be a bit quieter ;) The mini-ITX boxes seem really nice, FWIW.
  • For my last box, which replaced an old P133 home file/database server, I went with a VIA mini-ITX single-board system. They're small, low-power, and are reasonably quiet. They run RH8 just fine, and people are building them into just about anything []. (This dual boot mod [] is particularly clever). And (at least in the US) they're fairly inexpensive. I built one out for about $325 USD, but that didn't include a 60Gb drive rescued from a different system. The downside is that the on-board graphics are limited to
  • So I have two options:

    - Fix the noises (this probably means just a new PSU as it's the fan making the noise)
    - Get a new computer.

    You forgot "turn up the stereo". :-P