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Re: Migrating to Linux/Octave

From: James Knowles
Subject: Re: Migrating to Linux/Octave
Date: Thu, 07 Oct 2004 12:24:37 -0600
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AMD has done a great job of bang for the buck. AMD won't be phasing out 32-bit chips anytime soon, simply renaming and remarketing things. The Athlon XP will essentially become their low-end "bargain" CPUs. There are 64-bit Linux distributions, but I wouldn't consider it to be a must have unless you're wanting to eek out every bit of power.

My main concern is ensuring that the hardware is fuss-free. A couple of months ago I got a new motherboard, but didn't follow guidelines and am not happy with the hardware, though it works. I've had X lock up on me a few times in the last few months, which is *#)&@& annoying. Nvidia's drivers are kind of flaky. Great cards when they work, though.

Everybody has their opinions, but we've have little to no problems with AMD CPUs, ASUS mobos, 1GB+ RAM, Intel network cards, unfortunately the Matrox G400 style video cards are passe. I've not tried the latest Matrox cards, but since the Millenium II cards, we've been very pleased with them under Linux. We don't do anything fancy other than drive displays at very high resolutions; no 3D stuff, really.

Also, we install *two* hard drives and use software RAID to mirror the drives. Few things suck as bad a dead hard drive. It's uncommon, but RAID has saved the day repeatedly. Anybody remember years ago the IBM 30GB drives that rolled off a new factory in the former East Block -- Hungary IIRC??? Nasty failure rates. We lost four drives within a few months. Without RAID we would have been toast.

Of course, it all depends on what you want. I'm interested in workstations I don't have to futz with. ;-)

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