Well, I succumbed to the lure and got another computer to tinker with. Did I need it? Nope 🙂
So, the computer was a Fry’s CPU / Motherboard combo. I always tell myself that I will never get these, but I always do. Anyways, it was the Pentium D 805 with an ECS RC410L/800M motherboard for $130. Wow. I mean you can’t even get the CPU for that much at Newegg (this is the one that overclocks to speeds faster than $1000 processors). I don’t know how Fry’s makes any money on these deals.
Anyways, I bought some memory and a new powersupply. Those set me back another $150. A video card wasn’t needed since it has an ATI x300 GPU on board, which is perfect for 99% of the stuff that I do. At this point in time, I need a very fast CPU and a decent GPU (good texturing and fll rate)
I took it all home, and put it together. The process was relatively painless. Only a few things have changed. I don’t have a newer case, but apparently cases these days don’t need to have a speaker and have all those little switches and led’s standardized to one single ribbon cable. They even have standardized headers for USB and audio since the newer cases bring those out to the front.
The next part was to get Linux going on this thing. I tried a few old hard drives that already had linux on them. They worked ok, but then one of the drives failed when I was going to install something on it. Luckily, I had a few more decent drives lying around.
After making things proper, it was time to install a Linux. Lots of people have been recommending Ubuntu, so I downloaded the ISO via uTorrent and gave it a try. Overall, it is probably the best Linux disto I’ve used. Everything was graphical and it just worked. Here is where they all fall apart. When something isn’t quite right, you have no idea how to fix it 🙂
Here is something interesting, though. The desktop is getting better. The keyboard shortcuts are all straight windows. I mean even Alt-Space works! The problem with it is the same one. It runs on X, which totally holds back any real good UI.
Good, extremely cheap CPU for large computations Linux is no desktop, but getting closer