Re: [SLE] "ideal" motherboard etc? (+ part 2)

From: Carl Hartung (suselinux_at_cehartung.com)
Date: 04/13/04

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    To: suse-linux-e@suse.com
    Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2004 14:55:54 -0400
    
    

    > As I read the posts and compare my experiences with
    > SuSE and my equipment I bean to ask myself (and now
    > you):
    >
    > If I were to build a pesonal use system from scratch
    > what products would I use (What would I AVOID)?
    >
    > It seems my Asus A7N8X-E board is less than ideal
    > (especially the ethernet and Nvidia pieces.) So too
    > my "left over" M$ keyboard and 4-button+scroll mouse.
    >
    > So, if you were starting over for a personal home
    > system (and wanting to have a single networked
    > computer - your wife's win98 machine) what would you
    > do?
    <-snip->
    > ooops, I forgot
    >
    > specifics for video, audio, CD/DVD R-W, etc., etc.
    > would be interesing too. (Though some of the DVD
    > suggestions have been in the posts recently).
    >
    > Thanks twice
    > StephenW

    This is a very interesting topic, Stephen.

    FWIW, next time, I've decided to spend a few extra bucks and buy a
    pre-configured, pre-built, pre-tested, warranted system from an
    established and reputable systems integrator who regularly builds, sells
    and supports Linux systems. I lived in Silicon Valley and worked in the
    computer industry there from circa 1986/87 (i80286-AT) through the
    dot-com boom, Y2K and the bust... with about half of that time spent in
    hardware; the other half in busdev and software. I know how to spec and
    build systems myself. I troubleshoot, upgrade and repair all kinds of
    systems for customers. But I've decided that it isn't cost effective,
    productive or even fun, anymore, trying to be the 'expert' on every
    piece of computer hardware. The hardware, alone, has grown
    geometrically more complex and - with today's high frequencies and
    smaller packages - much more sensitive to heat, power and signaling
    issues. Some of the items that must continually be monitored include:

    - quality of cables/connectors/adapters

    - quality of fans & stated vs. actual cfm's and MTBF

    - power supplies (auto-ranging or not? WXY manufacturer vs. XYZ
    manufacturer's product delivers truly 'clean' output and is most
    reliable?)

    - durability/flexability of chassis & skins vis a vis
    replacement/upgrade parts, ease of service

    - seemingly endless firmware and module/driver revisions in a constantly
    metamorphosing sea of add-ons and peripherals

    - OS patches, updates & upgrades; how these affect the above mentioned
    modules/driver & firmware revisions

    - MTBF and MTTR for the overall package, once built

    The depth and variety of considerations is almost endless while margins
    in hardware are pretty thin. So - in my case, anyway - it just makes
    more sense to leverage an existing builder's experience and resources,
    particularly including momentum. That way, I'm more often dealing with
    real user and applications/business issues instead of tripping over
    (potentially fatal) "gotcha's."

    All that being said, if you prefer to build your own - and, of course,
    there's nothing wrong with that - then you're on the right track:
    'Certified'/'Supported' hardware databases can be researched; ditto
    forums & lists (such as this one) where actual users share experiences,
    resources and solutions; ditto other web resources like the following,
    as a start:

    <http://hardware.redhat.com/hcl/genpage2.cgi>
    <http://metalab.unc.edu/LDP/HOWTO/Hardware-HOWTO.html>

    So, Stephen, I hope these observations help you in some way. Thanks for
    reading my two cents & regards,

    - Carl
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    C. E. Hartung Business Development & Support Services
    Dover Foxcroft, Maine, USA
    http://www.cehartung.com

    "Jello is never very interesting until it is set and sure of itself!"

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