Subject: Re: Small, cheap systems...
To: Torsten Sadowski <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Richard Rauch <email@example.com>
Date: 03/03/2001 15:31:31
> minimal heat and power would point to an old laptop. Putting it on edge
> shouldn't be a problem because Harddisks are usually specified to work
I seem to recall that if you put a hard drive on its edge, you may need to
do a lowlevel reformat---and that the PC interface doesn't let you do that
very easily. (The different orientation affects head-seek, so the tracks
need to be re-laid, in my hazy understanding.) Is that bogus, or can I
readily redo the low-level format of a PC drive? (Or are laptops more
robust about changes in orientation?)
The big plus to anything i386-compatible is that I don't care at all if it
can build kernels or packages; I can do that on one of my real
systems. (^& (From the sound of it, anything less than 16MB, perhaps
anything less than 24 or 32 MB, thrashes badly on big compiles, due to
bloat in the GCC compiler.)
> flat or on edge. Display and keyboard might be an added value for the
I look at that as added expense. It pushed up the original cost, and
probably will tend to push up the cost of buyingsecond-hand. Likewise, my
understanding is that laptop ethernet adapters are more expensive (and
older laptops are less likely to have such a feature built in).
A SPARC Classic or LX has also been recommended. These apparently are
small (``lunchbox'' chasis), have ethernet built in, and can use a serial
console for everything.
They're pretty close to ideal as long as the serial console doesn't
interfere with the modem...
> P.S. The fixed fee for ISDN in Germany is a bit less than the fee for 2
Unfortunately, despite my family name, I'm a native of the U.S.A. ISDN
didn't look too attractive when I was choosing a new ISP a couple of years
ago. (And the NetBSD ISDN support is presently only useful in Europe,
isn't it?) I hope to go to DSL or cable-modem after I move, this summer.
If I don't, or can't, then I'll probably stick to dial-up.
"I probably don't know what I'm talking about." --firstname.lastname@example.org