The ultimate Linux box?

— 9:09 AM on October 14, 2001

I saw the link on Slashdot to this article about building the ultimate Linux box, and I thought, "Oh no, software guys playing with hardware. It ain't gonna be pretty." Turns out these guys seem to know what they're doing. They picked a pretty solid spec for a high-end PC, with special attention to Linux compatibility.

Their picks unearthed a couple of interesting issues. First, these guys are all SCSI bigots in a bad way. I suppose that's not surprising given the difficulty of getting good IDE support under Linux, and this is a price-no-object project. Still, drives like this one make the penny-pinching ATA advocate in me think SCSI is just snooty. I'd rather spend the money elsewhere.

Next, funny thing: their SBLive! card caused lock-ups under Linux. Seems it was a PCI timing and/or IRQ sharing problem. This is on an AMD 760MP board. Perhaps it should be "Darth Creative"?

Finally, I love their pick of an old super-clicky IBM model M keyboard. Those super-springy things just rock. Everything else—even my beloved MS Natural Keyboards—isn't a real keyboard.

Overall, I'm impressed with the quality of their picks. They're not perfect, but they're not far from what I might have chosen. As I was reminded when helping draw up our School Box spec, finding the right balance for a full system spec ain't easy.

Like what we're doing? Pay what you want to support TR and get nifty extra features.
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