Computer Upgrades

I’ve been busy the past few weeks upgrading the PC in the house. My PC was a 900MHz dinosaur and MJ’s PC was a 300MHz dust ball. Yes – I’m a technologist running the equivalent of the Ford Model-T. Looking around at what is available and the cost, I decided to continue the Petersen tradition of building my own machines. I ended up buying the motherboards, CPU and memory off eBay. I went with a 2-CPU Xeon 2.8GHz with 6GB of ram for my machine. For the other machine I went with a 2-CPU 2.2GHz Xeon with 3GB of ram. Of course with the Xeon class chips, If I can get a faster chipset, I can always swap them out for more speed. Each machine ended up costing me around $200 to get a server class machine. With me running the different software packages and trying to max out the machine, the most I have been able to do is to get the CPU’s up to about 40% utilization.

Most of the machines in the house are running Linux. I’m forced to keep a few Windows machines around. Cathy prefers Windows and MJ needs it to be compatible with school. If I had my way, Windows would be all but taken out of this house. I find that Linux has come a long way. It is faster, cleaner and very convenient upgrading the packages.

After an hour or two everyone in the household is able to move around on a Linux box getting email and browsing the Internet. Plus the software that is available for Linux is mind boggling. In fact I find myself installing three or four variants of software that fits a particular function and playing around deciding which one I like.

For the moment, I’m stuck with some Windows. But at least with the server class Xeon processors, they function reasonably well.

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