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Indy or Alpha the "easier" platform? Gnome?

I hope this list is OK for my user level questions:

I've just bought an SGI Indy (P22, 64MB RAM, small Disk) and
two Alphas (300 MHz or so, not yet switched on or tested).

Which architecture do you think is the "easier" one to start
with? I want to install Debian or NetBSD on all machines in
the long run, but I don't have too much time ATM, so if one
architecture has more problems, I will try the other one first.

That particular Indy has no floppy. Will that be a problem 
(I can connect an external SCSI CD-Rom or setup a bootp/tftp
server to boot from)?

Furthermore: With my experience of i386 hardware it seems to
me that above Indy (with its 64MB RAM) is a bit underpowered
for a full Gnome setup. I assume it is best used as a X-Terminal 
for an moderate PC "Host" to run the apps on (say, a 2GHz Athlon).
Does that sound about right, or should I try to run the apps
locally nevertheless?

Is there anything I should do while there is still Irix
on that machine, before installing Linux?


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