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Re: Need hardware recommendations

on Mon, Nov 13, 2000 at 12:49:54AM -0500, S . Salman Ahmed (ssahmed@pathcom.com) wrote:
> I have to get a new (desktop) system for my home use, and wanted to get
> recommendations from this list about some of the hardware components.
> I will be scavenging a sound card (SB PCI 128), video card (Matrox
> Millennium G200), and CD-ROM (Creative 52x) from the current desktop
> which will subsequently be turned into a headless server.
> Price isn't too much of a consideration since this desktop system will
> be a business expense and I will be leasing the system, but I don't want
> to go overboard :)


> (2) SCSI
> I intend to have a SCSI hard drive for this system, and maybe later a
> SCSI CD-Burner (see below). In a recent thread on this list, I heard
> someone mention the Adaptec Ultra160-based 29160N card.
> Which is newer: an UltraWide2-based card, or an Ultra160-based card ?
> I am not sure about which HD to consider. I need a SCSI HD >= 10 Gb.

You'll have trouble finding anything smaller.  I've got a couple of 
3 y.o. Seagate Baracuda 2 GB SCSIs, happy.  IBM's got a good rep (and
price to match).  Western Digital's been having problems lately, from
what I hear.

> I haven't ever had a system with SCSI components, so is there anything
> else I should know ? I'd prefer to stick with the latest SCSI
> technology.

It's easier than you think.  Chaining SCSI devices is fairly simple, and
tends to work.

> (3) Printer
> I am considering the HP 1100 laser printer. 

All I can say is good.  InkJet sucks, is slow, and is tremendously
expensive on a per-page basis.

> One odd thing I noticed about the HP 1100's specs on HP's site is that
> Windows 2000 is not listed under the supported OSes. Is this true ? 

Quite possibly.  HP's had a lot of trouble/issues in getting their Win2K
drivers out.  The Register (http://www.theregister.co.uk/) has been
carrying this story for a while, might search their archives.  Last I'd
heard, support was supposed to have been provided by mid-summer, I guess
they slipped.  HP got fairly radically screwed by Microsoft in the PC
space following a loudly trumpeted NT partnership ~1997.  Not much love
lost as far as I can tell.

> (4) Network Card
> I need a good 10/100 PCI card. How well are DLINK cards (e.g. DLINK
> 10/100 RTL) supported under Linux ? I was considering the 3Com
> 905/vortex PCI card[*], as I have had a linux system with it and it
> worked flawlessly.

I've got a LinkSys card, 10/100, US$14.  Love it.

> (6) Removable storage
> How well are Iomega ...

Iomage sucks eggs, blows chunks, and spews forth shit copiously.  They
simply suck beyond belief.  Zip is feasible, though I'd take the 120
superdisk in a heartbeat.  Jaz is simply too fucked to consider.  Cost
is rediculous ($200 will buy you a $40 GB IDE disk, or 2GB Jaz),
reliabilty stinks, and their customer service makes all the above seem
sterling.  The company should die a horrible death, after someone rather
more creative than me can think of ways to make them welcome it.  For
data storage, reliability and recoverability is paramount, Iomega's
walked all over their customers with over-hyped, under-performing
products which screw with your data.

I've blown over $1000 on Jaz drive and media, have never had the crap
work for more than a couple months at a stretch, frequently less, and
often found the drives and/or media DoA -- been through multiple drive
and media replacements on very light use.  Errors propogate -- bad media
damage drives, bad drives damage media.  GNU/Linux support from Iomega
is nonexistant.

If you need a backup solution, stick to SCSI tape.  It works.  It's
reliable.  It's proven.  Quality vendors (HP, IBM, Sony) stand by their
products.  For file transport and/or random (rather than sequential)
access, CDR or CDRW is pretty much the accepted standard.
Cartridge-mount IDE disk is a viable cross-system portable storage
solution, at a cost that blows Jaz out of the water.

If you're looking for a more advanced and flexible solution,
magneto-optical provides relatively large-format (1-2 GB) storage with
reasonably fast read and write rates, and solid reliability, but at a
cost.  The technology is slightly too expensive for widespread consumer
adoption, which is a real pity, but it's fairly popular in professional

Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>     http://www.netcom.com/~kmself
 Evangelist, Zelerate, Inc.                      http://www.zelerate.org
  What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?      There is no K5 cabal
   http://gestalt-system.sourceforge.net/        http://www.kuro5hin.org

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