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Re: Which computer to buy ?

My advice, were you in the US, follows.  However, I have no idea if similar
prices exist where you are.  So you'll have to judge for yourself.
1:  get a cheap 88, 86, 286, or 386 system (say, $20-40) (stay away from
IBM, though, due to hardware incompatibilities later).

2.  Buy a big hard disk (say 4 Gigabytes, $30 used, just avoid Maxtor and
Samsung according to others on this debian-user listserver).   Repartition,
reformat your hard disk to meet the new standards.  Note that you can get
another hard disk and use it as a "slave" later, if you want.  Also buy a
cheap, working CD drive (say, $20).

3.  Determine if you have a motherboard or mainboard on your computer.
Mainboards have the disk controllers tied to the board, while motherboards
have the disk controllers tied to a card.  Whichever kind your 386 uses,
your new computer should use too.

4.  Find a new motherboard/mainboard with CPU already installed, that uses
DIMM memory.  Note that if you pick a PCI motherboard, you may have to take
everything out and drill new, properly matching holes in your steel case.
Or you'll have to find some other way to mount the board.  That's not a
problem, but you should be aware of this.  Get the fastest one you want.

5.  Transfer the motherboard, transfer all the cards, replacing any
equipment that is "WIN-" equipment, because Linux will not recognize it.
It's junk anyways.   Also, you may well want to consider an HP-IB card, if
you are wanting to run lab equipment.  As I understand it, this card is a

6.  and then load it with as much DIMM memory as you can afford.  (I say
DIMM, because that kind of memory is the cheapest right now in Lithuania,
and the situation might be the same where you are.)    Don't forget to also
buy cache RAM if you lack it, though.

7.  Install your system.

My guess is that for $700 you should be able to get an 800-1200 MHz system
this way, loaded with a ton of RAM.  One thing to consider, though:  My
brother tried to run the serial ports under Windows-95 DOS, and found that
either Windows or the PCI bus system pretty much messes up the timing of the
whole thing.  He ended up going with an old 386 for that purpose.  So if you
are thinking of running your lab equipment through the serial ports, you
might reconsider and instead keep the 88/86/286/386, and plow the extra
money into a good second system.  But if you are going to do it through the
HPIB board or through Linux, I suspect that things might come out a bit

-----Original Message-----
From: Antonio A. Lobato <tom@splicenet.com.br>
To: debian-user@lists.debian.org <debian-user@lists.debian.org>
Date: Saturday, February 03, 2001 10:35 AM
Subject: Which computer to buy ?

> Hello !
> I will buy a new computer and would like to know your sugestions. Here, in
>Brazil, I have U$ 700 to buy it. I will use-it to make small C programs, to
>navegate in the internet, to make laboratory works (in the graduate
>To UNSUBSCRIBE, email to debian-user-request@lists.debian.org
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