Entries tagged computers:mine

Related tags: computers:vain, novatech, nvidia, xdmcp.

I Smell Pretty Oh So Pretty

Friday, 28 December 2007

Tomorrow, all being well, I should receive a new desktop computer. I ordered it upon Boxing Day so the turnaround is pretty good.

Right now I have two desktop machines:

yours.my.flat

This machine is occaisionally used by my partner, but primarily exists to remotely backup my various servers. It runs rsnapshot to do a full rsync of four machines every six hours.

vain.my.flat

This is my day-to-day desktop machine. It is going to be replaced, and this will be rotated into the backup machine. The machine yours will sit in a closet for a couple of months then be donated to somebody local.

As with all the machines I've bought recently the new one is coming from Novatech - (Another company whos website has a suprising hostname.)

The interesting parts of the spec are :

  • AMD X2 4200 processor
  • 2 x 500Gb SATA drives
  • 4Gb memory

The biggest difference to me will be the significantly increased disk space which means that I'll be able to remove the external 120Gb USB hard drive I currently house my MP3 collection upon. By retiring vain and moving my current desktop machine to be the "random guest machine" and backup host I'll also have a lot more space for storing backups upon. (Full database backups every six hours; I'm paranoid...)

Having 4Gb of memory will also mean that I can run more than 2 or 3 Xen guests at the same time.

My plan is to setup at least the following guests:

  • sarge.security-build.xen
  • etch32.security-build.xen
  • etch64.security-build.xen
  • etch32.desktop.xen
  • etch64.desktop.xen

The desktop machines will run GDM / X11 and will be available for logins via xdmcp - so that I can have a fully seperate working environment which is pristine and easily regenerated. Giving 5 xen instances 256Mb of memory each will leave me with close to 3Gb of disk for the host and that is three times what I hav enow!

All in all I'm looking forward to the new machine enormously a bargain at ~ £290.

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I'm going to give it all of my loving, its going to take up all of my time

Sunday, 24 December 2006

New computer is working in a nice stable fashion although with no working USB for no reason that I can fathom. (Plug in a device and nothing happens. No kernel messages, etc)

I will document this properly a little later, and update the map to match.

All told the new machine is:

  • Motherboard: Nvidia Nforce N570 SLi Chipset
  • Processor: AMD X2 AM2 4200 Dual Core
  • Memory: 1Gb. (2×512Mb)
  • Disk: 1×320Gb SATA drive.
  • Graphics: PCI-Express ATI Radeon Extreme AX300SE

The graphics give me 1280×1024 which is as much as I can handle on my 17” TFT display, and didn’t require any non-free drivers.

I wandered into a couple of local stores and said “I’m looking to buy a graphics card, what do you have in the PCI express flavour?”. The answers ranged from:

  • Nothing .. sold out.
  • NVIdia .. something .. £100+
  • ATI Radeon £39.99

So whilst I wanted to get an NVIdia card since they traditionally have had drivers which work for me I was happy to get the cheaper one and hope for the best. As it turns out I’m using xserver-xorg-video-ati with no problems and playing DVDs over NFS works without any visible lagging/artifacts/errors.

The system has 512Mb to itself, and the rest set aside for Xen guests. Right now I have six instances of Sarge running with 64Mb each. Things are nice and snappy :) (Since debootstrap failed on the 64 bit install of Sarge I had to download pre-made Sarge images, but still a painless process.)

Talking of Xen I found a weird problem where when starting up a new Xen guest the host would lose networking. I think this is an artifact of the NVidia 4 chipset – but adding irqpoll to the boot flag(s) seems to have fixed it.

OK enough about my new toy(s). Happy Holidays

(No complaints about my new cheesy Christmas Logo yet. Result!)

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