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I am new as you already probably know, but I was curious about donations. First, what kind of machine are you going to shoot for? Also, I would be happy to help, but I don't have a credit card. Is there an alternative method? Let me know
Distribution: Debian, Red Hat, Slackware, Fedora, Ubuntu
I would really like a machine that will allow for a good amount of future expansion. Something along the lines of dual GHz processors with a GB of ram (or more) would be great. There is no alternative method right now, but I am looking into a few.
Have you considered SUN kit? For substantially less than the price of dual Ghz Intel CPU stuff, you'd get a SERIOUS secondhand ultra, which would match or better the performance, and it will look and feel better. It'll run Mandrake, Red Hat, SUSE, Debian or Solaris, so plenty of choice.
Posted from an ultra1 running Solaris8, Opera 5 and Gnome 1.4. Not biased at all. My other machine is a pC!
Sun kit is always going to beat the pants of the x86 gear... but price man, price. Those Ultra Sparc 5's that still bring a tear to my eye that I missed them on Ebay all went for a $400 ballpark... that's the current cost of a Tyan AMD-SMP board and a pair of 1.2 Duron's. $200 in RAM later and Risc or no Risc, that'll still smoke the Sparc... probably.
OK I'm currently playing with an ultra 1 170, not E. I have Solaris 8 going, and am valiantly trying to get Ximian Gnome onboard, as CDE is just a bit too much! However, I paid $130 US for it, OK shipping to UK was $90, but they would do anywhere in US for $25.
I think you're talking about an ultra 5 not a Sparc 5, the ultra is a modern PC, whereas the Sparc (I have 2) is an old one!!! If you had say $1500 to spend, you could buy a nice PC, or a serious second hand Sun server/workstation. I realised this when I was fretting about buying the ultra. I realised that the $ I was worrying about was what i spent on the case and hard drives for the machine I'm typing this on! I wish I'd bought Sun before I started building!!!
Just my 2p