[sf-lug] Rick's explanation of his internet setup.

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Jan 3 09:45:02 PST 2006

Hmm, I did warn that I was going to be rushed.

> As a (hypothetical) system designer, your task is to allocate your
> spending dollars in the various categories so that they do the most 
> good, in the sense that (theoretically) shifting a dollar from that 
> aspect of the machine to any other would result in slower and less
> satisfactory performance.  That's what a bottleneck _is_.

More accurately, that's what the absence of a bottleneck is.

> The machine that actually _did_ fill that role (on the T-1) back around
> 1997 also simultaneously served as my main desktop box -- multiple
> xterms, AbiWord, Netscape Communicator, Gnumeric, Window Maker for the 
> window manager.  It was my now-antique K2/233 with 128MB of PC-100 [...]

That's "K6/233", AMD's predecessor to the Athlon.[1]  Pretty much the last
x86 CPU to run super-cool -- though Intel's Pentium M "mobile" series is
reported to be respectable.

It's a measure of just how much CPU power (usually) doesn't matter in
(at least conservative-type) typical Linux deployments that the 1997-era 
K6 box is _still_ pretty zippy, either functioning as pretty much any
type or server or running lightweight X11 desktop environments such as
Window Maker.  Of course, if I tried to animation-rendering work, or KDE
with all the chrome-effects enabled, it'd be toast.

[1] In all aspects other than floating-point performance, it was the
equal of the PPro and Pentium II CPUs of the same era -- and cost a
great deal less, _and_ ran a lot cooler.

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