Well, as I said in the last post, I have two new computers — one of which I really don't need. Why is that? Well, the one new one is a Shuttle SB62G2 mini-ITX barebones system that Shuttle sent me to review at OfB.biz. I'll be reviewing it in full very soon. It's a good system — it supports up to a 3.2 GHz HT-enabled Pentium 4, up to 2 gigs of ram, RAID, Serial-ATA, and other goodies. In my case, I did have to supply the processor, ram, hard disk and optical drive, so I went with something a bit more affordable — a Pentium 4 2.6 GHz with HT, 512 megs of ram, 1 80 gig Seagate SATA hard disk, and a CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drive. It came with what appears to be the OEM version of Mandrake Linux 9.2 Discovery Edition, which went on quite smoothly. Good system, although it is quite similar to my primary system (a Dell from late last year). I spent some time Monday and Tuesday working on this so that I can hopefully publish my results soon on OfB.
The most interesting part of this system was, believe it or not, that this was the first system I've actually built. I've done just about everything one can to a system, but I've never taken a brand new motherboard and added all of the components needed to turn it into a complete system. It went well — it was a simple process and surprisingly easy, considering the small amount of space inside a mini-ITX case.
Now the other system was one I actually planned on buying. Read on if you are curious.
Actually, I don't need this system anymore than I need the Shuttle system I got for free (or actually half price, since I had to buy components for it), but I ended up ordering it anyway in late October. It finally arrived last Wednesday. It's a 2 Hz Dual Processor PowerMac G5. It took almost a month since I custom ordered it with a Radeon 9800 and Bluetooth capability. It's very fast and very nice. I've been too busy to try it as much as I would have liked, but I did take some time over the holiday to set it up.
The thing that really is great about this particular G5 is that it came from TerraSoft, the Apple Authorized Proprietary Solutions Provider that specialized in GNU/Linux. Thus it came with not only Mac OS X Panther, it also came with a preliminary preview release of Teresita's Yellow Dog Linux for the G5. Yellow Dog looks nice, although (as you'd expect with a beta) I'm still fighting with it to give me a proper resolution in X11. Once I get some time to devote to it, I'm sure I'll get it working. Next week, perhaps. It's exciting since, as Linus Torvalds notes, the G5 offers an affordable platform for 64-bit GNU/Linux.
At any rate, TerraSoft deserves a large heap of praise. They got it on Friday, November 14 fresh from Apple. They then delayed shipment (with my permission) because they knew a substantially better version of YD would be out very soon. On Monday, the 24th, they thought they almost had it and they informed me they were upgrading my shipping from 3-day UPS to 2-day UPS for free so that it'd arrive before Thanksgiving. A bug in the new code delayed the system and so it wasn't able to ship until Tuesday. However, TerraSoft still managed to get it to me by Wednesday by eating the cost for next day air (roughly $70 extra dollars over 3-day shipping). In their rush to get it to me, they accidentally forgot to repack the System Restore disc, so this week they sent it to me ASAP using Next Day Air once again. Impressive!
Now I just need to find time to give it a good test.