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Brad Fitzpatrick

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Slow computer [Jun. 28th, 2005|09:12 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick

I occasionally notice that my computer is old:
papag:~ $ cat /proc/cpuinfo 
processor       : 0
vendor_id       : GenuineIntel
cpu family      : 6
model           : 8
model name      : Pentium III (Coppermine)
stepping        : 6
cpu MHz         : 798.287
cache size      : 256 KB

And only 750 MB of memory.

But you can't beat absolutely silent, ya know? Once you go silent, no computer works for me anymore.

I really need to use one of the other (much faster, much louder) machines in my house, since I've given up on "silent computing" systems which never are.

I think the answer is:
-- USB keyboard and mouse (done)
-- USB extender over Cat5
-- DVI over fiber or something
-- audio.... maybe my USB audio DA converter would work? not sure the bandwidth on those USB over Cat5 things, but should work considering how piss-slow regular USB is.

[User Picture]From: jaybonci
2005-06-29 05:40 am (UTC)

My same problem.

I'm using a 700 mzh, and it's basically quiet enough for me. What I'd absolutely love is a good remote computing solution, even if I had to have a box or to run wires. My problem is both the potential noise of a new computer, and the heat output of the several machines under my desk. If I could run, say, 20-50 ft of some kind of wire to some kind of KVM type setup, I'd be the happiest man on the planet.

I could stick my machines in the basement and have a local CD-Rom drive if I need to put media in something (incredibly rare).

So basically, I'd love to hear with what you come up with for your solution. I'm still looking (albeit lazily) myself.


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[User Picture]From: edm
2005-06-29 08:58 am (UTC)

Re: My same problem.

For example, Raritan Paragon KVM switches:


(and others on that site). They'll easily reach 50 feet through Cat-5, although I'm not sure what video bandwidth they claim (eg, very high resolution, high refresh video might be asking a bit much). AFAIK they redigitise the video, and send it, so the bandwidth is definitely better than running 50 feet of KVM cables. (It's analogue video though, not DVI, to the best of my knowledge. DVI, sent digitally, would seem more likely to handle high resolution without bluring.)

They definitely work okay for text consoles, and 800x600. One of my clients has one, and is very pleased with it. (There's even a "IP access" module for it which "works" but I definitely wouldn't recommend the IP access for daily use -- it's extrememly handy for emergency access when you're not in the right city though...)

FWIW, at 20 feet, just run good quality KVM cables to a good quality electronic KVM switch. (I've tended to use NovaView, but there are plenty of others; you want one which allows keyboard switching 'cause walking down to press buttons on the KVM switch gets old quickly.) At 20-30 feet, with well shielded cable, text consoles and 800x600 are very usable; I've not had reason to try to push it any further (I just use serial console for most of my servers anyway -- even the PCs). At a guess 1024x768@60Hz would be okay. The good quality KVM switches claim more, but you run into cable bandwidth issues on longer cables.

Depending on your CD-ROM requirements you may well find mounting it over the network as a file share is sufficient. Although in practice I've found in > 3 years of mainly using a single-spindle laptop (ie, hard drive only) that I so rarely need to access CD media that I can stand to walk to the machine room to do it. ("The Internet provides" :-) )

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