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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: edm
2005-06-29 09:13 am (UTC)
AFAIK the DIN-5 <-> Mini-Din-6 (PC to PS/2 keyboard) adapters are just physical connector adapters, and the keyboards (at least from the AT/286 ones onward) are electrically and logically compatible. The PS/2 <-> USB keyboard adapters are a USB HID device on one side, and a PS/2 keyboard on the other side, and I believe convert the PS/2 serial events (keyboards are slow, sync, serial) into USB HID events on the USB bus (and presumably vice versa).

So to the best of my knowledge the PC keyboard -> adapter -> PS/2 -> adapter -> USB chain should work just fine. One day I'll have to find out; I've been using a AT keyboard since I owned a 286, and it's getting moderately common to find "legacy free" PCs these days with no PC or PS/2 keyboard ports.

For the "hybrid" approach you mention (some apps remote, some local) you might want to look at LTSP (http://www.ltsp.org/) -- I believe they've got some wrappers for the "run displayed remotely" and "run remotely displayed on that console" situations. (They also found that video playback, etc, i best done locally on the relevant machine.)

Finally a dedicated network link between the compute server and the (X) display server definitely helps with latency issues on running X applications remotely from the display. Especially -- these days -- if it were a gigabit connection. But it's still be noticable with all the badly written, latency sensitive applications. (That said, Firefox is much better run remotely than, eg, Netscape 4, ever was.)

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