Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Need a new machine

I recently posted to 9fans that I think I would like to get a new dedicated plan 9 box.

Here's my wish list:

  • Small footprint
  • Low power consumption
  • Connection to a large amount of storage, perhaps a 1TB disk external if I can configure it as such.
  • Good Plan 9 support
  • Low cost
I'm finding people are migrating towards dual core Intel Atom boards. This seems like a reasonable start. SATA disks would be nice, and Solid State Disk (SSD) would be even better on the SATA interfaces. Sound support is really not needed, as I'm never in my office, and there's plenty of good USB sound devices out there it seems, like these Turtle Beach Audio Advantage Devices. So adding that later isn't going to be very difficult.

I was kind of disappointed recently to find my old trusty AMD box's CMOS battery was dead, and that I had to do a lot of interesting memory searching to remember some of the configuration I had in the BIOS to even get FreeBSD running again. Then when I tried to load a recent Plan 9 (new 9load based) it wouldn't even find anything to boot from but bios0 and fd0.

This machine's floppy drive is shot, and bios0 is the first hard disk in the machine, so that's not going to work when I'm trying to boot/install from a CD....

The key is I've got to get a low-cost machine... I just don't have a ton of money to throw around these days.

In the meantime I've been doing well with VMWare Fusion 2.x on Mac OS X to get a terminal server running. But I don't like using that for long term stuff.

One day, I might see what it would take to get Plan 9 ported to what seems like will be inevitable quad core ARM servers. Then perhaps I'll take a swing at a port. Plan 9 seems like a great OS for a platform such as that. Might be easier to get Inferno going though depending on the hardware.

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