My Chaintech AIV5 motherboard died explosively Friday night - two caps on the back of the mobo vomited all over the board. We were sitting around listening to music when there was a loud POP and the machine went down completely. :(((
An hour later, after swapping parts around - and pulling the board and looking at the mess :), I had determined that the mobo was indeed dead, and swapped it out for a FIC board I'd had around for a while. A few tweaks to the kernel modules and back up again. (I love linux, wholly different mobo, just menuconfig, recompile and all is Love again :)
That mobo - the chaintech - cost me $85 in '01; and it gave me nearly three years of 24/7 service, with no problems whatsoever (I'm not going to talk about the two times I dealt with Chaintech's phone tech support, I nearly went postal :). But that little mobo gave me some really, really good service. I hope the FIC lasts at least as long - it's a third-hand mobo that's been sitting in a box in my parts tote for at least a couple years; mainly because at the time I obtained it, the onboard sound drivers for windows would randomly lock up the system. Seems like a long time ago, I actually ran Windows at the time :D I was pleasantly surprised after I installed the FIC; I hadn't had it in a antistatic bag, had other parts and pieces in the same box and it got dinged a bit, but it booted right up and has run flawlessly for nearly 48 hours now.
Now I have no backup motherboards for this system left - I sold the others I had when I moved here 15 months ago. So I'm wondering where to go from here. I'd like to upgrade to an Athlon64 system, but that involves replacing a lot more than the motherboard. :(
I do need to have a "moments-notice" backup board here, one that I could swap out easily with this one if necessary. It has to be linux friendly, and it has to be cheap - money is tight right now, and if I'm going to upgrade to a '64 system this fall, I have to get by as cheap as possible in buying a backup mobo. Does anyone have any suggestions? It's a Duron system with 133mhz ram, and I do like the Via chipset, it's a no problem sort for me, regardless of what others say.
While I'm on the topic, I'd love to hear some opinions on what the best route would be for '64 upgrades. I run Gentoo and the latest linux kernels; my only real requirements for a 64 board would be linux/stability, at least 5 PCI slots and upgradability. And cheap, um, inexpensive. A hundred - hundred fifty bucks, tops. :)
(I can live with 3 PCI slots if cmi or ac97 sound and something as nice as the 8139 nic chipset is onboard). Raid would be nice, but it's not really needed; I know that SATA is becoming common on many of the boards, but I don't have any experience with it and likely won't need it for a while, tho it'd be nice to have for upgrade purposes when I feel like it. Seems like the SATA hardrives are becoming cheaper than the old UDMA IDE ones. Go figure :D
I've been perusing reviews and such of the latest boards, but they tell me little about what user experiences - particularly under linux - are like. Any links would be appreciated, I just don't have time to do the kind of exhaustive research that I used to :(
I don't know if anyone even watches my journal anymore... lol.
Cheers to all my friends; and if you were wondering where I've been the last few weeks, well, an old lady friend has re-entered my life, and we've been catching up. It's not love, but comfortable and very deep friendship going back 15 years. I have to say, this place doesn't look like the typical bachelor pad anymore :D It looks... almost like a home. Damned scary, :D.
Oh, and I converted from fluxbox to Enlightenment this weekend. I played with E some years ago, wasn't impressed. Now I am very impressed. VERY impressed, enough so that I spent most of the day today customizing E to my preferences. Sure has matured, and kudos to the dev teams at Enlightenment.org!! I'm seriously considering joining the team as a documentation grammar nazi - editing is something I'm very good at - they are unusually good at writing docs, but I still cringe every few paragraphs.
I could go on and on and on, but I'm going to cut this short.
Oh, and Hi everyone. Sorry it's been so long...