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Comment RAM is the name of the game (Score 1) 272

I had the exact same requirement as you i.e to learn Oracle RAC with cheap commodity hardware in a home environment. I went with an AMD 780G based mobo with a 2.6Ghz AMD Dual Core. I packed with 8GB DDR2-800 which costs less than $100 nowadays. 1TB and 1.5TB disks are also reasonably cheap from newegg. Use Linux software RAID and LVM to speed up the disks..

I chose the recently free'd Citrix XenServer and I am mightily impressed. It just wipes VMware off the floor when it comes to I/O performance due to para-virtualized drivers. The NIC drivers are also fast and efficient. I solved the shared disk problem by making one VM an iSCSI target. I can present as many LUN's as I want to other VM's now. since all traffic goes over the internal NIC, performance is excellent.

The XenServer product also consumes far fewer system resources than VMWare and the quality and polish is really good. not to mention the excellent documentation that is available from Citrix

You can save a lot of money by choosing AMD based chipsets and a cheap Phenom or Athlon X2. CPU clock speed may not buy you as much as fast disks and RAM.

Submission + - Asus stuns Computex with £100 laptop (

srinravi writes: According to, Asus chairman Jonney Shih sprang a surprise during Intel's Computex keynote today with the announcement of a $190 laptop.

The notebook measures roughly 120 x 100 x 30mm (WDH) and weighs only 900g. The notebook boots in 15 seconds from its solid-state 2GB flash drive. The huge auditorium then burst into applause as Shih revealed the astounding price tag. Dubbed the 3ePC, Shih claimed the notebook is the 'lowest cost and easiest PC to use'.

The notebook uses a custom-written Linux operating system, much like the OLPC, though unlike the OLPC, Asus has chosen a more conventional interface. The 3epc is based on an unspecified Intel processor and chipset. Given the laptop's low cost, it may well be among the first products based on Tolopai, Intel's forthcoming Pentium M-powered SoC (system-on-chip). Along with a Pentium M core clocked between 600MHz and 1.2GHz, initial Tolopai chips are expected to integrate components traditionally found in PC northbridges and southbridges — a graphics processing unit (GPU), external memory and storage controllers, and peripheral interfaces such as USB and Ethernet.

Comment Pleasantly surprised with laptop support! (Score 5, Informative) 168

I downloaded the netboot version of 6.2RC2 some days back and was pleasantly surprised to find that almost all the hardware was correctly recognized. This is a 2 year old compaq laptop with an Ralink PCMCIA wireless card. Not even the latest Linux distros can detect this card but OpenBSD and FreeBSD have the excellent ral driver in the kernel. Moreover the configuration is so simple when compared to the mess in Linux (iwconfig,iwpriv,ifconfig??) not to mention the troubles I had with ndiswrapper

All the BSD's use anyway nowadays, so the folks who are looking for a good GUI environment won't be disappointed. Again, the laptop display settings were correctly detected and I didn't have to touch xorg.conf at all

Give OpenBSD and FreeBSD a try - you won't regret it. Having said that, prepare to actually RTFM in case you run into problems. 99% of the time the answers are in the fine integrated documentation that comes along with your OS install.

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The first myth of management is that it exists. The second myth of management is that success equals skill. -- Robert Heller