Re: Monster machines vs. desktops

Greg Trotter (
Wed, 18 Jun 1997 16:32:08 -0500

At 3:17 PM -0500 6/18/97, Evan Jeffrey wrote:

>Im seeing people forget that we are using idle CPU time. Slapping together
>bare bones computers for the sole purpose of running DESCHALL is not a good
>comparison. So in general, we should talk about computers that are usable,
>but aren't useing all their CPU cycles. A motherboard in a cardboard box
>with a boot floppy and a 2400 baud modem is not a very useful computer for
>almost anything but deschall. (No wiseass remarks about "it'll to bovine
>RC5, too!")

But this project (congrats to iNetZ!) doesn't prove a thing unless the
results are reproducable. They certainly are, but the next logical step is
to ask "If one were to reproduce this from scratch, what would be the most
cost-effective way of doing it?"

>You could say that my 486/100 is has the highes kk/sec/$ rating because A) I
>already own it, the ethernet card, and have fixed rate ethernet, and B) it
>would always be on anyway, so there is zero extra electricity cost. So I am
>getting oo (infinity) keys/sec/$ because it is costing nothing, which is
>the spirit of DESCHALL (IMO).

True, but not the point I wasn't making so well.

>Oh, and in practice, computers really do need cases, or more specifically
>they need the frame (covers are for wimps that don't like to see wires) to
>hold everything securely together. Not a technical requirement per se, but
>it really does help. If you are keeping logs, a hard drive is a good idea
>to, especially with the processor overhead of writing to a floppy everytime
>deschall outputs a dot ;). PCs will not boot without a video card, for some
>stupid reason. Or, at least I have never seen one that would. Some will
>not boot without a keyboard (even if the bios option is set to disabled).

Then that enters into the equation. Some computers have on-board video, and
will boot out of the box. But is still would be interesting to know: if I
were to go buy a machine today, specifically to do deschall, how would I
get the most bang for my buck?

- greg

Greg Trotter
Production Manager, Student Publications
The University of Oklahoma