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Computer Currents: Build an Intranet for Less

Sep 27, 1999, 18:26 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Stephen Lee, Garth Gillespie, Jim Aspinwall)

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"Linux is free, so you have nothing to lose by trying it. Better yet, it runs like a champion: You can modify the code to make it do almost anything you want, it doesn't require beefy hardware because its code is so small, and, best of all, the thing is rock solid. At Computer Currents, Gillespie's Linux servers have run smoothly for months at a time."

"Another advantage to Linux is that it doesn't require a supernova of a server, because its code is slimmer and more efficient than NT's or that of the Mac OS. According to Gillespie, you can get away with a 486 box with 16MB of RAM as your Linux server. Try the "baseline" method: Plug in one of your old PCs as the server and see what happens. If it works, great--you just saved some cash. But if network traffic moves like a donkey stuck in a mud bog, at least you can justify spending money on a new server."

"Finally, developers love Linux because it's flexible, which makes it easily scalable. NT may provide a friendlier environment for adding users and devices, but Linux isn't as picky about things such as configuration and drivers. Nor will Linux give up when it encounters roadblocks while trying to serve certain users, as NT has been known to do. Because it doesn't have a graphical interface, you don't have to fiddle with video cards if you switch to a new server. "The code is just better written and more streamlined than NT's," says Gillespie."

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