"To all the people who posted and e-mailed advice about my first
article in this series: a hearty thanks. It's nice knowing we have
readers of diverse tastes about computer systems."
"A re-cap of my requirements: at least 3 free PCI slots,
RS-232 support, a good quality 3D video card, solid, proven
performance from the CPU, full support from a Linux distribution,
and a low-enough price that I don't have to form an IPO just to buy
one. In Apple's case, this leaves out the PMac Cube and any
"At first look, the hype about the PowerMAC G4 is extremely
impressive. Apple says you can have a supercomputer sitting on your
desk computing your data, be it rendering a movie or orbital
calculations at a full gigaflop or more (that's 1 billion floating
point calculations per second for those who don't know that term).
Unfortunately, that's only equivalent to supercomputing technology
from when I was still playing gold box Dungeons and Dragons games
on my old Commodore 64. Supercomputers of today routinely do
teraflops, but who can afford an IBM Deep Blue in their
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