"You walk into the room. It's cool and quiet. You see thirty new
workstations giving great service. Your cost of hardware was
CAD$350 [US$315] for each workstation, CAD$10 [US$9] to connect it
to an existing 100Mbps LAN, and about CAD$60 [US$54] for a share of
a server in another room. Your software costs were only some
download and CD burn time and forty minutes for installation. Your
operating costs are virtually nil. The server runs for months
without a reboot. The workstations have nothing but network boot
loaders. You back up only one machine, the server. The workstations
use twenty watts each and have no fans. Magical? Yes. Magic? No.
Arthur C. Clarke once made the comment that 'technology
sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic.' A stock
server or a custom-built server made from off-the-shelf parts has
taken the place of the mainframe in a client/server arrangement.
Moore's Law makes the hardware cheap. GNU/Linux makes it free to
use to its potential. This is old but capable technology made easy
to install thanks to the GNU/Linux revolution..."