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ZDNet: DigitalDevices: From old PC to powerful server [review of NetMAX Suite]

“The new trend? Internet appliances without the appliance.
The recipe is simple: Mix new software with an old, retired PC for
a new Linux-powered Internet server.”

“One such piece of software is the NetMAX Professional
Suite
, Linux 2.2 version, from Cybernet Systems
(www.netmax.com). The software comes on a bootable CD-ROM disc that
does the installation honors. For PCs too old to have a bootable
CD-ROM drive, a boot disk image is included for easy copying to a
diskette. Installation literally consists of booting the PC — in
this case, a Gateway — with NetMAX and watching.”

“The tested version uses Red Hat Linux version 2.2 as the base.
Several warning screens appear, all screaming that NetMAX will
completely take over your PC, deleting everything currently on the
hard disk. The software automatically discovered the contents of
the five-year-old Gateway Pentium I system running at 120 megahertz
with 128 megabytes of RAM, a 1.6-gigabyte hard disk, and 3Com
EtherLink III 16-bit Industry Standard Architecture network
interface card.”

“What is the salvage or disposal cost of a Pentium II 200-MHz
system with 64MB of RAM and a 4GB hard disk? Certainly no employee
would be happy with this level of machine today, yet that box
loaded with NetMAX software could support hundreds of e-mail users
and a fair amount of Web traffic without breathing hard.”


Complete Story