June 2, 2007

Suggestions for my next Linux workstation?

Posted in Me at 10:32 am by mj

So, my Dell PowerEdge 400SC has given up on living in a world run by war-mongers. Or, at least, that’s the explanation I prefer for why it has refused to boot since we returned from vacation.

In truth, the motherboards on these are known to have problems with overfilled capacitors, causing it to overheat. Sure enough, mine keeps complaining about a thermal event–that is, when it’ll boot at all. More often than not, the fan powers up for half a second, but not even the diagnostic lights come on. None of my capacitors look to be leaking or even bulging.

I bought mine a few years ago when I could get it cheap. $250, I think, not including the store-bought RAM (never buy RAM from Dell!). My primary motivation for the PowerEdge was support for more RAM, no need to buy an OS (== cheaper), and a bigger tower (== more room for hard drives if you don’t buy them up front from Dell).

I should say I am neither a gamer nor an uber geek–I never need the latest-and-greatest, and, in general, I’m not good at spending money on myself. I do wish to do a fair bit of computation on my home box (which I can’t do currently), as I have some personal projects lined up and I’m growing increasingly spoiled by my work environments.

I’ve considered replacing the motherboard (something I haven’t done in ages, since they started gluing heatsinks to the CPU), and I’ve also looked at HP’s ProLiant, which is a better class machine, has better service, and is only a bit more than the new Dell PowerEdges anyway.

I appreciate any suggestions. What do you run at home for development stuff?



  1. […] my motherboard died, I decided it’s still OK to continue patronizing Dell, and bought their PowerEdge 840 with a […]

  2. […] the off-chance somebody else may find themselves in a similar position someday, searching Google or Technorati for an answer at 4AM, here’s essentially […]

  3. […] in Life, Me at 12:56 pm by mj Back in June, I blogged about the motherboard on my Dell PowerEdge going […]

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