Well, I suppose it is time to let the world know that I’ve got the decTOP and it’s been set up, I did it last Friday at work, and I’ve gotten to know my way around Debian Linux and its apt system (which I manage using aptitude) fairly well.
For those who don’t know, the decTOP is an adorable little low-cost computer system. In a way, it’s what e-machines probably should have aspired to create. In another freaky way, it’s a lot like the technology eMachines was using in 1998-1999. It’s got a 366MHz AMD Geode processor, comes with 128mb of memory (Mine’s upgraded to 512) and a 10 gig hard disc. Aside from that, it has VGA graphics, AC97-based audio, and a usb Ethernet adapter, which works, although I would’ve liked onboard Ethernet.
Linux itself runs with acceptable speed, somehow it almost always does. The apache web server seems to dish out static HTML pages relatively quickly, but the real test of the decTOP for me is how well it handles an app like mediaWiki, which I use for the old ueberWiki which I’m eventually going to put back up. Unfortunately, it handles mediaWiki quite poorly, it currently lacks any decent caching software for PHP, and its slow processor makes it difficult to want to let it actually process every page on its own, especially if ueberWiki ever gets back up and starts getting hits again.
I suppose that that particular question is one for later, and if anything, it won’t be super-difficult to migrate back to a Mac or PC server from the decTOP if absolutely necessary, although I like the “uses almost no electricity” aspect of the decTOP. Plus there’s the whole thing about how its small size allows me to bring it from home to the university and back relatively easily, in comparison with, let’s say just for example, something huge like one of the surplusDells or the PowerMac G3.
For now I’ll move the ueberWiki over and if it becomes a huge problem, I’ll figure out how to move the ueberWiki back onto the iMac I suppose.