Need a new computer (and got one)

A RAID mis-configuration yesterday completely corrupted the hard disk on my poor old home server (yes, I know, again!!). And the reiserfsck rebuild just shuffle everything into lost-found, but since all files are now renamed to their inode number without extensions, it is now almost impossible to recover them.

Wasn't a good start yesterday morning.

(mental note to myself -- do not choose a FS by its speed and ability to work over large number of small files. Next time choose a file system with large number of recovery utilities.)

And the old server running at home just makes recovering suck a pain, especially if you are running Gentoo. 450Mhz might be bleeding edge 6 years ago, but watching things compiling today is enough to make my nose bleed.

So for a while I was contemplating whether I should upgrade that oldie at home. Getting a cheap Sempron, a budget socket 754 motherboard that has got everything integrated, a single stick of 1Gb DDR RAM -- that would cost around $350. That might last me another 5 years before I need to upgrade to 10Ghz quad core box in order to compile Linux kernel efficiently in 2011.

Then got the news that SM is going back to HK for good, and she dropped her old Dell Dimension 8200 to our place -- just in time to replace our old server! It has a 2.0Ghz Pentium IV, runs very quite, and very easy to open up the case. Not speed demon, but at least this 4 year old box is 400% faster than my 6 year old P3 450Mhz.

But it has got a problem. Memory. Only 384Mb and all 4 slots are occupied. It might not be enough as an app server. Moreover, it was the first Pentium IV's that uses 850 chipset and RDRAM! Yes, that expensive Rambus thingy that Intel eventually admited their mistake and dropped them quietly in favour of DDR RAMs.

Looking at eBay, a second hand 1Gb combo costs around $300. Ouch. Even more expensive when you search on staticICE. Hmmm.

So. New hardware? Or Rambus?