Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.
As I mentioned about a month ago, I have been thinking about a higher-end machine, for a variety of reasons — not least of which, I wanted something I can use to cross-compile a little faster. A short time after I wrote that post, I got a good offer on this.
That’s an HP Pavilion zv6000 — an AMD64 3200+ with 2Gb of memory, a fairly fast 5400rpm 60Gb hard drive and an ATI Radeon XPress 200M. It’s not the fastest, most powerful 64-bit machine you can buy, but it has a lot of points I’ve been wanting.
It also came at a good price, and is in rather good shape for its age. The irony is that I actually worked with this exact machine almost two years ago, and ran into some difficulties with the wireless card and the graphics card. The Broadcom chipset was a bit quarrelsome then, but I managed to get it working with ndiswrapper. Now I probably won’t worry about it, since it will be wired 99 percent of the time.
The graphics card was the only thing that ever defeated me — the 200M was a vicious beast two years ago, and I never got any video acceleration out of this thing. Now of course, it’s all peaches and cream since the catalyst driver is working like magic. Nice to know things get better over time.
And as an added bonus, I get a complimentary (and legal) copy of Microsoft Works. Oooh!
This is the first time I’ve worked with a (properly running) machine faster than 1Ghz since sometime in 2006, and it’s a bit breathtaking. I’m still finding out all the little points, but so far everything is working perfectly. As you can see, I’m already using it to run a virtual session and create an Ubuntu boot USB for my OLPC machine.
More on both as time goes on. But for now, the 64-bit version of Arch is impeccable. No difficulties or problems, and lightning fast. I am enjoying this quite a bit.