Athena is dead :(

I woke up this morning to a disconnected SSH session between my laptop and my desktop, Athena. I checked gaim. Nope, still on the Internet. Maybe I got disconnected in the middle of the night, I thought? So I walked into my office room and checked on Athena. Dead. Just, dead. I couldn’t turn it on at all. Fortunately, there was nothing major on there, as I moved everything important to the Terastation, though I’m sure the drives are probably fine. It looks like the CPU fan died in the night and the CPU overheated, or something.

I’ve been suspecting this for the past week, for some reason, and have been pricing computers. I think I’ve settled on this Dell Dimension E510. It has a Pentium D dual-core 2.8GHz, 800FSB, 1GB RAM, 20″ Dell 2007FP LCD, 128MB ATI Radeon X300, 80GB HD, 16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/ double layer write capability, and Windows XP Media Center 2005 Edition with a full install CD. That’s all for $779. I plan to take some of the hardware from Athena and put it in this yet unnamed box.

Fortunately I use my laptop for almost everything nowadays, so not having Athena around won’t hurt my productivity much. Still, it’s a real shame. I loved that little computer. It’s kind of neat getting a new one, though.

7 thoughts on “Athena is dead :(

  1. Having used Dell’s computers before, let me say two things:
    1) Their service seems to work very well.
    2) I had ample opportunity to test that.

    I personally recommend buying an IBM ThinkCentre.

  2. Be sure to check out sites that list dell coupon codes and various special dell deals. Dell doesn’t always make it obvious how you can get the best possible prices. I have gotten discounts between $500 and $750 on various systems purchased from dell. There are probably better sites for dell deal info, but this one works: http://www.xpbargains.com/dell_coupons/index.php/deals

    In general, I think dell is a great value, and their customer service is relatively good. My only problem with Dell is that they ship a bunch of garbage pre-installed on their systems. If you are going to wipe down the drive and use it for linux exclusively, it isn’t really a problem, but if you plan to use Windows on it, be prepared to have to uninstall a bunch of stupid shareware programs. Also, if you plan to use Windows on a system purchased from dell, make sure you request a real Windows installation CD when you order the system. They usually just give you a system restore CD that reinstalls all of their junk.

  3. Hey,

    Why are you buying a computer with Windows preloaded when there are tons of good manufacturers that will sell you one without Windows? What kind of message does that send to Dell about the need to provide Linux pre-installed systems?

    Check this out:

    http://www.monarchcomputer.com/

    I would think that people like you who post on a blog that is picked up by gnome planet would actually be serious about embracing free software.

  4. Marc: Probably because I don’t really care, to be honest. That and I want a license for Windows XP Media Center.

    I could get all religious and send a message to Dell, and educate the masses, but you know what my take is on this? Windows is fine for some people, and Linux is fine for others. Linux is not for everybody. Windows is not for everybody. Dell can ship whatever they want to ship. This computer had the option of not coming with a Windows license, and I could have saved a little by picking that, but I chose not to.

    I’ve embraced free software well enough to not be criticized in such a manner. I’ve contributed to freedesktop.org efforts, the Linux Standards Base, GNOME, have worked on Gaim, Galago, GNUpdate, the desktop notification framework being used on the new distros, contributed to Doxygen, worked on some specs, some games for kids and for adults (such as BilliardZ, Tickypip, Tetringo, and Tux Paint), written software for embedded linux installs and devices (such as the Zaurus and Nokia 770), installed linux at several businesses, and I work on the linux versions of several VMware products.

    So. Marc, if I haven’t done enough, please, tell me what you’re doing so I can copy it and be a better supporter of open source and free software.

  5. I recently purchased a Dell 5150 (the non-media center equivalent of the E510). I picked it over the E510, as I preferred to build my own “media” bits. I already had an Audigy 2 ZS & a GeForce 7600, so the 5150 provided a great shell & CPU, etc, to build on. Runs Linux without issue, and if you only order the Symantec “Restore Partition” thing, you can email them afterwards and ask for the CDs. They mailed me a full OEM installer CD, and not just the Ghost reinstall CD.

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