I'm thinking of getting a new computer. I currently have two Dell Dimension 8100's (1.5 GHz). One runs Windows XP and has 1 GB of RAM. The other, Red Hat 9 with 768 MB RAM. The reason I want a new one is that it's tough to ignore the performance increase from a faster CPU on my work machine, a Dell OptiPlex GX260 (2 GHz, 512 MB RAM). Also, my Dimensions are 2 years old and that's about the end life for a computer these days (if you're a developer that prefers Windows like me).
So the question is: Can I combine my two 8100's into a kick-ass Linux box. It has dual-processor capabilities (1 GB max RAM though) and I'm wondering if the performance increase is that significant. Is it easy to do?
What will I get next? I'm thinking about a Dell Laptop. Don't know which one, but I've never skimped on price (I have a PowerBook), so performance and wireless are the most important. Suggestions are encouraged. I like Dell because their customer service rocks - whenever anything has broken/failed on my machine, they've come out to my house within 48 hours and fixed it. This has only happened once (video card went bad).
Why don't I just get a new PowerBook? Because they're slow - especially for Java. And I'm slow on a PowerBook. Windows keyboard shortcuts are imbedded in my brain and I can easily get something done twice as fast on Windows as I can on a Mac. Java tools work best on Windows and Linux. I have to give it to Apple that Java client apps run best on a Mac, but I'm not developing those, or using those, so who cares. Actually, what I'd like to do is run Red Hat as the primary OS and run VMWare with Windows XP. VMWare is very fast and IMHO works just as well as a dual-boot machine. Unlike Virtual PC, which is slower than molasses in January.