Decisions, decisions…

by hobbitalastair

I’m still wondering what to do with the iMac. After all, it’s working fine. Apart from a dead screen.

And I’ve just discovered that I could upgrade the internals with a 64 bit CPU and up to 4GB of RAM. That would make it quite a powerhouse, at least by my standards! Or on-par with all of my other machines, at least.

My real issue is that I’ve already got another machine that’s more powerful – at least one, anyway – so there’s not a whole lot of point in getting yet another working. Assuming I buy another motherboard for the Vostro, I’d have four perfectly good machines capable of taking 4GB+ of RAM and a Core 2 Duo. Putting all of them to work would be difficult, to say the least!

And my PC can be upgraded to a Core 2 Quad, which should outperform anything else that I’ve got by an order of magnitude, at least for compiling jobs. Since I’m considering using the Acer for playing KSP on, the PC will be somewhat defunct – assuming that I get the Vostro working, that is. So it’ll be relegated to the task of churning out packages as required, and possibly a bit of light web browsing every now and again. And provided that I managed to find a processor with vt-x extensions, I’d have a pair of machines capable of running virtual machines.

Which will mean that the iMac is pretty much completely defunct. It turns out that I could use a USB to serial adaptor that we have lying around, and my new null modem cable would let me have emergency terminal access, as required. Plus I could use one of the spare disk drives to ensure that I always could access the system. But without a screen, I couldn’t update the firmware, so I’d have to sink at least NZ$30 into it, not including buying some more RAM, and a newer CPU.

So I’m most likely to salvage parts from it, unless I think of a use for it. Salvageable parts include the HDD and (firewire!) internal camera, and the power supply. I thought that I could use the HDD in my grand mother’s computer, whenever I get around to ‘upgrading’ it to Debian Jessie, although I have until 2018 to do so. It would be a size and speed upgrade, although only a minor one, and would give me more room to manoeuvre; I could always fall back to the older install if required!

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