m810clmr (SiS730S) Plan Of Attack

David Barr David.Barr at student.oc.edu
Thu Oct 17 08:22:01 CEST 2002

I want my uni to do something non-MS based, so I've opted to try and win
them over to a fully open source solution.  Eventually I'd like to have
a small (5 nodes or so) system to benchmark various clustering setups on
(openMOSIX, Scyld, SCORE, OSCAR, clustermatic, etc.), but first I have
to show them it can be done.

My goal then is to impress the Computer Science Faculty and Staff with
an inexpensive, fast-booting, stable, speedy Linux wundernode; and then
present a "Fund Me for a Few More Penguins" speech which will cause them
to loosen the purse strings.  Maybe if they'd stop buying extra copies
of Exchange Server... but I digress.  At any rate, even if I 'fail', I
still have a really cool toy, and a lot of valuable experience.

Here's my List of Things to Acquire(TM):

 0)  pcchips m810clmr (SiS730S) w/ Duron 1.2 ($77)
 1)  1GB PC 133 RAM ($25/ea. 512MB; $50 total)
 2)  DiskOnChip MD-2008-D08 ($25)
 3)  MATX Case ($19)
 4)  IDE2CF Adapter ($21?)
 5)  CF Media ($40 - $???)
 6)  Optional HDD (ca. $50)

All told, I'm looking at about $USD 300 per node, which is in my opinion
quite reasonable.  So what am I waiting for?  Why, someone to poke
obvious holes in my hastily conceived plan, of course.  Good questions
to answer would be:

 - Did I overlook some incredibly obvious component / requirement?
 - Can I do the three-step (DOC -> CF -> HDD) boot?
 - Should I avoid a particular brand of CF Media?
 - What size CF should I aim for?
 - Do you have a sample of a pcchips m810lmr config lying around?
 - Is my cost analysis fairly complete and realistic?

Some of these questions are inane enough that they may not warrant
flooding the whole list with responses.  Direct replies ( david.barr
(at) student.oc.edu ) are welcome, especially if you've done time on the


PS:  Apologies for the ugliness of my previous post to the list: that'll
teach me to send mail from lab computers during class.

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