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Gateway Linux Microserver 112

Posted by Hemos
from the everyone-wants-a-piece-of-linux dept.
JeffRC wrote to us with a new machine from Gateway that looks remarkably like the Cobalt Qube. The device apparently runs Linux, with Apache and SMB. Update: 12/08 02:15 by H :Well, I am an idiot. If you remember, I had posted a story that GW and Cobalt would be teeming up - I guess this is the fruit of their alliance.
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Gateway Linux Microserver

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  • Notice, if you choose the "Operating System" link on the side of the brief info page, or choose "Customize" and click "More Info" under Operating System, Linux doest't show up...

    So, you think I can customize my Cobalt to run BackOffice 4.5??


  • How would I get to this "Microserver" page? I get the impression that this product is .. rather .. buried..in the site. You know, like on page A16 of the LA Times..?
  • I've heard of repackaging, But this is ridiclous. There is like ZERO customization options for this. This was one of the things I had hoped for when they announced the deal.

    Yes this is a repackaged CobaltQube. Check out the old /. story here [slashdot.org]. I know this is almost two months old and you see a lot of submissions, but god guys your memory shouldn't be that bad. This means you Hemos, since you posted both of these.

  • I submitted this as a story, but it was rejected.
    I believe it's very interesting and demonstrates the Linux stock craze in the markets very well.
    Check this out:

    A bunch of people on Yahoo chat boards touted a company called Perle Systems; which makes I/O cards and equipment, as the company behind Perl. Thousands of crazy day traders flocked to buy the stock just because the ticker symbol is PERL and they thought it was Linux-related, and the stock is now up 200% in one day.

    Go check the stock "PERL" if you don't believe.
    --

    BluetoothCentral.com [bluetoothcentral.com]
    A site for everything Bluetooth. Coming in January 2000.
  • by / (33804) on Wednesday December 08, 1999 @07:36AM (#1475288)
    Probably a combination of marketing and distribution. We all know it isn't their customer service that'll convince anyone to buy one.

    The sad thing is, Gateway's marketing will likely succeed in pushing these things -- one would hope that people buying servers aren't the same idiots impressed by a spotted cow box, but alas we know how futile that hope is.
  • what does Caveat Emptor mean?


  • Cobalt Qubes have been designed to be small webservers or corporate intranet servers, not megaboxes that can serve up 100% dynamic webpages while cracking RC5 keys. A small web/intranet server doesn't need a whole lot more than 64 megs of ram and an amazingly huge hard drive. Their selling point is that you can drop it into your network and it works, not to mention it has an HTML administration interface that is a good idea. I do think these boxes are really overpriced, if they were sold for abour 900-1000$ I would find them a good deal more attractive.
  • I was expecting the server to be about the size of a monitor, but in the spec sheet it says it is _7_ inches on a side! For that amount of desk real estate you get a lot for your money!
  • Has anyone looked into building their own miniserver? Intel has the microATX motherboard format. I'd like to get a dual processing Celeron in a Sony Vaio form factor. Turn the CD/DVD on its side and the box doesn't need to be that wide. Throw out the ISA slots, floppy drive(CD boot), parallel, serial and PS/2 connectors and save even more space on the motherboard. 4 USB ports with Firewire would give it plenty of expandability.

    -Mike
  • I guess thats what people are complaining about. The decrease in support/tech quality.... From what you are saying, the "good" techs are sent to the corporate systems support.

    Personally, my initial experiance with gateway was pretty good... {hint, since they have 24/7 support, call at 3am; which is what I do for any place that advertises 24/7 support.. Im up anyways, and usually the person on the other side WANTS someone to talk to and is not as cranky as "day" persons....} I had one of those circa '94 p4d66 {486DX2-66} that had a mb go out on it. Called the consumer line... got similar service to what you describe above {with a new mb arriving a couple of days later}...

    essentially gw has "gotten too big for their briches"... and are slacking a bit wrt to certain design features

    like.. who made the %#$^@-up descision to solder a battery to the MB [cant remember the model offhand...]?


  • You sure your thinking of Gateways? All desktop systems sold by Gateway comply with AT, ATX, or other form factor standards. Rarley is everything integrated, and when it is, the integrated stuff can be disabled when a new card is put into the system. If you look, the only non upgradable systems Gateway sells are the All in one Astro, and the Profile 2. (Both can be upgraded, just Gateway won't help in the process).

    -----
  • C'mon. Think about it. How cool would you be if YOU had a purple cube show up in a COW BOX! Show your friends! Impress your neighbors when you bring that sweet box to the curb!
  • They've spent years of research and thousands of hours of marketing effort to decide that the case should be... Black!

    Seem to be more expensive than a Qube too, though they give you a wee switch with the box.
  • It depends on where you applied. Since Gateway dosen't ship Linux on most computers, why would someone in the department supporting these systems support Linux? If a client called, and got help from one person, they would begin to expect it all the time. Standards on what is supported in tech support is a good thing.

    -----
  • The chip is a low power R5000 range MIPS chip, not a raging R10000/R12000.

    I use one at home. Nice little boxes. They're fast enough and cheap.

  • You're not supposed to customize it. If you want to customise it, you're buying the wron box.!
  • It's an R5000 range, but not terribly quick. You can squeeze a couple of hundred Mb in.
  • ftp://ftp.cobaltnet.com/pub/contrib/misc/borgqube. gif

  • A bit old, but - IT'S AN APPLIANCE PEOPLE!

  • 1999-12-8 19:15.0.0

    [B] --Andover.Net IPO priced at $18, opens at 47 1/2

    Offtopic? Yes, but ..
  • Has anyone else noticed that the only things you can configure on this are the number of ethernet cables you can order with it and the service plans you want? I wonder if they have just not implemented the config. page completely yet, but I would be a lot more impressed with this mini-server if I could change the specs on the box, to make it somewhat less of a mini-server.

    //Phizzy
  • The swtich is an option. Click on 'Customize it', go down to networking, and change it to 'not selected', and you'll get a $30 discount.

    You can also knock off $7 if you don't want ethernet cables.

  • by Foogle (35117) on Wednesday December 08, 1999 @07:40AM (#1475311) Homepage
    I've talked to the people at Cobalt about their systems (when I was looking to buy one for my company). They're running a RedHat-based system of their own. AFAIK, it's just a stripped down RedHat, with their own selection of software installed.

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • by jd (1658) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <kapimi>> on Wednesday December 08, 1999 @07:40AM (#1475312) Homepage Journal
    I applied for a job at Gateway recently (yes, I know, but I need the cash). They were adamant then that they would never support Linux, and would bar any Linux-aware tech support person from providing any help that wasn't on the official help sheet.

    In the end, I decided that, of the two evils, hanging precariously on the edge of oblivion by my fingernails was more inviting than having anything to do with them.

    P.S. Does anyone want to hire a Linux geek?

  • by ripcrd (31538)
    Looks to be $200 cheaper than a similar model direct from Cobalt, but with a larger hard drive (10GB instead of 6.4GB). Gateway however, may have used cheaper drives. Caveat Emptor. I suspect that Gateway's deal with Cobalt was to be able to use the same form factor as the Cube as well as the software setup. This to avoid a suit ala the Apple iMac v. eMachines eOne fiasco. Viva la choice however.
  • Anyone know what kind of Ram it takes? Or what the max. you can stuff into it is?
  • I was actually looking at the Cubes today, thinking it might be good when I set up the network for our new company. But it's so damn limited. I want to be able to tinker with it at least a LITTLE bit. Can I hook up a tape backup? What about 128 MB RAM? A real Linux box looks more likely for us.
  • ...on the page in the story. It isn't obviously a link, but if you go to the customisation screen it obviously is.

    You get this BTW

    Microsoft® Windows® 95
    Microsoft® Windows® 98
    Microsoft® Windows® NT
    Microsoft® Windows® NT® Server
    Microsoft® BackOffice Small Business Server
    Microsoft® BackOffice® Small Business Server 4.5

    ;-)

  • The agreement between Gateway and Cobalt was mentioned in this story [slashdot.org], posted October 13th.
  • Please qualify your statement that Dell does not use standard components.

    I support 75+ Dell systems and can easily swap drives, NICs, video cards, sound cards, etc. I have found nothing "non" standard in the systems worth mentioning.

    The Dimensions, as far as I can tell, are completely off the shelf components, or OEM versions of them. The Optiplex units, I believe use a special form mother board, but everything that plugs into is not special.

    One thing of complaint has been on the servers. The servers have all required processors sold by Dell. I cannot buy a processor from anyone else or the servers complain that the stepping is wrong. Pissed me off severely as the cost for a second processor from Dell was more than twice the cost of that processor from anyone else.

  • Did anyone happen to glance at the on site installation charges?

    I couldn't believe it. These things are a breeze to setup and anyone who needs help with it should not be allowed to reproduce.

    Says it is for the microserver and x workstations. The workstation service features this:
    Features

    A Workgroup Installation Service includes the following:
    Remove purchased systems from their packaging

    Oh, they slay me. Only $288 for the server and 2 workstations. I hope they dispose of the boxes properly.



  • You can spend a few hours building your appliance, and then spend the next couple of days configuring everything from ipfwadm to samba and apache, and continue to configure it via telnet and vi.

    Or you can be someone who knows something about networking but nothing about Unix and buy one of these and have a working NAT box, firewall, workgroup webserver, Windows/Mac fileserver, IMAP mailserver and majordomo box up and running in ten minutes. No joke.

    Cobalt's boxen aren't cutting-edge from a software standpoint (they don't use LDAP, no PHP preinstalled on the webserver, etc.) and if you want a general-purpose Linux server, the MIPS CPU can be a minor hassle.

    But they have done an incredible, genius job of gluing everything together with seamless web-based configuration, good documentation, and a fuss-free experience. If you want an infinitely flexible system, or want to use it for things it wasn't meant for (databases, XWindow app hosting, etc.), it's a bad choice. But if you're going to use it for what it's made for, it's an absolutely wonderful gizmo.

    In sum, unlike a general-purpose server, it's a real appliance, which means it's as easy to set up as a videogame console. I started a new job with a smallish company and discovered they had an unprotected network and no email, and I didn't have time to spend a couple of days building and configuring all the services on a generic PC or server, so I ordered a Qube. I was blown away. They deserve all the accolades they get.

    And given the time it saves and the sysadmin burden it gets rid of, it's a bargain.
  • Only problem is when you add a news server, web based email and try to run your backups at the same time.

  • You're thinking of the accursed Packard Bell, not Gateway.
  • Not a super powerful R10000 or R12000, but fine for what it does.

  • Yeah, but then again, they're not really shipping Linux here. The Cobalt Qube is an awesome little device (I had the pleasure of admining one, with a nifty web-based interface) but it doesn't run Linux in the sense of a CD install. The OS has been stripped down to run on certain hardware and to provide certain functions.

    Chances are, if you are calling for tech support on your Qube, you're calling because your groups are improperly set-up, or there was a hardware failure, not because you want to learn how to admin the box over telnet, and you don't know the first thing about the bash shell.

    Really, in this case, Gateway is not supporting Linux but supporting an hardware package with a proprietary interface.

    So, you're still out of a job, man.
  • 10 out of the 11 Linux boxes here are running on Gateway kit. We've haven't had any problems in getting Linux to install or run - except for the PIII G6-450 I'm typing on now, and that was with the Video card.

    In the end, I found that Suse 6.2 had an X server that worked with the card, and it's run flawlessly ever since.

    Put it another way, before I had Linux on this box, I had NT on it (yeuch). I've now got NT running in a VMWare window all the time now, and it seems to be faster than when it only had NT on it. Spec: Gateway G6-450 PIII, 256Mb ram, 8Gb HD.

    Anyhow, next week, I'm installing Suse 6.3 on one of our Gateway Server's here, so it's going to be fun (the rest are normal PC's).
  • I based that statement on my experiences with a couple Optiplexes we had. I acknowledge that the Dimensions are a different story, I like those just fine.

    The problem I had with the Optiplex came when I wanted to add a simple ISA 2-extra-serial-ports card. In order to get that thing to acknowledge the devices, I had to boot with a special BIOS utility disk and endure some silly process to tell it I had put a card in. This seemed like gratuitous non-standardness to me. This is the kind of thing that can turn into a half-day problem when the PC is two years old and the manual is misplaced. (Who needs the manual to put a card in?) Anyway, there's a happy ending - I'm safely out of desktop support now, and nobody can make me go back.
  • >Dual eth0. about time! These will make great NAT/firewalls.

    They are probably talking about dual speed 10/100 here instead of more than one ethernet connection. Else they probably would have said "2 10/100 ethernet adapters". I have not seen two port ethernet cards (I have seen 4 port ones though).
    Since this has a 56k modem on it, that is probably meant to be the outside interface.

    I guess I'll put the rest of my comments here:

    Linux 2.0: I hope you can upgrade this w/o voiding the warrantee. (assumtion:linux=kernel)

    No option for upgrade memory: does not bode well for future expansion.

    no secure shell...

  • >Caveat Emptor
    yes, but you and 50 of your friends can get something cheaper than you can alone (assuming you are all buying the same thing (at least one each).
    see mercata.com [mercata.com] et al (sorry guys, they got to me last).
  • I wasn't saying it was the same article, I was referring to the "big question" in the news item. Hemos asked an implied question if it *was* a Cobalt Qube, or merely looked like one. 20 seconds of searching found that article from October where the agreement is explained. Gee, Gateway and Cobalt sign an agreement, then two months later Gateway is selling something that looks and has very similar specs to a Cobalt product. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that they're the same product.

    Although it does apparently take an anonymous coward to willfully misunderstand a post so that they can have something to flame.
  • Actually, my web server is running some basic web mail stuff that I hacked up. Once again, it's a smallish company, and I had the time to do it, and I had the hardware.

    Of course, I should probably go with a real web-mail package, instead of my version, but, who cares?

    Now, I'm sure my box would slow down if it was doing backups and things. The hard disk is IDE and quite slow, shoddy, and noisy, and IDE is notorious for sucking up major CPU cycles.

  • use a gateway lately? been around when the hardware pukes?

    and you can get a much better deal building it yourself.
  • you can't by definiton have dual eth0's. You would have an eth0 and an eth1.

    Same for 5 port eth0 switch.
    a 5 port eth switch.

  • The marketing drivel on the page says that this thing is "An Exciting Concept"...

    Um, is it just a concept, or is it an actual real product?.

    I also noticed it's running 2.0. Shouldn't they try something a little more recent? Most of the kinks have been ironed out of 2.2.
  • just repackaged w/ Gateway brand. Apparently Cobalt and Gateway have some sort of deal going on..duh
  • I feel Gateway has waited way too long in offering some kind of Linux powered server. Its a step in the right direction.
  • It list its OS as "Linux 2.0 operating system". If they partnered with a specific disto, you know licencing would require that they trumpet it from the rooftops. Did they actually develop their own distro? Go Compaq!
  • Ah, but the Malda does not notice that it is in fact the Cobalt Qube we have all grown to love.

    Now, there must be a point to all of this. Is Gateway gonna sell it cheaper? Oh, please. Oh, please. Oh, please.

    /me bounces up and down like a giddy schoolgirl on crystal meth.
  • by hedgehog_uk (66749) on Wednesday December 08, 1999 @07:20AM (#1475345) Homepage
    The Gateway machine is a Cobalt Qube. See the Cobalt press release [cobalt.com] for details.
  • by EverCode (60025) on Wednesday December 08, 1999 @07:23AM (#1475346) Homepage
    GATEWAY:

    Memory 32MB RAM memory
    Hard Drive 10GB Ultra ATA hard drive
    $1299

    COBALT:

    Cobalt Qube 2 with 32MB DRAM and a 6.4GB hard disk
    (Cobalt P/N: Q28 364 NAU) Price: $1,499.00 US. - QUANTITY

    The Gateway is a better deal...
  • did you also notice that linux is shipped as the default operating system?? why would they need to list it as an option if it's default?
  • by andyf (15400) on Wednesday December 08, 1999 @07:23AM (#1475348) Homepage
    From CNET news.com: Gateway taps Cobalt for Linux servers [cnet.com]
  • Funny, I didn't notice any of thst sort of problem while maintaining 75 Gateway systems over the past 3 years. Unlike Dell or Compaq, Gateways use very standard components and form factors. By the way, the only quality probs I ever encountered among those 75 GP and E series workstations were a few bad monitors and one hard disk failure. It doesn't get much better than that for commodity PCs, folks.
  • The Qube I worked with took 72 pin EDO DRAM. I don't remember how many modules it could take. I wasn't too impressed with it. The only advantage to this box is a small form factor and web based administration. The CPU on board is a pretty slow R4000 (IIRC).
  • This isn't especially cheap, and if you consider what amount of information you get, you would be better off with a system you put together yourself. They don't even tell you what CPU it has ... "64-bit RISC Processor" - what's that supposed to mean? They don't know or what? And what does "backup utility" mean? That tar is included?
    And as others have already pointed out, you can't configure it at all (other than saving $7 for ethernet cables - come on! is that a joke or what?)
    I'm sorry, but this is really lame. The only nice thing is the way it looks. But frankly, I don't give a damn about that. It might by nice for some non-tech users to set up a network for a small company, but I am not sure if they provide enough info for a newbie.
  • As somone else said, it's a MIPS chip. I think the distro is hand-made, more or less, by Cobalt. When I was inquiring about one a little while ago, the sales guy was hedging a lot about the distro. It prolly still has a 2.0 kernel due to the butt-pain of porting stuff to a newer one.

    Yes, it is overpriced, if you're a hacker type, but the value of this thing is more in the fact that you can drop it on the network and it pops up and works, and it has a lot of sweet configuration utils.


    Config util screen shots -> [cobalt.com]

    It takes up to 64MB of ram. The other issue is that people aren't sposed to think of this as a 'computer,' it is not designed to be used as your workstation - it's an appliance.

    It's still overpriced, imho, tho. ;)

    --
    blue
  • Ooooooh, I disagree with the statement that a web server needs anywhere near 64MB of RAM. I've been admining a 486/33 16MB RAM running FreeBSD as an inter-departmental web server in an office of 200 and I've yet to have any problems with it. It's actually *VERY* functional, and the whole sheee-bang ran us a hearty $100.

    If you've got some time, and you don't *need* a pretty little box to sit on your desk, find an "about-to-be-trashed" box and install [Free, Net, Open]BSD or Linux on it, and strip it down to what you need [Apache, Kernel, Shells]. Oh, yeah. And be sure to recompile the kernel after install. A machine like this will take a performance hit running a generic kernel.

    But, if *my* company had money to drop on a Qube, I know I would want one. They do make things quite a bit simpler when admining larger networks and things.
  • ...or is there a better solution?

    I am about to get and ISDN line to my house (ISDN for 3 reasons: 1) So I can be ON my office network 2) My employer is paying for it and 3) DSL and cable modems are not an option in my area)

    So anyway, I want to set up a fast ethernet inside my house, connected to the ISDN line. Would this gateway Qube server be the thing I'm looking for for this? Or can somebody suggest something better?

    Also, does anyone know a good site for help on buying ISDN hardware?

    Thank you for any help on this!

    --
    grappler
  • by drix (4602) on Wednesday December 08, 1999 @12:25PM (#1475359) Homepage
    I think Gateway needs to market a more scaled down machine. I, like many, run an older PC for firewall/gateway purposes. And like many older PCs, that PC is starting to fail. The hard drive worries me most, but I'm also seeing memory errors, fans are breaking, the graphics card is spotty. While I could easily fix every single one of these, tracking all the parts down is simply too time consuming to bother. I don't need 4.3gb of space, which is about the smallest HDD I can find, I need one. For reasons like this, I'd much rather just buy an entire new PC - I don't care about having the latest components, but support would be great, and getting to use Cobalt's GUI would be a treat. So, note to Gateway: market something in the $100-$200 "appliance" range. I'm sure you'd have lots of customers.
    --
    "Some people say that I proved if you get a C average, you can end up being successful in life."
  • Or if you look at this page [gateway.com] you'll see you can get a different configuration of the Gateway box:

    Memory 64MB RAM memory
    Hard Drive 20GB Ultra ATA hard drive
    $1499

    So, much better deals with Gateway. A lot of companies probably already qualify for chunky discounts from them as well.

    No sign of any Gateway-badged Raq's, however...

    ...j
  • Didn't know we needed a Latin class to be here huh. Actually it's a common term, Let the Buyer Beware, but shorter. You will find this at the bottom of Ebay's pages.
  • I wasn't saying a webserver NEEDED 64 megs of ram, I was just replying to people's complaints that it ONLY had 64 megs of ram. 64 megs is still a good deal of memory especially when you're running a kernel, a shell, and a deamon.
  • Since we are diss-cussing Gateway..

    http://cnnfn.com/1999/12/08/technology/gateway/

    Ted Waitt stepped down today. Maybe he's going to RedHat...or VA...or Corel...

    :-)
  • Mine's faster. $700 for:

    Dual 400s, 128 Megs of ram, 18Gig hard drive...

    Linux has all the room and horsepower it will need (for the next few months at least ... till they come out with a dual Athlon board).

    Now there's an open source idea. Take the OpenPIC architecture and design a dual or *jizz* QUAD Athlon board.

    You'd have my $$$.
  • I disagree - Cobalt at least designs the systems with an orientation towards being used as a server.

    Gateway, especially in generic form, is almost certainly not stable enough to handle long-term server use.

    Gateway produces some fine machine but for the most part Cobalt, VA, and even Compaq produce better servers.
  • I've been looking at both of the pages, and I can't seem to find any hard info on what processor that these things are using. Can you, as an owner, or someone else who knows, enlighten me on the subject? Just how powerful are these things?
  • Now if the makers of the Cobalt Qube got together and organised a licence from Star Trek you could create a box which looks like a Borg Cube and damn every nerd and his dog would buy it.
  • Great. Just what we needed, another bandwagon distro thrown together. A cow disto. Joy.

    I long for the days when different distros each had a niche. Debian, debian.. wherefore art thou?

  • I have a couple of problems with this thing:
    • They just rehashed the Qube. Nothing new here.
    • It's a fscking Gateway. Guaranteed to be trouble.
    I haven't seen a Gateway box yet that didn't turn into trouble at expansion time. Want to add a new printer, scanner, video camera?, add more RAM?, more drive space?... God forbid you want to add a NIC! They do stupid stuff inside those Gateways to make them cheap.
    --
    Una piccola canzone, un piccolo ballo, poco seltzer giù i vostri pantaloni.
  • OK, so what OEMs still aren't selling linux boxen in some shape or form?
    (btw - http://slashdot.org/articles/99/10/13/132216.shtml )
  • first off, Malda didnt post this, Hemos did, and second, yes gateways is like $400 cheaper and the harddrive is 4 gigs larger

    #----------------------------
    $mrp=~s/mrp/elite god/g;
  • Other folks have already posted the press release [cobalt.com] about the deal, which looks like a Good Thing to me. My bad. Hey, Rob, ever thought about letting posters moderate their own posts down?
  • It is the same box.. and I beleive if you check Gateway did Lic. it.. :)
  • by GoNINzo (32266) <GoNINzoNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday December 08, 1999 @07:31AM (#1475380) Journal
    The big differences from the Qube I own and this repackage:
    • Dual eth0. about time! These will make great NAT/firewalls.
    • Less memory. I think. This is not really a huge issue for such a small machine.
    • Bigger hard drive. 10 Gig is good for a *small* server. however, ours has only a 4, way too small. Course, our industrial linux box has 56 gig.
    • Modem. Not sure how many pci slots this thing has. This should definately be an option, dual eth0's or modem. But that would make the config more complicated.
    • Comes with a 5 port eth0 switch. This should also be an option, as most offices should have a real LAN already. it'd also lower the price. Plus, it's not like it can be added to packaging late in the game.
    This is an excellent expansion for small businesses. instant NAT! `8r) Can't wait to see what other types of products they release! Course, I have a bunch of friends who work for Cobalt, so I hope they do great things.. heh
  • What kind of processor is in this thing? It just says RISC? I would think they'd tell a bit more
  • It's a fscking Gateway. Guaranteed to be trouble.

    It's actually a rebadged Cobalt box, as others have pointed out. Gateway doesn't make 'em, they just sell 'em.

    I haven't seen a Gateway box yet that didn't turn into trouble at expansion time. Want to add a new printer, scanner, video camera?, add more RAM?, more drive space?... God forbid you want to add a NIC!

    While that may be true, the Qube is not designed with expansion in mind, anyway. It's a small, cheap server appliance designed for a specific purpose. You're not likely to be putting a Voodoo3 or a scanner on a dedicated web server...

  • From the specs if you click on operating system next to Linux 2.0 you get a wide variety of Micro$oft products (fragmentation) but no Linux info. Where do they post information on the distro?
  • Hrm, I think I understand what this thing is. 30 buck price tag, plus the words 'External 5-Port Dual Speed Ethernet Switch' means this is actually a hub, but just a 10/100 hub with seperate backplanes. hence, it's segmented. god I hate it when they poorly word products like this. And it shouldn't be in there by default, IMHO, still.

    and *choke* 7 bucks for eth0 cables. ack. They better be 25'.

  • It is billed as a "mini-server," and it wouldn't be of great benefit to Cobalt to change that much.

    I wouldn't mind having one to use as a little network server; the killer questions, from my perspective, are thus:

    • Can I add more RAM?
    • What software "expansion" options are there?

      Can I run something like Debian on it? Or am I basically restricted to hacking on (and making cruftier) what Cobalt provides?

    Note that Egghead/On-Sale [egghead.com] have been auctioning 'em off for around $500 lately, which is rather more interesting than $1500...

  • NEVER make the mistake of judging Gateway's corporate systems support with their consumer support. These are two completely different situations.

    We buy cow boxes here, a fair number of 'em (about 300 over the last five years or thereabouts)

    I have called support any number of times, and have waited on hold a maximum of about 7 minutes one time.

    95% of the time the conversation goes like this:

    GW "how can I help you'

    Me "The system with serial number xxx needs a new video card, the one in it now is toasted."

    GW "Are you sure?"

    Me "Swapped in another video card and everything's peachy."

    GW "Ok, hold on a sec while I process your order."

    Me idly browses Slashdot while waiting, usually get through about two comments.

    GW "Ok, the new part is on the way, you should have it in 3-5 working days, your RMA is xyz. Theres a return shipping label in the box."

    Me "Thanks!"

    Elapsed time, usually less than 5 minutes. If we get the order in before the last UPS truck leaves for the day, we usually have the part in 2 days.

    The other 5% of the time, the tech comes up with something for me to try before they ship the part (usually confined to undiagnosable MB problems)
  • This is where Linux is really shining.

    Small to medium webserving applications. It's flexible, it's cheap, you don't have to sell your soul for a NT or IIS license. Can do almost any kind of content out of the box. It slices, it dices, it can do perl!

    Nice to see this kind of thing continuing to sell well, and priced nice too.
  • What I meant was: thank god somebody outside the community is realizing the roll-your-own aspect, instead of wrongheadedly focusing on the existing Linux distributors, because they can't even contemplate that there's not a company to deal with. Sorry 'bout that.
  • I went to the configure page and tried to add more RAM -- it appears that it's impossible to do so.

    So, I started thinking. Why would someone want one of these things. What makes them cool -- or at least cooler than the network appliance boxes I can build out of cheap PC parts?

    Can somebody help me on this one?
  • by joshv (13017) on Wednesday December 08, 1999 @07:33AM (#1475393)
    I have a Gateway Pentium 150 purchase almost 4 years ago. The thing graciously took a 56k modem. It now has two PCI 100Mb ethernet cards. I have tripled the amount of RAM it had originally, and can still add more. Oh yeah, I also added a PCI SCSI card, no problems. I once had a problem with the decidedly non-commodity IBM harddrive. Gateway replaced it immediately.

    But I don't think this is the point with the Qube, it is not mean to be expanded. It's meant to be configured and then left to achieve 2+ year uptimes.

    -josh
  • Does anyone have real-world experience with a current-generation Cube? What's the performance of this compared to Pentium/Pro/II/III?

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