- MacBook G3 - bad screen (and three years old and really slow)
- MacBook with Core 2 Duo - this is my main day-to-day laptop for email/web. However since it runs OS X, it is pretty poorly suited to do my MythTV development
- Dell Dimension 4550 bought in 2003 - This is my main MythTV box. I could probably use this as my main target, but I reformat the disk about once a month to load new KnoppMyth images, so I wouldn't want to use it as a long term development workstation. It's also my only PC that runs MythTV, so I can't use it for development while I'm expecting it to tape the newest episode of whatever crap I watch on network television.
- Dan's old Pentium 4 1.7GHz. The motherboard on this box is from 2001 and it causes a kernel panic when trying to load KnoppMyth. I updated the BIOS to the latest version available (from 2003) and it still doesn't work.
- Dad's old Pentium 2 400 MHz. Not a bad little PC. I'll probably keep this around as my Windows box (which I still use occasionally for microcontroller development and other Win32 specific tools)
So if anybody's looking for a generic PC to do do web/email (), come talk to me so I can alleviate the guilt of buying YET another computer.
If I was going to buy a new computer, I wanted to get a Dell, since it would support their efforts to ship Linux based products. Would also like to buy only hardware that uses one of Intel's newer video chipsets (such as the 965G), since they are the only vendor around shipping good completely open source video drivers. I have no urge to get a system with an Nvidia card if for my application an Intel card would work just fine. In my particular case I am interested in support for MPEG acceleration functions through Xvmc such as motion compensation and iDCT.
So fortunately Wikipedia has a breakdown of the Intel chipsets and what features they support:
Overlapping this with the product offerings from Dell, and unfortunately it looks like the Ubuntu offerings are all with nVidia cards. The ones that ship with an nVidia card (which you can't exclude from the price) appear to also have the Intel graphics support but for the G33 chipset, which is older and doesn't have the features I want.
So I get to choose between a Dell Linux PC that has the closed-source nVidia driver or to not support Dell at all by going with some other vendor that ships a 965 chipset based system with Windows.
Enough ranting. I need to deal with the more immediate problem that I have five PCs and the only one that can get any Internet access is my MacBook. On the upside, it looks like Verizon is finally willing to offer DSL without dialtone for $25.00/month, but their website appears to be broken so I can't order it.