mongo was named after our nickname for the local Mongolian BBQ restaurant, and because it is a big fast machine. Power Computing (R.I.P.) makes, er, made the PowerCenterPro. Mine is a 240MHz machine with 64MB ram, about 9GB of HD, running a 2.2.8 kernel (with a few local patches for sound and a cheap LinkSys ethernet card that confuses the stock tulip.c driver).

Everything seems to work great. I moved the main disk over to the aic7xxx bus, which makes it rather fast. mongo now lives in the closet acting as my net gateway, so I don't use X very much, but the other drivers work fine.

I switched that box over to Debian GNU/Linux when it was the only ppc linux distribution using glibc2. I'm glad I did: I've seen the Debian light, drunk the koolaid, been touched by the Muse. Whatever. It's a good distribution, the people behind it have no marketing agenda, quality and coolness are *everything*. They don't sell their own CDs (CheapBytes has them for..n well.. cheap. $8 for the full set, $2 for just the core binaries). The packages are easier to build once you get the hang of the tools (and the build process is easier to debug). And the upgrade program (dselect) makes it easy for an update-freak like me to make sure that there is no program more than a week out of date on the computer.

older notes

The graphics card (the 2MB ATI card) works fine, I generally run in a 1152x870 (8bpp) mode. With the latest 2.1.128 kernel, I can run 16bpp at this resolution, and the new XF86 beta from Geert has acceleration included.. very fast. But I can't figure out how to get a video mode that runs at 85Hz like the MacOS side will do, which I'd like to figure out because it might help with a monitor problem I'm having: on and off, the image jiggles or wobbles. I turned off all the fluorescent lights I could find, and I put an isobar surge supressor on the monitor (which indicates a ground fault [unconnected ground].. could that be a problem?), made sure the video cable was run away from the power cables, but it still wobbles. Maybe there are some strange EM fields floating around this corner of the room. Anyway the higher refresh rates seem to help.

This machine is fast! It runs faster than the UltraSparc I have at work (although that poor machine is burdened with Solaris, which can slow down any processor). A kernel compile takes about 7-9 minutes. Perl compiles in 4m36.

Brian Warner <>
Last modified: Tue Jul 27 23:07:21 PDT 1999