A new toy (laptop)
Well I needed a laptop (but didn't want one) and finally broke down an purchased one. I ended up with a Compaq Presario M2000 (M2105) with a 40G disk and 256M RAM. I've purchased another 256M but it's the wrong part (only 128M is recognized) so back that goes (do-do happens, ka-ka occurs ;-). It has an AMD Sempron 2800+ (1.6G), Broadcom 802.11 b/g, 2 USB (w/2.0 support), DVD R/W & dual layer, CD R/W burner, 15" screen, LAN, modem and no serial ports (argh!).I paid ~$800 with tax plus 256M RAM and a 256M memory card for my camera (I needed more storage). If I purchased it from Compaq/HP it would have cost me ~$900 before tax and without the extras. Overall not a bad deal (and I have a $30 rebate I have to mail in still). I did get everything I wanted and the Windows XP OS which I didn't want but needed. I already have a Intel Pro Wireless 2100 Mini PCI 802.11b card so I'll be using both WiFi cards. Just one at a time. I'll explain that and the reason I need Windows another day.
So at this moment I'm busy repartitioning the drive for Linux & XP. XP has 23G and Linux 15G. I'm installing Fedora Core 4 (FC4) and it seems to be going well (it's not done but I'm on CD 4 of 4, oops now it's done and both OS's work fine). I needed to burn a a copy of SystemRescueCd to repartition the NTFS to the above settings. I tried the FC4 rescue CD but parted doesn't support NTFS.
After I get Linux loaded I'll start setting up my HA stuff. Since I don't have any serial ports I'll either need to purchase a USB dongle or use a nice terminal server (I have several such as a Cisco ASM, a Cisco 500-CS and a Digi Etherlite 162). I've run into similar problems in the past when I had ISA RS232 ports and my new machines has PCI slots. This time I'll take it one extreme further and use real a terminal server.
As I've said I'm working on various stuff and I hope to be able to explain what in the next few weeks.