Errands Today

Atom 330 Home Server!I did not have many credit cards to start off with. However, since the government has introduced the credit card tax, I decided to consolidate everything into one single credit card – to minimise the amount of tax I would have to pay to the government. So, I went to cancel one of my credit cards today. I walked to the counter and told the lady that I wanted to cancel my credit card. She just smiled and proceeded to do it for me. She told me that lots of people have been canceling their cards. So, I was not the only one. It was done quickly and efficiently. The most dramatic part of it all was when she took out a big pair of scissors and nicely sliced my card in two.

I also went to a TMpoint today to upgrade my Streamyx package. Telekom is having a small promotion where they are encouraging people to upgrade their bandwidth package for only an additional RM5 commitment for the next 24 months and then paying the full price after. I have been using a 512k line all this time and was looking forward to upgrading to 1Mbps. However, I was intercepted by a HP lady who encouraged me to upgrade to the HP promotion instead. The HP promotion forces me to pay an additional RM33 per month for the next 24 months, but it comes with a free PC! This works out to about RM700 in total for the price of the PC.

Since I have been considering to get a new home server anyway, I jumped at the deal. I will be getting a new low-powered machine for cheap. Furthermore, I will be paying for it over the next 24 months and getting a new 1Mbps line in the process. So, I felt that it was a good deal. I ended up getting the basic Atom spec-ed machine. It comes with the following specs.

CPU: Intel Atom 330
VGA: GMA 950
HDD: 250GB

This is far more computing power than the Zino I mentioned earlier. It is also a small device that can sit quietly in the corner. It is also low powered – about 50W of power under load. I will probably be running a bunch of virtual machines in it. The present machine that I am using is an old laptop that is showing signs of dying. It borks out periodically, every few weeks. It has a broken fan, which means that the notebook overheats from time to time. So, it is about time for me to get a new machine.

Like I have mentioned a couple of times, the Atom 330 is more than powerful enough to serve as a home-server machine. It has 2-cores and is hyper-threaded. This means that it seems like a 4-core machine to the OS and gives the performance of about 2.6 processor cores. At 1.6GHz each, this could be up to 6 times faster than my present home-server. However, it lacks hardware virtualisation capabilities, which limits my virtualisation solutions but that is still perfectly doable.

However, its upgrade options are limited. It only has one memory slot, which is limited to 2GB. It already comes with 1GB. So, I would have to swap it out if I wanted to upgrade to 2GB. However, I have no other machine to stick the 1GB stick into. I could feasibly hold-off the upgrade until such time it is necessary. However, here is me hoping that it actually comes with 2GB RAM instead since it claims to support Windows 7 Starter, which is technically supposed to have 2GB of memory.

PS: Turns out that it is passively cooled! Nice!

Published by

Shawn Tan

Chip Doctor, Chartered/Professional Engineer, Entrepreneur, Law Graduate.

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