circuit board
My hardware setup
4 March 2007

Some people have asked lately what hardware I use? I'm quite a frugal computer user in general. I don't see any reason to buy the latest and greatest every second year or so. To me, what matters most is that things work well and satisfy my needs. The age and appearance are secondary concerns. Here are the two most heavily used machines on my local home network:

HOST....: main.eon.net
HARDWARE: 800Mhz AMD Duron, 512Mb RAM, 20GB HD, 40GB HD, Matrox G400 8MB RAM
OS......: Linux 2.4.33 (Slackware 9.1)
MAIN USE: programming, webmaster, admin, research, etc

HOST....: gfx.eon.net
HARDWARE: 2Ghz AMD Athlon, 2Gb RAM, 160GB HD, ATI Radeon 9600 256MB RAM
OS......: WinXP
MAIN USE: art making, win compatibility testing, games

The "main" is quite low-end by today's standards, yet it's perfectly fine for programming, webmaster, sysadmin, internet research, and writing. I use this machine for pretty much everything except art making. I bought it in February 2001 and it has been going strong ever since. I run Linux on it - a very powerful OS. I have been using Linux for nearly a decade now and am very fond of it. One of its strengths is that it can be configured in great detail, so one can setup a fast and very comfortable operating environment that facilitates high productivity - even on low-end machines.

The "gfx", plus a wacom pad, is my art machine. A much faster hardware with more RAM and HD space. I use it almost exclusively for art making, an occasional windows game or windows compatibility testing. A good allround machine with plenty of power - fast enough for most of my 2D and 3D rendering needs. Although it could use some more RAM. Especially when I work on 7k pixel wide images to ensure that large posters look their best.

The reason why I bother with two machines at all is because I much prefer Linux to Windows - as Linux increases my productivity. And since my favorite graphical apps (Photoshop and 3DS Max) have not been ported to Linux yet, I'm stuck with two machines (virtual machines do not seem to be stable enough for me).

Finally, any hardware, just like software are only tools. It's the user of those tools that makes all the difference. A novice, even when given the most powerful hardware and software in the world, will still produce poor results. On the other hand, a talented, experienced and dedicated user can produce great results using low-end tools.

Art and illustration studio
of Dawid Michalczyk.


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