PC cubes! Yes, I want a cube-shaped computer, because it’s small. No, I don’t want one made by Apple, or an obsolete NeXT (I used those in college when I couldn’t get time on an SGI). I want something small and cheap, and if it’s reasonably good looking, that’s a bonus.
Enter the Shuttle SV24.

Unlike Apple’s cube, it has a brushed-alumninum case, so it won’t crack. Just like Apple’s cube, it generates extreme reactions, and not everyone who likes Apple’s cube likes Shuttle’s.

I admit, it doesn’t have Apple’s styling. But I like Lian-Li’s styling a lot better. I wouldn’t put this in Lian-Li’s league either. But it’s certainly no uglier than any of the PCs I own now, and it’s small and light. So yeah, it has me thinking.

Where can you get one? Two of my favorite vendors have it, at a price of $250: Newegg.com and Mwave.com.

I also saw on Ars’ forums that MSI makes a slimline PC called the 6215. Newegg has it (search for “6215”) for $210. It’s tiny, but has two PCI slots and is more conventional-looking. I’m thinking the 6215 would be great for a server appliance, seeing as it has two PCI slots so you could put a SCSI card in it. You could also disable the onboard Realtek NIC and replace it with a card like an Intel EtherExpress Pro that uses less CPU time.

More Linux. The biggest thing holding me back from migrating to SupaSite is its requirement of the Apache, MySQL and PHP trio. I’ve tried to get those three to work together before, and the setup wasn’t exactly trivial, especially when trying to do it from RPMs. It looks like it’d be a whole lot easier to just compile it yourself. But this past week I found Apache Toolbox, which downloads the source for those three, plus bunches of Apache modules and compiles them for you. It sounds like it even helps out with configuration. I’ve gotta give this one a shot.