[H-GEN] PXE capable network cards

Scott Burns sburns at ihug.com.au
Mon May 31 06:35:21 EDT 2004

Michael Anthon wrote:

> Why the need for a PXE card?  You can always boot from an etherboot 
> PXE floppy (http://rom-o-matic.net/5.2.4/).  Yes, I'm assuming the 
> target machine has a floppy and yes, I also understand why bios 
> support is better in lab type setups but if it's just a once of need 
> to get around the fact that someone nicked your card then a floppy 
> boot is a good solution.
When I first started looking at diskless workstations I used an old ISA 
NE2000 clone with a floppy.  We got the PXE capable card later intending 
to boot existing old machines.  At the end of the day, the old machines 
were a bit too much of a risk and the first three workstations to go out 
were two celeron 1.1GHz and a 1.2, being served by a P3/500.  Bit of a 
waste really.

Card alone is more convenient because of the delicacy of floppies, 
especially where all of the non-new servers I work with have spent time 
in sugar mills or refineries, asphalt plants or quarries.  The last one 
I re-installed on had spiders.  One of the directors insists on keeping 
the screwdriver set firmly closed because the plastic handles have 
picked up the smell of molasses just through casual contact with the 
machines.  Now consider what the inside of the floppy drive looks like...

For the long run, cards are much better than you'd think.  I either have 
to download a new floppy for the existing card in the machine or pop the 
back off to use one of ours.  Given I always pop the back off once 
anyway to check connectors, fans and such, I've preferred the card since 
I got it.


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