HP Firmware Updates (or lack thereof)

HP recently announced that they are no longer offering free firmware updates for their ProLiant line of servers.

I have a HP ProLiant G7 N36L MicroServer at home (running Debian stable, naturally) which I got back in early 2011. While it has, and continues, to serve me well, I'll have to reconsider my options when I go looking for a replacement. This is a pity because I really like the MicroServer form factor.

As recently as November 2013, HP released a BIOS update to fix random lockups when installing Windows 8.1/2012 R2 on a MicroServer (I'd never ever be running these operating systems, but the point still stands). I'd be worried if I couldn't upgrade my system for fear of uncovering a bug in firmware that I couldn't get an update for.

Non-free firmware is bad, but in certain circumstances, it can be tolerated. Non-free firmware behind a paywall is worse, and can never be tolerated.

Desktop Upgrade

After serving me well for the past four and a half years, I've finally upgraded my desktop computer. The main driver for this upgrade was that I needed more than 4GB RAM for testing my VMs. Given that DDR4 is due soon, I really wasn't willing to spend money to upgrade my already obsolete DDR2 RAM.

I have no interest in overclocking, so I went with a Intel Core i7-4770 CPU, Gigabyte H87-D3H motherboard, and 16GB of Corsair Vengeance RAM. While I was at it, I took the opportunity to get rid of my tiny Coolermaster Elite 360, and replace it with an Antec One. I was able to recycle the rest of the parts from the old machine to keep costs down.

newpc

Full specifications available here.