What is the 3-Pack?

What is the 3-Pack?

The 3-Pack system is a culmination of the development of concepts going back fifteen years, please read the history section for more details. It is to the world at large a new concept in computer casing that we believe will open the doors for easy cross operating system productivity for serious computer users.

This is much more than a new computer case; it is a new way of working free from restrictions imposed by sticking to one operating system vendor. The 3-Pack case can hold as its name says, three complete computers running different operating systems in one self contained unit with all of the shared drives available to each mother board.

Other uses can be as a company server unit with three motherboards and shared drives making an ideal self contained Mail, Internet server, SQL server and file server all in one compact unit. In this usage model, the Gigabit internal network will come into its own and the water cooling will ensure constant thermal needs are met.

For most users and this will be most common is to run a high speed Windows environment combined with a fast Mac OSX Leopard system so that you have access to the best tools for the job at hand and not compromise. However, this leaves one computer system unused. So what could be better than a system running the wonderful Ubuntu or another Linux distribution for Linux server application development and testing. Alternatively if a Windows developer, you could have a high speed Vista system and the second system setup with Windows server 2003 and SQL Server 2005, and finally the Macintosh for graphical design work and using Apple's Time Machine to back everything up.

The User Experience

As a user you will have a computer case about 4 inches wider than the average tower case sitting on or under your desk working quietly. Controlling this is a wireless keyboard and mouse and being viewed on a single high resolution monitor. You will swap between operating systems as you would applications and the shared text clipboard and data sharing will create a seamless environment over the built in gigabit internal network. With all of this data being created, use the Mac's Time Machine to ensure you lose nothing.

Why not emulate Windows on a Mac?

This is an obvious question to ask and we shall answer it right now. Emulation or virtual machines running on a host OS, allow a reasonable experience for most users and we would encourage this. However, they are not as good as having a full machine with its own accelerated hardware and drivers, plus to add a new computer to the 3 pack would cost very little.

For example, a Windows CAD program with a top of the range 3D graphics card can not be emulated running on a Mac using virtual machine software. Also when you run a virtual machine you sacrifice a large chunk of your system memory to run the Windows programs. We will list the good and bad points to emulation or virtual machine later. Of course, running a Mac OSX instance from Windows is at best almost impossible and illegal. But we offer a legal way of running the two together.

Water Cooling!!

The 3-Pack is the first computer system that not only has up to three motherboards built in but also can have water cooling selected as an option when configuring a new system. The entire new system can be offered water cooling or just individual motherboard trays, however, be aware that for most users this is for quiet and low thermal operation with high speed components. It can also be upgraded to an over clocked system for high end computational or graphical work and quiet operation. We believe that water cooling is a vital tool to help high end users reach the performance they require. Hopefully the 3-Pack will be that solution.

The 3-Pack is an ideal way for a Windows power user to gain Macintosh power at very low cost, however, we also show you how to link a low cost Mac to you Windows machine to work in cooperation to give you the best of both worlds.

Steve Jones

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