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Gateway had the right idea, they just paid the price of being ahead of their time. How many innovators have been punished for bringing an innovative product to market far ahead of mature consumer demand or technology? In 1998, the Gateway system was radical and expensive. Fast-forward a couple of years, and everything but the 36" screen is a commodity. The fusion of PC and home entertainment system is a given; the only question is, what form will it take? From where I sit in February '00, I'm inclined to place my chips on the new Sony Playstation, combined with a high-resolution (72+dpi) display as the best contender for paradigm of the next 5 years.
At the risk of drawing flames from all partisans... I've been using MacOS, WinNT, Solaris, and Linux machines as desktop platforms for years, and I cannot honestly say that any of these systems is significantly better than the others for ordinary, day-to-day usage. Solaris is the loser when it comes to applications, but it runs for many months between reboots. My Mac, NT, and Linux boxen all run diverse application loads 24x7 for weeks at a time. Conversely, I can hose all three (a skill I have not yet mastered with Solaris). MacOS 8.x is preferable to the others when it comes to system maintenance, but undesirable for application testing. :-)
Everything good Ben Adida says about Vicom Internet Gateway is equally true of the excellent Macintosh shareware program IPNetRouter by Sustainable Softworks. I have used this program on my PowerMac 7200/75 for about nine months, since my IP masquerading Linux router proved to be too flaky in the presence of power outages. (No flames, please. It's the simple truth.)
IPNetRouter does everything that I can think of wanting a software router to do. Furthermore, it has several advantages over VIG. 1. It supports unlimited clients. 2. The online documentation is excellent! 3. It's shareware. Try before you buy, for up to 30 days. 4. It's cheap: $89 for a one-gateway license, or half that price if you are an educational user.
In this era of slow, buggy bloatware, IPNetRouter is refreshingly small, fast, and reliable - as well as full-featured. And it's shareware, so you lose nothing by trying it.