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I'm interested in learning more about UNIX networking (socket programming etc). I prefer to use FreeBSD. What's appropriate computer hardware to purchase and get started on?

I know this is a basic question :-) Any help is appreciated since I've been working on Mac and Windows boxes for my entire life.

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closed as off topic by slhck, ChrisF, Simon Sheehan, 8088, Sathya Nov 10 '11 at 6:19

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Any? I don't think you'll run into problems. The list of Ethernet devices supported by FreeBSD is quite long. – slhck Nov 9 '11 at 19:45
You do realize that your Mac is a Unix system, that happens to have a fancy GUI? – Daniel Beck Nov 9 '11 at 21:57
@DanielBeck yes I realize that. I'd like a dedicated *nix box that I can use to talk to my other computers (network programming etc). – SundayMonday Nov 9 '11 at 22:25

A computer, Pentium Pro or better, and a network card (any built-in to the system should be acceptable).

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My only caveat would be to avoid wireless cards if possible. Fewer are supported, and wireless connections always break more often than ethernet regardless of the OS.

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