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“Here I am, here I remain!” December 23, 2010

Posted by Rich in server.
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My good intentions about blogging from last August didn’t last through a very busy semester.  Nevertheless, here’s an update.

The “small server” I mentioned in my last post I named leto (of Dune fame) and worked quite well for several months.  It was a PIII 450 MHz processor on an old micro ATX mobo.  I had it functioning mainly as a file server (FTP and SMB) and as a backup server for our laptops.  Unfortunately, leto died.  I tracked it down to something likely with the motherboard or CPU.  I’m guessing it was the motherboard.

I wanted to restore the file-serving functionality I grew used to, so I looked around for other options (replacing such an old motherboard would probably lead to an expensive ebay purchase).  I found a tantalizing deal on a stand-alone NAS, the D-Link DNS-321.  However, by the time I concluded my research, the deal expired.  No good.  I decided to find an old computer from craigslist or the like and create a new server.  A strong requirement for the candidate computer would be SATA ports, since I wanted to put a large drive (around 1 TiB) in, and IDE drives aren’t really sold in that capacity.  This made it difficult to find a used computer for much less than $100, my target budget.

I went to Newegg and realized I could get the components I needed to resurrect leto for just shy of my $100 budget.  So I purchased a new motherboard, CPU, and RAM using some Christmas money.  I pulled out the bad motherboard with its accompanying CPU and memory and installed the new hardware.  I’m pleased to say that everything works great!

The CPU is a Sempron 2.7 GHz, which is 6 times the speed of the 450 MHz P3.  The faster speed, greater memory, and the more modern microarchitecture all make for a much faster server.  I’m still setting up the software, but I’ve already installed Ubuntu (server edition) and some services (FTP, Samba, etc) and am working on configuring others.  It looks like leto has been successfully resurrected.