Hardware upgrades, or cleaning out the lab

The decision to reduce the number of boxes, is something I’m slowly coming to terms with. With virtualization (Xen, Parallels, and soon I’ll be using VMWare too) it seems kind of daft to have actual physical hardware sitting around, consuming precious space. And with smart OSes now being able to sit off USB (or Firewire) disks, again many boxes seem irrelevant.

hagrid, my ancient file server, a Pentium 200MHz MMX with 64MB of RAM is going the way of the dodo (after nearly five years of service). hagridII is a low-power consuming Pentium III, with 384MB of RAM, and is most definitely not running Red Hat 8.0. At least now the server can also be an SSH gateway, rather than it running on my main desktop. Main reason for an upgrade? The Red Hat 8 install is just plain old, and the 80GB disk, and the 200GB disk that I picked up last year, is just too small. Today, a 320GB disk is only $125, and Ubuntu 6.10 is being popped on. SSH, Samba, fixed IP, and away I go!

Of course, life itself is never going to be so good to you. After I let Ubuntu do all its automagical configuration (good, it detects a “clever” user that likes to be called root and disallows it!), it prompted to reboot. Then I saw the infamous Error 18 from GRUB. It has largely to do with /boot not being in the first cylinders that the BIOS supports (or “selected cylinder exceeds maximum supported by BIOS“). There exists an open Ubuntu bug for this, ubuntu#9006: system unbootable due to old BIOS. So maybe not the friendliest of installs. Fixed with moving drives around, as HagridII is actually 80+200+320 in disks.

Interesting problem, even up to Windows Vista, when they access Samba shares. /movies and /Movies are the same thing (well, /Movies seems to redirect you to /movies). Highly ironic, that they’ve still not gotten case sensitivity correct.

19″ BenQ FP92W ($275) was going off relatively cheaply today, so decided that I could use that as a replacement to the last remaining 17″ CRT that is still around. 1440×900, 5ms response time, seemed like a good purchase to add to the rest of the BenQ flat panels. It seems like a good addition for the PowerMac G5!

Unrelated to hardware, but openSUSE’s mirror select tool is broken. Come from an Australian IP, get pushed to pacific.net and find a file not found error. Oops.

I still need to sort out moving the PegasosPPC box somewhere on the floor (it takes up quite a bit of desk space, as its a big pizza box), and finding a nice PS/2 keyboard, with maybe a trackpad built on it, that is really small. I know IBM make these for server racks, I just wonder where I can get one retail? Good Friday tomorrow, so holiday abound, I’ll get to more cleaning, I’m sure (with everything closed, and all).


  1. Leon Brooks says:

    I recently retired an old server with (tah-daah!) dual Pentium Pro 200 CPUs and 192MB of SIMM-based RAM.

    Also, I’ve fallen into the habit of running everything non-server from my laptop.

  2. byte says:

    Server given away to a new home?