serving off the big iron

Tuesday, October 12, 2004, at 08:13AM

By Eric Richardson

I posted this picture of my hacked together server last night and LA Town Crier Don Garza left a comment wondering what it was he was seeing. His confusion isn't all that surprising. From the picture all you see is a jumble of stuff sitting in a corner. What could that be?

hey eric is that your computer?

Dude . Or what . IS this your server/

What the heak is this ?

It's a fair question. The "box" -- strike that; let's call it a conglomeration of components -- you see if what's currently serving up my web site and email, as well as acting as a NAT box providing apartment internet to Magilla's and my computers. There's not a whole lot to it, really. When I replaced most of my computer early last month I was left with some leftover pieces. Most importantly, I had a motherboard (with processor and memory) and a power supply. From that right there you could pretty much built a computer if you wanted to (and I used to do a fair bit of that when I was scrounging cycles for The confluence of several events meant I had some parts and needed to build a server in my apartment, so I figured why not. That's how this beast was born.

Let's take a look at the pieces individually:

  • The power supply is an 180W ATX that originally shipped with a Gateway 2000 Pentium 200 in March of 1997. The fan has died twice, and the fan I've got on there doesn't quite fit the hole but it gets the job done.
  • The motherboard is from July, 1999, and houses a PII 400 and 384MB RAM (I just installed 128MB the other day that I rescued from Kathy's dead computer).
  • The 60gig hard drive has had a troubled history. I bought it in February, 2002, and it worked great until January, 2004. Then I tried to spin it up in August and nothing happened. But then in September I smacked it and it came to life. Now it's running like a champ.
  • The two ethernet cards have to be separated or they'll manage to short each other out somehow. There's a Bank of America mailing sitting between them.

And, well, that's it. The motherboard is sitting on top of the static bag my new one came in while the other two components are just chillin' on the windowsill. I just noticed the video card fan is dead, so that might be trouble in the future. For now, though, it works great.