Tuesday, 24 February 2004

Today's project

In lieu of accomplishing anything worthwhile today (except more job applications), I replaced the server that Signifying Nothing runs on this morning. The previous server was a discontinued Compaq corporate desktop box (Pentium II 300 MHz) I picked up an eon ago for $400 from Buy.com with 160 MB of RAM and a noisy* 20 GB hard drive. The current server is a tower-case Pentium III, 450 MHz with 256 MB of RAM and a 60 GB hard drive that is basically the reconstituted version of a (then top-of-the-line) PC I paid good money for from Quantex about five years ago—the only newish components are two 10/100 Ethernet cards† and a spare CD burner I had lying around the house. I did a fresh Debian sarge install using the Beta-2 installer from CD-R (which went smoothly after I gave up trying to do a network install instead), then updated to unstable and a 2.6.3 kernel (the last part being the most painful step, since I had trouble with the initrd support until I finally gave up on that).

I was hoping the new box would be less noisy, but to no avail (fan noise has replaced drive whining)... I’ll probably have to clear some space and move the box under the desk to get some noise relief. Actually, what’s more likely is that I’ll get my replacement laptop in a few days then go back to rarely using the computer that is right underneath the SN box, so the noise won’t bother me any more.

* It made a high-pitched whining sound.
SN runs on my home NAT/firewall box/mail hub/DHCP server, hence why it has two Ethernet cards: one to talk to my DSL modem, and the other to talk to my 2002-vintage Netgear wireless router, which I usually use as a switch/wireless access point.