You see, what’s fun about big computers is… oh wait… there’s no fun here.
Back sometime in ‘98, whilst I was working in a computer store, my fascination with big computer crap began. And I purchased this massive “Server” case, which was PC’s case for a couple years. Eventually, this behemoth of a case was “promoted” to an actual server, since routine maintenance/upgrades were painful given it’s shear mass.
Then in ‘04, I had the brilliant idea to purchase the biggest, fattest Laptop mankind has ever seen. The original Dell XPS.
9 pounds of desktop replacement power. Actually, let me rephrase that. Notebook, not Laptop. When placed on ones lap, it doubles as a device that makes you forget you have legs.
So it took me far too long to come to the conclusion that big & heavy computers != good. Great. Why are we here?
Well, The Behemoth *cough* case, and server for that matter, is on it’s way in to retirement. This was something our little 2 man operation planned to deal with after the game was out. Alas, a number of factors have encouraged us to act sooner.
1. We killed the Cisco!
2. Reading/Writing from the old server was slower than something really slow
3. Hearing the sound of “water dripping” coming from a computer is… discerning
4. Building a new computer might be fun (the new part, more than the building part)
We kill routers. Doesn’t matter who makes them, we’ve killed one or two from that manufacturer. I’m sure glad Future Shop/Best Buy offers extended warranties. Thus, in response to our discovery of there being no such thing as a reliable consumer router, we did what any pack of blood sucking marsupials would do. We ordered a used Cisco router on eBay. $200, and some mis-shipped power supplies later, we were in Cisco town.
However, it recently decided that forwarding HTTP requests was stupid or above it, and quit. Thanks Crisco. I hope you enjoy life on the cold dank shelf of unused computer crap.
I suspect we could have fixed it just fine, but that was hardly the first problem we’ve had with it. One XBox Live connection at a time only? No thanks. Pain to configure for someone with Cisco certification? Double no thanks.
So in an effort to kill 37 birds with one really freaking sharp stone, we’ve researched, devised, and developed brand new server. The lowest end Intel Core 2 Duo money can buy, a Gig of RAM, 4 320GB drives in a RAID 5 array, 3 NIC’s (1+2), and a small case actually large enough to hold all that.
And it’s blue.
She’s all built, the bulk of the data’s been migrated over (SVN repository, data, reference material), and she’s humming nicely in the corner running Fedora Core 6, 64bit style. There’s no point going in to detail about our Linux complications, but it’s *cough* a good sign when the first version you get to work right was released 3 days ago.