Building notes, projects, and occasional rants

Hardware relax

I like to tinker with hardware, specially old servers.

I spent an hour upgrading our office server this morning. In a world of Ghz speeds, be prepared to slow down a little.

The server was a dual-pIII (yes, Pentium III, Katmai generation) at 450Mhz (yes, mega) with 512Mb RAM (at 100Mhz, in 4 DIMMs). The upgrade replaced the CPUs with a pair of pIII 500Mhz (a 11% increase, not bad), and the memory to 1Gb at 100Mhz. Basically thats the best you can hope for with this Intel N440BX (aka Intel Nightshade) board.

I don't have the full specs for either of them but I would guess that the CPU inside the new iPhone 3GS is a little faster than the pair of pIII I'm using.

The obligatory Flickr set for enthusiasts of old hardware porn.

I also uploaded a small video showing the hardware boot up, but had to use Vimeo because Flickr limits video uploads to 90 seconds, and this server takes a bit more than that just counting the RAM...

I bought this server in 1999, to power the NFS server for the first launch of the service. It was handed down through the times, from company to company, until it belonged to me after the demise of Prodigio. At the time it used two Mylex SCSI RAID controllers (I still have them, one of them in production) with 4 x 9Gb SCSI hard drives on each.

I have a quote for a €390 upgrade to a Core 2 Quad 2.8 Ghz with 8Gb RAM. I plan to do this sometime next month. But this old office server will not die. It will power a smoke server to test Perl modules with several releases of FreeBSD.