The SpleftyServer

Or, more than you ever wanted to know about someone else's computers

Splefty's server closet is literally a closet, roughly 2' x 5' x 9' in size. Here's a "top down" view of the closet. At left is an Epson ink jet printer; on the right is a tower of equipment. The tower is illustrated in the nightmarish photo-collage below because the closet is too small to get a picture of the whole 7' stack.


On top are the main router and cable modem. We're connected to the outside world via through, the internet access service of the Oberlin Cable Co-op.

A Linksys BEFW11S4 acts as a router, firewall, 100-baseT switch and 802.11b (WiFi) access point. I've had pretty good luck with Linksys equipment and this box sure does a lot. I just wish it had a few more ports!

Hanging off the Linksys on the other side of the room is an 8 port 10/100 switch that handles all of my new computers, a ratty old 10-baseT hub that handles the printer and slow computers, and the server itself.

This Kogi monitor was absolutely the cheapest 1024 x 768 flat panel monitor I could get at CompUSA. I wouldn't want to stare at it all day but it's fine the occasional terminal hacking.

The keyboard is one of the old Apple ADB keyboards plus a Kensington Turbo Mouse trackball. The trackball is pretty essential given the complete lack of space here.

Batman and I finally brought 20 amp service up to my office so could stop feeling guilty about overloading the knob and tube wiring with all the junk I've got in my office. Yay grounding. The power strip is some Belkin unit that I drilled a bunch of holes in so that it would be easier to wall-mount.

Below the power strip is my removable hard drive backup system from Granite Digital. Looks like I have all three 80 GB backup unit sitting on the same shelf just waiting for a tornado to come by wipe out all of my data. There's also a firewire CD-R burner here but I don't use it much. CDs just don't hold enough.

Next comes our HP LaserJet 5MP laser printer. Elizabeth and I bought this in 1997 so we could write (or at least print out) our theses. It was big bucks but it rocks. It has been a champ performer for years. It doesn't have an ethernet connection so I picked up an HP DirectJet EX Plus 3 off of eBay. I recommend getting an HP brand print server for your HP printer. You can probably get one for cheap. I had a D-Link DP-101 but it choked on large images.

Below the printer is staten-island, the machine that served this web page to you. Staten-island started life as Elizabeth's desktop computer, a 233 MHz Power Mac G3. She bought a new powerbook G4 and this machine became our server. It's had a lot of new hardware put in it:

  • An OWC Mercury 500 MHz G3 underclocked to 466 MHz. (This puts it at an even 7x the 66 MHz bus speed and reduces power consumption.)
  • Radoc (?) Firewire + USB card
  • An Apple 100-baseT ethernet card
  • A Seagate Baracuda IV 80 GB drive

This machine has been running Mac OS X since August 2001. It's never crashed. I bought OS X Server 10.0 for it but switched regular Mac OS X when 10.2 came out. The server performs the following tasks:

  • Web server (Apache)
  • Apple file protocol server
  • FTP server
  • DNS server
  • SMB (Windows) server
  • Print server (for the Epson inkjet)
  • Mail Server (smtp, imap, pop) using Communigate Pro

Finally, the box from my Dell laptop holds everything up. See, PCs are good for something! :-)

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