Learning from Broken Equipment and Minor Mistakes

A few days ago, I noticed that websites were loading very slowly, particularly in the early stages.  It appeared as if there were problems with the DNS service being provided by my internal storage server.  I tried to SSH into the machine to do some investigation and access the Webmin web interface; neither option worked.  However, I was able to receive replys to pings sent to the server.  I knew something was up, but I would have to dig in to figure out exactly what.

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A Weekend Project

This weekend, I finished the bulk of the work of a long-standing project I had been pondering. I had all sorts of data lying around on my desktop machine that I didn’t want to lose. Photos, videos, school assignments, and the like. I wanted to be able to back up multiple machines and be able to synchronize my documents, especially while I was using my laptop. Knowing what I wanted to do, and being the IT control freak I am, I chose to build out a home storage appliance. I thought I would share my build process.

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Secret Modding Project Revealed

Once again, I am a little lacking on posting, but I’ve got some exciting news….

I would like to announce the arrival of the Apple2PC. My first mod, I took an old Apple IIe and swapped out the original components with modern parts. The system includes:

  • Via M10000N Mini-ITX motherboard with 1GHz processor, onboard audio, video, and network connections, 256MB DDR RAM, 4 USB ports and 2 Firewire ports on the back, and more…
  • 30 GB Maxtor hard drive
  • 250 watt low profile power supply

The actual construction only took me about 3 days, once I sat down and did it. The parts had been sitting for more than a year, waiting for me to get motivated… ;-)

I plan on writing up something about the construction later. I don’t want to make promises I can’t keep, but I want to get it done soon.

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Wireless Streaming Media Server

Today, I am finishing up my Streaming Media Server. It will wirelessly share music streams and setting up in-house file sharing for my music.\n\nThe hardware included a Thinkpad 390E from IBM (333 MHz Pentium II, 192MB RAM, 6 GB hard drive) and a D-Link DWL-122 USB Wireless Wi-Fi Adapter. The software I am using is Debian 3.0 stable and the SlimDevices.com SlimServer software.
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Secret Project on Track Again

My secret modding project was being held up by the lack of a metal part for the back of the machine. Two days ago, Bill (the gentleman making the part for me) came through. I have had some success with grinding and deburring, but I will need two brackets before I can finish the project. I can at least get started, however.

Once I finish with the metalworking, there have to be several holes drilled to attach the backplate to the chassis and to attach the motherboard and other components inside the box.

After that, I can begin assembly, as long as I don’t want to paint the rear panel.

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Project Coming Together

My hardware project is beginning to come together nicely. So far, I have all of the computer components I need, while the exterior case is something I need to work on. Actually, there is a gentleman who is going to help me out by bending the metal pieces I need for the back and the brackets to hold it all together. The only thing I have to do is draw it up so that he knows what I need.

Once I get those pieces, I can assembled everything and then begin to work on the operating system/system configuration. I am leaning towards a dual-boot configuration so that I can have full gaming support no matter which game I want to play.

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