Piss-off #1,235,424,998: websites that require “www”

I’m very proud of myself. Yesturday, in the space of about an hour, I managed to assemble a reasonably working computer from parts I had lying around. Actually, I’m not sure if I should be ashamed of my packratishness or not 🙂 It is sans-case, but thanks to the donation of a 250w power supply from Yohimbe, I had everything else.

The box is as follows:

  • 250w power supply (borrowed)
  • Asus P2L97 motherboard (found in the closet, used to be one of my boxes’ board)
  • Intel PII-300 (donated a long time ago when I asked for hardware donations for the ufies server…. it works ok, but doesn’t have a fan, and in fact, isn’t designed to have one, it just has this wierd huge heat sink)
  • 3Com 3C905 network card (spare, no idea where it came from, but I’m glad I had it, as all my spare network cards have otherwise been borrowed away)
  • Riva 128 video card (no clue where this came from, but it was in my box of misc cards)
  • Adaptec AHA-2940UW SCSI card (donated by raskal in the previously mentioned cry for hardware)
  • 2x2G SCSI drives (also donated by raskal)
  • 1x, generic IDE CDROM drive (from a stack of two, this is the slower one, yet it will support bootable CDROMs, go figure)

So this whole mess is without case as I said before, is without case, so it’s spread across the side of the desk, humming happily away. I can feel the rotation from the high speed SCSI drives in my arm even as I type. The other thing that Yohimbe passed onto me was a speeding fast Pentium 1-233 (mmx!) chip and board, which could speed up fishbowl by almost double. I’d put that in now, but that’d be just far more work than I’m willing to do this early in the morning (and I’d loose net, and that’s no good now is it?). In theory I can get this system installed, copy my website over to it, and transparently reset things to point to it. It’ll be fun setting it all up anyway.

As far as what’s going on it, I’m putting gentoo linux 1.4rc1 (gcc 3.2) on it. I love debian, don’t get me wrong, but some things that gentoo allows are pretty cool, such as setting up raid at install time (I’ve got the two hard drives set up with RAID 0 (striping) to give me a full 4G hard drive, instead of 2x2G. I figure I can pump a bit more performance out of it with gentoo as it’s optimized for the hardware itself, not the lowest common denominator, not that it really matters mind you. I also like the idea of RAID and SCSI, as on fishbowl right now the hard drives are getting about 1-3mb/s transfer rates, so hopefully this puppy will get a bit better 🙂 For comparision, I get 30mb/s on my main workstation (and on “real” (ie: current) scsi systems as Cuvarack has, you get like, 8,000,000mb/s or something insane like that).

Of course, the glory of a “compiled for your processor” system is also the downfall, as it’s going to take half a day to compile everything 🙂 But I get to listen to the lovely “crunch-grind” sounds coming from the hard drives beside me for a while longer 🙂

Today Firefly has an open house at the barn, so I’ll be heading there in a couple of hours. Will probably stop by the gym before or after though, get a workout in.