Wednesday, October 24, 2012

PC or PoC Update: Gigastrand Server

 Original Post

The Gigastrand OS A.04 is now running successfully on 100% of our systems. The last of the systems loaded being the Gigastrand Server.

Because of the age of this server, the system ended up being reloaded twice to get it to work properly. Something happened with root access the first time around that we are still unsure of exactly what happened.

The Gigastrand OS is an improvement over Linux Mint Debian - on this box at least. For one, it runs much faster than before. Secondly, it runs the stuff we want it to run and we can install things we were never able to before thanks to Gigastrand OS being built on a stable release of Debian.

We were concerned that Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) was all this server could run as it rejected LM10 KDE, LM10 Gnome (main edition) and several other versions of Linux initially.

We have updated the hardware a little as well. We have installed a PCI SATA card to add 2 SATA ports to the machine. Before, the System would only accept IDE drives. We also have adapters to convert the IDE ports to SATA if we run out of IDE drives.

Ok, so many of you reading this may think: What is the point? Why not just upgrade it? Why try to work around the obvious deficiencies and just go with something new?

Well, we could but here are a few reasons why we are tweaking the system: 
  1. Here at Gigastrand we hold the radical belief that a computer is obsolete ONLY when it no longer does what you need or want it to do. With a little tweaking, we can keep this machine doing what we need and want it to do.
  2. Making the little tweaks to the system have cost us less than $75 and maybe an hour and a half worth of labor (not including the OS loads). Which is about 1/4 the cost in time and effort it would take to pull, build, and re-purpose the existing (and I might add working) hardware.
  3. It is the green thing to do. Reduce, reuse, re-purpose. 
  4. Personally, it is important. This machine has been through a lot and we have a lot of history together.
  5. It is a challenge. Coming up with creative solutions to extend the life of a PC gives us experience with these types of solutions for our customers.
So, there you have it. The Gigastrand server marches on.

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