| The iWombat Server
The challenge: Install a web/mail server for under $100
The story behind the solution:
Step 1 - Shopping
The first step in the endevour was a trip to RE-PC. A quick trip through the "boot-only"
systems yeilded a spanky little p-133. Complete with 2g hard drive and 24meg
of Ram and (this was the kicker) a built-in CD-ROM drive, I needed little
else. Total cost $65.
A quick inventory of other necessities resulted in an additional
- network card - $10
- keyboard - $5
I was up to an entire $80 already, only $20 of wiggle-room left. Turns out
I wouldn't need it.
Step 2 - Installation and Setup
Fortunately I had RedHat 7.1 already kicking around on CD-ROM (hence the requirement
for CD-ROM). A quick installation of a standard RedHat server (without gui),
some additional packages for pop services, a litle setup and plug in to the
firewall and I was ready to roll. Only one thing was lacking - I didn't have
muck room before swapping could get to be an issue. Especially if I wanted
to fiddle with tomcat and servelets. Fortunately, one of my collegues had
some 16meg DIMMs sitting around. So, a quick upgrade to 48meg and all is
Step 3 - Expanding the Scope
Well, not wanting to let any cycles on a perfectly good server go idle. I
decided to recently make it the cvs repository for my opensource project(s).
Perhaps I'll get around to making it a news server if I can find a cheap disk.
Total spent: $80. Services on the box. Mail, hosting 2 websites (www.iwombat.com,
www.combshouse.com), CVS repository.
I'm currently using zoneedit.com for hosting my DNS entries as well as mail
back-up this service currently runs me $10/year. Not a bad deal. So, I'm using
dynamic DNS with a DSL connection. DNS info is refreshed twice daily via
a cron-job. I had some initial issues with my DSL provider dropping me every
once in awhile. Those days seem to be over, but the refereshes are a decent
9/10 - Since the initial write-up I've been doing nightly builds of the opensource
repository on this machine as well. The P-133 was getting a bit long in the
tooth for that, so I bought a second hand Celeron 333Mhz motherboard for $25
off of Ebay and installed it. Fortunately I was able to recycle some P100
memory modules I'd recently upgraded on another box. So, now I'm up to 384M.