Thursday, Debtember 09, 1999
Now the package I put in the trunk is a new harddrive I picked up from CompUSA yesturday. Tower (the webserver for conman.org) is running a bit low in disk space so I figured I'd put in a new drive to alleviate the problem.
Now tower is a 486SX-33MHz NCR IBM PCompatible that was given to me by a friend (otherwise it would be tossed into the garbage). Not wanting to turn down an otherwise usable machine I took it, increased the memory to a whopping 20M and installed Linux on the just barely 200M harddrive.
Yup. I'm serving up the primary web server, an online bible and friend's site on a machine that most people would otherwise toss into the garbage. It's adequite enough for what I do with it (and for four years another friend ran his company, a web hosting company, off a 486 (okay, so it was twice as fast as my 486, but it worked).
So I went to CompUSA yesturday to find the cheapest harddrive I could find. I don't need that much space.
The cheapest drive I could find (okay, it wasn't the cheapest, but it was the best price per gig) was a huge 17G harddrive for $150.
Sure, I could have probably scrounged around for a drive, but it's cheap enough to get a new one.
But it feels odd installing a 17G drive in a 486. My home system only (only!) has a 3G drive.
Why not put the 17G in my home system, and move the 3G to the webserver? Too much hassle. I had quite a bit of fun installing the 17G drive in the 486. The supplied drive cable wasn't long enough (the two drives sit side by side) but fortunately my host company provided a “just long enough” cable for me to use.
Then it was a matter of getting Linux to recognize the second drive. Enabled it in the BIOS, then had to reconfigure some settings through the BIOS (and here I'm glad the NCR had a BIOS program built in. The Compaq 486 I have here doesn't) to get Linux to see more than 500M (the CMOS had some default values which I upped using the settings from another Linux system with a 17G drive installed).
My only concern with such a huge drive is if the machine goes down uncleanly. My Linux system takes forever to fsck a 3G drive, and it's an AMD 586-166MHz system. Lord only knows how long it'll take a 33MHz 486 to fsck a 17G harddrive. Shudder.