I guess it had to happen sooner or later. The PC I built about 10 years ago finally turned flaky and had to be replaced. It started out as my desktop machine originally. I can’t remember what I had running on it, but probably Windows 95 or Windows 98. It had a Pentium S processor (not Pentium II, not Pentium III) running at 120 MHz…
After a few years of service, I got a new machine and decided to put the old one to work as an Internet gateway server hooked up to my cable modem. I used an OS which was known at the time as “E-Smith”, a derivative of RedHat Linux, cut down to essentials and hardened to make a secure access point to the Internet. E-Smith has since been renamed “SME Server“, and my system was running the 5.5 release for about 5 years nonstop (okay, with an occasional reboot). It had 64 MB of RAM and a 4 GB hard drive to start out with. On that, it faithfully provided firewall, email, web, ftp, samba and ssh services.
I added a 20 GB drive at some point to have more room for music files, thinking I would use the machine as a central repository for a network jukebox. It never really took with the rest of the family, though, so that pretty much went unused.
Recently I started having problem with the box locking up and not providing Internet access any more. I looked into the logs and saw some attempts at hacking passwords. At that point I decided it was time to upgrade to version 7 of SME Server (for better security), and at the same time retire the old hardware.
I had a spare box prepared for just this purpose, got it out of the garage and upgraded the software to version 7 (I had prepared it a long time ago with version 6). Then I swapped out the boxes, did a little work and was up and running again. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that smooth, since I messed around with my wireless router and various other things at the same time.
Anyway, here are some pictures of the retired server “in memoriam”.
UPDATE: Since upgrading to version 7 of SME Server, my spam email count on the domain that server hosts has gone way down. This version has built-in spam filtering at the server level. I just hope normal emails go through. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve had a normal email come through yet. I’ll have to double-check that.