Goodbye, old 120 MHz Pentium S network server, you’ve done your duty

November 30, 2006 9:56 pm

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”.

Booting up for the last time, part one Booting up for the last time, part 2 Dust around the CPU There sit the 64 MB of RAM Look at those five years of dust accumulated! An old SoundBlaster AWE32 ISA full length card

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.

One Response to “Goodbye, old 120 MHz Pentium S network server, you’ve done your duty”

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