Old hardware page (was: Web server on 33 MHz?)

I have a "thing" for old machines, and although in this particular case, their CPU power, RAM and storage could be outperformed in every way by few hundred $ PC, so their only job is to make me happy. ;)

Supa

HP Netserver E60

I bought this HP for ~40$ and invested ~40$ more and got respectable machine. I got it in rather shabby condition, but after cleaning and changing system and PSU fans, it ran smoothly. Now it serves as a "flagship" of my little home network by providing essential connectivity from LAN to WAN.

Configuration:

  • 2x Pentium III Coppermine 600 (Slot 1)
  • 512MB unbuffered PC100 ECC RAM
  • ICP Vortex GDT6518RS (64MB PC100 ECC cache)
  • 3x IBM Ultrastar 2ES 4.33GB @ RAID4 (for system)
  • IBM Ultrastar 18ES 18GB(for storage)
  • HP SureStore T20i
  • (Debian) Linux 2.6.18-5-686

The machine was not particularly problematic regarding installation and configuration, but please take note the front page and my modified BIOS.

Digital Prioris XL DP5200

This one was a bitch. Old Digital EISA machine are approximately as fun to configure as old IBM MCA machines. This machine requires EISA configuration disk (easily obtainable on Digital/Compaq/HP web) to make any BIOS changes, but more important, any hardware change you make requires running that same disk and saving BIOS, regardless whether you need to change anything in the configuration utility itself. I spent nearly a day trying to figure out why do Windows only see 96MB (old configuration) when POST reports 256MB without a problem - solution -> run EISA configuration utility, do nothing but merely save settings and that's it. Except for that little nuisance, neat machine, though. It runs Windows 2000 server that runs IIS, MS SQL and showed great legacy compatibility, because i ran AppleTalk server on it without a problem, making sharing from PC to old Mac (pre System 8) unbelievably easy!

Configuration:

  • 2x Pentium P54C 200MHz + 256kb L2 cache
  • 256MB EDO RAM
  • Seagate Cheetah 18LP 9.11GB
  • Adaptec 2940UW
  • Windows 2000 Server

Apple Macintosh Quadra 650 (was: (this) Web server runs on 33MHz?)

Well, yes, it's true, and it is quite possible. :)

Configuration:

  • Motorola 68040 33MHz
  • 132MB EDO RAM
  • IBM Ultrastar 2ES 4.33GB
  • OpenBSD 4.2 mac68k

or for those who like a bit firmer proofs:

Apple Macintosh Quadra 650 on OpenBSD

Installation instructions for OpenBSD 4.2 were followed from here and there were generally no particular problems. Machine is definitely not a number cruncher; it took:

  • 7:15 min to calculate DSA key
  • 3:45 min to calculate RSA key
  • about an hour and 10 min to encode ~35MB WAV to MP3 via lame on "--preset insane" option

however, so far, it seems to run apache very well, and I even read news with pine and compile C/C++ code on it...

Apple PowerMac 8100/110

Having a NUBUS PPC Mac and wanting something else than System 7/8/9 is really, really perverted. Currently, I am trying to make it work but without any luck. If there will be any progress, I will provide a detail explanation here since documentation on the web is catastrophically lousy and contradictory. Stay tuned... :)

I stayed absolutely delighted with Mac OS 8(.6) and decided to leave it as a working OS. More to come...Finally, although as usually, pressed with time, I managed to pull something out of this one. Project MKlinux was chosen due to the problems regarding Nubus based PPC's.

MKlinux related resources:
  • Official page - http://www.mklinux.org
  • Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MkLinux
  • As of December 2008, the only usefully FTP that hosts Mklinux (don't even bother with the official one) - ftp://ftp.sunet.se/pub/os/Linux/distributions/mklinux/

In short, what is Mklinux all about; I'll quote the official page: "MkLinux is an Open Source operating system which consists of an implementation of the Linux operating system hosted on the Mach microkernel. We estimate that there are somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 MkLinux users. A significant number of the installed MkLinux systems are being used in mission-critical applications.".

God dam, these guys are real jokers! I bet seeding pornography is quite "mission-critical" application, especially when your ratio is very low, but who sane would believe in this, I can only imagine... Not only that there is basically no useful documentation of whatsoever, support is a word that does not exist in these guys dictionary and the product itself is quite shabby.

Installing Mklinux on PowerMac 8100 was quite traumatic experience. The only way that could be done in my case is to choose "Server lite" package (basically, that was all I need, but hey!) - other options produced entertaining errors (such as random freezes, inability to log in properly, etc.).

There are two things that drove me crazy, and as for now, only one is solved.

SSH
Before installing this version of OpenSSH, do the following as root:

1.  adduser sshd
2.  mkdir /var/empty

NOTE: This package, without modification, will only work correctly
with monolithic kernels due to a bug in privilege separation support.

IF you are using MkLinux in a non-monolithic configuration (e.g.
with Mach), you must turn privilege separation off in the sshd config
file and restart sshd.  This is detailed below.  For security reasons,
we have elected to continue distributing this with privilege separation
turned -on-, and offer this workaround as an interim step until the
bug can be resolved.

MkLinux users: after updating the package, in /etc/ssh/sshd_config,
change the line:

# UsePrivilegeSeparation yes

to read

UsePrivilegeSeparation no

then type /etc/rc.d/init.d/sshd restart

This is necessary due to an apparent incompatibility between Linux 2.0.x
kernels and the current privilege separation implementation.  We are
investigating and will make changes and contribute them back as soon as
possible.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

OpenSSH and OpenSSL RPMs can be found here - ftp://ftp.sunet.se/pub/os/Linux/distributions/mklinux/updates/not_exportable/R1/.

Personally, after installation, I couldn't log on, and logs gave this error:

setresuid x: function not implemented.

Since the machine is well protected by firewall and is remotely accessed only via LAN I decided not to pursue this problem, but merely activated telnet (uncomment associated line in /etc/inetd.conf).

gcc

As for gcc issue, it is necessary to install the following packages:

  • gcc-2.95.3.pre-2hmk.ppc.rpm
  • gcc-c++-2.95.3.pre-2hmk.ppc.rpm
  • cpp-2.95.3.pre-2hmk.ppc.rpm
  • glibc-2.1.3-3amk.ppc.rpm
  • glibc-devel-2.1.3-3amk.ppc.rpm
  • glibc-profile-2.1.3-3amk.ppc.rpm
  • kernel-headers-2.1.24-20000223.ppc.rpm

All those packages can be found here - ftp://ftp.sunet.se/pub/os/Linux/distributions/mklinux/mklinux-pre-R1/ppc/RedHat/RPMS/.

The "issue" was produced by the fact that that I had no C headers (solved via kernel-headers package) and for those I did have, I couldn't use properly since they required stating the full path in the include directive of the source code (that makes little sense). I am not sure whether that issue was corrected by kernel-headers package, but installing all the packages compiling goes well.

As I mentioned, I was not able to install gcc initially, since it is not in the "Server lite" package, so I presume these issues only arises when installing gcc afterwards.

Apple PowerMac 8100/110 on MkLinux

Configuration:

  • PowerPC 601 110MHz + 256kb L2 cache
  • 136MB EDO RAM
  • 2x IBM Ultrastar 2ES 4.33GB
  • Mac OS 8.6
Miscellaneous
  • Switch - Standard Intel 16 port 10/100 InBusiness switch. I got it very cheap, for ~10$ few years ago.
  • 3x Powercom King UPS, 625VA. Everything is on them, including the switch. Got 4 of these for ~40$ with 8 brand new spare batteries.
Special thanks
  • Calypso - for being just him. No other arguments needed. Did provide that Digital machine, though. :p ;)
  • Iggy - for not being able to count how much enterprise class hardware he has provided for me
  • Walter - for kindly handing over the PPC Mac (and some other lovely machines; TBA) to my greedy fingers
  • A-Burn - for providing retro support and also some lovely oldies (also TBA).
  • Borek - for being a friend even when I was not one... :(
  • My kind neighbor, who is paying electricity for this junk without even knowing it (hey, he had an extra plug and no objection!) :D
  • I must have forgotten somebody here for certain, so, to you, forgotten John Doe, many thanks as well