Little T in the Cog apple

New PPC Mac


It couldn't last - I've just got rid of my last PowerPC computer (previously I've also owned a PPC Mac Mini and the mighty dual processor Quicksilver G4 PowerMac) about a month ago and I've gone and bought myself another one - this time an old G5 Xserve!

I've sorted out some very cheap colo storage for a 1U server so I needed something to put in there. It didn't have to be particularly fast as it will be mainly used for offsite rsync backups from my house and my brother's business but it did need to use SATA drives as these are way cheaper than SCSI when it comes to bulk storage. I was going to use an old HP DL360 G4 with twin SATA disks when I found the Xserve going cheap, so snatched that up.

It's a single processor 2.0GHz model with only 1GB RAM and my original plan was to put three 2TB SATA drives in it and install debian Linux across the top in a RAID 5. Turns out the server only has 2 drive caddies so I'm trying to find another one here in NZ which is proving problematic (there are a few on ebay but with shipping to NZ it gets quite expensive, nearly the same cost as a 2TB SATA disk). It also has no graphics card in it (a headless server, the graphics card was a build to order option on this model) which makes installing Linux on it a bit harder than it should be as I need to run the install over serial console.

While I scrounge around for another caddy I've installed OS X Server 10.5 on it (as OS X only supports software RAID levels 0 and 1 it doesn't really matter that I've only got two disks in it) which proved surprisingly easy as OS X is set up to start a VNC session with the machine's serial number as it's password if it detects there is no keyboard/mouse/display attached - if I can't find another caddy (or get Linux installed via serial console) I'd be tempted to leave OS X installed on there as I really only need SSH and a mirrored RAID both of which OS X provides.

And if nothing else, at the end of the day it looks pretty cool in the rack surrounded by the SuperMicros and HPs that sit above and below it :-) Now all I need to do is track down some more DDR PC3200 ECC RAM for it...