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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a computer for free from Craigslist Sunday. It's a Gateway Server 7400. It's a beast of a computer. It weighs 20 pounds, it's about 16 inches long and it's on wheels. It has 2 power supplies and 6 ports for hard drives and they're hot-swappable. So, the plan is that I'm going to make it into an entertainment center.

http://support.gateway.com/s/Servers/COMPO/Cases/3500793/3500793sp4.shtml

Gateway® 7400 Server Specifications
Case Dimensions
(W × D × H) 8.6 × 28.8 × 17.4 inches (21.84 × 73.15 × 44.2 cm)

Note: With outriggers and castors, system is 20-in. (50.8 cm) high.
Processors As many as two Intel® Pentium III™ (FC-PGA Socket 370) processors operating at 667 MHz or faster with 133
RAM Four DIMM sockets support up to 2.0 gigabytes (GB) of PC/133 SDRAM
BIOS Flash BIOS for easy updates from diskette
IDE Interfaces Supports as many as four ATAPI/IDE devices (hard drives, CD drives, LS-120 drives) using two onboard PCI IDE adapters
Floppy Disk Drive Interface Floppy disk drive controller is integrated on the system board
# I/O Ports One parallel port
# Two serial ports
# Two USB ports
# One PS/2 keyboard port
# One PS/2 mouse port
# Video port
# RJ-45 LAN port.

LPT and COM ports configurable from BIOS Setup utility. No jumper settings required.
SCSI Interfaces Integrated dual-channel U160 LSI 53C1010 SCSI controller
Network Interface Intel 82559 PCI Ethernet controller
Video Integrated ATI Rage-XL PCI-based VGA controller with 4 MB of PC100 SDRAM
Expansion Slots Seven PCI slots (two 64-bit, 33 megahertz (MHz) and five 32-bit, 33 MHz)
Power Supply 350 Watt redundant power supply
Certification FCC Class A, UL, CUL, CD Mark, VCCI, CB Scheme
Environmental
Note: The following specifications identify maximum environmental conditions. At no time should the server run under conditions which violate these specifications.
# Temperature Maximum rate of change = 10° C per hour
# Operating: 5° to 35° C (41° to 95° F); derated 0.5° C for every 1000 ft. (305 m)
# Non-operating: -48.3° to 65.5° C (-55° to 150° F)
Altitude 10,000 feet maximum
Humidity Non-operating 95% relative (noncondensing) at 30° C (86° F)
Operating Wet Bulb Not to exceed 33°C (91.4° F) (with floppy disk drive or hard drive)
Shock Operating 2.0 g, 11 millisecond, 1/2 sine
Shock Packaged Operational after 30-inch free fall (cosmetic damage might occur)
AC Input Power
100-120 V~
200-240 V~
100-120 V~, 6 A, 50/60 Hz
200-240 V~, 3 A, 50/60 Hz

Soo.. any ideas?? And yes.. I'm a geek.. LOL :D
 

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Servers work fine for hosting media to play on another device (Xbox 360 for instance) but because of their crappy video cards (and most don't have AGP or PCIx slots for better cards) they don't make good playback devices, especially for HD video. I have a server at home that hosts media for streaming to my 360 and other PCs. I run Ubuntu Server 9.04 on it.
 

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Upgrade the CPUs to 1 Gig models, the 1 gig P-IIIs seem to run a bit cooler than the slower units. Install Red Hat Linux for your operating system, a good video capture card, and Myth TV for video recording.


Ron M.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am gonna upgrade it, but I feel it's a good starting point for what I want to do. That and the fact that it has slots for 6 hard drives that I can swap on the fly...500 GB and 1 TB hard drives are surprisingly cheap. I have always wanted to try Linux out but a friend of mines wants me to use Windows 7. I also have been looking at a video card that unlocks most cable and satellite channels.. as well as provide internet. It'll probably take me a few months, then I'll have to wait till tax time to get a LCD TV to get it going where I can enjoy it.
 

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Too bad that servers are so damned expensive to ship and run. My son got an old server, its a dual xeon Pentium 4 2.8ghz Dell server with 4 gigs of ram in it. My work was going to throw it away. Weighs about 100 pounds (feels like it anyways).

The problem is that it is so freaking heavy and uses so much electricity when its running makes it not nearly worth to run. It has a bunch of 15,000 rpm scsi drives in it too.
 

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Don't use Windows 7 man, that's not a server class OS and it's too new for that hardware. Also, before you go throwing money at hard drives, make sure you get some that are compatible with the motherboard. Some of those older machines don't support LBA48 hard drives.

For an OS, you need to get a good server class OS. If you must run Windows, on that old of a machine Server 2000 is probably the way to go, but the security holes and obvious dating of the OS are a severe downfall. I prefer Ubuntu server myself, but Red Hat is a good choice if you are willing to put some time into learning it. Ubuntu is by far the easiest to maintain and operate IMO, while Red Hat is a bit more powerful. For the hardware you have though, I'd recommend Ubuntu server edition.

Just don't put Windows 7 on it...whatever you do, don't do that.
 

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Back in my IT dork days, I thought it would be awesome to bring a server home to act as a media server. It wasn't. All I needed was a desktop with RAID 1. The server had three power supplies that not only chewed through power but made a sh*t ton of racket. It had a crap video card because most people don't care about playing games or how pretty web pages look in a server room. If they do, they won't be in IT for very long. :D

On the upside, it had a nice RAID array, great front side bus speed and lots of nice redundancies (like those extra power supplies).

I would just build a decent desktop with a couple of SATA drives with good spindle speed and set up some software RAID to protect your data. Quick, easy and inexpensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
To be honest, I fired it up and it's not that loud and I think I can turn off the extra power supply.. But I'm not completely sure about that. By the time I'm finished with it, it'll be a completely different machine. In the mean time, I'm gonna look at linux again.
 

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To be honest, I fired it up and it's not that loud and I think I can turn off the extra power supply.. But I'm not completely sure about that. By the time I'm finished with it, it'll be a completely different machine. In the mean time, I'm gonna look at linux again.
Try removing the extra power supplies. They are hot swappable so you should be able to remove one or two and leave just one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
if the effin site wouldn't go down everytime I try.... :cantlook:


 

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Windows, that's not a server edition, is going to be to bloated for what u want to do.

www.ubuntuforums.com

You be surprised how easy linux can be. And you can find a guide for pretty much everthing u want or need to do with the terminal
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
yeah it's a beast.. hence the reason for the wheels... LOL
 
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