What’s That Little Thing?

I should never be allowed into an electronics store or a computer store unsupervised. There are just too many gadgets and I have too many ideas to be trusted to not come out of one of these stores without spending too much or bringing home something new and unusual. As I documented yesterday I was going to need some new parts in order to make the necessary repairs around the house. I am usually ok going to Home Depot or Lowe’s by myself. Well ok that might be debatable especially after the whole rewiring the house and adding home automation fiasco of 1999. By the way, the switch explosion was not among those that I had previously messed with so this one was not my fault. That’s my story and I am sticking with it.


I went into the local computer store to find a new hard disk and optical drive to replace the ones that had failed. The moment I entered the store I knew I was in trouble. It was like being in a candy store. The aisles were filled with a cornucopia of goodness. There were new video cards, speaker systems, flat screen monitors, mother boards, cases, anything my heart could imagine and I can imagine a lot. I quickly lost focus as to what I had come to get. My attention was instead drawn to a toy; one I could not possible live without out.
I have been building custom computers for the past 6 years so I am very comfortable with the concept of combining components to create the perfect blend of performance and cost effectiveness. Trina would of course argue that I am way too slanted to the performance side of the equation. I keep telling her it is all relative. I mean I haven’t built anything requiring a raised floor data center; yet. Most of my builds so far have been large desktop systems used for video editing or computational modeling but that is not what is drawing me on this particular trip. This time I am looking squarely at the small form factor. My thoughts were that this would be perfect to create a small test server so that I can get more comfortable with managing a dedicated web server/database server/mail server. What would be better equipped to do that than a SFF? And since Trina is out of town I can only assume that she is cool with me taking on this project.
I ran back to the front of the store and grabbed a shopping cart. Just because the computer is a small form factor doesn’t mean everything has to be small. I picked up a Shuttle P35 bare-bones system which includes a 400 watt power supply. I added to that an Intel quad core processor capable of being overclocked. I mean who hasn’t dreamed of overclocking a server before? I added to that 4 GB of RAM (you can never have too much memory). I then added a couple of hard disks for storage. I bought a 320GB drive as the primary drive and 1TB for data. Hey if you are going to build a server you may as well go big. I picked up a second 1TB drive to replace the one I came in for in the first place (see I didn’t completely forget why I was here). I also got a couple of DVD burners with Light Scribe technology; one for the server and one to replace the broken one at home. That one may be difficult to explain. I can’t for the life of me think of a justification for having Light Scribe on a server but I’m sure I’ll come up with something. Finally I needed a video card so I bought an Nvidia 9800GT card. It has awesome frame rates which I am sure will be useful in a server. Ok maybe not but it did sound cool.
With a basket full of parts I made my way to the check stand and out to the car. Now all I needed was to get this thing built and slid out of the way before Trina got home. This is one of those things that it might take a while to try and explain.


2 Comments

  1. Jeff Blogs says:

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  2. Jeff Blogs says:

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    It is as though the Shuttle saga is taking on a life of its own. It was bad enough that I had somehow snuck in a brand new computer but this hole I am digging just seems to be getting…

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