The little static box is up & running, Akrin has been fully migrated to it. I absolutely love that there are no moving parts in there. The running temperature of the CPU is what worried me the most since nothing is making the air flow in & out of there. At the heat of heavy processing, the temperature of the CPU doesn’t go above 67 degrees Celsius. That’s pretty all right! Quite frankly this little box handles stress very well but my point of reference is so obsolete I’m bound to be impressed :).
Picture bellow, the new & old Akrin together for a soul transfer
So there you have it, a kick ass little box discrete to the eyes & ears.
The hardware showed up! So I get busy installing the RAM and the SSD. Habey in all its generosity included a SATA data cable with its barebone server. This is cool I guess, I mean I already have a bunch and hard disks always have cables but I’ll take it.
I proceed to start hooking the SSD when I realize that there are no SATA power slots anywhere.
Do you see anything?
The problem is that apparently I’m the only person who ever bought one of these systems. There is literally no information available on any site (including www.habeyusa.com) on how to power your hard drives. Even though it has an IDE slot, there is no 4 pin Molex power available either, so no luck hijacking one of these for the SATA SSD.
After careful examination of the motherboard, there is one slot that’s labeled “POWOUT1”. It’s a slot whose shape I haven’t seen for ages. I hope you’re sitting as you’re about to read this: it is shaped for 3.5″ floppy disk drive power. And that’s the only power that seems tap-able for hard drives. Much research on the web yields many 4 pin Molex to SATA cable converters. Eventually some Floppy power to to 4 pin Molex. Ultimately I found just the cable I needed.
You’re reading right; SATA Power 15pin to FDD (as in Floppy Disk Drive) power 4 pin…
Habey thought to include a standard SATA data cable but not their weird ass power equivalent. And it you look carefully, SATA power cables have 5 cables, the picture above has only 4. The 3 Volts cable has just been gotten rid of. Doesn’t this affect functionality?
Well fuck everything, I’m not waiting 5 more days for a silly cable. Thankfully we have a master hardware tinkerer at work, and after verifying the voltage of the slots on the motherboard (to verify that it was indeed FDD power), we cannibalized a couple of old power supplies to come up with a Frankenstein cable.
And it works perfectly. Seriously Habey: better labeling, a motherboard manual (online or paper) or a weird ass cable included would have been nice.
Tomorrow we’ll stress test the box and it’d better take the beating without crashing.
Thanks to playtool.com for their very helpful resource.
Akrin is an server whose soul has been through many iterations of old hardware. It never needed much resources so I easily got away with $30 PCs bought at the university surplus.
It currently resides on an aged Pentium IV with just 500MB of RAM and some old IDE hard drive. With the addition of more & more projects (recently: CCTV installation, new sites such as www.blindspotis.com, database intensive Markov chains generation), it’s close to maximum capacity and could use an upgrade.
More than new hardware I’ve decided it was time to change how computing was done at home. And I’m going for no moving parts. This means no fans, no spinning disks and no moving heads.
What are the advantages?
- no vibrations, not an iota of noise
- no jet take off sound when running heavier computation
- no malfunctioning fans that could result in a fire hazard
- supposedly hardware that is more resistant to shocks
- fanless means less powerful which in terms means less power consumption
Here’s what I ordered:
It doesn’t come with RAM or a hard drive. I like the small form factor and the fact that it has 2 NICs. This means it can easily be recycled in a nice router should the experiment fail.
- Some RAM (DDR2 SODIMM), I went for the max 2GB that the EPC-6542 will support. ($45) link
- A 2.5″ SATA II 128GB solid state disk (SSD) ($223 – $75 mail in rebate = $148) link
Now SSDs are pretty expensive compared to traditional hard drives so it is a high price to pay for no moving parts. But they are also much faster, and because of the CCTV cams recording 24/7, I think that the I/O speed gain will have a tremendous overall effect on the server.
Akrin will soon run on $423 of new hardware, this is unprecedented 🙂
To be continued…