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sdevans
2007-10-15, 05:05
Fishing for some advice....

My 'garage pc' just fell over again and as the slimserver machine that's really annoying, no music! Some hardware/power failure this time which I may not be able to fix.

So I start looking round on ebay to buy another 5 year old beige box and use that as the server. Then I thought how about an old mac, as a recent convert to OSX, I am impressed, and was thinking maybe even old macs will be well built and won't fall over.

So which is more reliable (and will slimserver run?) a no-name beige pc or a powermac G4 (400Mhz or so), as I can get both for around 50 from ebay if I look hard enough. I think I can cram in the IDE hard drives I bought for my 'server' in to either. I haven't been able to find the minimum requirements for slimserver beyond OSX 10.3, but I did try.

Am I just trying to justify another Apple purchase!

2007-10-15, 08:15
> Fishing for some advice....

If you want a set-it and forget-it system I suggest you get whatever you know best. Since my family use the Squeezeboxen I try to keep my slimserver running this way as I'm the only one who can debug problems and the rest of the family is annoyed if the music stops. :-)

If you want something for fun/exploration/learning, it sounds like you want OS X. I've run slimserver since the days of the SLIMP3 under a variety of OS X verions without any trouble, so i t certainly can well there.

My bias is toward OS X and BSD variants, but that's me. I spend more time on care and feeding of the one Windows system that connects to the internet that we have than all the other computers combined. (Though on a virtual Windows machine that never touches the internet, I haven't had problems with it. It's nice for the OS not to be under constant attack.)

Kevin

reverber
2007-10-15, 10:36
What OS are you planning on using on the PC?

Cody

esbrewer
2007-10-15, 19:11
So which is more reliable (and will slimserver run?) a no-name beige pc or a powermac G4 (400Mhz or so), as I can get both for around 50 from ebay if I look hard enough. I think I can cram in the IDE hard drives I bought for my 'server' in to either. I haven't been able to find the minimum requirements for slimserver beyond OSX 10.3, but I did try.

Am I just trying to justify another Apple purchase!

I have been using an 867mhz G4 as my primary computer for a long time with virtually zero problems running slimserver, entourage, firefox, and word simultaneously.

However, I did have to put a new card in it a few years back when I learned that this particular mac could not read IDE drives larger than 120GB or so. I think the card cost me $60, but it wasn't easy to find. Keep that in mind if you pick up an old G4. They do seem to run forever though.

sdevans
2007-10-16, 00:39
"What OS are you planning on using on the PC?"

Probably using windows 2000 or XP. I did muck about with xubuntu, but I'd rather it just worked. My concerns aren't really the software side of it, as once it's running I don't want it to change, it's more the build quality of the hardware. I can't be bothered to continually fix, what is to all extents and purposes, my 'stereo'.

All the machine will do is run slimserver, host a backup file, and some form of VNC server, which was my stumbling block on xubuntu for some time.

I'll bear in mind the issue with >120GB drives though.

Thanks.

muski
2007-10-16, 22:21
Am I just trying to justify another Apple purchase!

I run Slimserver on a 455MHz G4 Mac Cube. Runs very reliably, and as the Mac Cube is fanless, I can hardly even hear it. (The only problem is that it is not fast enough to run InguzEQ).

There are two features built into OS X that make it a nice Slimserver platform. First, in system preferences, you can schedule when you want your machine to turn on and off (esp. if, like me, you occasionally forget to shutdown).

The other nice trick is to use Apple Remote Desktop to run the box headless -- without a keyboard or monitor. Once you turn this on (on the server side in Sharing->Services->Apple Remote Desktop) and configure it, you can use an oddly named piece of shareware named "Chicken of the VNC" to easily access the server from your other Macs.

(Of course, both of the above are not unique to the Mac platform, but they are built right into the OS and nicely implemented).

muski

sdevans
2007-10-17, 01:02
With regard to the large hard drive problem in old macs, does upgrading the os to Tiger for instance get round the G4 128GB limit, or do you still need to fix it otherwise...

Thanks.

muski
2007-10-17, 07:50
With regard to the large hard drive problem in old macs, does upgrading the os to Tiger for instance get round the G4 128GB limit, or do you still need to fix it otherwise...

Thanks.

No, Tiger itself doesn't get past this limit. However, there is something called the SpeedTools ATA Hi-Cap Support Driver that does (and doesn't require upgrading the IDE controller). It costs $25. I use it on my Mac Cube with a 250GB IDE drive and it works fine. If I remember correctly, it does force you to have two partitions -- so I have one 20GB partition for the OS & apps, and the rest of the disk for a data partition for my music files.

http://www.speedtools.com/ATA6.shtml

muski

pazoo
2007-10-17, 22:49
No, Tiger itself doesn't get past this limit. However, there is something called the SpeedTools ATA Hi-Cap Support Driver that does (and doesn't require upgrading the IDE controller). It costs $25. I use it on my Mac Cube with a 250GB IDE drive and it works fine. If I remember correctly, it does force you to have two partitions -- so I have one 20GB partition for the OS & apps, and the rest of the disk for a data partition for my music files.

http://www.speedtools.com/ATA6.shtml

muski

Well it depends on the mac model, but I think on the cube the 128Gb limit is due to Openfirmware.
If you use an OS not reliyng on Openfirmware routines (like openbsd), you should be able to use a big drive.
If you really want to use MacOSX, you can try to change Openfirmware settings :

http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fhomepage.mac.com%2Fnand%2 Fmacosx%2Fbigdrive.html&langpair=ja%7Cen&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=%2Flanguage_tools

(do this at your own risk, I didn't try it myself :)

amey01
2007-10-18, 20:40
If you want reliability first and foremost (so do I!) I'd suggest running it on a server. They're built differently to PCs, and generally made of better quality parts.

I run SS on a IBM Netfinity Pentium II rackmount server with 128MB RAM. Sure, it should probably be on a faster machine (if you can find a faster one, go for it) but it is faultless.

I'm sure you'd likely have less troubles with something like this rather than some junky Apple or PC hardware that is built to save costs first and foremost.

ie. You get what you pay for.

Nikhil
2007-10-18, 22:05
What about an old mac mini? Something like a 1.25GHz 0r 1.42 GHz PPC machine? They are small and super quiet, and should be fairly inexpensive. You can easily add multiple USB2.0 and/or Firewire external drives for expansion without worrying about drive size limits.