Saturday, 12 July 2014

A sad day...A glorious day

It is a sad day. I am going to decommission the CRiSP FTP server.
This is a macmini - PPC vintage (400MHz) I think. It has performed
absolutely admirably. 9y of service - the oldest file seems to
be March 2005.

At the time the PPC mac mini came out - it was a brilliant device.
It still is. It has not murmured in the last 9y, despite 24x7 operation.
A *huge* 80G hard drive, 256MB of RAM. This is a *big* machine compared
to my earliest machine. (My earliest machine - had *1K* of RAM; my
first real PC had 4MB of RAM, 20MHz i386 and 20MB of disk space). My
Galaxy Gear watch beats the pants out of all of these.

The PPC (I cally it "minny") hasnt misbehaved - but it was
murmuring a little - but I attribute this to either some DNS lookup
delays, or my news aggregator Perl script. The news aggregator
has a bug/memory leak, so after a few weeks of operation its used about
200min of CPU and a whopping 40MB of RAM. One of my weekend jobs is
to fix the memory leak.

Now the good news. Intel NUC. I keep seeing these devices, and they
are cute. Of course, one never buys a machine because it is cute, but,
err...ok, I did. The Intel NUC (go see Amazon or Intel for details) is
a device slightly taller than the old style Mac Mini, but smaller - about
the size of a CD case. I kept trying to decide what to do; previously
I had purchased a Raspberry Pi, as a replacement for minny, but I was not
happy with the Pi - too low performance, horrible dangly wires and
protusions and unreliable power supply. The NUC is good - I opted
for the outdated Intel Celeron model - the cheapest. I thought I would
use USB for hard drive or an SSD disk. But why pay for SSD. A 1TB
disk was about 50 pounds. Add 26 pounds for 4GB RAM, and we are looking
at a new machine for about 170 pounds. The machine screams.

I installed Ubuntu 14.04 - the same as my other machines, and I can now
divorce myself from the PPC vs x86 binary compatibility problems.

I never filled the 80GB drive in the mac mini and I definitely wont
fill the 1TB drive in the new machine. Of course, the new machine needs
a name - "nucky" - after Nucky Thompson, from "Boardwalk".

I am presently copying the old crisp releases on to the machine so it can
transparently take over from minny. And thats about it.

In all the years of minny - bots have been continuously attempting
automated dictionary attacks to break into the machine. Maybe, because
its a PPC, that no-one ever succeeded. I like to think they wont
on nucky, but, there is nothing to steal from there. It would be
darned annoying.

This new "mini" machine is great; I might get a higher end one - an i3 or i5,
but the price differential seems obsurd. The Celeron chip is a dual
core chip - with a decent size cache. Its a great CPU for this purpose. It
might not be for intensive video (but should be sufficient for watching
videos), or gaming.

So, say hello to "nucky" the next time you grab some news from the
aggregator, or a copy of CRiSP, or a copy of dtrace, etc.

Post created by CRiSP v11.0.33a-b6757

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