Out with the Old, In with the New

It's terribly hard to get rid of old Macs, because I love them so. However, I'm about to do a big swap.

Out: I swore I'd never sell it, but the G4 Cube no longer meets my needs as a potential home entertainment centerpiece after some months spent running Mac OS X Server in the office. It's being sold, as cool as it is, because it's still a good machine and needs to find a good home.

Indextop20050111 In: Mac mini! It'll be our music, video, DVD, CD player for the near future fitting nicely in our entertainment console. At some point, when we upgrade from CRT to LCD for our TV, we'll find the DVI interface quite nice.

Out: Power Mac G4 upgraded from 450 MHz to 850 MHz with FireWire 800 added. My brother in law needs an upgrade from his blue-and-white G3, so that's a good move for the G4. The G4 has been the office server, handling backups and faxes among other tasks, for several years. Its backups have paid for themselves several times over through a number of disasters that it's helped me recover from. But it's big.

In: G4 Xserve. This machine was, for a while, running parts of isbn.nu and other systems, but it was ultimately not fast enough as a workhorse system. It's a little too specialized. I'm bringing it from my co-location facility back into my office to fit onto a nice rack I already have in place where it will run backups, and be a testbed as Mac OS X Server 10.4 (Tiger) appears, which I will write about for various publications. It's a nice dual 1.33 GHz G4 system, so it's got a lot of life left in it. Plus, I bought a software subscription for it that expires Oct. 2006, so I'll get at least Tiger at no additional cost. It originally ran Jaguar, so I'll get $2,000 worth of software out of a $1,000 subscription.

Out: Two Linux boxes. I might drill through the hard drives instead of wiping them to avoid years of data remaining even faintly on the disks, but the old isbn.nu box, which has practically no duties at the moment, will retire. Likewise, a replacement system I built in the event of emergencies from new parts will settle into a Craig's List posting for whomever needs a nicely priced, never-used Windows or Linux system. The Xserve will answer for the working box's meager requirements.

In: A spanking new somewhat expensive database server. This will be my third Linux box from Penguin Computing that will reside at the very fancy new digs of digital forest. In fact, my other two boxes are moving on Wednesday night, I believe, and my new machine should arrive later this week to join them. The core needs of isbn.nu are database operations, and the new system will be powerful enough to handle the load. Related to this is that I need a machine solely to build new databases that isn't a production system on which users depend. This move will dramatically speed isbn.nu performance and make it even easier to keep data fresh.