IMGP7377


Nope, there is no XServe, Opteron or Itanium-based server here. Nor is this server running a server-flavoured Linux distribuition, and even less a Windows server operating system.


You'll be surprised on finding out this site runs totally on a 1993 computer, an Apple Macintosh LCIII, with 20 MB of RAM and a 40 MB SCSI hard drive. More about its specifications here.


Why am I doing this? Well, first of all, this is kind of a home project... I like tinkering with old hardware and software, and I saw on the Internet that I could do something useful with one of my machines - turning it into a web server!


I have several old Macs, but the choice was obvious. Having the "pizza-box" design, the LCIII could fit anywhere: there were times that it was inside a drawer, under a desk, etc...


It also uses little energy to run normally: about 11-15 W (which is even less than those economy light bulbs!). The LCIII only has one fan, which cools the entire system (and the 25 MHz MC68030 doesn't generate a lot of heat, so it's fine).


Oh, and I forgot one thing: I got it all for free! The LCIII was going to be trashed (and it worked, which was even worse), the operating system (Mac OS 7.5) is available as a free download on Apple's website (check "Links" section), and even the server software (Mac HTTP and Netpresenz) are free!


This is how the server is connected to the Internet:

Server (MacHTTP on port 8080) ==> 10baseT hub (Ethernet) ==> Conceptronic C54APRA router ==> Internet


The server is now running without a monitor (headless). There is an old 12'' Apple monitor (a bit fuzzy, but it works), only for diagnostic purposes. I have placed the server inside a drawer, as you can see in the picture above.


It boots to the desktop, and automatically starts MacHTTP (for web sharing) and Netpresenz (for FTP access). It also plays recorded sounds such as "server started" and "server is shutting down" for letting me know it booted without issues.


I have a keyboard connected to the server (AZERTY layout, found in a thrift store here in Porto) which I only use to power down the server (Power Key => Return).

I plan on getting more RAM (the expansion slot takes up to 32 MB, totalizing 36 MB of RAM), but it's a bit hard to find it nowadays. Fortunately, a small store here in Maia, Colossus, had a 16 MB SIMM, and they even offered me the memory! Thanks :-). Anyway, you can visit their cool website here.


Any questions or suggestions you may have should be e-mailed to me - you'll find my e-mail address on the "Author" section.


This webpage was entirely built using TextMate and Mac OS X "Snow Leopard", on my "Early 2006" iMac Core Duo. All pictures of the collection were taken by me, using a Pentax K10 and several lenses (a 135 mm telephoto and sometimes an all-purpose 35-80 mm Pentax lens). The CSS theme was adapted from a template I got at http://www.freecsstemplates.org/.


Since I'm using a 40 MB SCSI hard drive (most old SCSI HDs I have have similar capacities, and a flash-based solution is VERY expensive, since I need a specific controller in order to trick the Mac into thinking the CF card is actually a SCSI HD!), some of the images are hosted elsewhere, either on my Flickr account or in some other hosting facilities.


And since my server is now running "headless", in a drawer-like structure (see photo), I'm using Timbuktu for remote management of it, through my Performa 5200/75, which sits in the same network. For file transfer, I'm also running a FTP service on the LC III, using Netpresenz.


babylon

The server desktop, as seen when using Timbuktu on the Performa 5200/75.

server-setup

Structure where Babylon is hidden...

The server was moved and placed under this structure, as mentioned in the blog. Besides, it's accessible remotely, using the Timbuktu software.