Server/gateway status update

Assembly of the server and the gateway have started. Both are stalled right now. The gateway is waiting for proper RAM to arrive next week. The server is waiting for an OS install and then the installation of the 8x2TB disks for the ZFS array.

Server assembly

Last night, while assembling the server, as I went along, I posted photos to my Twitter feed. I later posted those photographs to a Google+ album.

The hardest part of the assembly was the heatsink (see also the webpage). The problem is the limited space and finicky screws. It took over an hour to attach heatsink to the brackets via four small bolts. I suggest they need to include a slightly shorter tool for this procedure.

I failed to install the OS because of installation media. First, I didn’t order a DVD/CD drive for this box. So I pulled it out of the gateway box and used that. However, the media I was writing to seemed to be faultly. All attempts, to multiple CDs, failed.

Solution: install from USB stick. I’m using the procedure documented in the FreeBSD handbook. Look for section 2.3.5 and To create a bootable memory stick, follow these steps.

Found a new rack!

During the assembly, I needed some electrical tape, and couldn’t find it. So off to Home Depot I went. While there, I remembered that Bruce Momjian mentioned Home Depot had some good sturdy shelves. I’ve been looking for something better than the wooden IKEA shelves I’ve been using for the past 12 years. I found it, for $78. These shelves are 24″ deep, 48″ wide, and 72″ high. That’s if you view the shelves as a non-computer geek. If you look at the unit from the end, instead of the usual front, it’s a good rack. It’s wide enough for a 19″ rack mountable unit, and deep enough for my tape libraries. It has five shelves and a total capacity of 4000lbs. I’m sure I won’t load it up that much.

I will post photos once these shelves are assembled.

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