The Assembly Continues

This is the second part of an entry that was way too huge to post as one. The first part was Building The New VBOX.

After I was finally able to configure my RAID setup in Ubuntu, I halted the system to assemble everything. Shock and horror! Just before the screen went black, two large FAILED error messages appeared, informing me that an error had occurred when stopping the RAID arrays. Was I surprised? Not really.

Once again I consulted the Great Interweb Oracle, a.k.a. Google. From what I gathered when reading the Ubuntu forums and bug reports, the posters considered it to be a bug that resulted in the RAID array being dirty on every boot. This, in turn, meant that one of the disks would be rebuilt on every boot. A rather useless RAID setup, in my humble opinion.

Building The New VBOX

All the parts that I ordered for the new VBOX arrived on Monday, just one day after I placed the order. I didn’t have to wait for the parcel to arrive at the post office or stay at home all day to wait for a courier to deliver it to my apartment; I picked up the box at an automated machine at the central station. I entered a eight digit code the postal service sent to me in a text message, then a small door in the machine opened and my computer parts popped out. It was all extremely convenient. Almost like magic.

The first part of the assembly went more or less according to plan, I had to go out and buy a power connector for the SATA drive, but that was the only unexpected event. To get all the parts to fit was a bit of a challenge, the box is quite small and the heat sink on the motherboard is enormous, at least compared to the size of the motherboard itself. On top of this, the shortest SATA cable I could find was half a meter long, which was more than twice the length I actually needed.

As for operating system, I went with Ubuntu because it’s the new hot Linux distro and it also has a very active community. That’s a good thing for me, who know very little about Linux. Ubuntu installed as planned, LAMP, was set up by the main installer and everything generally worked like a charm until I got some ideas. Some crazy ideas.

Redesigning VBOX

I like small computers. Back in 2003 I put together a Mini-ITX system based on a VIA EPIA motherboard. It had a nice, big hard drive, lots of RAM and a adequate CPU and I called it VBOX. Obviously. Every now and then I power it up, install some Linux distro and make (another) honest attempt to learn to set up a server with all the necessary daemons; HTTP, FTP, NTP, DNS, SSH and so on. Now I’m giving it another go, and this time I plan to have the box turned on 24/7 to make it a real server, perhaps even running parts of this site.

Unfortunately, I’m faced with three problems. Firstly, my ISP does not allow me to set up servers on the standard ports. Stupid ISP. Secondly, the same ISP is providing me with dynamic IPs. And thirdly, even if the current server setup is very quiet compared to other servers, it’s still too noisy to have in the living room and I need to have it in the living room close to the router. Getting WPA encryption to work properly in Ubuntu with the wireless network card currently installed has proved to be beyond my computer skills.