Today I came home to find that the linux box that provides all services to the machines around the house was wedged. I powercycled it, but it wouldn't come up - the drive had suffered some kind of fatal failure.

Oops.

Now, this machine is pretty central to operations here at Casa Del Lacey. It provides NTP, DHCP and DNS services as well as acting as the Windows Primary Domain Controller via Samba. Handily everything else can limp along without it, but it's not pleasant.

Good job everything backs up nightly to the Infrant NAS.

Anyhow, for a while I've been thinking of replacing the hardware that the server runs on. It's a PowerMac G5 running Debian linux, but the fact that it's a PowerPC machine rather than an x86 machine has increasingly become a pain.

Handily I have a Dell PowerEdge SC1420 (64bit Xeon) sitting around that's been switched off and gathering dust for almost two years.

Don't ask.

So, with the PowerMac's hardware meltdown and the fact that I've got a reasonably good x86 box sitting around, it must be time for an upgrade. I have an Ubuntu 7.10 x64 desktop install disk in my hand, the kids are in bed and it's time to start!

9:00 pm - Disk in drive, power up!

9:42 pm - The damn thing won't power up. Das blikenlights claim a power supply failure. Poo. Not to fear! I have yet another spare machine. Last time I tried it there were “some issues”. Yup. Issues are still there. Poo2.

9.43 pm - Grab a cold beer.

9.45 pm - What the hell. I have a spare PowerMac G5! Let's go with that. It powers up! Now I need a Debian PowerPC disk…

10.18pm - ISO downloaded and burnt.

To be continued…