Moving into a new (and somewhat smaller) apartment in the city and sharing that space with another person (for the first time) has got me thinking about some important things.
Like our home network.
The first few nights I started having fantasies about replacing the two inkjet printers we brought to this new space with a spiffy new networked color laser. Later I realized I almost never print. So we settled on keeping one of the inkjets around and plugged it into Stephanie’s desktop.
I was also thinking about augmenting my cable modem wireless access point combo with another wireless access point, the Linksys WRT54GL. You know, the one that you can install your own firmware on. To do what with you ask? I don’t know, whatever I want. I was considering this because the wireless on the combo device was dropping connections and disappearing for minutes at a time (much like the wireless access point it replaced). But since moving to the new apartment there hasn’t been a problem. Maybe the signal was being disturbed an errant cordless phone in my previous building?
Lastly I was thinking about getting a network attached storage drive so Stephanie and I would have a place to store, backup, and share files. But the reviews for those devices weren’t winning me over. And they’re not cheap.
Tonight I finally put 2 and 2 together and realized, I’ve got a Mini-ITX box laying around unused, and I’ve got an external 160GB USB hard drive doing the same. Put together that’s a fileserver if I ever saw one. I figure, why not just install the server edition of Ubuntu on the Mini-ITX, plug in the external hard drive, and shove it all under a bookcase.
If only things were that simple. I downloaded and burned a CD with the server edition, installed it (not a blazing fast process on the 600 MHz ME6000), rebooted, and it rebooted again, and again, and again, ad infinitum. Turns out I’m not alone. Apparently Ubuntu Server 6.06.1 does not boot on VIA EPIA ME6000. Ah well that’s nice. My luck with getting an OS on this system has not been that successful. Luckily someone somewhere out there on the intarweb suggested using the alternate install CD because of the problems with the server edition on the Via EPIA. Okie dokey, let’s give that a whirl.
Woo. We have a server set up. The best part is, it’s a full blown, general purpose computer, unlimited by flash memory size or firmware specialization. I can do anything I want.
apt-get install openssh-server apt-get install samba
Followed the Ubuntu Guide’s How to share group folders with read/write permissions (Authentication=Yes) and Bam!, we’ve got a fileserver.