I’ve been looking for a new server for a few months now. Touya’s original Cyrix body wasn’t fast enough to cope with PHP, although it was just the right size for a server room. The upgrade to an AMD was a downgrade in terms of stability; it’s faster, sure, but I don’t like having my IMAP sessions abruptly die on me because the server is spewing errors.
Some of you will know (and some of you won’t) that I’ve mostly been looking at Dell Poweredges – I know ’em, and I like ’em. My main criteria was “must be under $700”, which immediately rules out every new computer under the sun – even the stuff from the Dell outlet store, which is usually the home of good pricing and bad range.
That only left eBay.
Last night, I made the horrible, terrible mistake of browsing through eBay’s server section while I was MSNing with a friend. There’s always some neat stuff in there – when I found my new server, I also looked at an IBM x220 (P3-500), and a couple of Sun E450 Enterprise servers, which aren’t as expensive as they sound (and they have those cool purple cases!) (and they run Solaris, which is a damn fine operating system).
Then, I found this.
It was ignored and neglected in the unfashionable Compaq corner of the Servers category. Now, while I prefer Dells, my iPaq (and my dual-Xeon workstation at work) will mean that Compaq computers always have a little place in my heart. The minimum bid was $600 – not bad, considering that the value of the hard disks alone would be pretty close to $600.
So I thought “yeah, I’ll bid on it when it’s close to expiring; I’ve been sniped enough on servers before”. What I didn’t notice until too late was that it was due to expire at 5:45 this afternoon – a time when I’m usually on the tram home from work, an environment which is not conducive to eBaying.
At 5:40 in the afternoon, I was just sitting down outside work. Bonus.
A quick dialup through GPRS (thankyou, Telstra), and I put in a bid with about a minute and a half to spare. I was ready to be sniped, just like every other time – and on a link as slow as GPRS, there’s not much you can do about that.
So I’m the proud new owner of a cynical, teenage rackmountable Compaq Proliant 3000, which will have FreeBSD 4.8 installed on it as soon as humanly possible. (Before you ask, yes, I know FreeBSD 5.1 has better support for multiprocessing, but this is my mailserver on top of everything else; I’m gonna wait for the stable branch before I move to the new version.)
Now… what do I name him?