Sites offline, plus my own multimedia PC

Well, it happened. My thrown-together home server had a hardware failure last night. I have no idea what time it was, but I woke up to a high-pitched squealing noise.

The first result of this is that all of my “other” *.bmannconsulting.com sites are currently offline. Plus the new domains as well. After I woke up a little more, realized it wasn’t a fire alarm or anything like that, I noticed it was coming from the office. It really was the middle of the night, so I wasn’t awake enough to deal with it, so I just turned it off.

I dealt with it this morning and was more than a little nervous. Lots of stuff on there I don’t want to lose. I unplugged the hard drive and powered the machine up – same high-pitched squealing sound. Big relief! Whatever’s going on, it’s not affecting the hard drive.

It’s not the CPU fan, so it looks like something in the power supply is blown. Or something else on the motherboard has given up the ghost.

Well, it’s not exactly great timing, but I also don’t want to haul a busted machine across the country to BC. I had always planned to migrate that server to some different hardware. I think, rather than buying a new machine for it, I’m going to do a shuffle.

My current PC has a pretty decent motherboard, including on-board IDE RAID. So, I think it will become the basis for the new server (including the fairly large case it’s in now). The two NICs will also be moved over, as well as the 80GB drive and the CD-ROM.

Do I still need a second machine? Well, I spend a fair bit of time on the computer, and getting rid of the PC would mean that Kate wouldn’t be able to web browse or check her email while I’m on the machine. We did share my Mac for quite some time, but it has been nice having the two stations to work at. Especially now that iTunes for Windows means we can listen to all the music we have at either machine.

My other rational is that perhaps this is the excuse I need to build a multimeda PC. My home server box will remain a second machine, but if I build a PC to replace the DVD player, receiver, and speakers (and potentially even the TV), that’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t need to get moved…

I don’t think I’ll buy all the components I would want in a final multimedia PC solution. However, OEMExpress has the Shuttle SN45G, and with an AMD 2500+ processor and 256MB of RAM, that comes to $590 plus taxes.

Parts that will get shuffled include the hard drive, CD burner, and graphics card from the current PC. The card is some sort of low-end 32MB NVidia, but it does have video out, so I can hook it up to the TV.

The only piece that I would really need to add in after the fact would be a TV tuner card. Actually, I’d probably get some sort of all-in-one card that replaced the low end card. A sound card is also a possibility.

For now…it’s going to run Windows. I’ll need to do a re-install in any case, and I can do some experimentation with KnoppMyth.