MSI Wind Desktop

Since moving to my new place I have been trying to cut the power bill where ever I could. And one of the first things I figured could get trimmed out of the picture was my fileserver.
Since I can’t be with out a server, I ended up selling my old one and using that money towards the purchase of an MSI Wind PC Desktop.
The reasons I opted for the MSI Wind were as follows

  1. Its its tiny, and by tiny I mean close to the size of your cable box. And still has room for 2 drive bays
  2. Power usage, from what I have been reading it will max out at about 44watts at peak usage
  3. Bang for the buck. The specs of the MSI Wind are not that bad, it comes stock with an Intel 1.6ghz Atom proc. I opted to purchase 2gb of RAM for it as well as a 16gb Compact Flash card to install the OS onto.

I read of one issue on this machine. The CF card slot can only be accessed if you remove the motherboard from the case, not a biggy but it would be nice if it had easier access in case of an emergency.
I ended up install Ubuntu Server 8.10 on the PC since I have heard it works really well with the hardware and it was also what I was running before so the setup was easy….
When I bought the PC I was planning on using a USB Thumbdrive to install the OS on it, so I didn’t buy a SATA CD drive. Well that ended up being a few hour battle of creating new thumbdrives over and over again. Just when I finally thought I had a good thumbdrive installer …. I came to find out that somewhere during the OS install the boot record was written to the thumbdrive, so I couldn’t boot the machine with out the thumb drive plugged in. Just around that time I started to pull my hair out and decided to setup a PXE boot server with the Ubuntu Netinstall. The MSI Wind allows you to boot over the network.
I setup an Ubuntu Server 8.10 Virtual Box session and started up a server on it, downloaded the needed files and setup my DD-Wrt router to point to the new Virtual Box session for PXE booting. I setup the MSI Wind to boot over network… and it worked. Granted it took a few hours for the downloads (My Cox internet cable is anything but fast).
Now I have the OS installed on it. I just started messing with it this morning so I don’t have much feedback on the over all usage of it but from what I can tell its pretty snappy for what it is.