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
- Its its tiny, and by tiny I mean close to the size of your cable box. And still has room for 2 drive bays
- Power usage, from what I have been reading it will max out at about 44watts at peak usage
- 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.