About this site All machines

All machines at

In the early years, the computer equipment at this site was pretty much a hardware zoo, but various serial terminals (DEC VT101 and VT320, Honeywell & Bull DKU7003, a bunch of Wyse 60 and Wyse 120), Sun systems (3/50, SS1+, SS4, SS5), a Transputer cluster and various PCs (an IBM 5162 among them) are now all gone. I regret to have sold each single one, but as a matter of fact, many would have been broken by now and it probably takes until I retire to have enough time for all systems I still own.

The heart of this site are two 19" racks with the infrastructure and central server systems and a separate 12U 19" rack distributing ethernet, telephone and satellite TV to all rooms.


During the early years, the main server also served as routing firewall. With time, the setup size and the amount of attacks asked for a dedicated system. I used an old 2U case from the garbage, modified it to take low profile cards and a regular power supply (cheaper to replace), put a mini-ITX board with a Via C7 1.8 GHz CPU, 1 GB RAM, one GE and one FE port in it and added two 2.5" SATA HDDs running as RAID1. The result was real cheap, needs less than 40 W power and is connected to the internet with T-DSL 16k+ for both dynamically and statically routed traffic. Since some people asked, here is a walkthrough of the setup.


I used to use a 3com 1100 switch for ages, but finally 10 Mbit did not cut it any more. The upgrade was a 3com 3300 switch that I was very satisfied with for many years, but 3com stopped making them and I expected mine to finally break after all the years. Moving on to gigabit ethernet, I found the TP-Link TL-SG3424 to be perfect: 24 GE ports, web management, CLI management much like Cisco IOS, a serial console port, very low power demands and real cheap for the value. It connects all equipment at home using multiple VLANs that are routed and firewalled by ti-gw. TP-Link is not one of the traditional switch companies, but if they continue delivering such products, they will be.


Fangorn is the development and personal compute and file server. Inside its 3U case works an Intel Atom S1260 with 8 GB RAM. It has four 2.5" SATA drives holding RAID1 groups plus a spare drive and only needs about 30W. Additionally, there is a rackmount USB serial adapter with 8 ports for various console ports.


Gandalf is the production moria server, serving mail and web pages. Currently, it has a 2U case with an Atom D510, 2 GB RAM and two 250 GB SATA notebook drives configured as RAID1.


Netio is a Raspberry Pi in a 1U case, connected to a GPS receiver for stratum 1 NTP service and to the 1-wire home network.


Palantir is a diskless Sun IPC, equipped with a mini-ITX board, running GNU/Linux and used as my workstation in the living room. It has 1 GB RAM and a Pentium-M 1.6 GHz CPU. Its 23" monitor is an Fujitsu Siemens SN 3230T, used at a resolution of 1920x1080 with TrueColor. Additionally, there is are two modified SCSI enclosures containing an USB chipcard reader and a USB IDE DVD recorder. Casemodding rulez!


Bilbo is used for various purposes, like testing junk hardware. Its hardware is a 2U case, containing a Celeron 400, 256 MB RAM, a 15 GB IDE drive and an Intel e100 network card.


Galadriel is a Sun Ultra 1, running NetBSD 3.0 - a refreshing alternative to GNU/Linux. The machine has a 143 MHz UltraSparc CPU, 512 MB RAM, two 9 GB hard drives and and a floppy. It is used for portability tests and to remind that you can get all the features without the bloat.


Celeborn is a Sun SparcStation 20/MP, running Solaris 9. It has two 60 MHz CPUs, 192 MB RAM and a 9 GB HD. I use Solaris for portability tests and because I don't want to lose contact with a modern, commercial Unix, but unfortunately Sun^WOracle preferred if I did that, cutting the Solaris community off free patches. It is kind of funny to own a SS20 just for fun now, having administered a SS10 as very expensive workgroup server in 1994.


I used HP-UX 9 at university and liked it, and some years ago I took my chance to again get access to a HP-UX machine: Legolas is a HP 735/99 running HP-UX 11.00. It has 224 MB RAM, a 4GB and a 2GB SCSI HD (single ended disk tray) and an AUI ethernet port with a TP transceiver. HP does not support HP-UX 11.00 on the 735, but if you install from an older CD and omit patch PHKL_27003 from the recommended patch bundle, it works fine. There is NO WAY a 735 goes into a rack, so it sits on top.


Merry is an Alpha XP1000 professional workstation with 1 GB RAM, a 500 MHz CPU and a 9 GB SCSI HD, running Tru64. An odd beast, but quite interesting.


Deepsky is a Asus Eee-PC with 2 GB RAM and 1 TB SATA HD. It runs Windows 10 (32 bit) and was bought for an open source astrophotograhy project and to run the Windows-only applications, e.g. logic analyzer software.