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Software projects

Reuse of an old laptop


This was a hobby project, it started up with a need for me to reach some data on my home net from internet. Also the kids wanted easier maint of their homepages. I had an old IBM TP760XL ready for the junkyard with a malfunctioning diskette drive, a battery ready to give up and a broken ethernet card, but the rest worked.
I invested in a new ethernet PCCard (340 SEK on Sale), placed it in my bookshelf and connected the power and the ethernet cable.
Installed Linux and Win98 with the possibility to boot either of theese OSes depending on my current need. With Linux running I started up the Apache http server, the FTP server, Samba, Telnet, WebSphere Application server and the MySQL database engine.

Then I placed the Thinkpad on my 'DMZ' and opened the nessecary ports for the server deamons in the firewall (a D-Link DI-804 switch) to allow internet access to it. Port 20,21 for FTP and 80 for HTTP, Samba not available from internet. On the 'inside' there are some connections from other machines to this TP on my homenet using some other ports, which I will not tell.

The use of Linux with all internet services on this little machine was no big chalenge, it worked ok, a thought I could not let go; was it possible to instead use the Win98 partition with all internet sevices active?, I decided to give it a try....

The MS IIS server is no good, one for security reasons, two for the propriaty MS integration. I decided to use APACHE as the http server.

I tested a lot of FTP servers, the best (outstanding) I found was the Norwegian WAR FTP server.

WebSphere Win32 version was not performing well, it needs some more RAM than I got, the least resource consuming JAVA application server to be used with windows seems to be RESIN, RESIN also works fantastic with APACHE.
Resin needs a Java JDK before it can run. Resin works with JDK 1.1.x and higher. I also recommend using IBM's jikes compiler. Some locations for JDKs include:

  • http://java.sun.com -- Sun's site
  • http://www.ibm.com -- IBM's fast 1.3 JDKs.

    I guess you now know that I am no big fan of MS software so I also decided to use the Swedish MySQL as the DB engine, I did not even test any other. To access databases from the application server (resin) you must also install a JDBC-driver (if you use MySql there is one on the MySql site).

    All software for my internet services on windows is Open Source and thoug this is a non commersial test site the licence cost is 0...and best of all you have the source code, you can add or remove functionality yourself in good internet spirit.

    My broadband provider only give me DHCP addresses why I use the free DynDns.org service and the DeeEnEs agent to let alf.homelinux.net always point to my current IP-address. There are others with almost the same function, but this works ok.

    Ok, now there is a another small box on the internet, but this one is a little one, an 166 Mhz with 32MB Ram, it's no mainframe which is able to serve thousends of clients and trasactions per second, but the project succeded...

    AT A GLANCE...

    • 166MHz Intel Pentium Processor with MMX Technology
    • 32MB RAM
    • 2.1GB hard drive
    • 12.1" active matrix TFT display
    • 32KB Level 1 cache
    • 256KB Level 2 cache
    • 2 Type I/II or 1 Type III expansion slots
    • Netgear 10/100 ethernet PCCard
    • Li-ION battery (life: 2.3 hrs; charge time: 2 hrs; now dead...)
    • Microsoft Windows 98 (or sometimes Linux) operating system
    • Apache 1.3.24
    • Resin 1.2.4
    • War FTP Deamon 1.70
    • MySql 1.4
    • DeeEnEs Dyn Dns updater 2.3.22
    • Sun JDK 1.3.1
    • Jikes 1.16
    • MS SMB disk mapping (only from intranet)

    Most of the time this site runs Linux (Debian) for stability but sometimes I switcht to Windooze.....

    Questions? use the guestbook.

    Future enhancements I am considering

    • PCCard to USB 2.0
    • WebCam (needs above)
    • Some more private applications