It has come to the end of another university year and I’m ready to once again start being a bit more regular with my blog posts. It also means i have more free time to start working on some projects of my own. The plan for this summer is to get a server running, to do samba/nfs file sharing and ldap authentication, as well as hopefully a mythtv server with a dual-tuner digital terrestrial card for watching and recording freeview here in New Zealand. My Current setup is a powerful multi-purpose machine, with Windows Vista for gaming and Ubuntu for everything else. I am currently running an apache server, samba server and dns off of this machine under Ubuntu, as well as my default Desktop environment, and main ssh server for remote access. The unfortunate side effect of this setup is that when i reboot into Vista for gaming, all of these services become unavailable. The main side effects of this is that no one can access my web site, no one can access my shares, and i can’t remote access my computer and files over the internet. Hence the need for a perminent server. At the start of the year i purchased a nice big NVidia geforce 8800 gts graphics card that was great for gaming. the side effect of this powerful card was that it’s large heat-sink and fan covered one of my spare pci slots, and the card was so long that i covered all my sata plugs as well as my second IDE plug. I didnt have any sata drives installed but i was using the second ide port for my storage drive. This drive is not plugged into the usb inside an external casing, but that means i have one more power plug in my multibox, and one less free usb port (1 less when i have 8 isnt a big issue really, at least not yet). This isnt directly related to the need of a server directly, but my best option to solve this problem is to but a larger more spacious motherboard. So here is where im at currently. I will purchase a new motherboard and have an old one lying around. i also have a few free hard drives lying around with reasonable capacity to install a server OS on. So my next logical step seemed to be new case, new cpu. I will also point out that my current box has a whopping 4gb of ram in it (ok, now really that whopping these days) but im still using 32bit OSs, which barely recognise or need that extra 1 gb. So ill ‘borrow’ a gb from my current machine to support the new server. Now i have a plan. I’ll have the parts for a server, services i want to be running on a server, and a client machine for gaming and programming and things that nerdy computer science students like to do (no offence to those of you reading who resent these associations). I now started thinking about what else would be usefull to have running on this server. The first thing that came to mind was my vmware installation that i use to run TVersity on Windows XP. Under my current specs that shouldnt be a problem, and i might even be able to play around with other VM client OSs as well. The next thing was a centralised authentication system, and a single shared home directory. LDAP seemed to be the one that would work for me, and figured id use nfs for ubuntu and samba for windows to get it working with both OSs. Now here is where something i did last year came back to me. I managed to build myself a very bugy PVR box with an analog tv tuner card. I found a tv scheduling/recording software that ran on windows and got it stable enough to at least record and play back tv. I even found a xmltv listing and importing program to give me an epg to schedule show recording. Unfortuatly the box i was using to run this software up and died on me and has never recovered. Also it was on windows and i would have liked it to be a linux box. So now my plan is to get a freeview pvr running on this new server im about to setup. Ive found out that the Hauppauge WinTV Nova-T-500 is a dual tuner digital terrestrial UHF tv tuner card that should work with freeview, and has driver support on Ubuntu. With any luck ill be able to have it working with mythtv. The reason thats a good thing is i have this other old maching sitting around doing very little. If i can get it working for me as a myth client box, plugged into a tv… you see where this is going, i suspect. Although there is the possibility that i could get the same results out of my xbox 360 plugged into the tv, but the thing about the mythtv frontend is that you can schedule recordings from it. But i guess that doesnt need to be on a tv, my desktop will do fine for that purpose. So stay tuned for the next instalment where i have a build pc ready with some servers running on it, and probably a few bugs and tricky bits to report on.