View Full Version : dedicated computer/server

04-06-2006, 03:02 PM
I don't even know if I can word this question correctly...

Here's the crux of it though

here at the office I have an extra hp 500mhz/128 ram/20 or 40 gig hd (I don't remember how big it is) desktop that is currently running win98 and collecting an awful lot of dust

what I'd like to do is convert it to a server mostly just for backing up files and allowing users to access files without accessing each other's computers

the other purpose would be to store a database for multiple users (4-5 at the most - 1-2 at all times) both locally and remotely

so now here are my questions...

1. Would this machine run ok as a server?

and if yes...

2. What kind of server software would I use?
3. The database frontend will be designed using vb6.0 which would be installed locally and the ms access db backend would be installed on the server - unless someone has another idea?
4. Can someone do this for me??? *chuckles*

This is gonna to be something completely new for me and we do not currently have funds to go out and buy a whole new system - yes I know they're not that expensive but we also don't want to make the investment and then find that we (which you know means me) can't do what it is that we want to do anyway

we've just gotten to a point where we really need more uniformity for our paperwork and some of our reports and a central db is going to be the best (I think) for us to achieve that

any and all opinions are greatly appreciated and be prepared for more questions...


04-06-2006, 04:55 PM
Well yeah, it can work but you are going definetly want to use a different OS than Windows 98. Think probably Windows 2000 Server if you want to stay on Windows.

If you really wanted to adventurous you could run Linux on there too, that'd run really well on those specs. You might have to use MySQL instead of Access as your backend database though.

04-06-2006, 05:04 PM
ok kewl so my hardware will work

is linux hard or cost alot? I don't know anything about it - it's a command line thing right? would it just be standard or because I need for multiple access to I have to go for an enterprise?

and I'm not opposed to using mysql as long as I can use it with vb

I hate computers...

04-06-2006, 05:11 PM
You can definetly use MySQL with VB, I've done it quite a bit.

If you run Windows Server on that hardware it definetly isn't going to run that great. Upgrading the memory to at least 256MB would help it a lot.

Linux, it can be hard, it depends on the distro you want to use and exactly what you want the thing to do and also your skill and/or patience with computers. Typically in my experience once you get it working, then its easy because it usually doesn't stop working for no reason. And yes it can be just at the console (aka command line) but you can install a GUI on the machine if you want. If you don't want official support, its free, there are lots of distros out there. But you can definetly set it up so all your Windows machines can access shares on it and save files and such.

04-06-2006, 05:33 PM
since it would only be for storage I don't think I really need windows - I'll break legs if someone tries to use it for anything else *chuckles*

do you have a recommended site I can go to to download or learn more about linux?

thanks a ton og!

04-06-2006, 05:39 PM
Hmm, I'm not totally sure... I can throw out the names of a couple different distros and you can do some reading on them: Gentoo (my personal favorite), Fedora Core, Slackware, Knoppix (not really suited for your use though). It shouldn't be too hard to find places to download the ISOs for them.

04-06-2006, 05:56 PM
off the top of your head - how much do you think it would cost to have someone come in and setup the server for me

it's not that I don't want to learn it - I just that I don't have that much time in my day to dedicate to it and it's not like I can work on it at home...I can work on the app at home though

I'm just curious...

04-06-2006, 06:17 PM
Oh gosh, I don't know how much it would cost. To setup a server with Linux and mysql and samba wouldn't take very long at all. It shouldn't take more than a couple hours to do. And depending on the distro you don't even need to be physically at the machine, for example I installed Gentoo on a machine for another mod here, Antoniohawk over the internet using SSH in a couple of hours.

04-06-2006, 06:35 PM
I'm so at a loss for all of this

we're a small general contractor (only 9 of us) but the amount of paperwork tracking that needs to be done and the different forms that need to be generated is crazy

boss wants me to get it done and then won't give me any money to do it and falls back on "you're the guru so figger it out!"

actually he's really not that bad but the 2 db apps that I made really need to be updated and makes more sense to consolidate them than to update them individually and I keep coming back to the same solution of using a server here at the office - I would use our website db but I don't really want that info out in cyberspace

I just don't know what to do anymore - did I mention I hate computers?

04-06-2006, 06:47 PM
So its a "Do more with less and quicker" sorta situation? I definetly know how that goes.

Using a server sounds like a good way to do it though. Having a central server to share files between people is a very useful thing to have.

Now that I've thought about it more, to have some install it for you, it wouldn't be too expensive or at least it shouldn't.

04-06-2006, 06:50 PM
lol how far is silicon forest from tampa fl? *chuckles*

may I send you a yahoo?

04-06-2006, 06:55 PM
Sure, I'm actually not at the computer where I have my IM services logged in. I should mosey on back that way before lunch time, so like another hour or so. But you can send me a message and I'll get back to you when I'm back at that computer.