Computers in The Space (Downstairs)

I’m about to set up a few desktop machines in the large garage - mainly for general hacking, electronics and workshops. We have 4 or 5 older machines available but all are aging Pentium 4s. While they will certainly run Ubuntu, they may be a little underpowered for some uses.

Before I start trawling auction sites for anything more capable, does anyone have any later dual core or, preferably, i5 era, desktops/towers they can donate to the space for this purpose?

Paul; happy to discuss the PXE/Autobuild/Puppet/Salt type solution that has
been spoken about previously for these machines. Unless it’s adding
complication that we don’t need. (Should be a half day’s work if it’s
something we want).

Unfortunately, as discussed earlier today at the space; the machines I had
planned to get fell through :frowning:

Thanks Jamie - That sort of set up is beyond my current knowledge (but from what I read of Salt, something like that may be a good thing to have). I was also wondering about adopting some sort of standard partitioning (ie. /home on a separate partition) so that upgrades/clean up could be done without deleting user’s files. On the other hand, we should probably not be encouraging people to use these machines as storage for anything important anyway

Certainly something worth considering. As I understand, there is some space available on Aspirin (onsite server) that members can ask for access to. Perhaps instructions accessible from these new downstairs PCs on how to access that storage would be best? It would avoid the “but that’s the machine I was using last time and has all my work on it” disappointment.

1 Like

I now have one i5 desktop machine (an ex-gov Dell Optiplex 980 from Allbids) that I’ll donate to the space and set up downstairs with Ubuntu desktop. I’ll check out access to storage on Asprin but also suggest that people using it use their own storage arrangements.

Any more donations would be appreciated.

1 Like

OK, there is now an i5 on the big table downstairs. It is setup with Ubuntu 14.04 (patched/updated and with a kernel upgrade) and with software for avr development/programming and various IDEs. Login details are on a piece of paper beside the machine.

It took several hours to update and get the software set up as download speeds maxed out at around 40kB/s (!) - over an ethernet link to the router on the table. It was just like being on dial-up again. Is this usual at the space?

Thanks @PaulG!

I’ve noticed the speed of the net being a little slow lately too - is it possible we’ve been shaped?

I just checked the account and it is no where near shaped.

Hi All,

I grabbed another PC off Allbids - same or at least very similar to the one that @PaulG has already donated.

I’ll pick it up sometime over the next week, and hopefully bring it in next Tuesday.



Ok, I know I’m slack at times - I still haven’t brought the PC in yet.

But, it’ll be moving in with two of it’s siblings when I do bring them in. (I won two more tonight - that makes a “lab” of four downstairs :smile:)

1 Like

I’m planning to set up a PXE server tomorrow night on Aspirin to make installing/reinstalling easier in the space. My current plan is to include Debian and Ubuntu as options - are there any other distros / utils that people think would be useful?

I think those two should work nicely.

We should make sure that “the usual” software is loaded with them - Arduino, Cura, etc.

I’ve setup (as best I can with missing hardware) three PCs downstairs - we just need 2 more monitors and 3 keyboards and mice to get them all set up.