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What to do with two extra PC's?

By adam ·
I have two extra PC's that I don't know what to do with! My setup right now is just my Windows Home Server and my wife's laptop. I only do downloading on my home server an nothing else.

My first extra PC is an Intel P4 HT @ 3.0 Ghz with 768MB of RAM. It doest have much in the way of video and it only has a 30 GB hard drive that I had laying around.

My other PC is an IBM workstation that has dual P4 Xeon processors with 1 GB of RAMBUS. I have not used it much because it really don't know what purpose I would use it for... I loaded Server 2003 for learning purposes since I was taking server classes in school. The problem is I don't have a static IP and I don't really trust those dynamic update services.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I should do?

Should I try and maybe use one as a firewall and the other as some sort of server?

My goal is to have a pretty crazy home network that I can tinker with and learn on to get ahead of the game in my schooling.

Again, any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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CD-ROM based Linux distros are fast, fun, and educational

by robo_dev In reply to What to do with two extra ...

The "Live" distros such as:

Debian, Ubuntu, SuSe....

there are some wicked-scary security distros such as:

Backtrack2, Helix, Knoppix, Phlak

or some Very interesting 'appliances' such as

Engarde, VMware player, FreeSco,

and you can impress your UNIX friends with:

Solaris Live

Using a CD Linux live distro is a lot like dating, or series of one night stands. You eject the CD, reboot, and go on to the next one.

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Hmm

by geniusmind4 In reply to CD-ROM based Linux distro ...

Well dude.. if u have got extra computers and as u said u were learning win2k3 server why dont u make a domain controller on your Xeon machine and join ur pc to tht domain and play with policies and settings and securities etc
and on another make a vpn server so tht u can access ur pc from anywhere

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VPN server question

by adam In reply to Hmm

I was under the impression that I needed a static IP address to create a VPN server and a 2k3 server that can accessible from anywhere...

I have a domain that I would like to host myself in order to get my Exchange mail set up (I also have a copy of that) instead of having Exchange My Mail host it for me and charge me $10 a month.

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I was going to sugest using those pc's to contribute to

by DanLM In reply to What to do with two extra ...

grid computing. Join the boinc project and use the idle cpu's as part of the computing grid.
There are projects you could contribute to in Astronomy/Physics/Chemistry, Biology and Medicine, Earth Sciences, or Mathematics and strategy games.

The pc's only communicate with the poroject home when work is done or work is needed, and the communication occurs over ssl.

Ok, I'll get off my grid computing soap box now... Lol, the other sugestions are good too. But, if you do get a home network setup and it becomes stable. Boinc only utilizes what percentage of processing you want to... And it can be set to only crunch the science numbers when the machines are idle.

http://boinc.berkeley.edu/
http://boinc.berkeley.edu/projects.php

Dan

Dan

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Older units become useful

by mjd420nova In reply to What to do with two extra ...

In a home with two laptops on wireless, one wireless desktop and three wired desktops, another unit would be relegated to some sort of use. I am constantly the repository for others discarded units. Users will say "I don't want to throw it away, maybe you can use it". I usually strip it for useful parts (fans, memory, sound cards, video cards and drives). The cases and under powered power supplies get recycled at the local high schools E-waste programs. I have subsequently built one machine that is used as a server of sorts that has had a large 750GB drive for the depository of photos, music and videos to keep the individual machines free for applications and non-shared data. I have one machine for just music with a CD burner, high power sound card and appropriate software. Another machine is for video only, with a video capture card, large widescreen monitor and DVD burner with appropriate software. Another machine has security software, encryption software, and is used for just financial transactions on the internet. All users know to use only this machine when it comes to banking and purchasing online. The other machines are indiviually used for whatever that user likes, games, chat, web cams or whatever. The multiuser units are shared and accessable from any other, making backups simple and dedicated to that units specialty. Extra drives procurred are added as slaves and become an expanding web that grows and grows. Some units have up to three hard drives with over a terabyte of space. Toss in a wired PS2 game unit, and a PS3 and PSP on wireless and the router gets a real workout in the evenings on into the wee hours of the morning. I work the graveyard shift and find that the daytime is the only quiet hours around here so it fits right in with my schedule.

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I would set up the

by Dumphrey In reply to What to do with two extra ...

IBM as a 2003 server, running DNS and DHCP. This will let you practice setting up and using DNS with forwarders.

Also, your other computer could become a dedicated web browsing station or media playback front end, the idea of setting it up as a firewall is good too. It will need at least 2 NIC's and you will need a switch.
Smoothwall
Astaro
IPCop
Untangle
ClarkConnect
are all projects worth looking into and playing with/testing.

Also, FreeNAS is a wonderful lightweight NAS distro. You could set up and integrate with AD for authentication. Also fun and educational =)

If you are going to stay in the windows world, I would recommend getting familiar with Exchange too.

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Here's an idea...

by Forum Surfer In reply to What to do with two extra ...

Rumor has it if you plant 2 p4's you'll grow a core2duo.

:)

Seriously, put openSuSE 10.3 and Samba 3.0 on one just to experiment with. You can then just do some file sharing between that and your windows server box. Most network storage appliance you buy these days run some form of linux with samba on the low level side you don't get to see no matter if they tell you or not. If nothing else you can accustom yourself to the technology, terminology and some potential issues/fixes/bugs.

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You can easily connect them all

by sharma_mbd In reply to What to do with two extra ...

Hi
You can connect both of your extra pc's using router or switch with your primary computer. If you are interested to know more in detail send me reply.

I will be glad to tell you in detail.

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