Welcome to the PowerBook 190 Server

The PowerBook server is down and this site is now hosted elsewhere. The software running the network card couldn't handle modern encryption standards, and I don't want to leave my WLAN network unprotected. But I'll leave the site up in case anyone is interested.


This site is was hosted on a Macintosh PowerBook 190 computer that I bought in 1995. Originally it had 8MB of memory, but when memory got cheap I upgraded it to its maximum of 40MB. It has a whopping great big 500MB hard disk and a Motorola 68040LC chip running at a blistering 33MHz.

The power adapter connector came loose (a common problem) so I took the machine apart and soldered it back onto the logic board again. (If I had taken the machine to an Apple shop a few years ago, they would have solved this problem for me by replacing the logic board for free under their repair extension program. But I didn’t know.) Then it turned out that parts of the connector itself were loose, so I took the machine apart again, took the connector off, fixed it, and put it on again. Then the plug on the mains cable came loose, so I replaced the mains cable. Then the power connector started playing up again so I took the machine apart again, took the connector off the logic board and soldered the power supply output directly onto it. That fettled it.

The hard disk is noisy and the server lives in my study, so I put the system software, server software and files on a 32MB Sony Memory Stick in a PCMCIA adaptor, and set the hard drive to sleep as soon as possible after startup.


The server is running under MacOS 8.1, which is the latest version of MacOS to run on the machine and also seems to be the stablest. It is running the web server MacHTTP 2.6 and a script application that supplies customised error pages for the different domains hosted and directory listings when I want them.

To transfer files from my Windozer to the server it is running NetPresenz as an FTP server. This is also an HTTP and gopher server, but its HTTP functionality lacks some of the features of MacHTTP, and gopher has slid into undeserved obsolescence.

I ran Eudora Internet Mail Server 1.3.1 for a while, but it wasn’t such a good idea (see below). I also tried out the Stalker Internet Mail Server, which has the advantage of a web interface for remote control, and the disadvantage of being more complicated to set up. (You need the guide.)


The server is connected to the Internet via:

  1. an Enterasys Roamabout PCMCIA WLAN card, running on driver version 4.02.
  2. a Siemens Gigaset SE515 dsl router.
  3. a Deutsche Telekom telephone/ADSL connection. Unfortunately, no-one else is available out here in X-Ray Valley.
  4. an Internet access point provided by bycall.net. Despite their name, they give me a volume-based tarif, meaning I can leave the connection on all the time. (Until Telekom interrupts it, whereupon the router re-establishes it.)

The jcrompton.de domain name is managed for a small fee by United Domains. For the mac.jcrompton.de and www.jcrompton.de subdomains it is redirected to subdomains of xrayvalley.homeip.net. The xrayvalley.homeip.net domain is provided for free by dynDNS and dynamically linked to my variable IP address by a dynDNS client built into the router the 68k version of Macintosh DynDNS client 2.0. Messing around with a dynamic IP address was too much like hard work, so I got a fixed IP address from my ISP.

Lessons learned so far

More stuff …

On this site there are some pictures of the server and its working environment.

If you want some of the software mentioned above and can’t find it anywhere else, you can download it from my downloads page or my extensive (not) software archive.

Apart from this information about itself and the software, the server also hosts used to host my professional home page. I tried hosting my personal home page on it, but rather to my surprise, it got too much traffic. (The low traffic level for the professional site is no cause for concern: conference interpreting is a minority taste.)