Welcome to the PowerBook 190 Server
is 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
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
To transfer files from my Windozer to the server it is running
NetPresenz as an
FTP server. This is also an
but its HTTP functionality lacks some of the features of MacHTTP,
has slid into undeserved obsolescence.
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
The server is connected to the Internet via:
- an Enterasys Roamabout PCMCIA
WLAN card, running on
driver version 4.02.
- a Siemens
Gigaset SE515 dsl
- a Deutsche Telekom telephone/ADSL
connection. Unfortunately, no-one else is available out here in X-Ray Valley.
- an Internet access point provided by
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
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
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.
Lessons learned so far
- Although the Enterasys Roamabout WLAN card is built with the common ‘Orinoco’ chipset, the more up-to-date
version 6.04 WaveLAN driver
for Orinoco cards doesn’t work with it. Presumably hacking the driver where it identifies the
card would fix this, but my feeble attempts to find out where this is failed. Enterasys
gets Brownie points for still making the driver available for download for this old product on old systems,
but loses them for failing to update it. Lucent, the maker of the Orinoco chipset, gets
thrown out of the Brownies for having a horribly orgainised web site where the
driver is not available at all.
- Increasing the disk cache size to preposterous levels did not improve performance
or stop Eudora Internet Mail Server accessing the hard disk when my mail client logged on.
- If you use the Eudora mail server, go to Server --> Relay restrictions and disable
relaying by clicking on ‘Only relay for local domains or the following domains’ and not entering
any domains. ‘Relaying’ in these decadent days is equivalent to ‘allowing some spammer to use your
computer to send his/her/its shite.’ My server had been on line for all of four days before
it was abused.
- Running a mail server to receive mail on a dynamic DNS address is sub-optimal unless your
dynamic DNS service is absolutely rock-solid. If you have another option, use it.
- Some significant internet providers (AOL, for example) will not accept mail sent from a
server without a fixed IP address and a reverse DNS lookup (I have one but not the other).
- The DynDNS.org client in the Siemens router is
broken . When the router is rebooted, it contacts the server to update your IP address whether
or not it has changed. If you have to reboot it several times in a row (because Siemens
couldn’t be bothered to fix all the bugs yet, for example) and your provider gives you the
same IP address each time then this leads to DynDNS getting
upset about you generating unnecessary traffic and deactivating your address.
- When first installed normally in the Extensions folder, Macintosh DynDNS client 2.0 made the
Finder hang with an error number 10 or 7 (no doubt they mean something) when it was told to restart.
Starting the client with AppleScript after the Finder had started up fixed the problem.
Later I reinstalled the system and the problem went away.
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)
Apart from this information about itself and the software, the server
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.)
© James Crompton 2005-2006.