Category Archives: DIY

Project CORE Server

This summer I found out that my working enviroment just got too many computers and generated too much heat too (of course the electricity bill is a bit too high). This is the time to talk about Green Power and Save the enviroment 😉 hah

I will be getting rid of my current server which is

  • AMD Sempron (just because it’s cheap)
  • nVidia C51 Motherboard (for 3D testing)
  • 1GB DDR533 Memory (RAM is expensive when I built this)
  • Total of 1.2TB storage (4 HDD with different size)
  • 400W PSU (just too much)
  • Running on Centos 5 with XEN (I love YUM)

The current server  mainly is for NAS Storage, PHP/MySQL Development server and to practice more on SSH + UNIX

OK, let’s talk about new thing now.

I am going to build my new tiny Green Powered Server which I will name it as usual – CORE Server (maybe I should call it 2nd generations?)

The aim for this new CORE server is mainly because

  • I will be bringing it along for my long term travel from UK to Malaysia and back
  • Small in size (to comply with the above) which can fit in my bag
  • I want a less power consuming server (to save the bills)
  • I want to try out the new Intel Atom Duo Core (Virtualizations with XEN and VMWare)
  • I want to build a beautiful server with facilities such like NAS, LAMP, Media Streaming, Media Player, FTP, SSH + etc (of course, this is a SERVER)

Here are the specs of my CORE Server


Product Specs Price Remarks
Mini-ITX Casing
  • 120W Internal PSU
  • Internal 1 x 3.5″ HDD Space + 1 x 2.5″ HDD Space on the same rack
  • 1 x 5.25″ External Space
CPU + Motherboard
  • Intel Little Falls 2 Mini-ITX Motherboard
  • Intel Atom N330 Dual Core Processor
  • Intel 945 chipset
  • Built in Intel XMA Graphics with D-Sub and S-Video Out
  • 6 channel AC97 Audio
£60 17cm x 17cm
  • 2.0 GB DDR2 667 (1 x Dimm maximum)
£18 CL5
Data Harddisk
  • 2 x 1.0 TB Western Digital 7200rpm Green Power SATA II HDD
£140 Low Power Consumption
OS Harddisk
  • 1 x 20GB 2.5″ Hitachi HDD
£0 Used HDD from old laptop


Operating System
  • CentOS 5.3 64 bit Server Edition
  • Gnome Desktop (for LAN remote VNC)
  • WindowsMaker Desktop Manager (for WAN remote VNC)
£0 Running on ext3
  • VMWare Server 2.0
  • XEN kernel (Optional Boot for Testing)
  • Apache 2.0
  • PHP 5.0
  • MySQL 5.0

Now I am waiting for my Intel Little Falls 2 to come on Wednesday and will continue this post 😉


Finally the Intel Little Falls 2 arrived!!!

It really a headache when trying to put this motherboard into the tiny casing. I have to remove the HDD racks and power supply in order to fit the board in. I even have to take off the bottom part of the casing (No wonder this tiny casing so expensive, the design is really user friendly 😉 )

The second problem is the cables after fit in the board and every other parts. SInce the space will be super compact, I have to squeeze all the power and data cables into the sides. The CPU Fan only remains about 3cm height of space just under the 5.25″ HDD rack on top.

Just after completing the assembles, the first thjing I need to check will be the temperature of the CPU. It shows around 40 celsius in the BIOS with the CPU fan running at about 2800rpm and the casing big fan which draws out hot air running at around 4500rpm.

Since the server will not be fit with any optical drives, so I have to temporary plug in the DVD-RW drive to install the CentOS 5.3 Final. The installation went off smoothly and then after around 30 minutes I have the OS up and running!!! It takes long for installing because I want to customised all the installations. I only choose the Server-GUI version with customized packages to keep the overall system file size below 2GB.

If you are interested in the system process details, please leave me a comment so I can tell more. At the moment let me test the server first and moving all my data files into it.

updated: by using “smartctl” command, 3 HDDs detected running at around 30 to 36 celcius, not bad huh!!!

DIY – Saw The Door

New carpet in the bed room, the door cannot be open or close due to thicker new carpet.

The right tools to do it will be a cheap electronic jigsaw (cost around £14)

first, removing the screws on the door that attaching the door to the wall.

prepare even level chair on few sides of the door to make it ready for sawing. a fairly big space is needed and luckily my kitchen just have enough room 😉

draw the line that you want to saw and make yourself ready with shoes/goggles for protection.

start to saw it slow and once you used to it then just keep sawing. Remember to pause half way if you think the saw is overheat.

Hope you can do it by yourself too 😉 I am going to saw more when doing the wooden flooring for living room this weekend

DIY – Removing Wallpaper

hi ya…I have been DIY recently for my flat, so I decided to talk about some of the experience.

This topic is about REMOVING WALLPAPER.

Removing wallpaper is quiet tiring if you do not have the right tools even it’s a small room. My office room is done by without using the right tools, so it waste me a whole day for removing wallpaper on 4 walls.

When come to the second room, the bedroom now, I bought the Wallpaper Steamer (cost around £20) and it just  took me half day for removing the wallpaper 😉

How to use the wallpaper steamer? fill the machine with hot water, switch it on, when it become steaming, just apply it on the wallpaper on the wall and use the scrapper easily remove it 😉

So, the proverb never goes wrong, 工欲善其事,必先利其器