Saturday, September 21, 2002

Well, I decided to spend this fine saturday attempting to build and install a new linux server here at home. I have Red Hat 7.3 ready to go, so I took a pile of parts I had in my Parts Closet and built a nice box out of them. Nice for linux, anyway. The SCSI-W adapter, three scsi drives, scsi CD-ROM, and a 3com nic I had around, just in case. Got all the drives in the unit, and then put the box under my desk, hooked power, mouse/kbd and a KVM switch...

Ahhhh, KVM. What a nice thing. Keyboard-Video-Mouse switch - two computers, one set of I/O devices. In theory. This one derives power from the keyboard port, so I plugged the keyboard from my main unit into it as well as ran the included cables to the two computers. Hooking up video was no problem, mouse not used - my main mouse is USB, the other one is plugged into the new box. The keyboards. Ahhh... The new unit has an old-style large keyboard plug, and I am sans-adapter. So I plug in the main computer to the kvm keyboard port. Boot it. Keyboard error (at least the video works!). It accepts F1 to continue (???) and boots into W2K, at which point I find myself at a login prompt with no keyboard. Lovely. Plug the main keyboard back into the main computer after unplugging the KVM from the keyboard port. Video goes blank as the KVM shuts off. No power.

Guess what happens when you plug a 9v 800ma adapter into a brand new automatic switching KVM switch that wants 9v 500ma? Pop! Anyone want a lovely translucent teal KVM switch with a blown capacitor and some brown liquidy junk spattered about the insides? Slightly (ab)used. Oh well, at least I have the nice 3' kvm cables.

So, I have a nice computer ready to go, even had a spare keyboard and mouse for it, and no video. Not even a way to get video to it without doing some damage to my cabling scheme and disabling my existing main computer in the process. Drat. I'll figure it out later - might end up buying a cheap manual a/b video switch.

I'll be adding items to the parts page soon, and rearranging others to reflect what is in this new box. Name? I dunno. My main system is called Trotsky, so maybe this new RH box could be Stalin?