The Server Project Begins

I [finally] get Mac OS X 1.4 Server and start to plan for installation and deployment.

If you’ve been following this bLog, you know that I recently purchased Mac OS X 10.4 Server from someone on eBay. I got the software at a smoking price — less than the Apple employee discount, in fact — and considered myself very fortunate. The only thing I can’t figure out is why it took the seller more than 10 days to send the software to me in a flat rate Priority Mail box.

The software arrived in good condition. The box looked a little worn, as if it had been handled by too many people or shuffled around from one shelf to another. But the seals were intact and the box appears to contain all the discs, documentation, and proof of purchase info — including the all-important serial number — that a legal copy of the software should. So I’m pretty confident that I did not buy used or pirated software.

Now that I have the software, I have no excuse to put off my big server project.

The goal, as I think I’ve mentioned elsewhere, is to install Mac OS X 10.4 server on my current Web server machine and use the following features:
– Web server (Apache) with PHP and MySQL for dynamic content
– E-mail server
– Mailing List server
– FTP server
– Streaming Video (QuickTime)
– Blog

I’ll also set up secure space on the server to back up my own personal documents, as well as Mike’s.

In addition to all that, the server will continue to run the same other services the server runs now:
– FileMaker Pro databases
– Webcam
– Steaming Audio (for KBSZ-AM)

All this on a Power Macintosh G4 running at 866 MHz. Seems pretty ambitious, but we’ll see how I can do. If all else fails, I’ll take my old G3/300 (beige, mind you) out of retirement and use that for the Webcam and FileMaker Pro databases.

I’ve made a list of steps that need to be done to get the project going. Here’s what I hope to accomplish today:

1) Adjust the upload address for all Webcams. Although the KBSZ-AM Webcam currently uploads to some GoDaddy hosting space I have, I think the wickenburg-az.com and Editor SpyCam Webcams both upload to my current server. I need them to upload someplace that won’t be affected by the change — probably that GoDaddy space — so I don’t lose Webcam service. I also need to adjust all Web page references to that new space.

2) Adjust the file locations for the ini files I use to display sunrise/sunset and upcoming event info on various Web sites. This information is generated each morning as a text file that is inserted in the appropriate locations on various Web pages. I need to change the source location for the ini files in the Web page HTML and then set up an AppleScript that automatically uses Fetch to move the files where I said they’ll be right after the files are created.

3) Set up hosting on the GoDaddy server for the Web sites I host on my server. This is temporary and will give me the time I need to make all the changes on the new server before moving the sites back. Some sites will move over without any major changes. Other sites, like wickenburg-az.com and aneclecticmind.com will undergo complete facelifts using new features available to me in Apache and the blogging software that comes with Mac OS X 10.4 Server. By moving them off my server to a place where they’ll continue to be served without interruption, I won’t be rushed to build the new sites. Some will be at GoDaddy for less than a month; others might be there for several months.

Since it’ll take up to 48 hours for the DNS info on the Web site move to propogate, I’ll have to wait a few days after I finish these steps to move onto the next step. Hopefully, while I’m waiting, the new RAM will arrive. I’d already ordered and installed 512 MB of RAM on the server and quickly discovered that the RAM was bad. When I get the new RAM, I’ll install it and send back the bad RAM. It should arrive today. If this RAM doesn’t work, I can only assume that they sold me the wrong kind of RAM.

When I’m sure that the sites are being served from GoDaddy’s servers, I can move on with the next steps in the project. I’ll write about those later on.

Stay tuned for progress reports, including problems I’m sure to encounter. And wish me luck!

What do you think?