Server Install Complete

The server installation goes better than I expected.

I had to wait until after 10 AM to take down the server, wipe its hard disk clean, and install the Tiger Server software. That’s because the computer was busy recording KBSZ’s “Around the Town” show and saving it as an MP3 file so I wouldn’t have to.

The first time I tried to restart from the DVD disc, the computer defaulted back to its internal hard disk for restart. Darn CD/DVD reader problems again. I opened the side of the computer, banged on the drive a little, and shut it back up. Then restarted. It worked.

I had downloaded a “worksheet” PDF document from Apple’s Web site and filled it in in preparation for the big moment. It asked things like the IP address, administrator names and password, Ethernet configuration, disk name, and type of setup. So when the installer started asking questions, I had answers. I finally clicked the Install button and held my breath while the installer checked the DVD disk. Actually, I didn’t hold my breath for the whole time because it took about 15 minutes. Imagine my relief when it had no trouble reading the DVD and began the installation. About 15 minutes later, it was done and ready to restart.

I used my worksheet to answer a few more questions. Then, when I was finished, I got my first look at Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger Server. It looked just like Mac OS X 10.4, but had a few interesting icons on the Dock and one or two extra folders in the hard disk’s root level.

I spent the next fifteen minutes or so updating the “out-of-the-box” version of Tiger server with about 500 MB of updates from Apple’s Software Update server. Thank heaven for the DSL connection. It would have taken a VERY long time if I was still using a cable modem.

My next step was to restore the software that had been running on the server that morning. Not restore from backups, mind you. Restore from original copies of the software. I did Evocam first, since that was the easiest, and had the Webcam up and running in minutes.

Next was Nicecast, for KBSZ’s Internet simulcast. Had a bit of trouble getting the audio out, but after a restart, it worked fine. Of course, I had Jo at KBSZ check it there; because of weird DNS/IP looping problems, I can’t test it from a local computer. Jo couldn’t hear it. Later, I stopped by the station and gave it a try. Someone had turned down the volume on the computer’s speakers.

FileMaker Pro and the AppleScripts and Fetch shortcuts was next. By that time, the CD/DVD drive had decided it wasn’t going to read anymore CDs. Fine. Be like that. I put the CD in my production Mac and used the network to access the CD from the server. I did the install that way and it came off without a hitch. The configuration took a while, though, and required that I rewrite a few of the scripts for the new directory structure on the server. Fix, test, repeat. I was getting used to it.

I also set up Audio Hijack Pro to record the four shows it would need to record and modified the script that would get the 8 AM news on KBSZ’s Web site each morning at 8:18 AM.

When everything appeared to be working right, I set up the computer to automatically log in with me as the user and launch the stuff it needed to launch at startup for truly automated operation. Then I crossed my fingers and restarted.

Everything started up as it should, but FileMaker Pro displayed an error message. It appears that it cannot open files unless it is the foreground application. Although I had set it up to open last, other programs were slower to open and became the foreground application, thus preventing FileMaker from doing its thing. Not acceptable. I thought about writing a script that would delay FileMaker’s launch so it would be the foreground application when it finally opened, but came up with a simpler solution: I just set up the other applications to hide after launch. That left FileMaker Pro as the only application that wasn’t hidden, thus leaving it in the foreground.

Restart. Perfect.

I set up the computer to shut down and restart each night at around midnight. This is to force FileMaker Pro to refresh its databases with current day’s information. In the future, I’ll find a utility that’ll automatically restart the FileMaker Pro databases for me.

I messed around with the FTP setup for a while and didn’t get anywhere good. I might have to rethink the directory structure. It appears that I can’t FTP into the root directory for the computer. That’s unfortunate, since I created a bunch of folders in that location that I’d like to get into. It looks as if I’ll be moving them and modifying the scripts that look for them where they currently are.

Today, I won’t be spending much time in the office. I’ll stop in to check things out, then come back later to press a CD for my radio show. This morning I need to pick up my helicopter from Prescott, where it just had its annual. And I have a charter at 2 PM. Possibly another charter sometime this afternoon, too.

Thursday morning, I’ll play around a bit with Blojsom, the blogging software that’s part of Tiger Server. I’ll be replacing wickenburg-az.com with a blog-based Web site, making it possible for a team of people to add content and to automate the formatting of pages. I have a Doctor’s appointment later in the afternoon, so I won’t be spending as much time on it as I’d like. So it looks like Friday will be my next full day working with the server.

No rush, though. Rather do it right than do it quickly.

What do you think?