News of the Tinderbox or, Excelsior Inbound

I know I’ve been tremendously silent in the past week or so, but I’ve been working my ass off — after all of I want to move here I have to work enough to show that I’m worth the investment, and that I l like the job enough. Of course, this means I also have to accept working with Adobe Flash and ActionScript 3, which I easily started to hate (sorry Mike).

At any rate, even though the Pledgie instance is not yet complete (just misses a little over $200!) I’ve ordered all the components for the new Tinderbox host, for which I also found a name: Excelsior following my usual Trekkie naming scheme. While the original plan called for ordering all the components from NewEgg, I’ve had to switch the plan.

The reason is multi-folded. From one side, while NewEgg do support paying through PayPal, they only ship to a verified address, and while I can add bank accounts and credit cards from over here to my account, they do not allow me to add a second, verifiable address outside of Italy to the same account. This is not just a matter of not being able to add an American address, any other country beside Italy is forbidden to Italian account, and I assume that the same applies to all the other countries.

Another issue is that NewEgg does not let me pay through a credit card without verifying the billing address to the number (which is excruciating when you consider that their website by default replace the 5-digits ZIP code with the new, extended 9-digits one), and it does not allow me to add an Italian billing address. Finally, while I do have an US check card… the bank’s daily limit is set at two thousands dollars.

What it ended up to be, well, I ordered the barebone from NewEgg, and the rest of the components I ordered in multiple batches from Amazon (making sure that all the components I’m buying straight from Amazon, to make eventual returns easy). Turns out that this also allowed me to make a couple of changes to the original plan: the memory went from 32GB to 64GB, and the single SSD became two, although I’m now not sure if I should use them to build on when the tmpfs is too small or not.

By Wednesday, all the final components should be in; by end of next week I should have a basic working system, even though it won’t be publicly accessible at that point yet. My employer is going to sponsor the work offering space at the co-lo, assuming they have enough amps available, at which point this will be available to the public. If that’s not going to work due to power drain, I have alternatives in place so the system will be put somewhere pretty soon once it’s complete.

I want to thank all the people who’ve contributed already: without you this wouldn’t have been possible in so short a notice. I’ll make sure to get every single least power drop out of it used for Gentoo.

6 thoughts on “News of the Tinderbox or, Excelsior Inbound

  1. Good news! Except the Flash part of course ;)What is great with tmpfs is that it can be swapped. So you could create a tmpfs with a maximum size larger than you RAM, and have it swap on the SSD.Another interesting thing to do if you have two drives is to mix RAID0 and RAID1. For instance the swap space could be RAID0, since you don’t really care about losing it if a SSD dies.


  2. Great to hear the projects already off the ground. I’d recommend you to use the SSD’s mirrored for your operating systems but use the larger HDD’s instead of the SSD’s when the tmpfs gets too small. The pay-off would be slightly slower performance but you’ll be sure that your SSD’s won’t get burnt out.


  3. WRT to such machine, wouldn’t simple gaming stuff do the job better ?Each of your Optys have computing power, comparable to FX-8150 roughly.Also, having 32Gigs of RAM is achievable wute cheaply on usual stuff.And these days one can have 1600MHz or even 1866MHz kit for less than €300 and (1333MHz for less than €200!)You don’t seem to be doing anything that would need RAM coherence etc, so two or even four FX-8150 complets ( CPU, 32GiG RAM, cheapish mobo ) for such kind of money…BTW: How are such things taxed in US ? If your employer culd get it tax exempt on his company, wouldn’t it be better for him to do the purchase and then you could do some sort of compensation…Even if later on you decide to walk away with this machine, big part of its paper value would evaporate and with it also corresponding tax burden…


  4. The problem with going non-server-grade is two-fold: from one side it’s hard to find that kind of hardware in rack format, and I need rack format to fit into the co-locations. The other issue is that “cheapo” motherboards usually perform as such: cheapo. And what I wouldn’t spend on CPUs I’d rather spend on motherboard, so there…


  5. Looks like a beast of a Diego.You should add the specifications of the build here, so we can be in proper awe. Basebones kit, motherboard, etc.One of the comments here suggests using ssd raid0’s for swap — that’s a designed system crash. Don’t create inherently defective solutions all in the name of performance!


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