Re: Old laptop for a media server ? (F11, mediaTomb, transcoding, uPNP server, etc.)

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On 10/05/2009 12:38 AM, Linuxguy123 wrote:
> We have a Dell 5100 laptop sitting here not doing anything.  My wife got
> a new one a year ago. We need a media server to serve large digital
> images to client computers running digikam and we also want to run
> mediatomb to act as a server for our laptops and our uPNP capable tv. 
> 
> The 5100 has a Pentium 4 running at 2.66 MHz.  Right now it has 256 MB
> of RAM, but I think I have 1 GB sitting around here for it.  Plug in a
> new 7200 RPM 500 GB hard drive ?  Run a 1 TB USB drive for more
> storage ?

Definitely max out the RAM.  Memory's cheap and it helps a LOT.

> I would like to run Fedora 11 on it.  (What else ?)  Boot init 3 ?  Run
> init level 5 for doing administration ?

Runlevel 3 and then ssh -X into it for admin with GUI tools if you need 'em.

> I am running the F11 Live CD on it right now.  It seems to work fairly
> well, albeit a bit slow.
> 
> I love the form factor.  It would be quiet and small.  Its got a monitor
> and a keyboard and built in battery back up, for a couple hours, anyway.
> We have a wireless card for it too... I could do administration on the
> couch instead of in some closet somewhere.
> 
> Will it do the job ?  I'm worried about the transcoding part of things.
> Our TV doesn't support many video formats but mediaTomb does transcoding
> so that we can watch just about anything we can store. 
> 
> Will it do the job ?

Totally depends on what your criteria for success is.  If you don't mind
that laptops typically have God-awful slow drives you should be fine.
Instead of using a USB drive I would spring for an eSATA PCMCIA card and
use eSATA.  It's much faster.

Thomas

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