Monday, August 4, 2008

Star Frontiers Network Site Moved To Its Intended Home

Well, I finally got the Star Frontiers Network site moved to it's permanent home. It only took a month longer than planned due to repeated hardware failure.

I got the pieces to build a new computer at the end of June (it was my Father's Day present) that was going to host the site but the motherboard kept dying. After I got the pieces I set it up and started up stress test to "burn in" the components and make sure they were working properly. Well, it literally burned the motherboard, frying a capacitor. The weird thing was that it ran just fine for 24 hours without a problem. It was when I turned it off and rebooted that the capacitor fried. So that caused a two week delay as I had to send it in an get it repaired/replaced.

Once the mobo came back I hooked it all up again and fired it up (again literally). This time it didn't even last a day. While testing it out the computer locked up and refused to POST. Both times there was the smell of burning silicon. The first time I had the case open and actually saw the capacitor burn out. The second time there was no obvious sign of damage. Again, the mobo went back to the manufacturer.

This time I know they sent me a completely different motherboard as it was blue instead of green like the original. That was Thursday of last week and I haven't had any problems at all. So today I moved the site over. For those that are interested, here are the specs on the new box:

Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-SA (rev 1.0) BIOS v F5
AMD Phenom x4 9850BE (quad core 2.5GHz)
4 GB Patriot Exterme PC6400 DDR2 RAM
Sony DVD+/-RW drive
Integrated graphics

The computer is my and my wife's main home computer and so is running WinXP. The site itself is running on Scientific Linux 5 (a Redhat Enterprise Linux knockoff) in a VMWare virtual machine. The VM currently has 512MB RAM and 2 CPU's which is more than enough to run the web server. Until I moved it, it was running on a Intel Core Duo (2GHz) system and only had 256 MB RAM and 1 CPU and had no troubles. The new setup makes it a bit snappier. If traffic and load ever become an issue I can always add more RAM to the VM or eventually move it to a dedicated box. (If only I could be so lucky to get that much traffic.)

The site is doing fine. The Obar Enterprises game is in full swing with seven players and Shadow Shack is starting up a new game called Wing Commander where the players are star fighter pilots, or as he describes it in the forum description, "Welcome to Top Gun, Knight Hawks style!". So come on over and join in the fun or just follow along.