Hello Boot Screen My Old Friend

I had some kind of half-baked notion of making a home fileserver out of this old iMac G3 which was creaking under the weight of running OS X, so after a whizz through various distros (Ubuntu, Fedora 9, Yellow Dog, Slackintosh) I settled on Xubuntu as something which would run smoothly on 333Mhz and which I could install without too much hassle.

This pic was taken just before the system hung, for what seemed like ages, just as it had when I booted from the Ubuntu live CD. This time, however, I read around on the forums and realised it had exited to the shell, waiting to be told where to find the boot information. Typing MODPROBE IDE_CORE and then EXITing from the shell let it boot from the hard disk and it was up and running within minutes – even recognising a USB Belkin wireless key without any drivers having to be installed! I danced with glee and sounded the great war hoot of my people. Whoop! Whoop! Neeehowww!

I was elated, but, like Dustin Hoffman in the final scene in the Graduate, I sat there, the smile fading from my bionic lips, the adrenaline now replaced by a burgeoning sense of responsibility and the prospect of the mundane. Was I ready for this? What was my plan? I’m no system administrator. What does a fileserver even do? How do people access it? What hardware do I need? Is it worth it?

Is it worth it?


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