Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Apple Businesses

Rack An iMac 142

Andrew van der Stock writes "Check out this link and see a rack-mounted iMac. Very Cool." Shades of the 21" Frankenstein iMac covered a few months ago here on Slashdot. This is a cool hardware hack of the "gotta get it done" variety. Talk about faith in a platform! But what is he doing with all the old iMonitors? Perhaps ESR and friends could use some interesting targets ...
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Rack An iMac

Comments Filter:
  • Of course, his customers would get pretty pissed about him only serving their databases during the *day*. ;)
  • heh..I just helped a mac using friend of mine put together a dual celerey linux box. He went all out on the black components, monitor and evert'ing, got gobs of storage, ram, a matrox G400, sblive platinum (he was very upset the livedrive is beige). It gets used as a router.

    Oh well.....
  • Are you sure? Every spec sheet I pull up says:
    64 bit superscalar processor
    Now that doesn't necessarily mean it is a MIPS, but it implies that it is not an x86.
  • You should have done a cut-and-paste directly from it, then you would have had:

    'great little one rack-space computers, however not Mac-based'.

    This gives a different connotation than your post. The point is that he is a Mac-guy providing services to Mac-people. It's not that he wants to avoid PC's exactly, but rather he wants to use Macs wherever possible.

    Cheers.....

  • Now that's a well written troll if I've ever seen one.

    Troc
  • Obviously you bolt the mac to the rack, not the handles.
    My comment above was somewhat ambiguous

    :)

    troc
  • > I wonder if anyones put a Mac into an Amiga
    > case.

    I think many Amiga owners would rather put their Amigas into some other case, so there are probably plenty of gutted Amiga cases out there to experiment on!

    (The A500 and A1200 were the most popular Amiga models. They were computer-in-a-keyboard style cases that hindered expansion, so there was quite a business in "towering" these computers to get some expansion room.)
  • I can see how others could easily misinterpret your post as sarcasm, but after a year and a half of reading Slashdot I am all too well aware of the inability or disinclination of so many of its readers to read the articles before commenting on them, not to mention the regularity with which mentioned sites do indeed get slashdotted.
  • "i don't know why people get so het up about it, if someone makes a bad remark about your computer it not exactly going to stop it working issit?"
    Of course not, but they can't help considering it as a statement that their male appendage is insufficiently large.
  • "Steve Wozniak has the world's biggest ego"
    Has Steve Jobs left the world? : )
  • "I hate commenting until I read the article text so that I don't sound like an idiot for repeating something already in the article (maybe that's just me)."
    Yes, that is just you. After all, this *is* Slashdot : )
  • Must be nice to have free i-Macs lying around : )
    Seriously though, the article says "Total price: the rack case and about 50 bucks in parts." No mention of what the rack case cost him, but there ain't no such thing as inexpensive rack mount stuff. (exclude the obvious stolen, surplus found in dumpster, etc). That $349 may be more reasonable than you imply once you consider all factors.
  • Since then, Apple's been particularly weak in the server space (even more than usual) - throwing OS X Server on a 3 slot G3 or G4 with only one power supply and calling it a server don't make it one.

    Actually, the current Apple Power Macintosh G4 Mac OS X Server machines have dual power supplies... and a powerd daemon to go with them. It's not hot swappable, however. It is instant switch-over.

    Also, there are many servers out there that don't need more than 3 64bit slots. Matter of fact, many rack mount systems sacrifice slots - leaving only one or two available. With built in 10/100 ethernet, built in firewire (for that brand new firewire SAN to be supported in MacOS X), 2 USB ports, what exactly do you need more than 3 64 bit PCI slots for anyways? Let's see... gigabit ethernet card, dual channel 64 bit PCI Ultra/160 SCSI card, what else? I know that some people do need them, but not usually as servers and certainly not in this price category (under $10k). Plus, PCI expansion chassis's also exist.

    In general, Macs do make nice solid quality machines compared to most x86 machines - not as solid as real Sun boxes (not the Ultra 5's), but then the price is a whole lot cheaper. It takes a lot of effort (which can mean dollars which is often discounted) to identify, specify, and purchase quality x86 systems. It is possible, but with vendors changing components all the time, it can be difficult.

  • New Motto: "We put the Day into Database"
  • why should anyone even care what the comp looks like, to either extreme? tis what it does that makes the diff.

    Dahling...it is better to look good than to feel good!

    - Another clueless pomo Mac hacker...

  • A quote from the article:

    I'd seen these servers called the Cobalt Raq, great little one rack-space computers, however PC-based. So, I asked myself, why couldn't the iMac be a Raq with a little coaxing?

    Say what? This guy means to tell us that a MIPS-based Linux rack-mount solution is a "PC"?

    I guess mac folks tend to think of the world as "Macs" and "everything else". I wonder what he'd make of a Macintosh running SuSE Linux...

  • This guy means to tell us that a MIPS-based Linux rack-mount solution is a "PC"

    The rack mounted cobalts aren't MIPS-based. They use Pentiums and Pentium clones.

    Their Cobalt cube, or an earlier version is MIPS-based though.

    Dig around on Cobalt's products page [cobalt.com]
  • Sorry, my post was not entirely correct. It looks as though their newer products use x86, but not their older stuff.
    I've been staring at their new Raq3 for too long or something.
  • I hope not. For teachers and schools out there are still in some parts of the country very Mac dependant. The teachers know it and let us be frank it is an easy interface for the kids to get use to. Now, when you have this mac dependant environment, then having a couple of Macs acting like you file/printer servers actually make sense.

    The teachers can usually work the thing without mucking it up and the little buggers are damn easy to set up and maintain.

    If they abandon this market, they are dropping a decent little percentage of their market share.

    Everyone thinks Apple = iMac or iBook. This is not always the case.

  • Ah, I see... yes, that IS expensive .. I didn't realise how much :) ..

    Actually since writing that post of mine I started to search around the net for stuff relating to powerpc mainboards etc, not just apple offerings. I came across this:

    Motorola PowerPC ATX board [mot.com] which looks really great, especially the part about dual 604e's at 400Mhz ... might be quite a nice system.

    I can't seem to find a place to buy them online (or even get prices so I could price a system up) but I might try and get some info from that website themselves.

    --
  • I wonder if you can find the main board + cpu + rom on its own to buy as 'spares' for an imac you don't own so you need not buy a whole imac and just throw bits away. Which is nice from a cost point of view as well as a I-don't-want-gaudily-coloured-plastic-crap-all-ove r-the-place point of view too..

    That way you could just rack mount what you want.. or, what I'd like to do, get a powerpc mainboard and plop it in a standard ATX and run linux on it without having to pay the 'Apple-tax'.

    I glanced at Apple's site but it didn't say anything about a spares list. If someone knows a source, I'd be interested to know the basic costs.

    --
  • Lets see bottom end iMac is $999, bottom end G4 is $1,599 (prices are from http://www.apple.com/store) factor in rack mount case price, your time, and the fact that you've blown your warrant to hell. Seems to me in the long run the G4 is a better value. Especially when you consider that's going from a 350MHz in the G3 to a 400MHz G4 and a 6GB disk to 10GB disk.
  • hey and it looks cool

    and what about a clus.....

    john

    out


    a poor student @ bournemouth uni in the UK (a deltic so please dont moan about spelling but the content)
  • I can verify that the raq2 is mips based.
    I run three of them at work.

    Telnet to ns3.compton.net, the banner says it all.
  • You might want to check out www.shrevesystems.com. They sell a fair amount or refurbished Mac stuff.
  • Two problems come to mind cost and heat disapation. If you have ever used a portable you will realise how hot those things get.
  • I suspect that Powerbooks are a lot more expensive than the corresponding iMacs, so that wouldn't be economical for a business. Remember that the person in the article didn't do the iMac rackmounting just for the coolness of it, but maybe more because of the fact that the iMac is cheap Apple hardware. But the idea of rackmounting Powerbooks is still cool though. ;-)

  • My school buys alot of Imacs. But the so called mouse that is included is replaced with a real one. Hence there is a lot of mouse leftovers. They are actually decorating a wall in the basement.

    What about sending these, and the leftover cases from rackmounting Imacs to an artist. He/She could make a nice piece of art with it.

    The reason for the rackmount sounded a bit strange. Does Filemaker only support 50 databases on the same machine!? And why does anyone bother use Filemaker as a server DB if that's the case.

    The trouble to port the Filmaker DB's to a real DBHS is probably less than rackmounting a bunch of Imacs I would argue.

    But in any case, it's was a cool project!

    Did'nt Industrial Light And Magic rackmount a wohle lot of Mac Power PC's a few years ago for rendering purpouses?

    A happy weekend to you all!

    /Patrix, Sweden
  • That' right -- like a PC. I guess non-Mac people just assume that Mac people don't know what they are talking about with no justification.

    Read the spec sheet if you don't believe me. [cobalt.com]

    On the other hand it could've been a simple mistake. I thought that the Raq 2's were x86 based as well, but the spec sheet for them talks about a "64-bit processor," probably the MIPS you mentioned. ...Not that a rack-mounted machine really counts a a PC under any stretch of the term "personal computer." The Raq 3's may have not been out when the guy first did this. I remember reading about someone making a 1 unit rack-mount out of a revison 1 iMac a long time ago, though I think it was on one of the Mac news sites and not Slashdot.
  • You think you're joking, right? Check out the SID Station [sidstation.com], a rack-mounted synth that incorporates the Commodore SID chip.

  • I've been an Apple certified tech for a couple of years now and I can give you the dope on this. Parts for anything that Apple has put on the market within the last year are controlled by Apple. For instance, you can get a logic board for a beige G3 from a third party vendor or possibly (by now) a Blue And White logic board. You will NOT be able to obtain say, a Black and Translucent G4 board for several more months unless you happen to work for an Apple Authorized shop.

    Even if you work for an authorized shop it still wouldn't be economically viable to do. Like most vendors Apple imposes a core charge. That means 2 or 3 hundred bucks MORE for that logic board if you don't send Apple back a bad part (since you are supposed to be repairing them NOT building them). Also, repair parts are not commodity priced. The logic board for last year's beige G3 Server will cost you at least $600 BEFORE the core charge. A third party vendor MIGHT let you have it for $450 or so.

    If you want to make Apple based servers it would be more feasible to check out the used and discount markets. Since most Apple parts are made by Apple it isn't as easy to build them as PCs or even Alphas for that matter.
  • Wrong!!!

    What about Steve Wozniak???

    He is the God of all nerds single handedly engineering the Apple I and Apple II
  • Um, he said $50 PLUS the rack case. I don't know how much that is, but it's probably $100-150, for a total cost of $150-200 (maybe more). Which is, of course, still cheaper than $349, but it's a lot more than $50.

  • He's not doing this soley as a Mac fan. He does webhosting for sites that are using FileMaker, and he needs multiple boxes to run it on. Seems like an iMac would be cheaper than a g3 tower. Not sure how well filemaker runs on NT, but I'd bet it probbably runs better on the mac.

    <disclaimer>I do not use the MacOS, NT, or filemaker enough to know how similarly the two verions run.</disclaimer>
    treke
  • The man bothered with an iMac because it would do his job. Why invest in bigger when iMac is good enough? I congratulate him on a job well done. He solved many problems on the way to his elegant solution. I work with IBM compostables by choice, but see nothing wrong with the way Apples do the job. I used and enjoyed them on a one-year contract. Again, my congratulations to a problem solver.
  • If you read the FAQ, you see:

    The power supply gets replaced by the one provided with the rack box, which is an industrial-grade one meant for serving.

    So, he's not using the iMac powersupply.

  • It doesn't seem to me that this is a very economical solution. IMacs are great for leting anyone get a computer but they are also expencive. You should be able to get a rack mounted PC for far less money and effort with more than likely more power.
  • For the price he's paying, he could be getting a lot more robust hardware.

    Price and mission-critical are mutually exclusive, typically.

    The OS is secondary here; we're talking about robustness and reliability, and it's the hardware that is primary determinant there.

    So, a system who's processor averages 84C at crusing speed is likely to be much more reliable than a system who's processor averages 45C?

    Tell me, how much research have you done into the quality of Apple's motherboards?

    If you think Mac and NT are the only two choices, that speaks volumes for your technical knowledge.

    I don't remember ever saying that. And I don't see anything even remotely relating to that in my original message.

    Oh, wait, I remember! My SMIRK tag was rejected by the lords of /. HTML.

    Leave the mission-critical data center hardware choices to those of us who make our living making those choices; you obviously don't have the training or knowledge to speak intelligently on the subject.

    Oooo, I bow before you and your vast knowledge.

    Oh, let me guess: You sell "mission-critical" hardware, I'll bet. So, you got any better choices for serving FilemakerPro databases?


    --

  • Who ever said he spent $1000 for an iMac? I can drive down to a local brick&mortar place and buy one for $549.

    I could probably do even better mail-order.

    Of course, you probably don't understand what I just said. Nevermind.


    --

  • What's he doing with all the monitor hardware?

    Any way to adapt the crt from an imac to fit a "PC"? (PC in quotes cause... face it, macs are Personal Computers too. But no one says IBM clone anymore, so I'm at a loss as to how else to phrase it.. :^)

  • Yes, and its quite easy to do.
    but, if you didnt read the main reason he was doing this, it was because of the fact that an iMac at $999 is by far a lot cheaper than a much more expensive G4 server...
    Even though the monitor and casing of those iMacs are going to waste, its still more cost-effective to use them for Filemaker than it would be to do the same with a G4 tower, esp. since FilemakerPro makes no use of the Altivec instruction set, which gives the G4 its biggest boost.
    Just my $.02 worth...
  • Hell, why not try putting an x86 motherboard (not PC, not IBM clone, not Compaq clone, not wintel, but x86) in the thing? It might take a little doing, but I bet you could take apart a laptop sans LCD and put it inside there.
  • If you read the article, he makes it clear why he needed to rack the iMac.

    I think this modification is akin to putting a VW bug frame/interior/motor into a Dodge pick-up truck (but they both use a standard ATX battery!).

    -
  • Have you ever seen LinuxPPC run on a G3 RISC processor? Or PostgreSQL? There are performance advantages to the G3 and G4 processors that are not existant in CISC processors like the Pentium. Face it, CISC gets the job done by brute force while RISC does it with elegance.

    Personally, I won't use the MacOS for anything more complex than education software or games. Lotsa Mac folx swear that the Mac is great for graphics, but I can't accept a graphics workstation that crashes randomly and has an OS does not have a kernel that supports true 32 bit protected-mode preemptive multitasking.

    For now I'll use NT untill the situation with Linux and Gnome gets better for the graphics software world.
  • and wouldn't they be rendered useless in that case, it appears pretty small to have a card standing up in it.
  • That guy is pretty lame for charging people for the instructions what ever happened to posting the instructions up for free??

    Jeez, let the guy recoup some money for his time and effort. If you're having such a problem with that, figure it out for youself and then give it away.


    TangoChaz

    "It's not enough to be on the right track -- you have to be moving faster than the train." -- Rod Davis, Editor of Seahorse Mag.
  • This being known, I picked up a standard PC one-unit rack-mount case with power supply, fans, and drive mounts. A custom-wired power adapter, a little modification of the back panel and some 3/4" stand-offs and I managed to successfully mount the motherboard and get the machine booted. The only remaining complications were constructing some longer cables for the monitor plug and CD-ROM, the latter of which required some special-order high-density connectors from good 'ol Digi-Key. Total price: the rack case and about 50 bucks in parts.

    dood, he gives you all you need right here. pull the motherboard out, grab a multimeter, and go to work... if you dont want to do it, its fine, but all you need to do is read up on the specs for the imac [apple.com], and you should be able to figure out the rest.

    isnt it always more fun to do-it-yourself? if not, like the prev poster said, "its only $40"... that shouldnt break any of us.

    for that matter, you dont *need* to worry about the cdrom... which would solve some of the problem, just drop it into an existing cluster, and there you go... another processor for your use.

    personally, i've always preferred macs, and currently using an 8500/200 with linuxppc (though often still use the mac os because of my job... which will hopefully change with the mac-on-linux [ibrium.se] dev). i would love to try this... now where can i pick up a really cheap imac?

    .sigs are dumb!

  • Hell, I was just wondering how many iMac users would still feel comfortable hugging their Macs g'night each night if they were in a rack instead of their cute little smiling iMac cases.

    ha, that reminds me of a close friend who refuses to buy a mac for just that reason. he wants something imposing (think black and rack mounted), even for his home computer.

    why should anyone even care what the comp looks like, to either extreme? tis what it does that makes the diff.

    .sigs are dumb!

  • You should be able to get a rack mounted PC for far less money and effort with more than likely more power.

    undoubtably, and far less trouble too. however, this guy obviously needs to run the Mac OS for his business, and you cant get than in a pc.

    .sigs are dumb!

  • All due respect to these folks and all, but it would be useful to do a rack mount conversion of a real machine such as a 450 G4. Given the overall design with the nice access it has, it ought to be a piece of cake. It would be nice to see some "mil grade" servers out there.
  • i don't know why people get so het up about it, if someone makes a bad remark about your computer it not exactly going to stop it working issit?
  • Appleseed! [ucla.edu] A parallel mac cluster for numerically intensive computing.
    it's a start!
  • This, and an earlier story about welding a mac to a 21" monitor made me think.
    I wonder if anyones put a Mac into an Amiga case.
    How about an IBM PCII case
    Okay, what about a briefcase - A portable iMac but much more stylish than the official portables.
  • While an iMac isn't my first choice for a server it's still a pretty cool thing to do. I only wish that he wasn't selling the plans for it.

    I don't want to do this myself but I would like to read about it a bit more.
  • > Say what? This guy means to tell us that a
    > MIPS-based Linux rack-mount solution is a "PC"?

    Actually, the RAQ3 *is* a PC, based on an AMD proccessor. It's the older, less featureful RAQ2 that is MIPS based.

    Next time, before you insult someone, learn to make sure that you are justified in doing so.
  • Thanks! I searched (a bit) on the MacAddict site without finding it, so you're a big help here. It really mattered a lot to me to be able to see this mac-in-a-box for myself...
  • Besides, he could easily come up with some other product using cases such as: iMailbox, iLightBrite, iToasterOven (gonna have to test the heat tolerance of the plastic), iBreadBox...

    Ought to be able to sell 3 or 4 of 'em before getting slappend silly by Apple's lawyers.

    Even scarier would be to rig up a PC inside the old case and scare the shit out of one of us Mac users.

    _________________________________________

  • "As a long Mac user"

    Typical Mac user... Brag, brag, brag... "Mine's longer than yours"... brag, brag, brag...
  • You just made me lose all respect for myself :(. Now go to your room and just think about what you did, you good-for-nothing little ragamuffin.
  • And pretty much every other market except the publishing market and the I-don't-care-what's-inside-my-computer-as-long-as- it-looks-real-purty-and-has-a-one-button -hockey-puck-for-a-mouse market.

    As a long Mac user, I'd be willing to admit that Apple abandoned the publishing market too... Apple's relationship with Adobe and Macromedia has been strained on a regular basis since they've embraced the PC market, and Apple has stopped (or will stop) selling machines that are friendly for content creation. (You want 6 PCI slots? You don't want colorful screen widgets to distract from your work? Tough.)

    --
    Des Courtney

  • Thank you for repeating the article here! Like most /.people we haven't yet learned to click on a link, and read the original article, which includes some pictures. Good thinking dude, and continue the good work!!!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You think mounting an iMac is cool? I've mounted a Commodore 64!

    I can't quite say where this all started, or why I ever initially thought it'd even be possible, but once the idea was in my head I found myself quite addicted to making it happen.

    My situation is this: I run a web hosting/authoring company (Hot Grits In Pants Internet Solutions - http://www.hotgritsinpace.com/) specializing in serving on the HotGRIT platform - partially because I've been a die-hard Grit user since my father poured hot grits down my pants (when you could actually get the formula for hot grits, and even the ingredients), and partially because of the types of sites we host (Trollmaker, Lassie and the likes). Trollmaker is a great, easy to design, friendly database to use to add dynamic troll to Slashdot, however it has this one little limitation of only being able to post 50 trolls on one story - hence the need for lots of story. Since cost is always an issue, it seemed only logical to me that there must be some way to take advantage of these phenomenal computers called the Commodore 64, which have plenty of horsepower for serving, and can be acquired for less than a grand - much cheaper than the Commodore 65,536 "servers" that run three to four thousand dollars a piece.

    Now, the problem with this whole theory is that there's this big thing living inside a Commodore 64 called a monitor lizard - something which negates the factor other than low-price that I wanted to satisfy - space efficiency. I'd seen these servers called TRS-80, great little one rack-space computers, however PC-based. So, I asked myself, why couldn't the Commodore 64 be a TRS-80 with a little coaxing?

    After looking around the internet for naked and petrified boxes, I actually found that Portman Computer had beaten me to the punch (or so I thought), and was going to be shipping a product called the iHick - a rack-mount case all configured to have a deer's guts dropped right into it. To make a long story short, after getting the run-around from them for a month, with "one more week" quoted to me for a shipping date for weeks on end, it seemed like I needed to find another solution (FYI, as far as I know they still aren't shipping).

    So, I decided to do it all inside my basement, something which scared me a bit considering one wire connected to the wrong place could mean certain death for the ENTIRE FRICKIN PLANET. After a little bit of investigation with the trusty multi-meter, I found that the Commodore 64's power supply conformed very closely to a standard Nuclear Power Plant supply. This being known, I picked up a standard nuclear one-unit reactor core with power supply, cooling rods, and uranium. A custom-wired power adapter, a little modification of your mom's back panel and some 9" "stand-offs" and I managed to successfully mount your mother and get my machine booted. The only remaining complications were constructing some longer cables for the monitor lizard plug and DVD-R, the latter of which required some special-order high-density connectors from good 'ol Digipen. Total price: the rack case and about 50 bucks in hot grits.

  • It's already been done, check it out at http://www.irack.com/ [irack.com]. I admit, it's still a nifty hack though.
    ----------------------------
  • Given that he has decided to go with a Mac in the first place, it's not like he has that many choices. Apple only makes 2 kinds of systems, iMacs and G3/4s. A G3 is gonna cost at least double what the iMac will. Even if you throw away the monitor, if the iMac meets your needs, it's the best choice.
  • You can Rack-Mount any of the recent translucent blue/white G3s or grr]ey/white G4s by removing the 4 handles (allen keys) and bolting them to a standard rack.........

    Troc
  • I hadn't heard anything about dual power being available - if they're doing at least that much then it's a start (though instant switchover isn't anywhere near as useful as hot plug).

    I agree with you that Apple hardware is generally well-engineered compared to the typical generic x86 machine, but they don't compare to the Suns or to "high-end" x86 servers like the top-end Compaq Proliants. Lack of hot plug power and external RAID only dooms them there. I know there's some good RAID cabinets available from Micronet and other vendors for the Mac, but I still firmly believe that 3 PCI slots (even if they're 64-bit) does not a server make. Part of the reason is that I assume Fibre Channel instead of FireWire for a SAN (Fibre Channel has a big head start and presently supports faster speeds), and that'll take up a slot, any legacy SCSI devices you run will take up a slot, and gigabit Ethernet will take up the third slot. And if (as I usually do) you want separate RAID for the system disks than from the data drives, then you're full. I know Second Wave makes expansion chassis, but it's a kluge compared to just engineering the slots in.

    PowerExpress would have been a good platform to ultimately build MacOS X servers on, but it was killed). Preserving the Apple Network Servers, which _had_ all those features (hot-pluggable everything, plenty of slots, and dual processors) would have been even better. Slots aren't nearly as important in a rackmount (and I'm not complaining about the hacked iMac lacking them), but they do matter in a conventional server - and Apple doesn't have enough of them. USB and FireWire are great for a general purpose computer's peripherals, but not for a server (though FireWire eventually will be useful once the speed hits 800 MBits). Built-in 10/100 is good, too, but if you want to load balance or use Fast EtherChannel to trunk it'll cost you a slot.

    Heck, I love Macs as much as the next guy (Lord knows I've got enough of 'em, and I'm replying to you from my iBook), and I think MacOS X is the shite, but I just don't think Apple has what it takes to play anything other than workgroup server ball. It's a pity, because the new OS is industrial-strength.

    - -Josh Turiel
  • If you go to your local gun store, they sell black paint markers for touching up scratches on a gun's finish. They come in gloss and matte, and they worked really well on my DVD-ROM drive!

    Just make sure you mask off anything you don't want to paint with masking tape.

    Jon
  • You obviously shouldn't be allowed near mission-critical data either.

    For the price he's paying, he could be getting a lot more robust hardware.

    The OS is secondary here; we're talking about robustness and reliability, and it's the hardware that is primary determinant there.

    You're the only person who mentioned NT. If you think Mac and NT are the only two choices, that speaks volumes for your technical knowledge.

    Leave the mission-critical data center hardware choices to those of us who make our living making those choices; you obviously don't have the training or knowledge to speak intelligently on the subject.
  • I think it's pretty clear that this guy is horribly misguided, and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near mission-critical data.

    It's a nice hack, but it's the wrong solution to a poorly-thought-out problem.

    The guy doesn't even blink an eye over the fact that he's paying for monitors and disposing of them. With that kind of waste in his business model, he has to be either:

    1) Not making any money.

    or...

    2) Overcharging his customers.

    Either way, purchasing service from him is irrefutable evidence of schizophrenia.

    But, as I said, it's a nice hack. Kudos for that part.
  • Okay, ya, nice project, but once you take an iMac out of the pretty case its an overpriced piece of shit. Oh wait, its a piece of shit in the pretty case.

  • Hey, does the word "copyright" mean anything to you? Seriously, there's a reason that Slashdot doesn't mirror everything automatically. Don't be a dick.

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • One of the MCSE wannabe's at work here was calling them Compaq clones.
  • I saw this the other day linked from a Mac site. Yeah, it's great to put an iMac in a rack mount. But why did this guy do it? In the pictures, he's got it sitting on a table in an office, not rack-mounted. Seems a little stupid to me in this instance.

    ----
  • Hey comon, he is only selling the plans for $40. WIth that one time investmenet you could then make as many iRaqs as you like for $50 in parts.

    This is a MUCH better deal than

    http://www.marathoncomputer.com/pr_irack.html

    is selling these at $349 a piece.

    He took the time and effort to figure it out and believes he should be compensated.
  • Hacking aside, this is the direction they really need to go if anyone's ever going to take a Macintosh multi-user machine seriously again.

    Has Apple totally abandoned the low-end server market?

    Now we just need beowulf-type clustering for a stack of these things...

  • I think it's pretty clear that this guy is horribly misguided, and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near mission-critical data.

    Yeah! He should be putting those important databases on NT.

    Who the hell does he think he is using a secure OS?

    The guy doesn't even blink an eye over the fact that he's paying for monitors and disposing of them. With that kind of waste in his business model, he has to be either: 1) Not making any money. or... 2) Overcharging his customers.

    Lets see: He's spending less than $900 (iMacs can be had for $549 or less, plus an estimated $350 for the rackmount case) for a rack-mount server capable of running a very widely used database program, on an OS that is very easily maintained and has proven excellent uptime stats.

    Wow, what an idiot he is.


    --

  • The point isn't the OS.

    You're probably right.

    Hardware hacks of any kind are most definitely not the place for mission-critical data

    I'm not sure I agree with this. Of course, I tend to view the entire space program as one big hardware hack, so there ya go.

    He's not really doing anything that radical. If the voltages are correct, and the current-handling is there, then a power supply is a power supply is a power supply. As long as he's got the pin-outs for the connectors that need changing, there's not that much to it.

    One additional thing I haven't seen commented on: The cooling requirements for the iMac board would be much lower than any case designed for PCs could handle.


    --

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 24, 2000 @01:35AM (#1177643)
    The link in the old "21" Frankenstein iMac" story ain't working no more... Here's a link that works: http://www.macaddict.com /community/reallifemac/12_28.html [macaddict.com]
  • by Issue9mm ( 97360 ) on Friday March 24, 2000 @12:40AM (#1177644)
    Well, I'm not an electrician, but I wonder how long these things would last. I noticed that he stated that the iMac power supplies were 'very close' to that of an ATX. How long will these last? It would seem to me that without some form of fault tolerance, even minor discrepancies in current could eventually cause major troubles. Maybe I'm wrong. It certainly wouldn't be the first time.

    Obligatory open source zealotry: Selling the plans?!? What the fuck?!? Hardly open source.

  • by blane.bramble ( 133160 ) on Friday March 24, 2000 @01:05AM (#1177645) Homepage

    In general most electronics are pretty flexible in terms of supply voltages - they have to be, because not all power supplies are equal. Tolerances of +/- 10% are quite normal, and for individual chips the voltage ranges are often much wider.

    Additionally, most computer components are designed to interface to other manufacturers, and so the voltages are standardised for this reason.

  • by jht ( 5006 ) on Friday March 24, 2000 @02:49AM (#1177646) Homepage Journal
    The iMac isn't a bad computer b straight computer terms for the money (the original model can be had for around $600-$700 or so), and with WebStar and Filemaker they make solid, stable low-volume web servers that are _very_ easy to set up and maintain, even for the non-wizard. An iMac (at least the original version) is basically a highly modified laptop logic board that has been wedged into a monitor - the chipset and I/O are all on one small board and then the CPU, RAM, and Mac ROM are on a daughtercard, which is also how Apple typically designs their laptops. The drives are standard IDE.

    Filemaker is a slick database for basic we functionality, and it has a built-in XML-based set of command functionality that you can insert directly into your code. There are some really nice wizards for the novice, too. Filemaker does not traditionally handle heavy loads well, and the MacOS has plenty of issues of it's own in a multitasking world, but for lower-volume websites the combination will give you pretty good bang for the buck with relatively low admin overhead.

    What's interesting here, of course, is the case hack. At his costs, an iMac makes a decent rackmount system, though Apple has had an inability on their own to handle the server market - they have never quite "gotten it". Apple had, briefly, a terrific AIX-based series of "Apple Network Servers" that had Apple design, hot-pluggable everything, were CHRP multiprocessor 604e-based (they couldn't even run the MacOS on their own), and MacOS-based applications for managing the server and utilities with a Mac look and feel running under AIX. They were pricey, but very competitive with IBM's own AIX boxes and with the Sun and SGI boxes that usually get sold into the printing and publishing market. However, these came around late in Apple's dark days, and were unceremoniously "Steved" along with Newton and their never released PowerExpress 6-slot G3 Mac as a cost-cutting measure.

    Since then, Apple's been particularly weak in the server space (even more than usual) - throwing OS X Server on a 3 slot G3 or G4 with only one power supply and calling it a server don't make it one. An iMac-class rack server would be a nice little seller (especially if redundant power and or disk could be hacked into it), but a project like that wouldn't make Apple a ton of profit so it won't happen. Hopefully an enterprising third party will be able to make something of it.

    - -Josh Turiel
  • by Zico ( 14255 ) on Friday March 24, 2000 @01:32AM (#1177647)

    Has Apple totally abandoned the low-end server market?

    Yes, and the high-end server market. And the gaming market. And the business market. And the educational market. And the PDA market. And pretty much every other market except the publishing market and the I-don't-care-what's-inside-my-computer-as-long-as- it-looks-real-purty-and-has-a-one-button -hockey-puck-for-a-mouse market. Did I leave any out?

    Hell, I was just wondering how many iMac users would still feel comfortable hugging their Macs g'night each night if they were in a rack instead of their cute little smiling iMac cases. :)

    Cheers,
    ZicoKnows@hotmail.com

  • by troc ( 3606 ) <troc.mac@com> on Friday March 24, 2000 @01:14AM (#1177648) Homepage Journal
    You think mounting an iMac is cool? I've mounted a Commodore 64!

    Some people should leave their sexual pervesions to the privacy of their own homes, it's probably a good thing an iMac has no floppy drive. :)

    Troc

  • by epeus ( 84683 ) on Friday March 24, 2000 @12:40AM (#1177649) Homepage Journal
    You could fit a PowerBook inside a 19" rack completely. All you'd have to do is let the ports poke out the back. Then you could open up the front of the rack and take it home at the end of the day.

Happiness is a positive cash flow.

Working...