The other day I came across an old iBook laptop from 2004 in a box in my office. I remembered it was very sluggish last time I used it, and booting it up confirmed my recollections. So I started thinking how I could repurpose this old piece of hardware. I wanted to do something with Linux because leaving OS X 10.5 on that slow machine was not going to be at all beneficial.
My initial thought was a dedicated media server. I’ve been running Plex on my jailbroken AppleTV for a while now (previously running XBMC). It’s a fantastic solution for streaming all types of video files without the need to convert them for iTunes compatibility. My current Plex Media Server is running on a laptop that often leaves the house, which makes it tough to watch anything when my wife takes it to a coffee shop to do some writing.
But it turns out Plex Media Server is not compatible with PowerPC chipsets, so scratch that.
Why not a web server?
After some quick searching I found that it should be relatively easy to set up a LAMP server. I headed over to Ubuntu and downloaded, burned a disc of Ubuntu server. I figured I don’t necessarily need the desktop version as that would unnecessarily use more hardware resources.
So I’ve got all the parts up and running for my very own web server, complete with Apache, MySQL, and PHP. The next step is to enter the world of DNS management and get the server accessible outside of my home network. If all goes well maybe I can cut out my monthly web hosting costs since I rarely use it.
It’s been fun so far playing around with a no-GUI version of Linux. I’m trolling Craigslist for old, unwanted windows machines I can repurpose for that dedicated media server. Let me know if you have anything I could use.