Personal

6 years running and slowing down

Just a small post today as today I got a popup from iCal showing me that it has been 6 years since I started this site (moving from the earlier switch.richard5.net, which is even older). It’s been a great journey this far with interesting people who I’ve “met” online, some great reactions, donations for which I’m all very grateful.

There is however a but. Regular visitors will have noticed that I’m not posting every update anymore and skip versions. As challenging and exciting as it was in the beginning it is becoming more and more repetitive and there are a lot of other challenging and exciting things which I want to explore. Personal time has gotten into the mix as well, my daughter is growing up beautifully and requires more of my attention, and getting older means time is moving faster then it used to do.

So apologies but this trend will continue and will get worse, posts will be irregular. But if you have a desperate question and need some advice you will know how to contact me. I will still answer your questions when they are relevant to the purpose of this site. But I won’t go into any new avenues, don’t ask me how to install a git server for example.

DIYMacServer is up and running for 5 years

We’ll I couldn’t let this pass by without posting a little tid-bit but today this site is up and running for 5 years. It has been running much longer then anticipated. While I still enjoy running the site I’m finding less time available to spend on maintaining the documentation. Mostly because other stuff is creeping up on my. Having a child growing up, currently 5 years, that requires attention and getting other non-computer related hobby’s do that to you. Since last year I’ve joined a Barbershop Choir with fills me with tremendous energy, I never knew singing could be this much fun.

I will try my utmost to keep everything up to date as much as possible as I know many of you use the information provided and there are still new people joining in. Currently I’m current with all the software but my WordPress installation is way behind and I desperately need to upgrade and I need to do something about the forums which have bee disabled because the spam was getting beyond managing manually.

Everybody: Thanks for all the support, that was and is the main thing I keep running this site.

Mac mini turned 7

This week the Mac mini turned 7 years. Steve introduced this at MacWorld in San Fransisco.

The quote he started with was “Why doesn’t Apple offer a stripped down Mac that is more affordable” and he said “I wish I had a nickel for every time somebody asked me that.”

The mini has evolved greatly since that day. I think it was intended as a cheap desktop replacement to help switchers but has now evolved to be used as a capable server for small and medium sized companies. There are even many companies that use it as there internet presence (I know as I helped a few of them setting it up). Read this blog post at the Macminiolo blog for the increase in performance in these 7 years.

The mini is used for many things, as embedded computer, media player, in-car entertainment system and many more. Just try some google queries. This one is awesome, only not for home use: a 48U rack enclosure to hold 140 mini’s.

The predecessor of this site switch.richard5.net was started a little later as my first Mac mini was bought a few months after the introduction with a 23″ Cinema Display. I started using it as my main machine at home after long exposure to Linux and Windows, it was my first Mac after admiring them from a distance.

I’ve since bought five mini’s and still have 3. A G4 for testing PowerPC Leopard installs, an intel one for testing Snow Leapard and Lion and the last one is located at Macminicolo.net and serving amongst others this site. My current main desktop is an 27″iMac and for sentimental reasons I recently even bought a PowerMac G5. I loved the case and this one was without a scratch, additional this was the first model that was sold using water-cooled CPU’s.

New structure and new old Mac

Another update after the redesign, as I needed to rewrite some of the instructions due to the effect of the changes in MySQL 5.5.x and the relocation of the installed software to /usr/local/ I’ve decided to restructure the content of the site a bit. Don’t worry all existing stuff will stay where it is with comments and all. So I’ve started rewriting the installation instructions for all the software on Snow Leopard first. It isn’t finished yet but you can have a look already, not much has changed but i’ve read it again, tweaked the text a bit and changed the compiling options of course to facilitate the relocation of the installed components. When everything is finished I will put notices on all pages to redirect everybody to the latest instructions.

You can have a preview of the MAMP setup and the mail server instructions.

When this all is finished I will start rewriting the Leopard instructions and will keep including the PowerPC instructions. To help me test the 64 bits instruction, which wasn’t possible on my old G4 mini, I’ve become the proud owner of a PowerMac G5 2,5 GHz dual processor unit. It’s a beauty in almost mint condition. I always wanted one of these aluminum “cheese graters” and got the opportunity to buy this one for a nice price. I really like this model as this is the first consumer computer that came with water-cooled processors. It’s nice to own a bit of computing history that looks this nice.

Assistance required

This is very hard for me as it feels I’m failing, but I have to acknowledge that I don’t have enough spare time to do all the stuff I want to do with this site. My little girl is growing up and she needs time with her dad and next to that my new day job is really great but requires more of my time then my previous job.

There is too much on the todo list, there are items on there longer then a year, and it only keeps growing. Even keeping up with all the developments in the existing setup is hard. I’ve got a lot of ideas of how to expand the site with more information like how to install iCal or AddressBook server.

So I’m looking for people who are willing to help to do research, write documentation and test installation guides. Qualifications are simple:

  • you know your way around the terminal
  • you are not afraid to compile stuff
  • you know how to find answers to your questions
  • you are able to write complex instructions in a simple understandable manner
  • you are willing to help other people getting things done

What I have to offer is my eternal gratitude (and you’ll receive it from other people as well) and respect.

If you are interested let me know, by commenting on the blog or sending me an email.

PS. Don’t worry, I won’t stop with the site it’s too important for me but I want to keep up the quality and really make it work for you.

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