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 Post subject: Bumping up and summarising requirements
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:39 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:48 am
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Location: Waterford, Ireland
Anyone have any ideas with the new year :-)

Requirements summary:

- want to use as print server and squeeze box centre
- prebuilt & manufacturer with a good build reputation
- super quiet, hardly know it's on
- small, don't need monitor, keyboard, mouse, have all that if needed
- available in UK, reasonably priced, £300


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:34 pm 
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Location: Switzerland
You never said what's wrong with the T3N that was suggested early in the thread. It uses the 945GSE chipset reviewed by SPCR.
I don't know if that would support Logitech's software though. What are its system requirements?

Intel has just released the next generation but, as far I know, manufacturers have only built small laptops with it so far.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:07 pm 
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Location: Waterford, Ireland
Thanks for mentioning that, you are right I did not mention the T3N.
http://www.tranquilpc-shop.co.uk/acatalog/T3N.html
What put me of was that it doe not come with a WHS option. My previous experience with my Canon MP780 and Ubuntu meant I would have to buy a printer driver for $30. I was hoping for an out of the boxish solution this time!


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 Post subject: T7-HSG
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:20 pm 
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Location: Waterford, Ireland
I asked the tranquilpc guys for advice and they recommended:

T7-HSG (dual core / GBE LAN)
http://www.tranquilpc-shop.co.uk/acatalog/T7-HSG.html

come with SqueezeCentre pre-installed and is whisper quiet (approx 17dBA)

Might just squeeze the budget for it!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:28 am 
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Location: Switzerland
Is that not a 945GC chipset? If that's indeed the case, I assume they will be releasing more updated models shortly (they have already updated one of their products). I wouldn't pay that much for wasteful and obsolete hardware that was supposed to be dirt cheap to begin with.
I'm not sure why you want the OS to be installed by the manufacturer. Is there no local tech who could do it for you?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:27 am 
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Location: Waterford, Ireland
HFat wrote:
Is that not a 945GC chipset? If that's indeed the case, I assume they will be releasing more updated models shortly (they have already updated one of their products). I wouldn't pay that much for wasteful and obsolete hardware that was supposed to be dirt cheap to begin with.


Thanks. Over my head but I will look into it!

HFat wrote:
I'm not sure why you want the OS to be installed by the manufacturer. Is there no local tech who could do it for you?


Sounds like you are recommending Linux over Windows? I have built a box before and installed Linus on it but am trying not to make this a project. I am not going the Linux route because of previous problems with lack of drivers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:40 am 
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Location: Switzerland
No, I was saying you have the option of buying the computer and Windows separately if the manufacturer doesn't put the OS you want on the system you want. A local tech could even install it for you.
Linux is great for straight servers but I agree you're likely to run into issues if you use it like a server/desktop hybrid.

What's over your head? If you look at the Tranquil website, the sidebar links to some "series 2" models. These have the new hardware from Intel which wastes less power (and doesn't require fans depending on the case). Prices are steep but that's the price you pay for a fully assembled computer from the UK I guess. I assume the company is going to put that same hardware in their other models.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:56 am 
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Location: Waterford, Ireland
Thanks for the clarification. I did not see a non os option but not to worry. By over my head I mean that I am not tuned into different chipsets and have done no reading about that. I mean later this year the series 2 chips will be obsolete hardware and your comment will equally apply to them right? :-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:04 am 
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Location: Switzerland
No.
The non-mobile chipset that Intel originally paired with their the Atom is really bad. That's the one being replaced now. Previously you had the option to go with Intel's expensive mobile-ish hardware (Tranquil's T3N uses that) or with Nvidia's chipset. Intel's old chipset is so crappy that Nvidia managed to put a pretty decent graphics card on the board while consuming less power. If you want to use your server to play movies or something I suggest you get the Nvidia chipset instead (there are many assembled systems using it but I doubt any comes with a server version of Windows). Intel's update fixes their power-inefficiency problem and you can run a dual-core Atom fanless. There is much less potential for improvement now and how can you improve on fanless anyway? Sure, it'll get obsolete but not in something like 18 to 24 months according to the Wikipedia.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:09 am 
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Location: Waterford, Ireland
Thanks for taking the time to explain. I contacted the Tranquil guys to see if there were any plans to update this chipset, but have not heard back from them.

The more I think about it I will want to be able to stream movies from the home server to other machines in the network so I need to get something with the new chipset - thanks for letting me know about that.

Damn, thought I had my machine :-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:16 pm 
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Location: Switzerland
boardtc wrote:
The more I think about it I will want to be able to stream movies from the home server to other machines in the network so I need to get something with the new chipset

Sorry for being unclear. I was talking about actually playing the movies from the server (like you'd use an HTPC). Streaming from the server wouldn't be an issue. I figured that, since you're using peripherals that are not typically connected to servers, you might be using your server more like a multi-purpose computer. If you want something like that, you shouldn't get the new chipset but Nvidia's Ion chipset.

I see that Tranquil released a fanless T7 with the new chipset (it didn't take long) but they're not offering WHS with that. Presumably they intend to charge more for the server version.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:35 pm 
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Location: Waterford, Ireland
Ok. Well I am just looking at connecting the multifuction printer to that my wide can use as well - I have not been able to get a wireless dongle for it, so connecting it to a server is more desirable than it being connected to my machine and having my machine always to be on.

I was thinking of using the likes of http://xbmc.org/about/ to stream video to our household laptops as desired.

You must be talking about
http://www.tranquilpc-shop.co.uk/acatalog/T7-D_PC_SYSTEMS.html which has the D510 chipset. I take the lack of response from them as a sign too that there is nothing imminent :-(

Now that you have highlighted the deficiencies of this chipset though, I'm not sure I would feel right buying it


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:27 am 
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Location: Waterford, Ireland
This just out
http://www.tranquilpc-shop.co.uk/acatal ... -SAFE.html
but at £669 way out of my league :-(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:06 am 
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Location: Switzerland
There is also no reason for you to get this thing. It's unclear what one would want to do with it actually. Is it a workaround for some kind of Windows bug or limitation?


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 Post subject: Tranquil T7 510 WHS
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:34 am 
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Location: Waterford, Ireland
The T7 was just released with the 510 processor!
http://www.tranquilpc-shop.co.uk/acatalog/T7_S2.html
Looks a decent piece of kit? Probably worth taking up the ram a little to maybe 2GB.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:49 am 
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Location: Switzerland
It's expensive but it's also what you wanted and it looks like there's not much competition. If you buy it, do review it!

If you're paying for a case that supports 2 drives, you might as well make it a RAID1 server.
I wouldn't overdo the RAM because the board doesn't support ECC or dual-channel. But sure, do get a 2G stick if you figure you'll have a use for it. I'm not familiar with WHS but I suppose 1G should be more than enough unless your usage would benefit from a huge file cache and the OS supports that.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:30 am 
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Location: Waterford, Ireland
Thanks for the advice on the RAID1. I have a 1TB drive in an enclosure which I was thinking about putting into the 2nd bay, but I know for RAID1 they need to be the same size.

I checked it out and Raid is not on the WHS systems -they have a similar thing seemingly called Drive Extender Technology http://tranquilpc-support.co.uk/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=40 ...you turn on folder duplication in the settings....

I had 2 hard drive failures last year, including my backup external drive! So it's an issue. Think I will got for the 500GB and drop my 1TB in, they can be different sizes with Drive Extender Technology.


Last edited by boardtc on Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:37 am 
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It seems MS is deliberately trying to confuse people with their weird nomenclature. But if they haven't crippled their OS, you should be able to set up half of a large drive in RAID1 (or equivalent in MS-speak) with a smaller drive. Unless an MS guru show up here, you should ask about that on a relevant forum.

In any case, RAID is no substitute for backup. The point is mainly:
-not to lose changes made since the last backup
-save you the time and effort you'd need to get the system back up and running from backups after a system drive crash


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:41 am 
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Cross edit/post there! Good points all.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:55 pm 
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Location: Milwaukee, WI
Hi boardtc,

I have a couple of suggestions. I use slimserver/squeezecenter/whatever-its-called-now to feed my SqueezeBoxes. And I've networked my Samsung printer. Here's how I approached it:

  1. Buy a stand-alone network print server. I bought this one years ago: Buffalo LPV3U2. I bought it because it was cheap at the time. It's worked perfectly with all of the PC's we have at home. Here's the basics of setting it up:
    1. plug it in :) (ethernet, USB, power)
    2. using a client PC, find the print server's IP address on your LAN. Enter its address in a browser, enter the default login & password (hopefully in the manual) and give it a static IP address.
    3. on the same client PC, add a printer -> LOCAL PRINTER -> New TCP/IP PORT ("local" is important).
    4. Enter the IP address of the print server
    5. Install drivers when prompted. This way, the drivers depend on the CLIENT operating system - no linux problems for you.
  2. I built this machine to run slimserver/squeezecenter. I run linux, but there's no reason you couldn't install whatever you want.

[edit] By the way, I lived in Ireland for several months back in 2000. This was a work-abroad program through my university. I lived in the Ranelagh area of Dublin. I hitched through Waterford many times to visit a friend who's family operated a resort on the southern coast. I loved ever second of my time there.

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