Archive for November, 2010

Network server

I’ve recently replaced my virtual server with a physical machine.
I’ve used an old Pentium 3 PC as a server. It cost me nothing to build because I already had all the needed parts in my junk pile.
Now, the specs:
CPU: P3 1 GHz cD0
MB: Intel Easton (D815EEA, i815 based)
RAM: 512MB (2×128,1×256)
HDD: 40GB Samsung
CD/DVD: an old LiteOn DVD burner
LAN: 4 NICs (2 in use).
PSU: 230W Hipro
OS: Win2003

The new server does everything my virtual server did (DNS, DHCP, Torrents) plus it also serves as a IPTV to HTTP proxy (like udpxy, I’ve previously used, or, if exactly, tried to use). This also solves my IPTV problem. The new server runs fine. It could use more RAM though, as it only has 512MB and often runs out of memory. Too bad, i815 only supports 512MB (Intel did this because some older P3s were actually better than early P4s).

But I’ve recently (in fact, while writing this post) experienced some strange issues with IPTV connections dropping. I wonder if this is related to the proxy software, server itself, or it’s just a bad IPTV signal (happens sometimes too).
(the error message in IPTV proxy’s logs said something about too many dropped packets).

Will update, when I will have more news.

Bought some new hardware for my secondary PC.
Installed additional 2 TB (a Samsung HD204UI) hard drive and replaced 2x1GB (so 2GB) Kingston RAM with 2x2GB (4GB) Kingston RAM.
Old 2x1GB modules went back to my primary system, from which they were removed about a year ago.

Hard drive is working fine so far. Shows 1.86 TB in Windows.
RAM is a different story. No, the RAM modules are OK, but my 32 bit Windows (Windows 7 to be exact) only shows 3.25GB of RAM instead of 4GB.

Because it would be too much work to reinstall all my stuff on 64 bit OS, I’ve decided to Google for a solution on how make all of my 4 GB RAM usable in 32 bit Windows.
And I have found it. I have found a kernel patch which allows 32 bit Windows to use more than 4 GB RAM.
In fact, even Microsoft themselves have admitted that 32 bit Windows can use more than 4 GB RAM when using PAE (Physical Address Extension) but they artificially limited the maximum amount of memory in 32 bit client systems to 4GB. 32 bit server systems can support up to 128 GB.

I won’t post the patch here. You can find it by googling for “windows pae patch wj32”. Patches are available for Vista and 7.
Be warned that this is a kernel patch. Use with caution.

It turned out that the software I wanted to use to redirect IPTV traffic does not work as expected. Some packets are dropped due to insufficient cache size (which is only 64KB) resulting corrupted video. There was an option to change the cache size but it did not work. The version of UDPXY I’m using cannot sustain re-broadcasting a 4.5Mbit/s stream through HTTP without corruption. I need to significantly increase the minimum cache size. This can be done only by recompiling the application. I can recompile UDPXY from the sources on the router directly but I need to install Optware and the development tools. They can only be installed in a SD card or a network share. Because my router does not have an SD card mod, network drive is the only option.
But the problem is that Windows LANMAN Server (the one used to host network shares) drops connections too often, resulting in failed installations.
So far I’ve been able to install Optware, but was not able to successfully install the development tools yet.
In case I won’t find a way to install the dev tools on the router, I guess I’ll have to use Linux running in a VM to cross-compile UDPXY and then upload it to the router.
Will post when I will have more news.

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