Passing the torch
Image from cover of X-Men Gold (2017) #4 By R.B. Silva -

Three years ago, I upgraded my long serving home workstation to an Intel Haswell Core-i5. This upgrade had a trickle-down upgrade effect on all my other machines. My incumbent 2008 AMD64 X2 4000+ workstation became my media server, and my 2007 AMD64 X2 3800+ media server became an occasional backup server. [annotate=”These CPU’s were actually released in 2005, making them 12 years old now”]These CPU’s were actually released in 2005, making them 12 years old now[/annotate]

The story legend of this indomitable computer begins in August 2007, when it entered service as ‘Gambit‘. It has since undergone numerous Frankenstein’s Monster style upgrades over the past 10 years.

The first upgrade took the storage from a 2x 250GB JBOD array to a 2x 750 RAID-0[annotate=”Level Zero RAID”]RAID Zero – because that’s how much data you can recover in a catastrophic failure[/annotate] in November 2007.
Next, in June 2008, I bought ‘Beast‘ – the 4000+ – and upgraded Gambit’s case from a generic tin can to an Antec Twelve Hundred case, swapped the RAM from a single 1GB DDR2 800 stick to a mind boggling 4x 1GB DDR2 800 sticks. I also got sick of the corruption that the RAID0 was inflicting upon me, and swapped out the 750GB drives for 3x 1TB in a Level5 RAID.
By 2010 I had grown the RAID three times, adding five additional drives to it, giving me a 6TB data store with a single fail-over drive. In 2014, when I replaced Beast, Gambit was renamed to ‘Storm‘, and the former Beast became the new Gambit, with a new array of five 3TB drives – four active and one fail-over – in RAID5.
Last year,  I ran out of X-Men names that I could find wallpaper and avatar images for – the home network had about 35 devices on it at the time – so renamed all the family devices to Star Wars planets. Beast became ‘Bothawui‘, Gambit became ‘Krant‘, and Storm became ‘Mandell‘.
Then earlier this year, I replaced Krant with a whole new build based around an Intel Kaby Lake Core-i5. With this new machine in place as my file server, the 4000+ and accompanying parts have replaced the system inside Mandell.

I had planned on using the 3800+ and cobbling together a system for my daughter to play all my old (pre-Y2K) games on – Eagle Eye Mysteries, Mixed Up Mother Goose, Putt-putt’s Adventures, etc – but my father-in-law recently upgraded his computer and generously gave her his old Haswell Core-i3.

So finally, the after 10 years in service, the 3800+ will be granted retirement. At least until I need a machine to do some quick tests on, or to recover files from a friends’ Windows hard-drive after they’ve gotten some malware. Let’s call it semi-retirement – as MacArthur said, “old soldiers never die; they just fade away“.

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