A harddrive and then some

Once again NeuHausPlatz Computer Systems is proud to announce:

The NHP 300HDplus, a remote-controlled rackmountable allround server system.

The features:

Total cost: 38.- (CHF) around 25$ US.


  • Mainboard: ASUS KN 97-X (4 PCI, 3 ISA)
  • Intel Pentium II CPU at 300MHz
  • 128MB EDO-DRAM (72pin)
  • Tseng Labs ET4000 1MB ISA graphics
  • Realtek RTL8029(AS) PCI Ethernet NIC (10mbit)
  • 27GB IBM Disk 7200rpm
  • NEC 1.44MB Floppy Disk Drive
  • Pioneer CD-ROM A14S slot-loading
  • External Power On jumper with optional cable for remote booting
  • VNC remote virtual network computing
  • filtered 12cm case fan
  • 300W PSU with silent fan
  • Build time: 1/2 day
  • 3U 19" rackmountable aluminium AT server case
  • People involved: 4 (thanks to Wemblie for helping assemble, thanks to [DL]Darkness for the CD-ROM, [LF]Gianne for mainboard, CPU and RAM)

This time around we had, as always, some parts left and wanted to build a computer that could be operated headless and remote-controlled. I was lucky enough to get an old PII system. So I dug out the ancient 3U 19" Server case in the cellar and figured out way how to place the ATX board into the AT case. After a little sawing and grinding it fitted. However, with the HD and the CD-ROM in place, the Floppy could only be mounted on one side, as teh other side was already occupied by the mainboard. (The AT case is meant for lying AT boards, while the ATX board is upright standing and thus occupies much more space, despite having the same form factor. Anyway, after buying an appropriate PSU for 38.- (the case was empty), I could get started.

Using Windows 98 SE for a first try, everything installed fine and has been running for a week without crashing. I downloaded Serve-U and VNC as well as a dyn-dns service from no-ip.org. Installing them as services automatically launches them on startup and VNC is actually only need to perform special tasks such as entered IRC channels, checking Serve-U state etc. It's a little FTP server now and I'm planning to switch to Debian Linux within the next months. Also an Intel or 3com 10/100Mbit NIC is planned, but not needed at the moment. (as an internetserver, I'm restricted to 512/128K anyway)

For safety reasons we have connected a keyboard and a mouse, but they could easily be removed, as I have full control over the system using VNC. The pulled out power-on jumper can be connected to a long cable and a switch for comfortable booting without standing next to the machine, yet not requiring an NetBIOS chip on the NIC.

The resulting system is handy for cross-platform filesharing (due to the FTP Server and rather large capacity harddrive) as well as setting up IRC bots, bouncers etc.

Now for the pics:


The back of the case the front of the case The case modifications to allow for the ATX board to be fitted, showing the ports The side view The 2 cables of the Power ON jumper. Start the computer like a stolen car.




Legal stuff: Neuhausplatz is a townsquare in Liebefeld, Switzerland and most certainly can't be branded.
300HDplus means 300MHz, basically a networked harddrive.
Due to the one-of-a-kind nature of the NHP300HDplus, reproduction is impossible and orders are thus futile.
Text and pictures: © G-News August. 2002, design and conception: G-News.ch. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.