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Old 05-18-2019, 05:51 PM
aruvqan is offline
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Building a computer


So ... when aruBro passed, he left me some 2500 or so CDs and I already have a bunch of my own ripped music files, some video files and a whopping number of ebooks, so I want to build the household a file server so that we can just store our media on a file server and access it from any of our computing devices.



Back in the day, some 8 or so years ago I can remember seeing a tower case that took up to 12 hard drives and used a standard motherboard and suchlike. Can someone make some suggestions or point me to someone that can build me something and maybe an online tutorial on running a file server for the household? And for a reasonable cost, of course =)


Also, would it be possible to have a private version of a yahoo group - there is a set of the yahoo groups that I am a member of that would love to find a place to host our files for access to members - could it be run on this file server?
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:18 PM
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Last time I did something like that, I installed freenas and it (the software) was free. So was the recycled Frankenstein hardware, except for new high-capacity hard disks.

By the way, do you really need 12 drives rather than 4 or 6 or 8? For 2500 CDs you may not absolutely need 12, and may be able to get away with cheaper/lower electricity/easier to find hardware.
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:25 PM
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2500 CDs is around 1.75TB.
You can get 8TB drives these days, and 2TB drives are under $100...
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by beowulff View Post
2500 CDs is around 1.75TB.
You can get 8TB drives these days, and 2TB drives are under $100...
Yep. That's what I was about to say.

Storage used to be expensive. Now, its cheap as hell. I carry around in my pocket a 16 gig thumbdrive. I bought it 10 years ago for about 90 dollars. Nowadays, you can get it for three.

Get a 5 TB hard drive, hire a neighbor kid for $10/hour to come over and burn all your CD's to the hard drive, and be done with it.

You could buy a desktop like that directly from Dell, from their website.
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:42 PM
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With lossless compression a CD is roughly 300Mb. So 2500 = 750Gb. It is getting hard to buy hard disks that small. :-) Even using a SSD is perfectly reasonable. A 1TB SSD is pretty much a commodity item.

You could build a standalone music server using a tool like Volumio with a single board computer (such as a Rasberry Pi, Vim or the like) add a 1TB SSD, and you would have your entire collection on a server that will fit in a jacket pocket, and for a few hundred a most. Video is the killer. If you want to store video you are suddenly talking much more storage.

But the bottom line is that storage is cheap. An all of house server with immense storage is pretty easy. Depends upon your computer skills a bit. Personally I would be building a small Linux box, and if I wanted to use a heap of old free disks, use ZFS to build the file system. The downside with using a pile of old disks versus a new big one is question marks over lifetime. I have been bitten by disk failures enough times to be uneasy about such things. Using ZFS can provide a lot of resilience. But SSDs are so cos competitive that if you are thinking about buying new I would go that route. Silent, low power, tiny.

The worst thing about 2500 CDs is the sheer effort needed to rip them.
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:57 PM
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You might want to consider buying an network attached storage (NAS) device for this purpose. I have been using a Synology DS614 loaded with 4 3 terabyte drives configured as a RAID 5 array for a couple of years now as a back-up device. This configuration gives me 9 terabytes of storage. The unit comes with a file server built-in, allowing you to create shares and user accounts to control who gets access to what. The total cost (Canadian dollars, 2 years back) was about $1100. The unit has two gigabyte speed ethernet ports to share the load if multiple users are accessing the data.

Sorry for the double post, hit Enter by mistake...

Last edited by moes lotion; 05-18-2019 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:00 PM
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Back on the software side, the aforementioned freenas has many, many plugins that you can just click on to install, so if you wanted to share your files via something just like Dropbox, you select that one, etc. Not sure how Yahoo does it, but I'm sure one or more of the plug-ins will do what you want.
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by moes lotion View Post
Sorry for the double post, hit Enter by mistake...
I noticed the broken post and deleted it (before you edited in the apology).
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:06 PM
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[Moderating]

Since this is asking for advice, I'll move it to IMHO for you.
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:47 PM
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Your ISPs Terms Of Service likely prohibits sharing files through their service.

For example, Comcast TOS:

"TECHNICAL RESTRICTIONS

use or run dedicated, stand-alone equipment or servers from the Premises that provide network content or any other services to anyone outside of your Premises local area network (“Premises LAN”), also commonly referred to as public services or servers. Examples of prohibited equipment and servers include, but are not limited to, email, web hosting, file sharing, and proxy services and servers;"

https://www.xfinity.com/corporate/cu...eedinternetaup

And of course, music, videos and anything with a copyright that isn't your group's is a no-go.

Last edited by lingyi; 05-18-2019 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
Your ISPs Terms Of Service likely prohibits sharing files through their service.

For example, Comcast TOS:

"TECHNICAL RESTRICTIONS

use or run dedicated, stand-alone equipment or servers from the Premises that provide network content or any other services to anyone outside of your Premises local area network (“Premises LAN”), also commonly referred to as public services or servers. Examples of prohibited equipment and servers include, but are not limited to, email, web hosting, file sharing, and proxy services and servers;"

https://www.xfinity.com/corporate/cu...eedinternetaup

And of course, music, videos and anything with a copyright that isn't your group's is a no-go.
[Underscoring mine.]

They prohibit sharing files to the general public. As long as access is restricted to your home network or WiFi, you're in the clear.
  #12  
Old 05-18-2019, 08:32 PM
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Ninjaed.

Anyway, I did not get the impression the OP wanted to run a public service (like commercial Dropbox or The Pirate Bay), rather that, e.g., she wanted to share a cat picture to readers of this thread, but it would be hosted on an instance of ownCloud on her private server instead of on Dropbox. Definitely not the same as a file storage dump open to the general public, for which the ISP will want you to pay business rates.
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Old 05-18-2019, 09:06 PM
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I guess I wasn't clear in my post that I was referencing this:

"Also, would it be possible to have a private version of a yahoo group - there is a set of the yahoo groups that I am a member of that would love to find a place to host our files for access to members - could it be run on this file server?"

In which case a file sharing site like Mega or Dropbox would be appropriate or maybe a private FTP (do people still use FTP?) hosted on a server.

Edit: Or a private torrent, which would ease individual server requirements.

Last edited by lingyi; 05-18-2019 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 05-18-2019, 09:08 PM
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*Double post*

Last edited by lingyi; 05-18-2019 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 05-19-2019, 04:21 AM
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What you seek for your music is called a NAS - Network Attached Storage. Synology are a decent brand if you want an off the shelf solution. You want pairs of drives inside the NAS configured in RAID 10 for resilience and a backup drive.

An alternative is to get something like the HP Microserver - the Gen 8, not the Gen 10 - and install Windows Server Essentials on it.
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Old 05-19-2019, 11:28 AM
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Note that a basic media server doesn't have to be very powerful.* And for music it can get pretty basic.

E.g., go down to a local 2nd hand computer shop and buy a $50-$75 computer (make sure it has ~Windows 7+ installed on it). Add a modest HD (SSD is a complete waste of money here), etc. You can even just borrow keyboard, mouse and monitor off your current computer and set it up. Once it's up and on the network, it won't need those.

Windows SMB shares are near-universally supported.

Note that DIY NAS is cheap and requires a bit of knowledge about all this but it won't be any better (and could possibly worse) than what is given above. Buying an out-of-the-box NAS costs real money and is often overkill for residential use, even accounting for other features like backups and such. In this case you will be paying for power you don't need.

Yeah, you could host files on such a server. But note that ISPs generally blocks all the standard HTTP, FTP, etc. ports since they don't want you doing this. So you'd have to use nonstandard ports which a lot of people don't understand how to use.

But you do not want to do this. All sorts of Very Bad Things can happen so I strongly suggest you just drop it. (Esp. if you aren't fully aware of what the VBTs are.)

* If you're encoding videos on-the-fly to match the capabilities of a player, then that's going to require a Real Computer.
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Old 05-19-2019, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francis Vaughan View Post
With lossless compression a CD is roughly 300Mb. So 2500 = 750Gb. It is getting hard to buy hard disks that small. :-) Even using a SSD is perfectly reasonable. A 1TB SSD is pretty much a commodity item.
Or go for lossy compression - even at 256 kbps, 2500 CDs will take up less than 400GB. That's one SD card these days.

Also consider, if you are looking into a NAS and redundant hard drives + backup, it can easily add up to >$500 of equipment. $500 will buy you 2 TB of cloud storage for about 5 years. If we are talking about a couple terabytes of data, and if you have the bandwidth, and if you value your time (time spent setting up and maintaining the NAS, backing it up, etc), cloud storage can be a more economical solution.
  #18  
Old 05-19-2019, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
Also consider, if you are looking into a NAS and redundant hard drives + backup, it can easily add up to >$500 of equipment. $500 will buy you 2 TB of cloud storage for about 5 years.
What cloud storage tends to not have is backup.
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Old 05-19-2019, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
What cloud storage tends to not have is backup.
What do you mean by that? I'm sure data centers that house cloud storage have redundant storage.

Also, most cloud storage sites work by synchronizing with a specified folder on your computer. So that's an additional "backup" that you can access even when the network is down.

Last edited by scr4; 05-19-2019 at 01:22 PM.
  #20  
Old 05-19-2019, 01:41 PM
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I sort of feel like a kid in Peanuts listening to whawhahwa =)

Let me 'splain ... I write fanfic, and there are about 9 fanfic writers groups on Yahoo and we are tired of our files being inaccessible or missing and suddenly reappearing randomly, with no way to actually contact yahoo [yahoo groups seems abandoned for all intents and purposes] and honestly, it is a pain in the ass uploading and sharing [not by downloading, like most people think of file sharing ... you click on the link in the file and it opens up another browser page to read the fan fic upon though you can cut and paste to effect a download onto your own computer I suppose]

There are probably 20 of us active, not sure how to figure out how much data storage we would actually need offhand, but I also want to store my own data, and besides the 2500 discs of music of my brothers, we have several thousand ebooks, audio books and photographs [all of the familial photos, and scanned archives] and I want to build the damned thing *once* so I figure a minimum of 2 multiterabyte discs to the yahoo groups [combo of images and text] plus storage of in group emails, and then separated from my familial personal data. I suppose 8 or 9 drives would work, but all I seem to see is towers with 2 or at best 3 drive bays and that is why I mentioned once seeing the tower with the dozen bays. I do not want a huge rack system, we currently have space for a classic full sized tower and that would be squeezing [our whole studio apartment for the 2 of us is 15 feet by 30 feet with a chunk out for the stair well ... ]

I am not fond of 'cloud computing' and the main issue with dropbox is everybody has to have it installed, and everybody needs to have the same size installed because the files seem duplicated on all the participants [i shared a dropbox setup with my eve online buds, and everybody had to be cautioned NOT to erase anything from 'their' dropbox because it would erase the file from everybodies. Is it still the same way?] and many of our members are tablet based which is why the whole group on a server somewhere that they 'phone into and sit there and read on a browser while the file is open on their browser' is how it has to work. None of us has oodles of money to pay for a monthly fee, which is why I wanted to see if it was something I could run out of my house - remember the old bulletin boards that someone would have on a computer churning away in the corner of their bedroom back in the 90s? Something like that ...

Sorry for being vague, bad night and I am running on about 3 hours of sleep in the past several days =(

Quote:
Originally Posted by moes lotion View Post
You might want to consider buying an network attached storage (NAS) device for this purpose. I have been using a Synology DS614 loaded with 4 3 terabyte drives configured as a RAID 5 array for a couple of years now as a back-up device. This configuration gives me 9 terabytes of storage. The unit comes with a file server built-in, allowing you to create shares and user accounts to control who gets access to what. The total cost (Canadian dollars, 2 years back) was about $1100. The unit has two gigabyte speed ethernet ports to share the load if multiple users are accessing the data.
.
and how much physical space does this take up, and what is a RAID?
Quote:
Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
Your ISPs Terms Of Service likely prohibits sharing files through their service.

For example, Comcast TOS:

"TECHNICAL RESTRICTIONS

use or run dedicated, stand-alone equipment or servers from the Premises that provide network content or any other services to anyone outside of your Premises local area network (“Premises LAN”), also commonly referred to as public services or servers. Examples of prohibited equipment and servers include, but are not limited to, email, web hosting, file sharing, and proxy services and servers;"

https://www.xfinity.com/corporate/cu...eedinternetaup

And of course, music, videos and anything with a copyright that isn't your group's is a no-go.
Glad I don't have COMCAST ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terminus Est View Post
[Underscoring mine.]

They prohibit sharing files to the general public. As long as access is restricted to your home network or WiFi, you're in the clear.
And wha about to a closed group?
Quote:
Originally Posted by DPRK View Post
Ninjaed.

Anyway, I did not get the impression the OP wanted to run a public service (like commercial Dropbox or The Pirate Bay), rather that, e.g., she wanted to share a cat picture to readers of this thread, but it would be hosted on an instance of ownCloud on her private server instead of on Dropbox. Definitely not the same as a file storage dump open to the general public, for which the ISP will want you to pay business rates.
Exactly, a bunch of fanfic authors sharing between ourselves of our own work product
Quote:
Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
I guess I wasn't clear in my post that I was referencing this:

"Also, would it be possible to have a private version of a yahoo group - there is a set of the yahoo groups that I am a member of that would love to find a place to host our files for access to members - could it be run on this file server?"

In which case a file sharing site like Mega or Dropbox would be appropriate or maybe a private FTP (do people still use FTP?) hosted on a server.

Edit: Or a private torrent, which would ease individual server requirements.
this is pretty close to what i was asking =) can i own a tower with hard drives and an internet connection that 20 or so people could log into to upload fiction and temp download into a browser to read other writers fiction without having to pay monthly to some server farm somewhere, having the tower sitting in a corner of my room bubbling away. Old school BBS almost I guess?
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Noelq View Post
Storage used to be expensive. Now, its cheap as hell. I carry around in my pocket a 16 gig thumbdrive. I bought it 10 years ago for about 90 dollars. Nowadays, you can get it for three.
16 Billion bytes for $3 ?? Is that a misprint?

At my job we had four IBM 2311 disk drives, each with 7 Megabytes. IIRC, the monthly rental on that string of drives was about the same as my monthly salary.
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:09 PM
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I still don't see how you calculate filling up 8 or 9 drives, or even 8 or 9 TB.

RAID means you use for instance 2 drives instead of one, with data mirrored on both so you can replace one when it fails rather than all your data going up in smoke. It's not a backup solution, that is a separate issue, but it provides some reliability against errors and crashes with today's multi-terabyte hard disks.

Next issue, you can totally run everything you mentioned on your own server- I even named specific software that will do it. Or you can pay for Amazon S3 storage if you don't feel like enough of a hacker or simply don't want to deal with a NAS, disks, backups, electric bill, etc; it's not that expensive. Up to you...
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Old 05-19-2019, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by aruvqan View Post
I am not fond of 'cloud computing' and the main issue with dropbox is everybody has to have it installed, and everybody needs to have the same size installed because the files seem duplicated on all the participants
That's not true, you can access files over the web and download individual files if you don't want to install the cloud software. And you don't have to sync everything, you can choose which folders to sync. I think these are true for most cloud storage services.

Quote:
[i shared a dropbox setup with my eve online buds, and everybody had to be cautioned NOT to erase anything from 'their' dropbox because it would erase the file from everybodies. Is it still the same way?]
I don't know, I stopped using Dropbox for that reason. Google Drive doesn't seem to have that problem.

Quote:
and many of our members are tablet based which is why the whole group on a server somewhere that they 'phone into and sit there and read on a browser while the file is open on their browser' is how it has to work.
Most cloud storage apps for phones/tablets download files on demand, if that's what you mean. Personally I want to carry a copy of my entire OneDrive and Google Drive folders on my tablet (I have a 512GB SD card in it), but their official apps don't give me that option. I have to use a third-party app (FolderSync) to sync all files.

Quote:
None of us has oodles of money to pay for a monthly fee, which is why I wanted to see if it was something I could run out of my house - remember the old bulletin boards that someone would have on a computer churning away in the corner of their bedroom back in the 90s? Something like that ...
I think only the "owner" of the cloud storage account needs to pay for the service. If you share it with a group of people, those people should be able to access it for free. I'm sure there is a limit to that though, and I don't know exactly what that limit is.

Last edited by scr4; 05-19-2019 at 04:02 PM.
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