Saturday, March 6, 2010

Putting together a Hacklab...

Being sort of the unofficial techie of the group so far, I'm putting together some info on what we need to build a decent lab when space becomes available. Our best hope at the moment is to put together as many donated machines and spare parts as we can so that the cost can be kept under control, we'll have enough to worry about when paying for some of the network and server side of things.

So here's what we need, any computer parts or entire machines made in the last 6 years. This includes:

  • processors, and motherboards which support them, of chip-sets Pentium 4 and better. P3's are just not up to the task I'm afraid. I haven't worked much with AMD processors, but if that's what you've got then we'll do our best to see if we can make it work too.
  • Memory, DDR2, any clock speed.. faster is better, but we aren't worried about bleeding edge.
  • Hard drives aren't crucial, we actually don't need much storage to start, but they'd be nice. SATA will be more useful that PATA.
  • Cases/Power supplies, as many as we can get, any quality.
  • Monitors, dido, though Id like to avoid CRTs.. we'll take what we can get.
  • Keyboards/mice are cheap, if we get them donated its great, but buying them isn't going to hurt us.

We really don't need cd/dvd/floppy drives, these days usb drives are cheap and effective. If anyone wants to donate usb drives, we would be more than happy to put them to good use.

Obviously, any fully working tower is amazingly appreciated since we don't have to resort to building a Frankenstein machine. However, building machines from spare parts is an awesome way for people to learn about how computers work and to get familiar with the components.

The network side of the lab is going to need lots of Ethernet Cables, or Wireless Cards. We plan on having both a Wired and Wireless network so either option will help keep everything connected. We'll also need a few small routers/switches.. the cheapo netgear/linksys variety will do nicely.

The core/border router, wireless AP, and the server(s) will be the larger price-tag items, and we'll worry about those once there is location to start setting up at.

So, If you have machines, parts, or anything you'd like to donate. Toss an email to the Google group and we'll see about getting a place to start putting everything together and testing equipment.

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