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The White Dragon

The White Dragon, 4-27-2003

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White Dragon

  • AMD Athlon 850 MHz
  • 512 MB 100 MHz SDRAM
  • Asus K7M motherboard
  • WD 30 GB 5,400 RPM ATA/66
  • LinkSys 10/100 Network card
  • Full tower case
  • 3 case fans
  • ThermalTake Golden Orb heat sink and fan

Current status

The White Dragon is one of our oldest operational machines. It runs a headless Linux and had been setup to run the web server functions of There is no way our site could run on such limited storage today. So while functional the White Dragon is almost exclusively off, having no define role.


The White Dragon was commissioned in December of 1999. It served as my primary console until sometime in 2001 when the Black Dragon assumed that role. The White Dragon then took a server role running web, FTP, and e-mail. It acted as the primary server until the Indigo Dragon took over. After that the White Dragon acted as a backup server. This was the case until the footprint of expanded beyond the 30 GB of storage available on the White Dragon. started on the White Dragon as did its precursors and DrQue.Pluvius.Net. The system was also our first Linux server after we successfully compiled Apache on SuSE 7.3.

Original Information

The White Dragon is running 850 MHz and loaded with 1/2 a gig of RAM, the White Dragon was quite a step up from the Silver Dragon (a Cyrix 6x86MX-PR200) it succeeded. The case selected was calling out "I'm a server". Plenty of room to expand and house all the drives I'd ever need. The only draw back is the need for very long drive cables for the drives located in the upper 5 1/4" bays. This case is equipped with 3 case fans—1 intake and 2 output. The intake actually required a Dremel tool and remove a section of the frame. But like all true computer users, Dremeling the case is just part of the job! ;)

Inside the White Dragon

Inside the White Dragon

The White Dragon originally had 2 hard drives: a Western Digital 30 GB and the IBM 45 GB. The 30 GB is a drive I'm not happy about. Originally I bought this drive to hold a collection of MP3s several engineers and I had going at work along with large amounts of "stuff" (such as downloads, backups and experimental junk) we were cluttering the main server with. But just after being filled—not more than a few months after being purchased, the drive failed and I lost everything on it. Although Western Digital replaced the drive with no questions asked, they do not recover lost data, and everything on the drive was gone. When the new drive came, it didn't go back to the engineering server.

The IBM 45 GB was picked out for primary storage. It was a screamer, ATA-100 at 7,200 RPM. The idea for this drive was recording music for our studio. Recording required large amounts of space and a high data rate—all of which this drive offered.

White Dragon's CPU

White Dragon's CPU

Despite the space offered by both the 30 and 45 GB hard drives, we were out of space in no time at all. This was initially answered with an other Western Digital, this time, 60 GBs. I was not looking for speed with this drive, just space—the 45 GB would be the answer to the speed. Even with a whopping 135 GBs of total capacity, we were eating space very quickly. Soon, we would be looking for something to up total capacity yet again. The answer was Western Digital's largest ATA drive at the time: a 100 GB, ATA-100, 7,200 RPM. So named Sumo because it was huge, the drive almost doubled out capacity. Most of the data migrated to Sumo shortly after it was installed. Sense then, our rate of eating space has dropped quite a bit, but Sumo is still at 88% capacity.

Originally, this system was to be the console, but there was a growing need to have a dedicated server. One problem was the having only 5 PCI slots. The White Dragon was hosting 4 hard drives and 3 CD-ROM drives—requiring a PCI ATA-100 controller. I required a special data acquisition card for the embedded work I do. That, a Sound Blaster Live and network card ate all the PCI we had. There was also a growing need to have a dedicated server. It wasn't that the site was bringing a large amount of traffic—it was that the operating system was not stable to maintain both a web, ftp and e-mail server as well as be a console running tons of application software at once. The system had to be shutdown and restart several times a day—and this just wasn't acceptable for a server.

The White Dragon split into it's sister computer, the Black Dragon. It gave up the 100 and 45 GB hard drive, and more recently, gave up the 60 GB drive.

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