About Polylith
About Polylith

Polylith   is a small, mostly free-software driven domain of various and sundry machines. While its purpose (other than experimentation) often remains a mystery even to myself, it still has grown a little bit over the past few years. (For a more complete history, see my page.) Following are Polylith's current machines (not much by today's standards, but hey, I'm running Linux and NeXTStep - who needs megahertz, megabytes, and gigabytes?):

Granite   is the "foundation" of Polylith, this web server. (For web hit statistics, see the web stats page). As of 3/20/2000, it's the old Pyrite (Tyan Tomcat III), but now with dual Pentium 200MHz processors and 88MB RAM, continuously running Linux and providing 45GB of RAID-5 storage, printing with an old HP PaintJet, and web and other networking services to the other ether-networked machines. It also takes care of tape backups using a SCSI Travan 8GB (compressed) drive. Awhile back, Granite's old display/card was replaced with an S3 ViRGE/GX 4MB video card and IBM 6091 19" monitor, all for less than $50. For more information on how to do this, see Polylith's Tech section. Granite was once an extremely faithful AMD 486DX4 120MHz with 8, then 24, and finally 72 MB RAM. For more on this upgrade path and benchmarks, see my page.

Pyrite   was upgraded with a pair of 200MHz Pentium processors and retired to exclusively run a reliable SMP OS (Linux, of course) as Granite. I have finally found a permanent machine to replace Pyrite. It is a Tyan Tiger-133 motherboard with dual Pentium III 933MHz processors and 512MB RAM, an ATI Radeon dual-display card with a pair of 19" monitors (which I now have working great under Linux). For benchmarks on the original Pyrite, click here.

Brimstone is an old Compaq upgraded to a 166MHz Pentium providing 24x7 56k dialup and firewall service for all inbound and outbound connections. It also provides a 4GB web cache via Squid for all outbound connections.

Obsidian   is a 68040 based upgrade board for the NeXTCube with 16MB RAM. It runs NeXTStep, of course.

Onyx   is a 68030 based NeXT mainboard (16MB RAM) that is actually housed within the same cube as Obsidian. In fact, this board was the original board in the cube, the original Obsidian. For info on how I hacked the NeXTCube backplane to drive both cards at the same time, see Polylith's Tech section. Currently Onyx is offline due to a hard drive crash.

For more info about Linux and NeXT, see the Tech section.

Some have asked, "Why the name Polylith?" When I began naming machines as rocks and minerals, I needed a domain name that reflected this fact. I needed something like "monolith", but that only meant "one stone", and I wanted to plan for a couple machines. So why not use "poly" (as in "polygon - many sides") instead of "mono"? That's how I came up with "Polylith" - "many stones". Obviously, no one had registered such an obscure name by the time I had a dedicated phone connection, so that worked out well, too.


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