$3 fan = 7° Celsius

March 3rd, 2008

Back when I was in university I had, one day, a customer that went from no rush, whenever, to can this application be live in three hours. The application required a decent server and a couple megabits of bandwidth. I didn’t have any machines in a data center at the time with both enough power and bandwidth to support it, so I decided to host it from my apartment for a few days (which turned into a couple of months at the customer’s request). Luckily my Cogeco Cable Internet connection in Hamilton was actually of a decent speed for a decent price (unlike Rogers‘ current quite expensive offerings, I don’t know if Cogeco has kept their more reasonable pricing).

Anyway… scrounging together some parts found throughout my apartment I built a machine with a couple gig of memory, a 2 GHz AMD processor, along with an IBM Deathstar, a Maxtor Diamond Max and a Western Digital Caviar (which I figured would guarantee I’d see at least one drive failure) and a few of my favourite cheap ($7) low speed PCI network cards, the D-Link DFE-538TX (one of D-Link’s few good products). The only thing I didn’t have laying around was a rear case fan. Oh well, I’ll add one later. Fast forward over half a decade.

To this day I’m still using the machine to host customers’ network applications during development and initial use and it serves as my primary personal mail hub. I picked up a case fan for it long ago. I finally installed it tonight along with a cheap gigabit ethernet adapter (an Intel PRO/1000 GT).

To the point, I like to graph hard disk temperatures in all of my machines. I’m paranoid. Here’s the before and after (the $3 80mm case fan dropped the temperature of all three drives by 7 degrees celsius — well worth the price to reduce the chance of drive failure):



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