Use for an old computer aka RAID vs. Apple Time Capsule?

Apple Computer Tech gtrplyraj asked:

So my two friends and I are moving in together and we’re trying to figure out how to set up a large shared drive.

I am getting a Dell Power Edge 1300 (PII processor) server off of Freecycle. My plan was to throw in a RAID controller pci card, an ethernet pci card and two sata hard drives and run Windows 2000 on it.

The one Apple user suggested we look into Time Capsule which looks like an expensive external hard drive and wifi router. It’s really only designed for best compatibility with Apple computers.

I think our apple user should install MacFUSE/NTFS-3G or something similar to allow writing to NTFS as well turning on windows file sharing which is built into OSX.

The Dell could be an FTP server so it wouldn’t matter what the drive was formatted to but that means alienating our less tech savvy third roommate as well as not being able to use it in real time as a mapped network drive.

Pro/Cons of each option?

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1 reply
  1. Mike M says:

    The third option sounds least appealing to me, as the drawbacks outweigh the benefit. As for picking between a Time Capsule and the Dell server, it occurs to me that the server would likely consume a good deal more power, which could be a problem if you guys will be taking care of the power bill (i.e. not living in a dorm), but may offer more compatibility with the Windows machines than a Time Capsule (I’m not sure what TC’s limitations are in terms of usable file systems and Windows compatibility). Either way, missing file system support can be remedied on either side — on the Mac side by adding NTFS support as you mentioned, or on the Windows side with MacDrive (or similar products if there are any).

    So uh…rambling aside, it looks like a Time Capsule is an unknown quantity, which warrants further research. If it can be easily mapped on Windows machines and not just Macs (and your Mac-using buddy doesn’t hog all the space for his backups, haha), it may be preferable as its power consumption would most likely be well under that of a full-on server. If it won’t play nice, then the server would probably be better. Best of luck!

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