YES, you CAN make it a server...
and MAYBE it'll be worth it, depending what you exactly what to do.
The II isn't the most powerful computer, but it has some distinct advantages, but more so if you can do the IIx or IIfx upgrade, which is why a IIfx is being employed as a server in MY house.
First, you can throw 2 hard drives inside the case, giving you a fair amount of storage space. With some work, you can even put in 4 hard drives, but whatever....
Second, you can put a fair amount of RAM in a II, but if you have a IIx or IIfx, you can put in more, and it'll work better (32bit clean ROMs)...
Third, you have 5 usable NuBus slots. It may not be apparant immediately why this is nice, depending how much you know of networking, but this greatly expands the possibilities.
Now, on to specifics...
What can the II do as a server? I ask "What kind of server?"
If we're talking a file server, all is great. If you want a server for Quake 2, someone needs to examine your skull.
A II can be a great file server. SCSI hard drives are getting cheap, and although the II has only standard SCSI, for home archival purposes, it serves well.
a Print server! And if you get AppleShare (the server stuff from Apple) you can run 2 printers easily (or 3 if you can get your hands on a SCSI LaserWriter)
A II can be a web server. If you have a DSL or cable connection with a switch or hub (get switches, you'll be happier) you can run MacHTTP and have a good small scale web server.
to expand on that, run MacHTTP, EIMS (Eudora Internet Mail Server), and MacDNS, and you can have your own website, with your own e-mail addresses, and score a more stable 'net connection. For this type of thing, IPNetRouter is your friend, but only with an 030 II series.
My IIfx is beginning to do all these things, and more (Dunno how hard I can tax it yet). here's the setup I'm building right now. WARNING. This get's technical and pretty thick.
48 MB RAM (trying to dig up more RAM.. I don;t have this much yet)
1GB MB HD
- 150MB Partition for OS
- 250 MB Partition for home network Public storage
- 600 MB for Web pages/e-mail/DNS etc (see below)
2x500MB HD for network storage (250 MB per user)
1 Mac II Video card, Apple High Res monochrome display
5 ethernet Cards (various makes and models)
3 External SCSI CD-ROM drives
IPNetRouter from http://www.sustworks.com
MajorDomo (for mailing lists)
Apple LocalTalk Bridge (may not be needed w/ IPNetRouter)
MainSwitch (24port LAN SegWay w/ FDDI)
DSLrouter IP 10.0.0.10(has built in 5 port 10/100 switch)
ServerIIfx IP 10.0.0.20(from the Specs above)
Switch80 IP 10.0.0.80(5 port BayStack w/ FDDI)
Switch50 IP 10.0.0.50(5 port BayStack w/ FDDI)
A: Network in my Room
B: Performa 6200 IP 10.0.0.84
C: iBook w/ fireWire (lucky mom!) IP10.0.0.57
D: PowerMac 8100/100 IP10.0.0.58
E: Office in Garage network
B, C, and D are connected to the MainSwitch.
A is connected to Switch80
E is connected to Switch50
MainSwitch, Switch80, and Switch50 are connected in a FDDI Ring (this is Fiber Optic cabeling)
ServerIIfx has 7 ports: Ethernet 0 - 4, LocalTalk 0, Serial 0, connected like so:
- E0: DSL Router
- E1: MainSwitch IP10.0.0.60
- E2: MainSwitch IP10.0.0.90
- E3: MainSwitch IP10.0.0.67/10.0.0.94
- E4: MainSwitch IP10.0.0.68
- L0: the LocalTalk Loop (includes a Fax, ImageWriter, Newton) IP 10.0.0.40
- S0: a serial switch box connected to all the switches for network maintneance
Now, you may ask WHY there are 4 connections to the MainSwitch, and WHY they have these port numbers. IPs are assigend by birth year (57,58, 80, 84). Each person's private system connects to serverIIfx via their IP+10 (67,68,90,94). Port E3 has 2 IPs due to a limitation on the number of ports.
Requests for Internet access go to the DSLRouter. ServerIIfx being a DNS server continually builds tables, reduceing time for loading webpages.
I'll finish this up later, and will be expanding it further and posting it on the website... but right now I'm out of espresso and have to go to work.
~~"We are all Mad here."~~