Time Machine on an old G4 tower- more backups for you.

Well – what do you do on a quiet August weekday?

The summer holidays and everyone in Cambridge seems to have gone to the beach – even our online chat seems to have tumbleweed flowing across it.  So instead of taking the MacUpgrades laptop into the garden and pretending to work in the sun – we made a Time Machine server! (We do know how to live the dream…)

What; Why; How;

Well – Apple have a very nice piece of hardware – the time capsule. This has special software which compensates for an issue with WiFi (the issue being a device can drop off a network unexpectedly and completely legitimately – such as walking out of range or shutting the lid on a Mac). The time capsule (as opposed to a classic NAS) has a way of telling the OS that the data has been backed up and so does not run the risk of half a file being delivered so it avoids certain corruptions.

However – we did not want to buy a time capsule. We wanted to use an old G4 tower with linux to give us the same functionality (primarily because we have several old G4s which are perfectly functional but won’t run the latest browsers etc).

We outfitted the G4 with a small IDE hard disk drive and a large SATA drive via a PCI SATA adapter. A full 1.5 GB of RAM and we were ready to rock.

After downloading and installing PPC Debain we were ready to complete the config.

There is a very useful guide here which you can follow step by step and now all our machines have a proper backup. No more hard disks under every desk!

Now back to the Mojitos and sunshine.