Caliban / Kronos / Smoothwall

This computer was built by myself in October 1996 to be used mainly for university assignments. Initially it was a dual boot system, running MS-DOS 6.2 / Windows 3.1 and Slackware Linux 3.1, but was converted to run Windows 95 only in summer 1997. Needless to say, it ran Linux very well, but it did not like Windows all that much...

Name. Caliban.
Introduced. 1996.
Processor. AMD 486-DX4 120 Enhanced (120 MHz).
RAM. 48 Mb.
ROM. Unknown (contains AMIBIOS).
Motherboard. Generic Socket 3 (486) motherboard, PCI/ISA/VESA bus, no on-board cache.
Operating system. DOS 6.2 and Windows 3.1 / Slackware Linux 3.1 dual boot (until summer 1997), Windows 95 (from summer 1997).
Interfaces. Parallel, two serial, mouse, keyboard.
Monitor. Iiyama MF8515F 15".
Drives.
  • 3.5" disc drive.
  • 5.25" disc drive.
  • IBM 2 Gb EIDE hard drive.
  • 16x max CD-ROM.
  • Iomega Jaz 1 Gb drive.
Expansion cards.
  • Diamond Stealth 64 Video model 2201 (2 Mb).
  • Creative Labs Soundblaster AWE64 Value.
  • Kingston NE2000 network card.
Peripherals fitted.
  • Yamaha YST-M15 speakers.
  • Canon BJ-10sx printer.
  • USR Sportser 14.4 modem.

In late 1999 I bought a copy of Red Hat Linux 6.1. When I tried to install this on Caliban, it refused to have anything to do with it. So, after some messing around trying to get Red Hat to install, I upgraded it:

Name. Caliban / Kronos / Smoothwall.
Introduced. 2000
Processor. AMD K6-2 450.
RAM. 64 Mb.
ROM. Unknown (contains Award BIOS 4.51PG.)
Motherboard. Chaintech 5AGM2 Super Socket 7 motherboard, VIA MVP3 Chipset, 100 MHz bus, PCI/ISA/AGP, 512 Kb L2 cache.
Operating system. Red Hat Linux 6.1, 7.0 and 7.1 (until late 2001) then Smoothwall 0.9.9 and 2.0.
Interfaces. Parallel, two serial, mouse, keyboard, USB header.
Monitor. Iiyama MF8515F 15".
Drives.
  • 3.5" disc drive.
  • 5.25" disc drive.
  • IBM 2 Gb EIDE hard drive (until early 2000 and from late 2001), IBM 12.9 Gb EIDE hard drive (from early 2000 to late 2001).
  • 48x AOpen CD-ROM.
  • Iomega Jaz 1 Gb drive.
Expansion cards.
  • ATi XPert 98 AGP graphics card.
  • Adaptec AHA2910 SCSI card.
  • Kingston KNE30BT PCI network card (until early 2003).
  • Two Intel PRO/100S Server LAN cards (early 2003 onwards).
  • Creative Labs AWE64 Value sound card.
Peripherals fitted. 3Com Professional Message Modem (until early 2003).

I eventually found out that the Red Hat installation problem was related to a faulty CD-ROM drive. Once I replaced the drive the machine installed Red Hat with no problems at all. I also took the opportunity to upgrade the 2 Gb drive to a 12.9 Gb drive that I removed from my main machine when it was upgraded.

The operating system on this machine was upgraded several times, first to Red Hat 7.0 then to Red Hat 7.1. It was also (briefly) taken in to work with me, to serve as a Linux development platform.

In September 2001 the machine was brought home and I decided to convert the machine to a firewall. I replaced the 12.9 Gb drive with the original 2 Gb drive and installed the Smoothwall 0.9.9 filewall, renaming the machine in the process to kronos (after the Klingon homeworld in Star Trek). In early 2003 I upgraded to Smoothwall 2.0, renaming the machine to Smoothwall in the process. At the same time, I was the proud recipient of an ADSL link, so I ditched the modem and the original network card and moved to 100BaseT Intel cards.


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Robert McMordie

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