Can I do this with a Cube?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by swoolf, Nov 5, 2003.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2003
    #1
    Hi -

    I'm planning on purchasing a used Cube to use as a fileserver on my local network. What I'd like to know is if I can run the Cube with no monitor or keyboard/mouse attached.

    I remember a while back that Macs would not boot without a monitor connection and/or a keyboard connected. Is this true for the Cube?

    Thanks,

    Steve
     
  2. macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #2
    I have no personal experience with the Cube, but I know that my Beige G3 can boot without said stuff attached, but the monitor has to be plugged in at the boot for the port to be useable. That and I don't have a USB keyboard for it, so that needs to be plugged in.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    I would get a graphics card for it that has TV-out and a 5.1 sound card, then use it as a home media centre. You can plug it into your main TV and use it to view DVDs/movie files and music in iTunes. You can also get TVcards or firewire/usb adapters that let your Mac do tivo stuff. The cube looks too good to hide away as a file server.
     
  4. macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #4
    I'm wondering why you would want to use a Cube as a fileserver anyway, seeing as it has room for one (two?) hard drives, whereas a tower has room for 3-4.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Toekeeyoe, Japan
    #5
    But nothing looks as good as a cube.

    Speaking of used Cubes - I found a shop here in Tokyo selling a Cube-400 or something like that for over 100,000 yen!!! (that's about $1000 USD)... of course it was in near mint condition..

    -Wyrm (Cube envy-ist) :D
     
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2003
    #6
    Why a file server

    I wanted to use it as a file server/web server because it's small and quiet and consumes relatively low power compared to the G4 towers. I just recently simplified my home office setup from five machines (4 Macs, one PC) to two laptops, and I want to tuck a Cube onto a shelf with my router and DSL modem and forget about it.

    If anyone has any definitive info re: the mointor/keyboard issue I brought up, please pass it along. Seems like it should be no problem, but I'd want to know conclusively before I spend the money.

    Thanks,

    Steve
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    #7

    It could be unused and still in the box it wouldn't be worth $1,000! gha dang, lol
     
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2003
    #8
    Agreed - I'm not spending over $400 for my Cube fileserver. 512MB RAM, 120GB HD, stock everything else. Just unfortunate that they never built a model with Gigabit Ethernet.

    Steve
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    LimeLite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #9
    I use mine as an Music/Movies server to my other computers. (not open for the public) I use Apple Remote Desktop to control it from any computer in the house, and no, there's no monitor currently connected to it. You might want to get a FireWire hard drive though, because the Cube's ATA/66 capability limits the hard drive storage capacity to 128GB.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2003
    #10
    Outstanding - thanks for the info. Are you running Panther on it? And also - I'm assuming you have no keyboard/mouse attached, correct?

    Thanks,

    Steve
     
  11. macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #11
    Re: Why a file server

    Good enough for me!

    leet1: as ironic as your nick may be, I think the cube will become like the Lisa (saw an original one on eBay today! :eek:) and the Twentieth Anniversary Mac, except more upgradeable. Expensive? hell yes! exclusive? hell yes! legendary? hell yes!
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    #12
  13. macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
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    #13
    That's the one! The Cube will eventually get there, it takes time. I had never even heard of the Lisa until last year.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    LimeLite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #14
    No Panther yet, but very very soon. And correct, no keyboard or mouse connected...what I really want to do is attach a wall mounted touch screen.



    Pure awesomeness.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    fennario
    #15

    That would unbelievably cool.

    But I do not think that their are touch screen drivers for OSX. My brother-in-law has been looking to upgrade the computers in his pizza place to macs for a couple months now. He has already spoken to the company that writes the software he uses now, and they have agreed to port their Linux p.o.s. software to osx, thanks in part to other clients whom have requested the same. At that time the only problem was that there were no touch screen drivers for osx.

    Please correct me if I am wrong about the drivers.
     
  16. macrumors 68000

    SpaceMagic

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales
    #16
    Of COurse!

    He he, good question and of course.. the answer is - YES!

    I absolutely LOVE the cube, and my uncle has one as just that, a file server. No monitor, no keyboard, no nothing and its on 24/7 at his apartment about 2000 miles from his home. So he trusts it!

    Basically, i play with it often.. and its a great, very cool running machine, whcih can be left on 24 hours a day 7 days a week as a file server...

    And to answer the other queries.. you can get 250 gb Hard disks for the cube. It uses just normal IDE size drives
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    #17
    Re: Of COurse!

    You can GET 250GB HDDs for the cube AND you can put them into the cube...BUT you can only USE 128GB of the hard drive. Yes, that limit is hard, fast proven and totally immutable. No, there's no way around it (except using the firewire bus). It is a limitation of the Cube's ATA bus. You can't even use multiple partitions to fool it. 128MB is IT (internally). Period. You *might* be able to pull out the optical drive and put another hard drive in as a slave and use more than 128GB, but I don't know anyone who has done that.

    If you have other Cube questions, go to the experts: Cubeowner.com. Pretty much anything you want to do to your cube has already been tried over there (how about a dual 1ghz cube with watercooling? Been done. Cube jukebox hooked to home theater system and remote-controlled by bluetooth phone? Been done.) Look in the FAQ for answers http://www.cubeowner.com/kbase/ and if it's not there, search the forums http://www.cubeowner.com/forums//index.php?act=Search&f= . You'll find your answer.

    As far as price, a stock cube @450mhz tends to go for $600-700US on ebay, a 500 closer to $800-900US because of rarity. Most on ebay are not stock and/or come with a monitor so the average price of a cube sold on ebay is probably between $1000US and 1200 us depending on the upgrades.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    #18
    Considering that a USED cube case runs upwards of $200USD and a 120GB HDD is about $100USD, maybe you buy that cube for less than $400USD and I give you $500 for it?

    Just buy the damn thing if it's that cheap, you could part it out on ebay and probably double your money. Or buy it and mark it up 20% and I'll buy it.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2003
    #19
    Re: the $400 Cube

    I'm talking to a guy who has a Cube with 128MB of RAM and a damaged CD-ROM drive. If I pick up a used internal DVD-ROM for $50-75, and another 512MB RAM, that's around a $150 investment. I already have a fast 120GB FW400 external to hook up to it, so the internal HD size is moot. If I can get him to give up the Cube for $250, it's a very good deal indeed. I'll go up a bit if need be, but a fileserver is not a spending priority at this point.

    I'm going to try and wait it out until I can get my hands on a config that won't break the $400 line (or at least not by much).

    Thusfar, I'm amazed at the rabid fans the Cube has out there. I knew it was a great-looking little machine, but I didn't expect the passion it inspires in people. Personally--it's such a limited type of machine--I'm very surprised at the kind of prices that Cubes fetch on eBay. Apple is a special company, of course, but I'm nonetheless surprised.

    It just so happens that a Cube would be perfect for my current home office setup. I had 3 G4's that were so friggin' loud that they were driving me nuts. Along with a PC, those 4 machines would be whirring til no end. I sold all of them on Craig's List, along with an iBook, and went to two 17" Powerbooks. Best move I've ever made. It's now totally quiet in the office, I run Virtual PC when needed, and I want a quiet little Cube to complement the local network. Not to mention the electric bill has gone down significantly.

    So that's the full story. Thanks to everyone who's offered terrific input.

    Steve
     
  20. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    #20
    Well I think the rest of your post really hit on it: It's silent. My cube makes NO noise at all. Maybe a tiny little bit of HDD scratching when the drive spins up, but I even bought a super quiet HDD to minimize that. I spend a LOT of time working on my computer and I just got to where I couldn't bear the constant howl of the fans. Add to that the small size and amazing beauty of the little floating marvel and you've got a recipe for some serious fanaticism.

    Plus, if you want, there are tons of upgrades available. You can actually now get a cube that is faster than any G4 apple sells, thanks to powerlogix's 1.4Ghz upgrade board. The worst bit is the dearth of video upgrade options, most of which require pretty serious mod work. A total bummer. Other than that, the cube is pretty versatile in my opinion. I know I've never looked back, my 450Mhz cube replace a 1.6GHz Athlon mid-tower, and replaced it quite nicely and silently, absolutely no regrets...but I kept the athlon in case I wanted to play Baldur's Gate 3! ;)
     
  21. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    Baltimore
    #21
    Cubes are awesome

    I bought a G4 cube in near-mint condition for $750. Original box, speakers, keyboard, mouse, and video extender.

    If you can get the guy to part with it for $250, you could turn around and sell it on ebay for $500 intact, or strip it and make even more off of it. The VRM alone is worth its weight in gold and the logic board itself is hard to find for less than $300.

    The space within the cube is such that you *could* remove the optical drive and mount two IDE drives. If you had an adapter cable, you could even replace the internal one with those cute laptop hard drives.

    As for headless operation, I've worked on a few cubes at my job and they don't play well with the KVM I have, so the Cube might need to have a monitor plugged in during boot if you ever want to use the monitor.

    Truth be told though, I spend as much time SSH'd to my cube as I do working in front of it.

    ....and yes, it is silent :)
     
  22. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2003
    #22
    Yeah, I'm finding that people are very reluctant to part with their Cubes. So far, I haven't found any sellers in my price range. I'm really amazed at what these machines go for.

    Steve
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    #23
    There's only like 140,000 of the machines in existence, probably a lot less now given that some fail and are parted out or broken or just plain tossed. Rarity + Desirability = High resale value. :|
     

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