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Re: [ProgSoc] beer powered server

Hi all,

Firstly,  this is great:  projects!

I must admit that I haven't been reading the list much lately, but "the
Brick" caught my attention, and then the Spud server.  Excellent.

A few things however:

==from another mail==
It's not only the electrolyte that makes the difference, but also the
electrodes that make the difference as well... bear in mind that we need
suitable electrodes... I'm thinking carbon/graphite rod electrodes...
sturdy, durable and they are non-reactive, only tending to generate oxygen
and hydrogen in aqueous/acidic solutions...
> This is why I suggested carbon/graphite electrodes, they are inert, (ie,
> will not corrode/dissolve), but in this case would create gases (hydrogen
> one end, oxygen on the other)... However in the case of these electrodes,
> takes them ages before they lose their integrity...

Forgive me if I'm wrong but, (from my [not so extensive] chemistry
knowledge), isn't the reaction you are talking about, and electrolytic
reaction.  Ie. to use inert electrodes, you have to be putting _in_ the
electricity (hence the gasses being given off).

The electrodes _need_ to be reactive to generate the electricity.  That's
why they get eaten away.  As the electrons leave the anode(-), the free ions
that are left will migrate through the electrolyte (coke) to the cathode(+)
where they will meet up with the returning electrons and form the metal
again (hence the build up on the cathode).

Because of this, we will need to have some electrodes (zinc and copper nails
or something better - use them to start with) and some electrolyte (coke).
Enough of these will give us the current and voltage to drive a stripped
down machine.  (Speaking of which, I went to a shop this afternoon and told
the owner about the spud computer, he gave me a machine (386 mind) - how
nice. 8-)

As for the recharging/changing of the power source...  I was thinking we
could have two.  One in use at a time.  When one gets low (or when we think
it is...) we can plug the other in in parallel.  Then unplug the used one.
That way, the computer always has enough energy to run - no downtime.  The
used one can be refilled at our leisure and left till needed. (or left till
needed, then refilled in a rush 8-)

Having said all this.  the computer won't be much use without a network card
with boot ROM capability.  The boot ROM chip won't be much use without the
software for it.  But hey - we're the programming society - THAT'S why this
is a good project.

Hey, just had a thought.  The problem with the spud server is that the ROM
has the OS and the web server and the pages on it and it's hard to change.
Why not have the ROM create a RAM disk and load an image from ftoomsh or
geryon.  That way, it won't be hard to change - the main problem with the
Spud Server.

I think we should keep talking about it, but also let's get moving.  Is
anyone in the ProgSoc room tomorrow so I can drop the box in?  Does anyone
have a network card with boot ROM capability.  Does anyone know how to write
a boot ROM loader?  Who want's to write (recommend) a mini web server.

Very enthused,

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