One of the problems that I've had with my current server is that it's a laptop. This, generally is a good thing, but I have 2 problems with my current unit:
1. There's no battery, so when the power flickers, I lose power to the machine. This wouldn't be such a problem if...
2. There's no "power on after power fail" setting available on the BIOS of the machine.
So what happens is that the power hiccups at my apartment, and I have no access to the machine until I get home.
Umm... No. Not really a nice thing, especially when I store some notes and stuff on said machine so I can access them from anywhere, as well as have a 3rd box from which to test connectivity items.
Skip ahead, my boss brings back an old iMac G4 from a customer. It has a dead hard drive, and the machine is old enough that it's not really worth fixing to the customer. He says "I want it out of my office". No one else says anything, so I grab it and throw it into my car.
I get it home and take it apart... a procedure that has a 2 week delay because they used torx screws to hold all the guts inside the base, and I don't have the right bits to take it apart.
After wrestling with it for an hour or so, I managed to get a 120GB drive in the case. I downloaded a Ubinto 7.04 iso for powerpc and go to town. To my surprise, everything works. It even sees the wireless card.
However, I still don't have a machine that will deal with a power failure gracefully, and I still don't have a battery to get me through the brownouts. Damn.
Google to the rescue! This post discusses how to turn the G5 Mac Mini's "server mode" setting on, which tells the machine to automatically reboot after a power failure. I know from experience that the firmware on the G4 and G5 are similar, so I try what is described in the article. It works great! Thanks to Raam (the post owner), mwnovak (from who Raam got the information), and Rich Johnson, maintainer of AutoBoot for pointing mwnovak in the right direction.