Workbook on Digital Private Papers > Setting up the Paradigm Digital Repository

Setting up the Paradigm Digital Repository

Presentation Server - Hardware

Shuttle's small form factor computer (SFF), the catchy-named XPC SB83G5M is marketed as being “designed to be the hub of your digital life”. The attractive black-and-silver model is targeted at system integrators and DIY enthusiasts looking to build customized solutions for the media centre market. However it is also suitable for gamers and in our case  those looking for a small-size system for general computing duties. It seemed an ideal candidate for the portable presentation server component of our digital preservation project infrastructure. As the XPC SB83G5M is sold as a barebone PC  - we needed to specify additional core components to create a server appropriate to our needs.
 Front view of
            XPC SB83G5M

Core components       £
XPC SB83G5M 230
Intel Pentium 4 processor 115
system memory (max 2Gb) 140
hard disk (2 x 300Gb) 200
optical drive (DVD-RW) 46
built and tested 30

There are a number of ports neatly and conveniently hidden at the front of the system behind a flip-down panel. Two USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire mini port, as well as microphone and headphone jacks. In the centre of the system, just above the VFD Media Display are the silver power and reset buttons.

The rear of the system accommodates PS/2 keyboard and mouse sockets, XPC SP83G5M rear viewanother two USB 2.0 and one FireWire port, analogue and digital video-out ports, Gigabit LAN (RJ-45), 6-channel audio out, SPDIF I/O ports, coaxial audio port, serial port, and a CMOS reset button.

The system  packs a suitably powerful punch given its small dimensions (200x310x185) and weighing in at only 5.2kg meets our portability requirements. We have chosen a relatively low end processor (P4 3.0Ghz -630 with 2mb cache) to power it. The maximum of 2GB of DDR400 RAM has been installed, two 300Gb hard-drives provide the data storage and making use of the on-board graphics with 6-channel audio helps to keep the cost down. 

Although the XPC SB83G5M also supports advanced technologies such as SATA RAID and PCIe graphics, we are not intending  to make use of them, as the graphical functionality will be provided by the clients and we have opted for the more pragmatic approach accepting that although hardware will fail or become obsolete at some point; the Presentation Server is destined to only ever contain Dissemination Information Packages (DIPs) - it would in our environment probably be quicker and cheaper to reinstall and reload in the event of a significant hardware failure.