This server is for static content, much of which is in old formats. It is gradually being superseded by stuff in the waddingtons.info domain which is either on our fast hosted server (www.waddingtons.info) or here on this same machine, but more actively maintained. This includes our blog sites. This server also (potentially) serves large files which are infrequently downloaded. The rationale is that we have limited space on our paid-for hosted server with lots of bandwidth, but can afford huge amounts of space here, provided that hardly anyone downloads anythng. To that end, we do block search engines from a lot of the site, because, with the best of intentions, Google and others were taking us way over our monthly acceptable use limit, for no real benefit to anyone. Index files to the bigger photgraphs are elsewhere.
The server at pennine.demon.co.uk was for many years old HP Netserver which was saved from a skip, gradually upgraded to 1 Gb memory, dual-pentium 500, and a terabyte of SCSI drives (mostly in an external Sun 711 box). By the standards of 2009 it was not very powerful, except as a room heater. This was replaced by a Eee Box, a ridiculously tiny thing that has a single laptop drive supplementd by an external 2 Tb drive that has been powered on for nine years and will be replaced soon. Although these drives are not as fast as the mix of mostly 10,000 rpm SCSI, other parts are faster and the big plus is that the whole of the new server uses far less power than the cooling fans of the old one ! By our reckoning we saved enough on power in the first 8 months to pay for the new machine, which now lives in a house where it is almost the only thing using power from our photovoltaic array, so it is driven for free during daylight.
We have a thin pipe (upstream ADSL, which makes 500 kbit/s on a good day), so downloads will be slower than from an ISP's server farm. If you are blessed with good broadband speeds, it will seem a bit slow, but if you are somewhere as far from the exchange as us and used to less than a megabit/s from your broadband, it should provide acceptable bandwidth for one or two users at a time.