XBox as an affordable server

XBox as an affordable Apache web server? With a 733MHz Pentium III processor, 64 MB of RAM, a 10 GB hard drive, 100 Mbps Ethernet, and a DVD drive why NOT? Of course, Apache will have to be "ported" to the platform as a "game". Adam Barr, a former Microsoft employee, speculates in this osOpinion column about how XBox's biggest future may be not be in your living room but in the data center.

So if bunches of XBoxen are bought for running things like 'XApache' instead of games, how will that affect Microsoft? It's well known that they will be losing money on the XBox hardware, hoping to make up for it through game sales and licensing. But if the console is used not for playing games but for other purposes, that can't be too good for their bottom line. Never mind the irony of running Apache--Microsoft's biggest web server rival.

And of course, there's always the Linux porters who won't rest until Linux runs on everything, even down to your wristwatch. I'm sure a port of Linux for the XBox will appear within minutes of it hitting the shelves. Maybe those ill-fated Indrema games can be reconfigured to run on an XBox running Linux (not that would be some serious irony)?

Another extra-credit project would be to extract the precious nVidia video chipset from the XBox and wire it up for a regular PC's AGP slot. The current top-of-the-line nVidia video card (which is below the specs of the nVidia chipset that will ship with the XBox) runs for $500-$600-- the $300 XBox is a downright bargain by comparison.

Oh and about those 'non-standard' USB ports-- well, it's just a matter of creating an adapter to convert a regular USB connector to work with those too. With 4 connectors, you can hook up a mouse and keyboard and still have a couple ports open for a printer, scanner, or a real USB hub.

Well, needless to say... this will be interesting to watch. Shoot-- openxbox.com is already registered.

2 Comments

berdt said:

Linux doesn't have to be ported to the xbox, apache neither, because the xbox is just a ibm -compatible pc with a intel cpu. There are just smal modifications needed, besides a mod-chip

Charles said:

Hi, I have a question about the xbox being used as a server to run a game. I own an xbox and just recently purchased the Open X PC-BioXX Modchip from gamegizmo.com. I want to run a Counter-Strike server on the xbox because I have played in a server run on an xbox before and I felt it was a very efficient server. I installed the chip using instructions that were on gamegizmo.com and I'm not sure exactly what to do in order to run the server from there. I would appreciate greatly if you could help me with this problem or recommend someone who can. Also, if you could email your response I would be greatly appreciative (im not sure if you post these comments on a forum or not). Thank you!

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This article was published on April 12, 2001 5:11 PM.

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