I was recently given an old HP Media Smart EX470 server along with some other junk hardware.Although it has no graphics, a slow single-core AMD Sempron CPU, and just 512 MB of RAM, I was able to revive it quite satisfactorily. HP released the first Media Smart server in 2008, and there was much interest at the time both for the compact yet innovative hardware and the embedded Windows Home Server operating system.Even the Olimex LIME2, with native Gigabit Ethernet and SATA, can’t manage the I/O performance of the Media Smart.The first setback was a feature, not a bug: The Media Smart has no graphics port.
Maybe, I wondered, this little guy could be pressed back into service.
Presuming that the network chip in the Media Smart wasn’t detected and configured properly, I decided to try a USB LAN adapter I had in my desk.
I connected it to the good PC and recorded exactly the proper steps to log in and configure Ubuntu to make it work.
I decided to install Ubuntu Linux on the Media Smart blind, following the steps used on a spare PC. But the network wasn’t working, so I didn’t know for sure.
The Media Smart gave me no feedback apart from some happy-sounding hard drive noises.
And there’s no comparison when it comes to Ethernet and SATA I/O performance! Apart from the solid chassis and power supply, even the original-spec Media Smart soundly beats a Pi at just about everything.