Home - About Compsoc - Toast


The society has it's own Linux server which this page is served from. It is informally referred to as Toast, and has undergone a few transformations in its time.

Toast was originally an AMD-K6 400 PC with 256 MB of RAM running the Debian distribution of GNU/Linux (Slink, Potato, Woody) on a Linux 2.4 kernel. It had 2 IDE hard drives, and two 40Gb holding user files. Also it used to have two external SCSI system disks, which died as we moved data to the new machine.

It was later augmented to a more up to date machine with 1GB of RAM, more disk space and internal system disks. This hardware ran Woody and then Sarge. The actual spec was an AMD XP 2500+ CPU, 1GB of RAM and several hard disks. There were 40GB disks for system data and then one 120GB and another 160GB disk for user data. Wondering why the 160GB disk? Well, the old 120GB disk started to fail so we replace it with a newer disk.

From 1999-2001 toast lived in DSU Publications Office, Dunelm House (thanks to Dave Ellams and Jenny Radcliffe); it now lives in the machine room of the Computer Science department on the Science Site.

Sometime in 2003 the AMD K6 machines secondary hard disk controller failed. So we decided to buy new hardware. To cover the society between machines we had to run on temporary hardware. Michael Young of the ITS was very helpful with keeping the box up over this patchy period. Again helpful whilst we transplanted the install over to the new hardware. It got very messy with two Toasts, lots of broken mirrors, failing SCSI disks, broken kernel drivers, lack of floppy and CD-ROM drive. Later transpires one of the sticks of RAM had some major errors on it. It was basically dying right in front of our eyes. The case was noted for the power button being round the back since people had a habit of turning it off whilst it lived in Dunelm House.

In June 2006 things started again to go wrong with Toast. One of the user data disks mysteriously failed, one of the mirrored system disks started failing self tests, and the other fell out of the mirror altogether. Toast was becoming unreliable, and needed replacing. Luckily we were able to get DNUK to sponsor us with a new server. Nicknamed Pitta, the changeover took place on 29th November. The new (and current) specs are a Pentium 4 540 / 3.4 GHz, with 1024MB RAM and two 250GB hard drives.

Its canonical name is now bylands.dur.ac.uk, and its IP is, both but compsoc.dur.ac.uk and toast.durge.org are CNAMEs to it, and are more commonly used. Mail can be received at either of these addresses, or alternatively mail can be sent to addresses user@toast.debian.net.

This website is served from Toast, and can be accessed at both http://compsoc.dur.ac.uk and http://ducs.org.uk

Last edit: Mon 15th Sep, 10:52 p.m.


External Links

Compsoc Wiki
Compsoc Library

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events planned. Check the CompSoc Wiki in case of emergency

RSS | iCal


No Starch Press
Durham Students Union

Random Poll


View results
Submit a new poll
All polls

This section exists to trap prefetching clients. Please just ignore it if you have css disabled and thus can see this. Do not click this link unless you want us to think you are a bot