I recently bought a Shuttle K45 to run Ubuntu server. I’m waiting until Hardy Heron is released proper until I set to work setting up the software. However, there are a few things about the K45 that I think are of interest.
Firstly, there is space in the case for an optical drive:
As you can see from these photos there is space for an optical drive, albeit a slim line one. The problem is that the plastic image sheet and the perspex that cover the front (abscent in the photos) don’t have a slot for the drive. This is a only a minor problem, however.
I bought my K45 from Misco. It didn’t come supplied with the Shuttle ICE cooling system. The ICE system is far quieter than the standard CPU fan that comes with the Celeron I bought. Also the instructions (which are a bit thin, consisting only of one large colour sheet) show and refer to thumb screws. I like thumb screws, they’re nice and chunky, however, my K45 only came with normal screws. Boo.
The IDE socket is very picky. My original plan was to have two SATA hard drives and an compact flash to IDE converter. I was going use the CF/IDE to run the OS from and use the harddrives exclusively for storing data. Unfortunately the K45 doesn’t like CF/IDE converters. I tried two of them and each time the K45 refused to boot from them, no BIOS fiddling seemed to fix this. I empathises ‘boot’ as it does recognise the drive. Infact, I managed to install Ubuntu to the CF/IDE but it wouldn’t boot from it. This isn’t a major problem, but it is an inconvenience. My first attempt at a solution was to use a USB CF reader and run the OS from that. But the CF reader I bought wasn’t bootable, so I’ve gone for a normal USB flash drive which will complicate the install, but where would the fun be if everything was easy?