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Remote Reboot
A fun and interesting implementation of a remote reboot system on the cheap

Contributed by:
[01/03/05 | Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

I recently had some very odd hardware issues, causing a small linux server I maintain at home to crash every 30 minutes or so. Unfortunately, I had to have it up by later that day, and had only an hour till I left for work. Knowing this would take at least 2 hours to sort out, I quickly threw together a solution.

I am able to use remote desktop to connect to my windows box from work, so I figured I could use that to my advantage. Digging through the garage, I found an old set of lego-robotics that was given to me many years ago (essentially a lego set with a few servos and actuators, which connect to an ISA card, allowing you to write programs to automate your creations)

I threw some actuators together, and mounted this on a 2x4 stood up between my systems. I then connected it to the card in my windwos box, and wrote 2 programs. One to move the actuator forward, and immediately back again, and another to push it forward, pause for 10 seconds, and them retract.

In this way, anytime the server crashed, I was able use remote desktop to run the shutdown program, and then the start program, allowing me to remotely reboot my system.

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