In the realm of vintage technology, sometimes a hidden gem appears when you least expect it. Scrolling through the local marketplace, my eyes caught a glimpse of a retro webserver that stirred the flames of nostalgia within me. Unable to resist, I took the plunge and acquired not just one but two Cobalt RAQ2 servers. Little did I know that one of them would unveil a piece of internet history. The sleek design and compact form factor hinted at an era when web hosting was taking its first steps towards accessibility.
And it’s online and serving it’s own disk image: http://raq2.aapje.info/
A Rare Find: Unopened with Original Warranty Seal
To my astonishment, one of the two servers I purchased had never been opened – the original warranty seal remained intact. This discovery added an extra layer of excitement to the journey ahead. The prospect of exploring a device that had been untouched since its inception promised a unique insight into the early days of web hosting technology.
An Intact Time Capsule: Original OS Installation
Delving deeper into the unopened server, I uncovered a delightful surprise. The device housed an original, clean installation of the operating system. Cobalt Linux, the custom Linux-based OS developed by Cobalt Networks, lay dormant, preserving the essence of the era when these servers were at the forefront of web hosting innovation.
Cloning the Cobalt RAQ2: A Seamless Replication
Using hddguru.com’s HDD-Raw-Copy-Tool, I effortlessly cloned the original Cobalt RAQ2 drive onto two new Seagate drives. Preserving the device’s pristine state, this seamless replication captured the essence of a bygone era. While one Seagate drive presented no challenges, the second, with a stuck head. The necessity to discard a drive with stuck heads underscored the significance of this cloning process, ensuring the continuity of the Cobalt RAQ2’s legacy through identical replicas.
The Cobalt RAQ2, operating on its original Cobalt Linux, utilized the ext2 file system—a pioneering choice in the late ’90s. Ext2, renowned for its simplicity and reliability, played a crucial role in the server’s efficient storage management. This robust file system remains emblematic of the era, contributing to the enduring legacy of the Cobalt RAQ2.
Navigating the Past Through the User Interface
As I powered up the Cobalt RAQ2. The user-friendly interface came online. First via the LCD display on the front, though aged, radiated a simplicity that once defined the landscape of web hosting. It was a journey back in time, navigating through menus and configurations that represented the cutting edge of technology in the late ’90s. After having the machine booted up i quickly discovered that the system had a password on it. But reading the manual it allows you to reset the password quite easily:
Resetting the RaQ 2 Administrator Password
If you forget the RaQ 2 administrator password, you can clear it by following steps:
1. Push and hold a paper clip in the Reset Password port (located between the LCD screen and the LCD control buttons, on the front of the RaQ 2). Hold the button in for approximately 2 seconds.
The LCD screen will display:
So if you use/download my hdd image. You can quickly gain access by this.
Exploring the Restored Server
Visit http://raq2.aapje.info/ to experience the charm of the Cobalt RAQ2 in action. Reminiscent of a bygone era, and explore the capabilities that once made this device a trailblazer in the world of web hosting.