Time to worry, or just a glitch

I have mail logs going back to 24 December 2006. Recently, I noticed that every now and then one of my postfix processes will die with a “SEGV” (the dreaded Segmentation Violation). They appear at odd times in my logs, starting January 1, and continuing on the 7th, 8th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th (x2), 19th, 20th (x2), 23rd and 24th. It’s different processes each time, and each time it gives a warning about having some difficulty starting the replacement process (although the mail delivery continues, so I assume it starts up immediately after). I don’t see the same sorts of errors on my colo box, which uses an older version of postfix similarly configured.

I asked on the postfix-users mailing list, and got the totally unhelpful answer that it was something wrong in my config files – obviously wrong because it doesn’t happen if I start and stop postfix. And another person said my system memory probably was going. Well, that’s possible – the system is about 6 years old. It uses PC133 Registered RAM, which is still expensive – replacing the 1Gb I’ve got now would cost around $90, or about the same cost as 1Gb of the newest PC5400 RAM.

This machine is old for a server, and certainly the technology has passed this box by – it has AGP, not PCI Express, it has USB 1 (although I put in a PCI USB 2.0 card so I could use external hard drives), it has IDE instead of SATA, it refuses to boot without a PS/2 keyboard in spite of the fact that it’s perfectly happy with a USB keyboard after it’s booted. But on the other hand, it’s perfectly fast for what it does, and I’ve got three IDE hard drives and a 16x dual layer DVD burner in there and everything is just working the way I want it to. The only complaint I have is that it’s cranky – if I add new disks, I’ll often have to reboot three or four times before the bios will recognize them, and most times it won’t boot from a power on – I have to boot, wait for it to complain that there aren’t any hard drives in it, and then control-alt-delete it.

I don’t want a new server – if I were buying a new desktop now, it would be something to run a certain MMORPG faster. Maybe a Mac Pro with Boot Camp. But I want this server to continue to serve.

Lets hope this is just a little glitch.