I assumed that there would be a lot of information on this on both the Web in general and on Superuser, but to my surprise I can't find direct answers to these questions about using a laptop as a server.
I have been given an old iBook G4 which I hope to use as a server for a Web and SMS based system that I run (it would run in Debian Linux). I am confused on the following points however:
If the laptop is on AC power 24/7 and also has a battery (to keep it running during power cuts), will the battery be damaged? I could not get a clear answer on this from the various sources I found on the net, though the information here and in this SuperUser question implies that this is not a problem except in terms of screwing up the digital calibration. However, I am not sure if this is true if the laptop is also running 24 hours a day (that information seems to pertain to laptops that are charging all the time but not necessarily running all the time).
Overheating is clearly a potential risk, as several people warn against. Is there any other risk to laptop hardware from running continouosly, if overheating is guarded against?
In sum, if I were to do this for a year or two, and then try to hand over the laptop to someone else to use as a normal machine, would it function well enough for them to do so? Or should I plan on this use as a server on the assumption that it would 1) either die completely or 2) be rendered useless as a laptop after prolonged use?
Edit: Thanks for the suggestion to remove the battery, but that would actually defeat the main advantage of using the laptop (currently the system runs on a GoFlex Home ARM based small computer, but I live in an area with really frequent power cuts, and even though the system is on a UPS it shuts down a lot). So my questions apply to the situation where the battery is in the system.