John Almberg writes:
 > I have a client who has an application that he wants to deploy in his  
 > customer's offices as a headless 'appliance'. Basically, just a black  
 > box that you can plug into a Lan, turn it on, and it runs. No floppy  
 > disk or CD, no monitor/keyboard, just remotely managed.
 > 
 > This application won't store any critical data, so it doesn't need  
 > redundancy. It just needs to be reasonably reliable, compact, and quiet.
 > 
 > My first recommendation was to use a Mac Mini, but that excellent bit  
 > of hardware was deemed 'not professional enough'. So now I am looking  
 > for a compact pc that can run FreeBSD, of course. I think it probably  
 > just needs a power supply, tiny motherboard with onboard ethernet,  
 > usb, etc., and hard drive.
 > 
 > If anyone has a recommendation (or if their are any vendors lurking),  
 > please shoot me an email off list. I'll compile a list of  
 > recommendations and post it all at once, in case anyone else is  
 > interested in this.

I have a couple of Via Artigo a2000 boxes, one running FreeBSD-STABLE
(post 7.2) and the other running FreeNAS.  Both work well.  I've seen
posts from one fellow who's tracking a bug with the vge interface
under very heavy load, but both of mine stream music and do Time
Machine backups via netatalk without any trouble.  Logic Supply has a
custom FreeNAS build that recognizes the disks as SATA and that adds 
support for Gb ethernet to the NIC (rolling in changes from -STABLE to
the 6.x series on which the stable FreeNAS is based).  

  http://www.logicsupply.com/blog/2009/05/11/custom-a2000-freenas-image/

They're not the cheapest place to buy the box, but they're close and
they do good support (I'm just a happy customer and I helped with the
FreeNAS image, no other association).

They're not Living Room quiet, but they're about as unobtrusive as you
can get in a little box w/out going fanless.

g.



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