David E. Smith wrote:

Like many folks on this list (I'm guessing), I have a lot of PC-type hardware at tower locations. Right now, it's mostly RouterBoard 230s and WRAPs, but those systems just don't have all that much CPU power, and I'd like to try to improve things. When you start seriously tinkering with traffic shaping, firewalling, and especially some of the advanced filtering you can do with Linux these days, 233MHz just doesn't go as far as it used to.

There are all kinds of cheap computers out there, so getting something with more CPU power than those boards (both of which are basically Pentium 233s or so) isn't the problem.

The problems are size/space, and that pesky weather.

Ideally, I'd like something with at least double the raw horsepower (a P-500 or better), not too much larger than a RouterBoard, and that can handle temperatures from -20 to +120 (Fahrenheit, obviously, and those numbers are the highs and lows from the last couple years, with a bit of breathing room). I'm shooting for "no moving parts," so a fanless system would be ideal.

And while it needs to be small, it also needs to have at least two Ethernet ports, and for bonus points, access to a PCI slot (for adding things like miniPCI card adapters).

I'd also like a flying car. :D

They promised us flying cars....  Where are the flying cars?!?!?!

If it existed, a Soekris 5501 would probably fill the bill, but it's been listed as "coming soon" since late 2004. There's also a number of low-end VIA EPIA-based boards that, while a bit larger than I'd really prefer, would probably work. (Eje at wisp-router sells a couple systems that look like they'd do the job.)

So, does anyone have any recommendations on specific hardware for something like this? Surely someone else out there has run into the same kind of problems. I suspect my size constraint will be the most difficult, but it's also the most flexible. Reliability is obviously my top concern.

David Smith

Blair Davis

AOL IM Screen Name --  Theory240

West Michigan Wireless ISP

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