I had been toying with the idea of attaching a NAS device to my home network for quite some time, but the steep price of over USD 300.00 has been a dampener. At these prices, they start competing with my other wish, and my enthusiasm usually goes down (Though the prices have been on downward spiral lately, and it has become possible to acquire a decent box for less than $200)
So when I read about NSLU2 and learnt you can do with it, I got very interested. With a USB2.0 external hard disk it could function as a NAS (and much more). Also, the current Amazon.com price of USD 78.00 turned out to be too tempting to resist. So, I ordered one.
The next thing to catch my attention was a USD 24.99 (on SALE) AEN-U55 USB2.0 5.25" Enclosure Box at Frys, which could convert my 60 GB unused hardisk from now defunct PC as an external hard disk.
Fixing the old hard disk to this enclosure turned out to be a snap, though I wasn't very confident that it will actually work. Having worked mostly with software, I am somewhat ignorant of all those jumper settings that you must get right for the disk to get recognized correctly.
I was really surprised when the Windows XP correctly sensed the device and made it available to me as drive K:, showing all the old files. Either the jumper settings were right through some fluke or the USB technology is much better at Plug-n-Play!.
Now I am waiting for my NSLU2 to arrive any day. Once that comes and the combo gets going, I will have my own home assembled, real cheap, NAS box. Though I doubt whether it will be suitable for an always-on system:
- The 5.25" enclosure box is too big and its fan, though quiet, makes almost as much noise as my Compaq Presario.
- Two different boxes and their power cables, not to mention the USB cables, take too much desk space.
- Without automatic power management, the electricity consumption of these two boxes may not be signficant, but will be noticeable nonetheless.
I think the NSLU2 will be good for Linux hacking and I can use the Enclosed hard disk for taking backups. The search for NAS will just have to continue. Or perhaps I should fulfill my other wish and use this box as a NAS device!