Tag Archives: hardware

Meet My Home Firewall

Over time I’ve been asked to please post about the hardware I use at home. Depending on the season I may be running either pfSense or M0n0wall(currently). This set-up has been running for over a year without problems.

The Hardware:

  • VIA C3
  • 512MB RAM(Kingston)
  • 2 10/100 NICs
  • 16MB SD Card / USB SD Reader
  • Serial Port(does not work with M0n0wall)
  • Same PSU that came with the case

As you can see I am using the case of a Dell Optiplex to house my firewall.

The entire installation runs from a 16MB SD card connected to cheap USB reader. Where do you get a 16MB SD card you ask?, it came with my digital camera. It takes around 90 seconds to boot M0n0wall from this set-up.

The onboard Serial port does not work when M0n0wall is installed, I don’t have the time to troubleshoot the reason why this only happens with M0n0wall(works with pfSense). BTW: The board is a Gigabyte that I bought off some guy in a van, seemed legitimate at the time.

Not pictured is the noisy PSU and missing 40mm fan necessary to cool the VIA C3. Not what I would call quiet.

The system is capable of handling a 12Mbps Internet connection with resources to spare.

Nothing new or ground breaking. But I have been thinking about replacing the firewall with either an ALIX or a RouterStation Pro(quiet), which would be a good topic for another post. In the mean time, I am more than happy with my current set up. If you have any questions leave a comment below.

3TB Hard Drives Are On The Way

Seagate announced the availability of consumer grade hard drives in the 3TB range. While the increase in density was expected (normal of the storage industry), I can’t help but feel a disturbance in the force. Users and clueless IT technicians are bound to consolidate data that used to be stored in multiple hard drives into a single high capacity 3TB mechanical device that has a history of failure. The problem goes beyond just the manufacturer, temperature, vibration and many other variables decide how reliable a hard drive will be.

Backups Are Not The Norm

The truth is that not everybody keeps backups of their data, when a failure occurs the first thing people do is swear to never buy that brand of drives again.

RAID is not backup, with this in mind it used to be that in order to reach such amounts of storage one would make use of RAID. Now a single 3.5” mechanical device will hold Terabytes of data while spinning at thousands of revolutions per second.

You Have To Upgrade Too

Asides from the human aspects, XP users are out of the equation. On the Windows side users will need to be running either Windows Vista or 7 64bit, updates to the BIOS may be required, and hardware capable of long logical block addressing(LBA).

Otherwise, you can use PAPERBACK v1.00.

My Advice

Don’t be an early tester unless you live on the edge or are used to making backups.


Seagate Confirms 3TB Hard Drive Coming In 2010

Attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/scobleizer/