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Data Storage Toys Hardware

Personal File Server For The Masses 263

prostoalex writes "California-based Inspiri is coming to the market with Mirra - a personal file-server with simple backup solutiion, remote access as well as file-sharing capabilities. The $399 device comes with 120 GB hard drive, front-mounted USB ports and Ethernet interface. There are some pictures of Mirra on the corporate Web site. The founder of Inspiri, Tim Bucher, according to the corporate documents, had an interesting career, having worked at both Apple and Microsoft, while the VP of Engineering in this company used to work as acting CEO of Apple's Newton business group."
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Personal File Server For The Masses

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  • Not needed (Score:2, Funny)

    by yotto ( 590067 )
    For $400 bucks, I can buy a bajillion CDs and back up that way.
    And go out to dinner with the wife, and maybe get some drinks.
    And a new puppy.
    • It's all about the ethernet...
    • by MickLinux ( 579158 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:21PM (#7019210) Journal
      Don't you think that the new puppy might cause some compatability issues with the CDs? I predict some data loss unless you do your homework...
    • Silly boy, buy the puppy and the drinks and the girls are free.

    • Re:Not needed (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gl4ss ( 559668 )
      and scramble for those cd's then too when you need something from them?

      that said, it's a ridiculous price for 120gb and 120gb isn't that much at all anyways.

      but i'd very much rather have few tb's of hd space that could fit all my shit than having a stack of cd's with a list of what's in them.
    • Re:Not needed (Score:5, Interesting)

      by isorox ( 205688 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @04:09PM (#7019458) Homepage Journal
      So a "bajillion" is arround 2000?

      CD's are not good for backing up - if you have a 100GB hard drive you need arround 150CDs. Lets say you can burn a CD in 5 minutes (allowing time for coasters), that takes 12 hours of your time, cost arround $50 for the CD's, and at $20 an hour $240 for your time. That 100GB file server starts looking more tempting.

      Of course if you're going for a file server, you should be going for a fast box with gigE, booting off a CD into RAM, and 8 200GB or 300GB hard drives, giving you between 1.5 and 2.5TB of readilly available storage, should cost more then $3000 even with a top of the line processer and a gig of ram.

      Obviously HDD's crash, so have them as a raid array - Still get 1.2TB of data on there, for $2.50 a gig. More expensive then DVDR or CD, but more convienent, and a lot cooler when you can answer "how much disk space you got" with terrabytes.
      • and at $20 an hour $240 for your time.
        You get payed $20 an hour to sit around on your arse watching TV? WOW! How can I get in on this scam?
      • Re:Not needed (Score:3, Informative)

        by spike hay ( 534165 )

        Of course if you're going for a file server, you should be going for a fast box with gigE, booting off a CD into RAM, and 8 200GB or 300GB hard drives, giving you between 1.5 and 2.5TB of readilly available storage, should cost more then $3000 even with a top of the line processer and a gig of ram.

        What would really make sense instead of buying this $400 contraption, is buying a 160 gig HDD, which will run you up a little over $100 for a good one on Pricewatch [pricewatch.com] grabbing a cheap 1 gig Duron and a K7S5A mob
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 21, 2003 @06:25PM (#7020143)
      Way to much babble from /.'rs about how they can build their own cheaper.

      - This is for the masses where (masses="total population" - geeks). It isn't 4 u.
      - It does the backups automatically by just selecting files from interface integrated with Windows explorer.
      - It keeps the last 8 versions of the files
      - You can access your files from anywhere on the internet. Even from behind a corporate firewall cause it authenticates thru their server.

      Can your crappy home built server do all that (without spending a few weeks writing scripts)?
      I wouldn't buy one, but I think it is cool.
  • That's odd (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mrpuffypants ( 444598 ) * <mrpuffypants&gmail,com> on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:15PM (#7019151)
    So the bigwig at the company used to work for apple but the site says that his new appliance will only work with a WinXP machine?

    What's that about?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:15PM (#7019156)
    > used to work as acting CEO of Apple's Newton business group.

    A recipe for success, obviously.
    • And it looks like they don't think much of Macs or Linux at the moment... Don't think many /.ers will be buying it in it's present configuration.

      Which computers does it work with? With Macs? With Linux?

      You can remotely access your photos and files from any Internet-connected PC, including Mac's. Currently only computers that run Windows 2000 or Windows XP are supported for Mirra Backup and Restore within your home network. We're considering support for Macintosh, Windows 98 and Linux. Please let us k

      • Then again... Windows XP and 2000 users are a good market, they need that extra capacity to back up all those worms and viruses they are spreading amongst themseleves... :-/
        • by Anonymous Coward
          I see we share the same sense of smug confidence about our superiority in the world. I know when I walk down the street and see some "bigwig" or "PHB" striding up to me with his well groomed hair, expensive Italian suit, and a beutiful woman hanging on his arm, I think "Heh, he probably runs Windows. Sucker." For I know -- despite my physical unattractiveness and subpar social skills -- through my superior operating system, I am the winner at life.
    • by tb3 ( 313150 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:35PM (#7019292) Homepage
      And WebTV.

      We have a winnar!
  • Replacement (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:15PM (#7019158)
    I bet that this can be replaced with a pentium 1 + ethernet card + Linux/BSD. It doesn't take a whole lot to be a file server.
    • Actually, I've seen this case sold as a Mini-ITX case. They're using a Mini(FlexATX/ITX) board, which has INTEGRATED Ethernet, and if you're thinking it has a proprietary OS, you're wrong. RTFA and find out it has Linux.
    • Another case of misunderstanding the common user...

      Joe Average isn't going to know how to set up a *nix server, nor is he even going to think about it. Joe Average wants to go into his local computer shop and buy something that just works.

      I had the same idea for this product last year, but couldn't find an affordable way to build it. He's got a nice price point; let's see if the masses take it on.

    • Re:Replacement (Score:2, Informative)

      by scarolan ( 644274 )
      You're absolutely right:

      The backup server / trouble ticket server at my office was built for $100:

      $20 for a pentium 133 mhz bought on ebay
      $80 for a 80gb hard drive

      Loaded up debian, added a few applications and services and voila - works like a champ.
    • I've sold a few of those to small businesses with really good success.
      I take an old P2 300, drop in a 120GB disk and install Linux, Samba and Webmin. Give the users their home directory as an "M:\" drive and use Webmin's automated backup tools to backup their home dir every night.
      Using webmin, you can even walk a non-technical user through a restore over the phone.
      I usually charge around $400 for one of these setups and it's a good deal for them and a nice easy project for me.
  • by ricembr ( 584751 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:16PM (#7019165) Journal
    Save a little money. Just get a 120 GB IDE hard drive and an old box with Linux.
    • by AnyoneEB ( 574727 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:22PM (#7019223) Homepage
      In case you hadn't noticed, "the masses" don't tend to throw parts together and configure Linux installs.
      • by poptones ( 653660 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:54PM (#7019387) Journal
        that's the thing. There are several brain dead linux server installs. I haven't looked but it wouldn't surprise me if there were even a knoppix based CD-booting server distro out now.

        The thing is, I doubt most folks have the skills to cobble together the box itself. And many who do simply don't have the time or desire to screw with it - especially when 120GB of online storage is $400. You or I wouldn't buy this, but we're not the market - and 400 bucks is pretty good price when you consider most folks would end up paying $200 just to get a 120GB drive installed in their existing machine, or even a $399 e-machine.

        But the "Inspiri" service is the killer app. Because you can run a stateful firewall and still get your files from a relatively secure home network by authenticating through their service. If the system works as advertised, that's a really nice feature. No need to configure "pinholes" or setup a DMZ on the home network or even know what any of that crap means. All they need now is a "matching" firewall appliance and they got a potentially killer business model: protecting home networks against intrusion while allowing plug and play telepresence.

        And if they would just market it in Hong Kong and Japan and plug up all those leaky high speed home lines they might actually make the internet a better place. Very nice.

        • by lakeland ( 218447 ) <lakeland@acm.org> on Sunday September 21, 2003 @05:19PM (#7019826) Homepage
          Actually, I would be tempted. A secure, reliable backup 'appliance' would be pretty conveniant. Sure, I could save money by putting it together myself but not much, and while the end result would be more flexible, it would take a lot more time, and be less reliable.

          If I went second hand I'd have to go to about 500MHz in order for the MB to support 120GB properly. That would cost say $200 for the machine (cheaper if I shopped around, but I'm busy), and $100 for the new drive. So I save $100, and get a louder, clunkier and less reliable server.

          If I went new then the mini-itx would be hard to squeeze under $400 with a 120GB drive, and that excludes installation. $75 case, $100 MB+CPU, $50 RAM, $100 drive, $50 CD (RW) for installation and offline backup.

          Either way, I'd have to install an OS on it (knx-hdinstall probably). BSD would be better, but I'm lazy :-). Then I'd have to configure IP tables, install coda/NFS/whatever. etc, etc, etc. Lotsa work.

          Of course, if your needs go beyond just a backup appliance, then the extra flexability of the ITX or xbox approach has got to make it the best option.
      • In case you hadn't noticed, "the masses" don't tend to throw parts together and configure Linux installs.

        Neither do the masses buy and setup dedicated file servers to backup, share and remotely access their data. At most, they burn the data to CD's or something. Or just complain when their unbackuped HDD finally dies.
    • Man, if your time isn't valuable enough that $399 doesn't seem entirely reasonable to have someone install, configure, and lock down the OS on what is probably $250 worth of hardware, you're not valuing yourself highly enough.

      The Windows client software alone would be worth it, to me. Most of my client's workstations don't get backed up nearly often enough.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...to the EXXTREME! (but with extra Is)
  • by dhwebb ( 526291 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:17PM (#7019174) Homepage Journal
    Snap servers have always been more expensive than they should be. At cdw a comparable box would cost you $857.78 for the Snap Server 1100 120GB.

    For over a year I've been using old P2's and debian to make large 1TB+ network storage for just around $1000. That's 8X more than what the Snap has for around the same price.
  • by mOoZik ( 698544 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:18PM (#7019182) Homepage
    ...like the point of this? It's 400, pretty big in size, and all it does is store files? For 400, you could get a bare-bones system running Red Hat or something and shove in near half a terrabyte. Or just get tape backups and save a gazillion dollars. I think it's too soon to feature a product like this, as the people aren't ready and the entreprise can surely spend the money more wisely.
  • by cybercrap ( 319182 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:18PM (#7019186)
    With its 4 usb 1.1 ports that run at a whopping combined throughput of 11mbps. I can add 4 external hds that end up having the same throughput as my old floppy drive.
  • by iomud ( 241310 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:18PM (#7019187) Homepage Journal
    Is this an Ad or an article?
  • $400? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dildatron ( 611498 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:19PM (#7019192)
    $400 is a bit steep. I just built a computer for one of my relatives. Pentium 4 Celery, 1.7GHz, 256MB DDR RAM, 30G hard drive, keyboard, optical mouse, nice small form factor IWILL case. Total cost was $369 with shipping from newegg.com. A larger hard drive would not have cost much more, and I got a whole computer minus monitor.

    So the question is, how much will people pay for a convenience? It just seems most people interested in having their own file server would be the crowd of people that would just make their own.

    Your average home user would probably not need or even know exactly what a fileserver/backup solution would do for them.

    Still though, we will see what happens. I think at $300 it would be a much more attractive solution.
    • Re:$400? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by tsm_sf ( 545316 )

      - $400 is steep
      - you built a similar system with 30Gb storage for $369

      how much do you think a 120Gb drive goes for?

      "So the question is, how much will people pay for a convenience?"

      I'm guessing that with shipping included, the cost is just about even. I mean, you guys are talking about being able to build the same system for $350... that's NOT a huge savings, considering the time you'll spend on the install.
      • But this solution seems to be simply a storage/backup solution whereas the system he made is a fully-fledged computer (minus monitor).
        • Well, if you're putting together a system to only fill the role of a storage/backup solution, then what's the big deal? Costs the same either way, and one of them takes a lot less of YOUR time to put together/take care of.
    • and your labor to put it all together, install the OS and software, and ensure that it works was $31? Want a job?
  • by SHEENmaster ( 581283 ) <travis.utk@edu> on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:19PM (#7019195) Homepage Journal
    and can I get a shell on it?

    Anything powerful enough to act as a decent fileserver for me, by which I mean able to tunnel rsync through ssh at a decent rate, is fast enough to run inetd servers of BSD games or host a MUD.

    I won't buy machines that are crippled. Does it do more than an $80 120gb hard disk dropped into a $5 PC with an ethernet card?
  • I'm sorry, but being head of the Newton group is not necessarially a mark in your favor.
    • Re:Newton? (Score:4, Informative)

      by doogles ( 103478 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:26PM (#7019248)
      I'm sorry, but being head of the Newton group is not necessarially a mark in your favor.

      As the proud former owner of an Apple Newton MP110, I can tell you never played with one. They were revolutionary before their time, trying things that only now are catching on (Write in your own handwriting->Text; oh wait, that's Tablet PC)

      A little on the large side, but this was 1995 -- yes, 8 years ago.
      • I wasn't referring to their technical prowess, but to their ability to actually *sell* something (to someone other than you, of course :-)
  • by elid ( 672471 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .dopi.ile.> on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:21PM (#7019215)
    The founder of Inspiri, Tim Bucher, according to the corporate documents, had an interesting career, having worked at both Apple and Microsoft...

    And, even more interesting, ended up with Linux:

    Because the Mirra server is built on a Linux software platform, the files stored on the appliance should be safe from worms and viruses that attack Windows-based servers
    Link [pcworld.com]

    • by FattMattP ( 86246 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @04:20PM (#7019508) Homepage
      Because the Mirra server is built on a Linux software platform, the files stored on the appliance should be safe from worms and viruses that attack Windows-based servers
      Don't fool yourself. Files can be deleted from a network share as easily as they are from a local drive. Just because the OS is secure doesn't mean that you won't lose all your data because of some virus on your Windows machine.
  • Mirra ... (Score:3, Funny)

    by stefanlasiewski ( 63134 ) * <slashdot@stefanc[ ]om ['o.c' in gap]> on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:22PM (#7019222) Homepage Journal
    "Mirra ... remote backup for the Gangsta!"
  • Suggestion (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:25PM (#7019241)
    This is fine, but I think what many people would like to see is a relatively inexpensive, small, fileserver that does RAID mirroring, and has low power consumption.

  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by joel8x ( 324102 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:25PM (#7019243) Homepage
    The Mirra appliance is expandable through its four USB 1.1 ports, and Ispiri plans to release hard disks and other devices for the server in 2004, Mandeberg says.

    The image make it look like the size of a tower which could take internal IDE hard drives. It seems like the wording of this may be misleading, because who in their right mind would use a USB 1.1 external hard drive on a file server? If that is the case, who are they marketing this too?
    • who in their right mind would use a USB 1.1 external hard drive on a file server?
      Considing the price, "people in their right mind" are probably not part of their target market.
  • by cgthayer ( 105071 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:28PM (#7019262) Homepage
    I can already buy a linux box from martian.com [martian.com] (the netdrive) which includes the same features plus:
    • It's linux and I can muck around.
    • It's got WiFi.
    • Setup to handle printing for my home net.
    Been there done this. There must be dozens of these kind of devices on the market already.
  • by penguin7of9 ( 697383 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:31PM (#7019274)
    They seem to be a little behind: seen today at my local computer store: 160G, Ethernet and USB2.0, SMB file server, $289. It's about the same size as your regular desktop disk enclosure. Don't remember the brand name, however. Didn't do NFS.
    • The software and service on this thing may be worth the difference in price if it allows you to totally transparently backup and web serve everything from your hard drive. Okay, not worth the difference to me, but to someone who doesn't want to build it themselves for reasons of cost or competence.
  • For the masses? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by flogger ( 524072 ) <non@nonegiven> on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:35PM (#7019290) Journal
    I'm not sure what this phrase means. "Something for the masses" is usually a euphamism for "mass produced item sold at walmart stores that takes no intelligence to use."

    Now computers and extra equipment usally are not for the masses if they requirme more thought than pointing and clicking. When you start mentioning things like (from the article:) Mirra comprises three pieces: hardware, software, and service, you start start losing the masses. If I were to say this to my grandmother, mother, sister, brother, father, etc they would all think I was talking about some slothing line and laundry service.

    For those of use that are not part of the masses and know how to install an operating system, There are may great linux distros that do everything that is offered in the article for much cheaper. Look at E-Smith [e-smith.org] for a great solution for home/office/small business, or even school districts. It's free for the developer release and it even runs on those old Pentium 233 machines that are laying around.

    • According to your definition, computers, VCRs and printers are not "for the masses". The masses span a wide spectrum, from people afraid to touch computers to people who regularly install their own software and drivers. As long as this thing is as easy to install and use as (e.g.) a firewall, it could have a market.

      I took a look at the esmith pages. They obviously aren't as adept at marketing as these Mirra guys. Not only would the masses tune out trying to figure out what e-smith is from their pages, I DI
  • support for WebDAV (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stonebeat.org ( 562495 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:38PM (#7019304) Homepage
    I wish they had included support for WebDAV [webdav.org]
  • ...then they need to stop running their corporate site off of their backup servers! (the PCWorld review still works fine - PCWorld isn't that stupid)
  • Because the Mirra server is built on a Linux software platform, the files stored on the appliance should be safe from worms and viruses that attack Windows-based servers, Mandeberg adds. While stored files may be infected with electronic vermin, the Mirra server itself is not vulnerable to most of the common infections.

    I be ole Bill is fuming right about now.
  • by Jeremy Allison - Sam ( 8157 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:57PM (#7019403) Homepage
    If they're using Linux, they need to make sure the source code is available under GPL terms. I hope that's the case - has anyone bought one and does it include source code or a written offer for source code ?

    I'm on HP's Open Source review board, and one of the things we make damn sure of before shipping any HP product with GPL code in it is that the product includes source code or an offer for the customer to get it.

    That's the really important thing all these embedded Linux using compaies need to understand.

    Jeremy Allison,
    Samba Team.
    • by WaKall ( 461142 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @05:54PM (#7020004) Homepage
      IANAL, but I think you're misinterpreting this. If I sell a box running a linux kernel plus my own binary, which was compiled with gcc and uses libc, I do NOT have to distribute source code to my binary.

      Now, if I had rolled my own kernel, then I would have to release source for those changes. But so long as I use something stock, it's no big deal.

      After all, how many companies sell proprietary software for Linux? Oracle, IBM, Tibco, Mathematica. Enough that we've all heard of them and know that they make money doing it. You DO NOT have to GPL your code just because it runs on linux. You have to GPL your changes to GPL code though - which is why most black-box vendors will NOT alter the kernel or GPL'ed libraries at all. It makes their job tougher, as they don't have the flexibility to alter/strip down the low level pieces, but they don't help out their competitors either.
  • At first I scoffed thinking what's the difference between this and a usb hard drive. But then I said ok lets at least read about it. I was surprised that it ran Linux (That screenshot threw me off) which provides some security (I'm sure it can be hacked to run some sort of AV program though) and that you can request your files if you're away.

    My only problem is not with the unit itself but the fact that requesting large files will be a pain for many users due to the bandwidth restrictions on users to the
  • With computer prices as low as they are today you could spend 400 bucks on building a new Athlon based PC, slap your favorite *nix variety on it and you can do much more than serv a file or two.
    • But it would take a great deal longer to set up and get working than this device which requires you to a. Plug it in. b. Turn it on. c. Give it a name.

      Not to mention the fact its targetted at the general population who could care less about what operating system its running and just want the thing to do as its advertised. Which is back up files and make them easily accessible in little time.
  • It is unlikely anyone would ever want this for use with Macs. MacOS X already has Apache for file serving, and you'd have to be an idiot to spend $400 for a CPU with a 120Gb drive when you could get a 120Gb Firewire drive for backups, that would only cost about $175.
    Now the question is, why would ANYONE need this product?
  • From the picture in the pcworld.com article, it looks like a standard system that has been around for quite a while, a Falcon CR51 [targetpc.com].

    The standard box, which they sell at Fry's, includes a VIA mini-ITX motherboard, with a VIA C3 processor.

    It's a decent system, but the fan on the power supply is VERY loud. Hopefully they've addressed that.

    I like the concept. A simple file server that I could even stick at my Parent's home to save digital pictures, documents, etc. But, it should be a small/silent device;
  • The point... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by djrogers ( 153854 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @04:11PM (#7019467)
    You're all asking what the point of this is. Talking about how you could build a cheaper, better, faster one with a bigger pen^H^H^H hard drive in it, but you've missed the point. This isn't for YOU, it's for your neighbor. Or your uncle, your Mom, or anyone else who DOESN'T have a closet full of overclocked Celeron 366 motherboards, and a working knowledge of Linux. It's also for the people who don't have static IP addresses at home, but want to access their backed up files from anywhere:
    Mirra's installation assumes that its location has an "always on" broadband connection, and uses it to reach out and touch the Ispiri corporate service. Most of the time, this is a simple "ping" every couple of seconds, although it also provides an opportunity for unattended software updates and fixes. If an off-site user has properly authenticated to the Mirra service at the Ispiri host, and requests a file, the service makes the request when the Mirra next touches base. The advantage of this approach is that the connection is initiated by the Mirra server inside the user's router or firewall.
    Sounds like a handy little box to me if it does all it says: Automatic background backups Automatic background file synchronization Remote access that works behind a NAT-box Expandable I'm not gonna buy one, mostly because I don't need one, but when my Dad asks me about backing up his important info I just might tell him to get one....
    • I like the 'well just set linux up' on whatever machine.

      Hmm, lets see, do i have a good portion of a weekend to waste sitting in front of a monitor... or just buy a little box I can plug in and thats it, and you know, go do other more interesting stuff.

      Which to recommend, which indeed.

    • Re:The point... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by smallpaul ( 65919 )
      You are totally right. Also think about the long-term direction. This box will get smaller and smaller as parts shrink, whereas desktop PCs stay roughly the same size because of the need to add cards and expansion devices. This box will also get cheaper and cheaper over time as the establish some volume.
  • That's what I want to know. SMB? SSH? (probably not). NFS? What services is it actually running?
  • backup? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by acaird ( 530225 )
    So, if you were going to build one of these yourself, what would you use for backup?

    Say, for example, you have an old tower, a couple of 80GB IDE disks in it (no scsi), and one spare PCI slot. The whole thing is worth well under $1000, so is there a tape drive (or other hi-cap backup device) that would be suitable for this?

    You can get Seagate Travan drive on ebay for about $200, but they do 10GB native, which makes for something around 10 tapes for a complete backup - not very practical.

    There are int

    • Do what I do, store files on your local machine, sync to network storage, and once in awhile buy a new HD and store the old one someplace safe. I burn really important files - source code and the like - to CD on odd intervals.

      It isn't ideal, but it's good enough for my purposes (and most others, I assume).

      These little boxes are great for that. Just don't use them for primary storage is all.
  • by zaqattack911 ( 532040 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @04:45PM (#7019646) Journal
    Ok "the masses" to me means people who aren't overly computer literate, but are interested in transporting data from home to work or wherever.

    As for backup, usually that is handled automatically at work. At home maybe all they would need to do is backup documents and email.. which will fit on a cd. And besides, relying on one 120gb HD as a backup makes no sense. If you want incremental backups... it won't last long. And you need removable media to store somewhere else.

    As for the "computer saavy" person. Christ.. It'd be much cheaper for me to simply carry around an HD on it's own, open the friggin case and plug it into an IDE channel.

  • It's essentially a barebones VIA MiniITX motherboard with (most likely) an EPIA-10000 1Ghz processor and a case (that's usually sold as a bundle). I've seen these online for about $180.

    The dimensions are 5.3" (W) x 12" (H) x 10.2" (D).

  • I bought one (Score:4, Informative)

    by LittleLebowskiUrbanA ( 619114 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @05:01PM (#7019731) Homepage Journal
    I bougt one of these exact cases w/ a Cyrix 933mhz to be my OpenBSD 3.2 firewall. Uptime is about 190 days so far. Usually load is at 3% or less and used memory is 34 megs. Only caveat is that the powersupply fan is surprisingly loud. The box w/ motherboard and chip, nothing lese was $120 at Fry's. The box is actually a Falcon PC.
  • by dgp ( 11045 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @05:06PM (#7019755) Journal
    thats what their angle is. dont have enough admin skills to install samba on your linux box? buy our box and plug it into your ethernet network. Need a DNS server? there's a box for that too. Google sells its search server in a rack mount box. just plug it in and go. if unix was made of many command line programs that could be piped together, the thinking at this company is that server should be purchased in pieces - one service per piece. I hate to think of the wasted coal exhaust or force of a mighty river that is slowed a bit for each 400W the power supply that is powering a cpu/mobo/hd to be idle 99% of the time.

    when i first read the article, judging by the specs i thought they were describing a product that was esentially an iPod with out the mp3 player. that would be somewhat interesting.
  • Do it yourself (Score:3, Interesting)

    by digitalgimpus ( 468277 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @05:44PM (#7019953) Homepage
    I did.

    I got an Apple Beige G3 Desktop (266MHz, 256MB RAM) system for $50 from my father's Employer.

    Bought a 120GB WD1200 Drive (Drivezilla). And a A-CARD ATA/66 IDE Card.

    Installed OS X. Installed Samba with Fink. (later upgraded to 10.2 where Samba through fink wasn't needed).

    That's all.

    AppleShare for connecting my Mac OS 9 System. SMB for my wintel boxes.

    Could share a printer if I wanted as well.

    SpamAssassin and pop3proxy.pl (aka SAproxy) allows it to serve as a spam filtering proxy server.

    Usermin (part of Webmin) for changing password.

    Apache with mod_DAV allows for WebDAV support when on the road (very cool I might ad).

    Works like a charm.
  • I would rather have 20 GB for $100 than 120 GB for $400. When can I expect a Linksys/Netgear/D-Link clone of this?
  • Thats got to be the biggest feature - it auto-updates itself and reconfigures as needed.

    Although linux is secure - it sure goes downhill when people forget to patch their machine :|
  • Security problem? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lpq ( 583377 ) on Monday September 22, 2003 @02:40AM (#7022493) Homepage Journal
    Did anyone noticed this little "blurb"...
    • If an off-site user has properly authenticated to the Mirra service at the Ispiri host, and requests a file, the service makes the request when the Mirra next touches base. The advantage of this approach is that the connection is initiated by the Mirra server inside the user's router or firewall. This means that no firewall or router reconfiguration is required to allow an external server to get information from within the network. It's an approach that minimizes user effort and security risk.
    Great....someone hacks the protocol, and a remotely controlled server running proprietary software hands them the keys to my network?

    I'm not sure about the no router or FW reconfig -- my stupid Replay TV box never did work behind my FW...it couldn't understand a proxy (unless it was setup as transparent). Of course ReplayTV has in their contract that they can download any update they want that may disable any feature they want like Tivo has done in the past. Now some company wants me to put a file-server on my network that is designed to regularly ask them for instructions to execute on itself behind my FW -- with it designed to understand and work through a FW? Why does this make me uneasy. ([shhhhh, just close your eyes and put your fingers in your ears and all will be well; this isn't the opendoor security breach you are looking for....])

    Huh, wuh...sounds secure to me!


1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes