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Hardware Hacking Build Hardware

Web Server On a Business Card 169

mollyhackit writes "We've seen tiny Web servers in the past, but rarely ones that are home-built. Here's a guide to building your own tiny web server with a footprint no larger than a business card. The design uses two major chips. One handles the SPI to MAC/PHY translation for the ethernet jack. The other chip is a PIC24F, which hosts a simple web server and reads files stored on a microSD card. All components run at a low 3.3 volts. Part of the compactness of the design comes from the PIC24F having programmable pins; only four jumper wires were needed. The single-sided SMD design is easy to manufacture at home. Part 1 covered many of the 24F's features and both posts have full code available."
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Web Server On a Business Card

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  • by Sasayaki ( 1096761 ) on Friday September 26, 2008 @10:12AM (#25165495)

    I wonder. If these are cheap, small, low power and low heat, could one simply create a vast array of these then use one central server to direct each connection to one "server", with a traditional (LAMP etc) server taking up the excess if the number of units runs out?

    Sounds like a holiday project for me...

  • by Flipao ( 903929 ) on Friday September 26, 2008 @10:22AM (#25165651)
    That's the thing isn't it.... what's the point of so much portability if you still need to plug wires into it.
  • by somersault ( 912633 ) on Friday September 26, 2008 @11:03AM (#25166305) Homepage Journal

    I haven't RTFA, but last time I saw an article like this it was for an extremely low power server, which only served a page once every 5 seconds or something crazy like that. Perhaps this server has a decent response time, but I'm assuming it will still be pathetic compared to a fully fledged server, or even just a mobile phone.

    As for the malware angle, what do you mean? I don't see the benefit in carrying around a microserver when you have a legion of zombies at your disposal (as most malware authors probably do) - zombies are harder to trace back to you than something that you are carrying around with you or have physically planted somewhere!

  • by Smidge204 ( 605297 ) on Friday September 26, 2008 @11:59AM (#25167135) Journal

    My car was exactly 0 processors in it. It has an AM-only radio which doesn't work, making the fuel gauge the most advanced piece of functional electronic equipment in the entire vehicle.

    For minimal impact, I would want it as small as possible with no moving parts. Using very little power is also a plus, since it would have to endure some pretty extreme environments (High humidity, High/Low temperatures) so it would go into a weatherproof enclosure - and heat becomes a concern.

    Something like this project would cost me under $50 to build, be small enough to mount inside the engine compartment (shortens and simplifies sensor wiring, no modification to the interior) and use very little power (no dead battery).

    I don't need a full PC to do the job, and such a thing would cost me at least $250 or so.

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Friday September 26, 2008 @01:07PM (#25168123) Homepage Journal
    Well, I think telemetry is much more interesting than control. Instead of just HTML, you could have various values stored in NV RAM accessed through something like RSS.

    For example, instead of developing some kind of special hardware, wiring and protocols to connect all the devices in your factory, you just run ethernet everywhere and slap one of these things on to all your machines. You then write a simple PERL script to fetch certain URIs from all the machines in the address range, storing performance data and relaying exception conditions (mill #5 can't change its cutting tool) to a pager.
  • by Smidge204 ( 605297 ) on Friday September 26, 2008 @01:39PM (#25168539) Journal

    You ------------------>

          The Point

    Even if interfacing with a manufacturer's computer was simple (doubtful), and even if said computer did everything I wanted (highly unlikely, then again I never actually said what I'd be doing so how would you know?) I think I'd still come out ahead financially by rolling my own. Considering the car ('64 Rambler) was recently restored and insured as a classic it's not something I'd be driving enough to worry about gas prices.

    Thanks for playing, though.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?