The friendly UPS guy dropped off a Soekris 4801 today. I haven't had time to even plug it in, but I'm hoping I'll get FreeBSD installed on it over the weekend. It's amazing to think how this tiny completely silent box is vastly more powerful than the big noisy computer I used to run my BBS on. 128MB ram! I was happy to have 16MB for OS/2.
One surprise was that the standard case they sell really is that funky green color from the pictures. It's roughly the same color they use as the background on the site. I thought the pictures were just taken with a really sloppy white balance setting. I'll have to buy my first spray paint can soon. :-)
I want to build a router/ethernet bridge to the DSL connection to manage the bandwidth better. In particular making sure interactive connections (ssh and VoIP) doesn't get to suck when we download something.
Getting it reminded me of another latent project: Build a startum-1 NTP server! For that I'd need a Soekris box (maybe the same, maybe a 4501 -- they're ~$180 including the case!), a GSync/T and a low profile RS-422 PCI card (I could save that but it'd restrict the cable lengths from the GPS antenna to the Soekris). Thanks to phk for pointing me to the GSync/T and the little RS422 card last year (had to dig through my email archives to find the RS-422 card again).
I don't really understand if I'd also need a Rubidium frequency standard or if that'd just help to add a few nanoseconds to the precision.
I'm sure I can dream up a reason for having a stratum-1 time source at home if I sleep on it. The truth is, of course, that it's just a case of technology for its own sake. But I wouldn't have to admit that if I could just dream up some reason ...
In completely unrelated news we went skiing (and snowboarding) last Saturday (it was raining; the risk/pleasure of skiing in Southern California I suppose) and it's only today I can't feel it in my legs anymore. Hopefully we'll make it to Mammoth for a weekend again before the season is over...