[Beowulf] Clusters and Distro Lifespans

Geoff Jacobs gdjacobs at gmail.com
Fri Jul 21 16:22:30 PDT 2006

Jim Lux wrote:
> At 02:10 PM 7/19/2006, you wrote:
>> On 7/19/06, Robert G. Brown <rgb at phy.duke.edu> wrote:
>>> > better.
>>> I think that you can come really close to this now with OTS components.
>>> I have a lovely little 80 GB USB/FW drive (about the size of a
>>> paperback).
>> How about the Linksys NSLU2 type devices? Again, network performance
>> might not be that good and would need a bit of work :)
> That's sort of the model, though.. Except with the disk drive built in. 
> There ARE small network attached storage devices available, intended for
> the home server market, but last time I looked (about a year ago), they
> all seemed to require loading a special application on your PC or MAC
> for access, probably so they could implement some sort of future Digital
> Rights Management.  The market is so competitive, I can't imagine that
> they'd make money with the hardware alone, so I assume their  idea would
> be to get decent penetration, and then sell the capability to, for
> instance, store (legally) downloaded music and/or video in connection
> with a third party content provider.  They all had quasi whizbang media
> player type software that ran in connection with their thing (store your
> MP3s on our server and play them on your PC!).

The NSLU2 can be loaded with third party firmware. There are a few


The upshot is that the device can be loaded with firmware which occupies
the internal flash rom, but supports NFS, SSH, SMB, etc. Or it can boot
a kernel and initrd from flash, then load the operating system off of an
attached usb hdd.

Do you know anyone that sews for fun? It'd be pretty easy to make a mesh
pouch for your port-a-NAS.

Geoffrey D. Jacobs

Go to the Chinese Restaurant,
Order the Special

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