Monday, November 26, 2007

The eeepc as a portable server?

I have been trying to follow uber cheap laptops for awhile  mainly because I want a server and I am abroad alot, I’ve been following a bunch of them but it has pretty much come down to the EEEPC and the OLPC


My needs for a server are kinda minimal, I guess because assuming it has enough USB ports I can plug in most of the extra functionality I need.


My criteria are as follows:


  1. Extra Small (can pack up and be take to the next place without needing to rent a shipping container)
  2. WiFi enabled (preferably Wireless N)
  3. Minimum of two USB ports, four would be better (of course this could be remedied with a USB dongle but I hate those things)
  4. Low power usage / Long battery life
  5. Cheap
  6. Doesn’t have too much funky hardware (i.e. can install Linux on it ok)
  7. And a few other things I can’t think of now


It seems like the EEEPC would probably be the best choice in this situation while the OLPC would be better for individual users/schools as a primary laptop. I would be interested in seeing if the EEEPC could be saddled with a larger/cheaper non-solid-state hard drive but that is not critical.


The things I would use my server for are:


  1. Printing from other gizmos
  2. Scanning (I hate connecting/disconnecting stuff from my primary notebook when I want to carry it around so the less stuff the better)
  3. Super customizable firewall
  4. Always on VoIP &/or Asterisk/PBX
  5. Network handling (that is, give my primary computer & VoIP priority over everything else, QoS/balancing)
  6. Running long processes (like panoramic stitching, video rendering etc [yes, on the EEEPC I would be *really* slow but I don’t care so long as my primary device isn’t slowed down])
  7. P2P downloading (so I can have emule and bittorrent running on it instead of my primary computer)
  8. File server (not sure about this one, I’ve been drooling over the thought of getting the D-Link DNS-323 2-Bay NAS and loading it up with two terabyte drives)
  9. DVR (I haven’t investigated this too much yet but I am positive there is some USB gizmo that would allow me to connect to a satellite or cable box)


Yeah, that’s about it for now. I am betting some people would say “just get an old desktop” and indeed I know rich expats who toss most of their stuff