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 From:  Jim Thompson <jim at netgate dot com>
 To:  Lee Sharp <leesharp at hal dash pc dot org>
 Cc:  'Mono Dev List' <m0n0wall dash dev at lists dot m0n0 dot ch>, Monowall Support List <m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch>
 Subject:  Re: [m0n0wall] Support for hardware project
 Date:  Tue, 6 Mar 2007 09:44:29 -1000
On Mar 6, 2007, at 6:30 AM, Lee Sharp wrote:

> Jim Thompson wrote:
>> I'd answer, but ... that would be commercial, and this is a non- 
>> commercial list.
> This is EXACTLY the type of "commercial" information that is  
> appropriate to the list.  You are not pushing your product, but  
> providing on topic information.  I fine line, but a significant  
> one.  As someone else with a commercial interest, I am not at all  
> bothered by this post.

I try.  I really do.  But the question "would Netgate be interested"  
requires an entirely commercial answer.

>> You may wish to take a serious look at how much of m0n0wall you're  
>> going to be able to squeeze into that 4MB flash on the WP54, and  
>> how well FreeBSD is going to run in 16MB of memory.  Oh sure, you  
>> can put more dram on the board, but it won't cost $75 then.
> This is now a deal breaker.  I had not looked at the hardware at  
> all when I expressed my interest.  The amount of stripping to make  
> it fit would make m0n0wall unacceptable.  The amount of money to  
> upgrade it to  16mb flash and 128mb ram would make it no longer  
> cost effective.
> What I use as a currently available benchmark is a VIA based system.
> System board	$115
> http://www.directron.com/epia800.html
> Memory 128mb	$16
> Additional NIC	$5 (Duel or quad port possible)
> Small Case	$65
> http://www.directron.com/2699r.html
> IDE Flash Drive	$18
> http://ec.transcendusa.com/product/ItemDetail.asp?ItemID=TS32MDOM40V
> Total $219
> This system is small rock solid, very well performing, and readily  
> available with no notice.  The only failure I have had was someone  
> who put a potted plant on top and over watered it.  (Seriously...)   
> To try something new, it would have to offer substantial advantages  
> over this.
> That said, most of my systems are off-lease small form factor Dell  
> systems.  I pay between $50-$75 for the system, and add a nic.  In  
> this case, a smaller option for more money would be an advantage.

This type of DIY infrastructure is great, but you're comparing apples  
and oranges here.   This combination may suffice for your purposes,
but it doesn't have (and won't do) much of what the embedded 802.11  
world wants, such as POE and support for high-power radios.

About the closest thing in terms of an "embedded" approach would be:

linksys NSLU2  $90 (http://www.electronicsoutfitter.com/store/92992/ 
nslu2.html or amazon)
or D-Link DSM-G600  ($134 on Amazon)

The $44 here gets you 266MHz .vs 133 ("underclocked" until May 2006  
production) ixp420, 64MB .vs 32MB ram, 16MB .vs 4MB flash, an IDE  
port and an 802.11b/g card (ra2500, so FreeBSD supports it.)

There is a revB DSM-G600 based on a MPC8241 (http://dsmg600.info/)  
which is so close to the Musenki hardware (google for it) that it  
makes me cringe.   It has 10/100/1000 Ethernet, too.

You'll need a USB Ethernet adapter ($8 http://www.buyextras.com/ 
usb10mbusbne.html) for a second Ethernet and a 64MB USB flash pen  
drive (nearly free, but we'll say $10 to be fair.  I can get 512MB  
pen drives for $8.50 and 1GB for $14.50 on the transcend site you  
pointed to.)  The pen drive is to store the FreeBSD 'root', the  
kernel goes in the on-board flash.  The USB Ethernet gives you a  
second 10/100 Ethernet.

So, $90 + $8 + $10  = $108 (NSLU2), or $134 + $8 + $10 = $152 (but  
you get 802.11g with an antenna for that).

So the NSLU2 with accessories is 50% of the cost of your VIA-based  
system.   A company (or individual) could probably reduce the price  
of either of these substantially by purchasing in volume.

If you like this kind of thing, the there is the Freecom storage  
gateway for $299, but that includes WiFi, 4 10/100 Ethernet ports, 4  
USB 2.0 ports, an E-SATA connector and a 160GB hard drive.   Netgate  
*could* be very interested in purchasing these in bulk, loading a  
m0n0wall/pfSense/FreeNAS derived system, and reselling those.   
(Sorry, I just broke my own rule.)