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 From:  "Bao C. Ha" <bao at hacom dot net>
 To:  m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch
 Subject:  Re: [m0n0wall] Cheap Hardware
 Date:  Fri, 16 Jun 2006 10:13:12 -0700
Hi Lee,

You have raised a few good points and I would like to address
them.

1. The cv860a3r10-based 1u rack utilizes low-profile PC133 dimms.
It is becoming harder to get this type of dimms. We are not in the
DRAM business and that's reflected in the DRAM price. It's the
same issue with the CF.

You do have a choice of getting the DRAM from other sources. It's
just standard low-profile, low-density PC133 SDRAM memory. The
high density like those 32x4 or 64x4 do not work!

By the end of this year, we will have a similar c7 board replacing
these. They will use DDR or DDR2 SDRAM, which should make them 
cheaper.  However, the RAM will always be more expensive than 
normal due to the low-profile height requirements.

We are also trying to bring down the prices of other systems,
especially the Intel gigabit based ones, hopefully, by the end
of the summer. It is usually a question of volume, and we hope
to get there.

Also, many people are getting the Wrap or the Soekris 4801, 
which approaches our price points.

2. Why Linux? We have the expertise to develop Linux device
drivers. However, we are very new to FreeBSD and don't want to
make much claims about it. Our hardware have also been extensively
utilized in the OpenBSD community, mainly in the Universities,
education institutes.

3. For cheap hardware, I would just go to FleaBay once in a 
while to get those thin-client. They are small, quiet and fast. 
A 180Mhz Geode with 64MB RAM can do wonders. I sold a good 
M0n0wall machine on FleaBay for about $6-7 a month ago, I think.

Thanks.
Bao

On Fri, Jun 16, 2006 at 11:10:44AM -0500, Lee Sharp wrote:
> On Fri, 16 Jun 2006 11:57:06 -0400
>  "Chris Buechler" <cbuechler at gmail dot com> wrote:
> >On 6/16/06, Lee Sharp <leesharp at hal dash pc dot org> wrote:
> 
> >>$399 plus expensive memory and a CF!
> 
> >Expensive memory?  It's PC133, I don't know anybody that doesn't 
> >have
> >a stack of PC133 somewhere or some dead box with PC133 that can be
> >yanked.  Even if you have to buy it, it's practically free.
> 
> In your closet or used it is cheap/free.  On that site, 128meg was 
> $40!  The memory THEY have is expensive.
> 
> >>http://www.directron.com/sc512l.html with
> >>http://www.directron.com/epia800.html
> 
> >Have you actually performance tested that?  It also has extra junk 
> >I'd
> >rather not have on a firewall (sound, TV out, etc.).  You also need 
> >a
> >IDE to CF adapter for that, then you have to worry about which 
> >adapter
> >will work with the board, and which CF cards will work with that
> >adapter, etc.
> 
> I have not benchmarked it, but I have used several, and they have yet 
> to peg CPU.  All of the extras can be turned off in the BIOS, which I 
> do on any system, and they support the Transcend IDE CF module that I 
> love so much. (Under $20) I have one like that right now with a cheap 
> RealTek nic pounding away under heavy load with VPN.  No problems at 
> all.
> 
> >For $200, on the project he's talking about, it isn't worth the
> >trouble.  $200 is nothing in the scheme of things.  You can quickly
> >burn up way more than that in time trying to muck around with a less
> >than ideal hacked together solution like that.
> 
> A very good point.  That was why I was less inclined to support it 
> when I did not see m0n0wall as a preloaded OS.  I would recommend 
> paying a premium for support, but it looked unsupported.  If you have 
> to support it yourself, go cheaper... :-)
> 
> >I recommended the Nehemiah based on significant testing I've done on
> >that particular unit (Hacom donated one to me for m0n0wall/pfsense
> >testing).  It'll push 100 Mb wire speed, with power to spare.  Plus,
> >it has the Padlock crypto accelerator that will be supported in 1.3.
> >And getting up and going is just a matter of plugging in the RAM and
> >CF and turning it on.
> 
> So why is only linux in the dropdown?  They know about m0n0wall... 
> Anyway, I was mainly pointing out another cheaper configuration that 
> I know works well.  However, I have not actually benchmarked it.  Do 
> you have a benchmark HOWTO somewhere?  I would love to throughly test 
> some of the hardware we have out there.  Plus a standadr for 
> benchmarking would allow everyone to do it.  Could be a lot of good 
> information fast.
> 
> >Yeah, there are solutions that are cheaper hardware-wise.  But
> >hardware cost is far from the only thing to consider in the cost of
> >the solution.
> 
> My favorite phrase is "There is nothing more expensive that a cheap 
> fix."  However, there is no reason to may more for the same stuff.  It 
> is a fine line, and takes a lot of knowledge to tell the difference 
> sometimes.
> 
>                         Lee
> 
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-- 
Best Regards.
Bao C. Ha
Hacom OpenBrick Distributor USA http://www.hacom.net
voice: (714) 530-8817 fax: (714) 530-8818
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