hardware

SMC "SMCWAPS-G" Storage/802.11g Access Point

Not so long ago I purchased a Belkin F5D7230-4 access point new in the box at a pawn shop. This seemed like a sweet little unit and just what I was looking for. While I'd like to put a customized release of Linux on an AP this isn't actually necessary to me, it only (potentially) provides additional functionality, so the Belkin unit was a potentially acceptable solution. Unfortunately, it demonstrated an inability to provide long uptimes (read: it locked up a lot) so I had to look for a replacement.

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Belkin F5D7230-4 802.11g AP

There is a pawn shop in Ukiah near my favorite cheap Sushi restaurant which often has interesting goodies; while most of their floor space is given over to antiques and collectibles they have a couple of racks of tools and usually a small selection of electronics as well. Last time I was in there, I picked up one of these access points new in the box for $30 - not an amazing price (right now you can get one NIB from amazon for $25 shipped) but it satisfied my need for instant gratification. I've been stumbling along with only 802.11b for years now (I got my Linksys WAP11 as part of a trade) and I was long past due for an upgrade.

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Compaq IPAQ C500 Legacy-Free PC

While this PC is largely uninteresting, at the moment www.accurateit.com has them for $25 shipped. They are coming with 128MB RAM, ~4GB disk, and a CMOS password. I envisioned using this system as a NAS, containing my 250GB disk. Sadly enough, this is currently my largest-capacity disk, and I have it connected to my laptop (my fastest machine, a 2.16GHz Core Duo-based HPQ mobile workstation with Quadro graphics) via USB2. Just making a high-volume data transfer between that disk and my internal drive can raise CPU consumption to as much as ten percent for sustained periods of time (although it's typically more like three to five percent.) While this is pretty minimal, it's entirely senseless. IEEE1394 has much lower overhead and superior throughput, but the connector on my system is tiny and thus annoying.

Now That's Service

I am a frequent customer of Computer Geeks, aka geeks.com. They sell computer hardware, and a bit of software, and some random electronic crap thrown in for good measure - some of which is pretty exciting. My latest purchase was a 3.5" USB 2.0/IEEE 1394 FireWire Aluminum Ext Hard Drive Case which is a cute little shiny aluminum number. Unfortunately, it has a heat problem and shuts down after a couple of minutes.

SanDisk 512MB TransFlash microSD Card

I got this 512MB flash card to go with my Motorola RAZR V3i. I bought mine at Wal*Mart where to be honest it's $3 cheaper, but it will probably get cheaper on Amazon in short order. It comes with a SD adapter so you can plug it into a normal SD slot, which is pretty useful because a lot of MicroSD/Transflash devices, like my RAZR, have a "full-speed" (11Mbps) USB interface. Most laptops seem to come with flash readers today, so this is definitely a very nice feature when loading albums onto a phone or similar.

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