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This review is from: QNAP TS-212P-US Diskless System Network Storage
Pros: - Low power usage
- Small, neat looking unit
- Allows use of armel Debian port, so it becomes a general purpose server
- Serial port pinouts on motherboard, allowing serial interface to be attached
Cons: - Limited HD support (you have to do your homework first)
- Fan is somewhat loud, even at low settings
- Blinding blue leds
- SoC's CPU lacks an FPU, so using Java applications like CrashPlan probably not practical
- Use of serial interface requires hacking a serial interface into the case (doable, but not everyone's cup of tea)
Other Thoughts: Bought this to use as a low power Linux home server, so I immediately installed Debian on it and have no comments about the stock firmware and software features of QNAP OS - this is just a hardware review.
Overall, considering the price, I'm quite happy with it. It uses very little power (the main reason to use something like this versus an old PC), has two 3.5" SATA slots, Gigabit ethernet, and runs Debian Linux... yay!
It's not perfect though. It is picky about the drive models it supports - I didn't take this seriously when I ordered it, and found that the WD Caviar Green drives I was intending to put in it were simply not recognized. A replacement drive selected off the supported drives list sorted this out, but it was an added expense, so check that list first...
Secondly, it's not silent. It has a small fan that makes a noticeable hum even at a fairly low setting. I now have it in the basement, so it's not an issue, but something to consider if you are in a small apartment.
The blue LEDs on the front are blinding - I ended up dabbing a bit of white paint onto them while the case was off to bring them down to a reasonable level of brightness...
Finally (and this is not really a complaint, considering the cost) but the CPU is not very powerful and lacks a floating point unit. This means that you won't want to use it for anything that requires much processing power, and the lack of FPU means some useful applications like Crashplan (which uses Java) will be poorly performing if they work at all. So far this as been the one application I wish I could run on it but which I probably never will be able to.
But, overall, considering the price and the nice neat package, I'd give it 3.5/5, which rounds up to 4 ;)
This review is from: New USB to TTL Serial Cable Adapter FTDI Chipset PL2303HX Cable Computer Cable
Pros: Cheap, with good driver support. Works out of the box on Debian Linux, and a choice of proprietary and open source drivers are available for Mac OS X. Not sure about Windows but I'd guess it works too since the PL2303 chip is so common.
Cons: No documentation! Trial and error needed to determine which wire is which.
Other Thoughts: Overall this device is fine, but it was frustrating that no information was given on which wire corresponded to Gnd/Tx/Rx/Vcc. There are no color standards for this, and even when I cracked open the case to see the PCB, the printed labels were not correct! Eventually I figured it out (but not before spending money on a different one thinking this one was broken!)
This review is from: SilenX IXP-34-12 60mm Case Fan
Pros: Very quiet.
Cons: Very low airflow, questionable durability
Other Thoughts: Installed this fan in a small server, running 24/7, in early 2009. This summer (2.5 years later) it began to make noise - it was still running, but the noise indicated that the 'fluid dynamic bearing' was failing.
Replaced the fan with a more standard unit.
Overall, a bit disappointing with the tiny airflow and relatively short life.
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