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My first x86 box

I bought my first x86 box on Thursday—not what you might have expected, but a Soekris net4801 which currently runs m0n0wall off the 8 MB CompactFlash card that came with my Coolpix 950. (Who said those bundled cards are useless?)

My first x86 box

Steve moved out last week and is now in California, so I needed to replace the OpenBSD box he provided as a router/firewall/VPN server. The Soekris box is working wonderfully so far, and m0n0wall is a work of art—imagine Trac’s capability and elegance for Web-managed SOHO router boxes, in a 6 MB on-disk footprint. The only features I miss are non-server-mode OpenVPN (m0n0wall supports PPTP and IPSEC as well) and being able to address the WAN IP directly from inside (though m0n0wall provides some simple DNS-based workarounds).

My parents are visiting for a few days starting Friday. We’ll be doing lots of maintenance on my condo: repairing and painting walls, fixing kitchen stuff, and so forth. I’ll be upgrading my mom‘s PowerBook to Tiger, getting their backup system set up, and sending them back with a m0n0wall CD for hamton.

I’ve been borrowing an original AirPort base station from ACM for a while, after my Zoom AP gave out. The Soekris box has free PCI and MiniPCI slots I could use for a wireless card, but FreeBSD 4.11 (on which m0n0wall is based) doesn’t support 802.11g and my parents have a spare AirPort Express, with which I can finally replace the ugly, lossy, multi-step process I was using for getting audio to my stereo.

And now back to revising my paper…

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