Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Linkstation - More Toys for the Boys?

Another toy, ordered last night. This one is called a Network Attached Storage box, branded as a Linkstation. Basically it's a small computer hiding away as a semi-intelligent hard disk. The clever thing is that any PC on your home network (or the internet if you choose) can access this hard disk. Imagine, you store your documents on the NAS box and when you are at school you've forgotten your homework? No problem, log into your NAS and retrieve and print it at school.
The Linkstation Home Server model I bought first of all turned out to have a fault preventing it being upgraded and the hard disk was faulty. Luckily the eBay seller was a decent bloke and didn't cause me grief over the refund. I'm now having to buy a different model, the Linkstation Live but it stil has has a gigabit ethernet connection which means fast transfers between PC and Linkstatiion. This is also quite hackable.

The cheapest Linkstation I could find was a 250gb model at Play.com for £99.99. That is a great price and doing that and bunging my own HD in it to upgrade it to a 500Gb model is cheaper by far than buying a 500gb model as standard. Plus I get a spare 250gb drive. Result.

The plan is to open the firmware somewhat (perhaps even re-flash the device) and to add some software to it to enable me to host a personal website and to turn the Linkstation into my 24/7 download box, replacing any need to leave a PC on all day and night. Depending on how successful I am this could even render my Zonbu partly obsolete and save the planet at the same time!

More info can be found at http://www.nas-central.org/ with info on how to modify Linkstations too!

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