Sunday, December 21, 2008

The wife never even noticed it....



OK, another new toy.

I have spent many months looking for a reason to buy the Asus EeeBox as it fits my key green criteria - low power consumption. However, the problem has always been justifying the purchase in my mind.

"I need a box to download" - "Damn, that Linkstation does it all"

"NZB, Bittorrent?" - Yup, Linkstation

"I need a box as a central server" - "Yes, Linkstation again"

"I need something that can serve a PS3 or 360" - "yawn, Linkstation"

"I need a web server" - "... need you ask?"

"I need to emulate an Amiga so that I can host my old BBS via telnet" - "aha, that'll do. I need an EeeBox".

So I bought an EeeBox. Plus a 500gb notebook drive a few days later. I was impressed with the EeeBox when it arrived. The packaging is very efficient, like Apple, in not wasting space. It comes with a mouse (small notebook style and not even unpacked as it is too small for my big hands!) and a keyboard (nice Alu keyboard, looks great but has a laptop Function key and the layout doesn't suit me so packed away). The EeeBox is very small and using laptop components and the more efficient 945GSE chipset rather than the power hungry 945GC that the Atom desktop boards use it consumes 20W in total with hard disk. I replaced the hard disk with a bigger 500gb drive and installed XP Pro, using nLite to strip the bloat away and a custom unattended install disk to pre-configure the box the way I want it.

I have installed SABnzbd (usenet downloader, not as efficient as NZBget on Linkstation but still great), uTorrent (for Bittorrent downloads), Twonky media server (same as on Linkstation) and Apache (for web server and some reverse proxy usage) so far. WinUAE to come shortly plus a pile of UAE configuration for the BBS.

It works, it's quiet (it's silent!!), it's efficient (17W) and as it is on 24/7 if I need a PC for browsing or quick usage it's actually easier to use this than to boot my normal desktops which sound so noisy in comparison. And that is a strange feeling as my uber-nerd friend who pops over often comments how quiet my machines are.