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Re: Power savings and trusting Linux firewall

On Mar 29, 2008, at 5:04 AM, Ward Vandewege wrote: 

>> The Soekris boxes have much better BIOSes (better supported by /   
>> supporting 
>> at least the FreeBSD boot loader). 
> Well, that's until we've got coreboot running on the alix.2 and alix.3 
> series, which should not take too long. It already works on alix.1c. 

Excellent - I am looking forward to it!  :-)  I have a whole box of   
Alix boards and before that I think I bought at least few dozen WRAP   

>> They also have other neat things like a PCI slot, 
> Alix.1c has a full length pci slot + a minipci slot. The various   
> other alix boards have at least one minipci slot. 

Yes indeed, like on the Soekris boards then there are minipci on all   
the PC Engines boards, too. 

Alix.1c isn't really appropriate for network applications, in my   

>> a better RS-232 port, 
> Uhm - better how? 9 pins exposed to an external serial connector,   
> 115200bps - 
> does it get better than that? 

I must admit I didn't try it, but the documentation says that the DCD   
pin doesn't work.  For some applications that's needed.  The Soekris   
boards also, in the standard configuration, have a second serial port   
on the board. 

Don't get me wrong - for most applications that's a waste of money and   
then the standard ALIX boards are *great*.    You get a lot of   
computer for very cheap.   I was just trying to point out that the   
Soekris boards do have some extra features with the higher cost.  At   
least in the past the Soekris boards also had a slightly more flexible   
internal power distribution (I could get 5v power off the board for a   

>> GPIO ports etc etc. 
> All alix boards have a (large) GPIO header. 

That might be my misunderstanding, too, then.  The documentation says   
that the large header (J11) can't be used for GPIO.   I've been using   
Soekris boards when I did stuff with GPIO ports.  Maybe I could have   
saved a bit of money.  :-) 

In any case -- as a low power router or firewall I highly recommend   
both the PC Engines or the Soekris products.  While they cost more,   
you get *a lot* more than you get with a hacked "consumer router". 

  - ask 

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