Machine recommendations?

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Machine recommendations?

Duncan-42
Dear interlist...
=:^)

I'm currently considering two upgrades and am looking for gentoo amd64
friendly recommendations.

1) Netbook/chromebook or possibly amd64-based tablet (presumably shipped
with android, I'm not interested in anything MS-based, even if I plan to
immediately wipe it and install gentoo).

Requirements:

Relatively cheap and small, easy to install gentoo on, amd64, not too
flimsy, hopefully upgradeable SATA drive, HD-standard 1366x720 or better
yet full-hd 1920x1080 strongly preferred, minimum 1024x600 (upgrading
from).  While I used ethernet connectivity nearly exclusively on the old
netbook, I expect I'll use wifi more on the upgrade, but strongly prefer
wired ethernet for home use as well.

Need not be a performance powerhouse as I'll be building on my main
bulldozer-1 (fx6100) based workstation and transferring it over, and 8-12
inch display is good, larger would cut down on portability too much.

I currently have a generation 1.5 Acer Aspire One netbook (aoa150l, IIRC),
32-bit-only x86 (32-bit atom n270), that I've actually been quite pleased
with in general including performance, portability and durability.  Given
that it's a single-core with hyperthreading, clocked at 1.6 GHz IIRC, and
I've been happy with its performance, performance really /isn't/ a big
issue.  This was one of the first netbooks to actually have a standard
SATA connector and thus be drive-upgradeable.

My biggest issue with it has been that it's 32-bit only, and while I
installed a 32-bit chroot on my main machine and do the building there,
the fact that it's 32-bit only means I have to build stuff twice if I'm
upgrading it, with the practical result being that gets put off and it
often goes a year or more between upgrades[1], meaning they tend to be
really hairy when I actually do them.  A newer amd64-based system (Intel
or AMD) would eliminate this issue.

The second issue is its relatively small 9" 1024x600 resolution, and of
course its now dated db-15 analog vga external graphics connector.  While
I want to keep a reasonably small footprint and am not too concerned
about display size, the bezel was big enough I expect I'll get a larger
display on an upgrade, even with the same overall size, so that's not a
big issue.  The bigger issue is that I would like at least HD-standard
1366x720 resolution.

The third and now more urgent issue is that... someone recently
"borrowed" it, and I don't expect to get it back... tho actually I'm not
put out too much about it as I really wanted an excuse to upgrade it
anyway, and this is it. =:^)  Tho it's still not a /huge/ issue... I can
do without just fine, it was just nice to have.

Since the chromebooks are all supposed to have developer mode and support
installing something else, an amd64-based (well, 64-bit atom-based,
probably) chromebook would seem a reasonably cost-effective upgrade.

But:  I don't know the various complications of the various models,
whether they all have native Linux drivers or if some are still blobs,
etc, and the gentoo wiki writeup on the higher-end chromebook pixel, the
only chromebook writeup I found on the gentoo wiki, made me decide I
definitely needed more info (tho I'd have been unlikely to go with a high-
end one like that anyway, as I don't need it), and preferably
recommendations from others who are happy with their gentoo installations
on amd64-based chromebooks or similar.

Then of course there's the amd64-based tablets out now.  I'm guessing
these to be rather more problematic than chromebooks in terms of swtiching
out to gentoo, blob-drivers, existing Linux app compatibility, etc.  
Plus, upgradable sata-standard storage, etc, less likely.  A tablet would
be very nice and I could use a bluetooth or USB-based external keyboard
if I didn't want to deal with a touchscreen based soft-keyboard, but I'm
uninterested if I can't put gentoo on it without issue or if it requires
blob-drivers, and hardware upgradeability is likely to be a problem as
well, so I'm still skeptical on how practical it'd be.

So amd64/atom based chromebook with good gentoo install potential looks
to be my best bet, ATM.  Just... which one?


2) For similar amd64-build-once-use-everywhere reasons, amd64-based
router upgrade.

Requirements:  amd64-based (or what's the point?), minimum 4-port
Ethernet required, 5-6 preferred, wifi nice but optional.  SATA internal
near-required (could be USB I guess), sata/usb3 for external storage nice.

Probably barebones or mobo+ base to build on, altho cheap used meeting
other requirements is an option.  Target of 5 independent Gigabit
Ethernet ports.  Quad-port Gigabit Ethernet PCIE expansion cards are
available, so a free PCIE slot plus 1-2 ports builtin is the likely
solution there.  I'm figuring a cheap mobo/cpu combo, downclocked for
passive or slow/silent-fan cooling, with a silent/passive power supply is
an option, tho not necessarily the cheapest one especially if I can find
something used.

Current router is an old Linksys wrt54gl, running openwrt.  It's doing
fine, but needs a firmware update and both the 100 Mbit fast-ethernet WAN
port and a/b/g-only wifi (which I actually have configured off in openwrt)
are dated.

What I really appreciate about the wrt54g with openwrt is that the
ethernet ports and wifi are all separately configurable/firewallable, tho
I've not made as much use of that as I'd like to, because so much of the
configuration is openwrt specific and the knowledge doesn't transfer as
seamlessly between it and my gentoo machines as I'd like it to, so I've
not bothered to learn as much about it and customize it as much as I
would have were it gentoo.

The biggest issue here is again the fact that it's not amd64-based making
updates inconvenient and thus less frequent than I'd prefer.  OpenWRT is
great firmware, but native gentoo would be /so/ much easier to work with,
and native amd64 gentoo would be ideal, since packages could be easily
built on my main machine and at least some of them built only once for
all three machines, workstation/netbook/router.

Cost-wise, the quad-port gigabit ethernet card alone starts at about (US)
$80 on pricewatch.com, a wireless ac/n USB from $30 and PCIE (includes
bluetooth) from $56, if I decide to add wireless, and the base computer
seems to run $200-300 in various configurations, so we're looking at
$300-400, tilting toward $400 unless I get a good deal.

That's certainly steep compared to off-the-shelf routers, but it's amd64
and much more flexible than off-the-shelf routers.  Further component
upgrades should be much cheaper, as well.

But I strongly suspect I can bring that down to $300-ish if I find a good
$200 or under used computer as a base.  The biggest problem is finding a
good one that is known to have the required open PCIE slot for the quad-
port gigabit Ethernet...

And $300 is in the range of the top end off-the-shelf routers, which this
would compare to in general, probably with slower wifi but much more
flexible in general...

FWIW, I've seen noises of an off-the-shelf amd64-based router in the
works.  Target market would be Linux/tech enthusiasts.  And I see
existing embedded options, but the price is sky high, in the
thousands...  But I don't see existing anything, for anything even
/close/ to reasonable, say a nice and round $500 or under.  At $500 I'd
likely not actually get it, but at least it'd be in the "OK, I can at
least dream about it" range.

But someone else here may know about something I've missed.  Asking can't
hurt! =:^)

---
[1] Year between upgrades: Security was specifically not a big issue as I
deliberately kept in mind that I might lose it and kept the personal
stuff off it.  Also, a bit ironically given the netbook moniker, I didn't
actually use the wifi on it much, mostly using it unconnected on the road
and wired ethernet connected behind my router at home.  Without security
being an issue, keeping current on updates wasn't a big issue either, as
long as it continued to work.

--
Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman


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Re: Machine recommendations?

Benny Pedersen-3
Duncan skrev den 2015-03-11 23:44:

> But someone else here may know about something I've missed.  Asking
> can't
> hurt! =:^)

raspberry-pi 2 ?

got one here, i plan to make a microsd that boots it with gentoo, sadly
the firmware loader is not opensource, imho will be more sense it was in
kernel.org then precompiled problem to boot that beast, if anything
fails with that small computer one can just install windows 10 on a
microsd, cheap and lots of fun with it, here i just currently use
openelec (pi 2 optimized)

it streams all content from danish tv in full hd with out anyproblem in
the kloned xbmc

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Re: Machine recommendations?

Duncan-42
Benny Pedersen posted on Thu, 12 Mar 2015 00:03:34 +0100 as excerpted:

> Duncan skrev den 2015-03-11 23:44:
>
>> But someone else here may know about something I've missed.  Asking
>> can't hurt! =:^)
>
> raspberry-pi 2 ?

That fails the amd64-based-so-I-can-build-once-deploy-several
requirement. =:^(  Which was pretty much the whole point of the thread
for me, since I already know from experience, that even 32-bit x86-only
doesn't get kept updated here, because it's too much hassle to 90%
duplicate the same builds for it as for the main amd64 machine.

IOW, I already tried that solution and it won't work, for me. =:^(


But, thanks for the reply anyway.  It's very possible it'll help someone
else with a somewhat different problem, think outside the x86/amd64 box
far enough to have a cheap and hopefully effective for his problem, fix.
=:^)

--
Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman


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Re: Machine recommendations?

Thanasis
In reply to this post by Duncan-42
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Re: Machine recommendations?

Duncan-42
Thanasis posted on Fri, 13 Mar 2015 22:30:20 +0200 as excerpted:

> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130759
>
> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113364

Thank you very /very/ much!  That's very close to perfect for the
router... and googling I see others already using it for such. =:^)

I haven't worked with mini-ITX before and thus didn't realize how close
it is to what I was looking for.  And with what's included...  Embedded
graphics, not really necessary on the router but it'll make working with
it far easier, and embedded audio, should let me play media on the router
and shut the main machine off.  And there's the single 16x PCIE slot @ 4x
speed, perfect for the quad-port Ethernet card.

The quad-core, 2+ GHz CPU @ 25W power dissipation should be plenty of
power, even for playing media (one review said 80% usage of all four
cores for 1080p, however, which it'll handle, but realistically not 4k,
when I eventually even have a display that'll do 4k), and it should de-
clock and power-down for routing-only.  And that dissipation, quite fans
shouldn't be a big issue.

And the suggested bundles, while not exactly what I want, hint that
$200-300 for the system, plus the $80 ethernet card, is a very reasonable
budget.

I'm looking at cases and power-supplies now, since I have some idea what
I'm going to install with them.  And now that the idea is beginning to
come together, I can take a closer look at the available Ethernet cards,
too, including checking drivers...

--
Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman


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Re: Machine recommendations?

Rich Freeman
On Sat, Mar 14, 2015 at 7:43 AM, Duncan <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> The quad-core, 2+ GHz CPU @ 25W power dissipation should be plenty of
> power, even for playing media (one review said 80% usage of all four
> cores for 1080p, however, which it'll handle, but realistically not 4k,
> when I eventually even have a display that'll do 4k), and it should de-
> clock and power-down for routing-only.  And that dissipation, quite fans
> shouldn't be a big issue.
>

If you want to play HD video on an mini-ITX MB you're better off using
one designed for this.  I have an aging NVidia ION board that plays
1080p without a hitch as my mythtv frontend.  However, you are limited
to codecs that are supported by hardware decoding - I doubt I'd get
full HD on software decoding.

This is a router, right?

When you want a cheap tiny board that consumes 10s of watts with an
external power supply and doesn't need a fan, you are going to have to
decide in advance what your priorities are.  It isn't like a $250
CPU+MB+RAM system with a 500W power supply that is a general purpose
computing device.

--
Rich

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Re: Machine recommendations?

Thanasis
In reply to this post by Duncan-42
On 03/14/2015 01:43 PM, Duncan wrote:
> Thanasis posted on Fri, 13 Mar 2015 22:30:20 +0200 as excerpted:
>
>> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130759
>>
>> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113364
>
> Thank you very /very/ much!  That's very close to perfect for the
> router... and googling I see others already using it for such. =:^)

Actually overkill for just a router's use.
You can even expect decent compilation times on it.

>
> I haven't worked with mini-ITX before and thus didn't realize how close
> it is to what I was looking for.  And with what's included...  Embedded
> graphics, not really necessary on the router but it'll make working with
> it far easier, and embedded audio, should let me play media on the router
> and shut the main machine off.

Yep, if you locate it next to your desk, then it makes a decent desktop too.

> And there's the single 16x PCIE slot @ 4x
> speed, perfect for the quad-port Ethernet card.
>
> The quad-core, 2+ GHz CPU @ 25W power dissipation should be plenty of
> power, even for playing media (one review said 80% usage of all four
> cores for 1080p, however, which it'll handle, but realistically not 4k,
> when I eventually even have a display that'll do 4k), and it should de-
> clock and power-down for routing-only.

I think you should ask others using it as router about what its
practical mean power consumption is, when only doing a routing job.

> And that dissipation, quite fans
> shouldn't be a big issue.
>
> And the suggested bundles, while not exactly what I want, hint that
> $200-300 for the system, plus the $80 ethernet card, is a very reasonable
> budget.
>
> I'm looking at cases and power-supplies now,

If you don't care about the case's aesthetics and size, you could use a
used medium sized standard ATX case, and an efficient power supply like:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151113

> since I have some idea what
> I'm going to install with them.  And now that the idea is beginning to
> come together, I can take a closer look at the available Ethernet cards,
> too, including checking drivers...
>


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Re: Machine recommendations?

Thanasis
In reply to this post by Duncan-42
On 03/14/2015 01:43 PM, Duncan wrote:
> ...  And there's the single 16x PCIE slot @ 4x
> speed, perfect for the quad-port Ethernet card.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-634025-001-629133-001-Ethernet-1-GB-4-PORT-331FLR-Adapter-HSTNS-BN71-Card-/371258575339



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Re: Machine recommendations?

Duncan-42
In reply to this post by Rich Freeman
Rich Freeman posted on Sat, 14 Mar 2015 08:10:07 -0400 as excerpted:

> On Sat, Mar 14, 2015 at 7:43 AM, Duncan <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> The quad-core, 2+ GHz CPU @ 25W power dissipation should be plenty of
>> power, even for playing media (one review said 80% usage of all four
>> cores for 1080p, however, which it'll handle, but realistically not 4k,
>> when I eventually even have a display that'll do 4k), and it should de-
>> clock and power-down for routing-only.  And that dissipation, quite
>> fans shouldn't be a big issue.
>>
>>
> If you want to play HD video on an mini-ITX MB you're better off using
> one designed for this.  I have an aging NVidia ION board that plays
> 1080p without a hitch as my mythtv frontend.  However, you are limited
> to codecs that are supported by hardware decoding - I doubt I'd get full
> HD on software decoding.
>
> This is a router, right?
>
> When you want a cheap tiny board that consumes 10s of watts with an
> external power supply and doesn't need a fan, you are going to have to
> decide in advance what your priorities are.  It isn't like a $250
> CPU+MB+RAM system with a 500W power supply that is a general purpose
> computing device.


You are certainly correct for full-hd.

But one of the big threads I read about the am1 chipset and cpus was on a
media-player-machine forum.  It seems unaccelerated full-hd is just
beyond what it can do, such that it's viewable, but with obvious dropped-
frames, etc.  But accelerated using the built-in Radeon hd8xxx (whatever
it was) graphics... it can actually do quite well.  

I was actually rather pleasantly surprised, as I hadn't even considered
that use-case. =:^)

They did mention that full-hd youtube with the html5 player did have
substantial dropouts, etc.  Switching it back to flash, which made better
use of acceleration, apparently, was far better.

But of course I don't do flash as it's proprietary, tho I've definitely
been enjoying the new default-html5 youtube in firefox on my main machine
recently. =:^)

Anyway, now that the possibility has been opened to me, what I actually
had in mind was for the demanding stuff when I'm actually watching it,
continue to play that on the main machine.  But, for when I pull up those
"12 hours of rain" things on minitube that are often (but not always)
lower resolution or possibly periodically changing freeze-framed anyway,
there's a very good chance I'll be able to play /those/ directly on the
router, at least, shutting off the main machine for them.

And by the same token, I could put mpd on the router and control it via
mpd-client of choice run either on the router directly or the main
machine.  That's pure audio, no video, so it should play just fine on the
router.  =:^)

Meanwhile, if it turns out none of that works after all, and certainly if
I do the aggressive routing/firewalling/shaping management I want to be
/able/ to[1], I don't expect to be playing anything on it at the same
time as well.  But I don't expect to be doing that intense level of
routing/shaping/firewalling /all/ the time, or even in the "immediate"
future, so...

---
[1] Cox, my local cableco, is advertising "gigablast" speeds in the area,
symmetric 1 gigabit both up and down, for those willing to pay the
upwards of $100/mo they're asking and lucky enough to be in the early
rollout area.  I may or may not be, but even the 150 mbit speeds
available in most of the rest of the valley needs a gigabit-ethernet wan
port, which my legacy setup doesn't have, and I want to at least be ready
whether I get it or not, thus this whole project... which after all I've
not actually spent anything but time on yet, tho it's looking very likely
I will within days or weeks, now.
--
Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman


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Re: Machine recommendations?

Duncan-42
In reply to this post by Thanasis
Thanasis posted on Sat, 14 Mar 2015 15:09:28 +0200 as excerpted:

> On 03/14/2015 01:43 PM, Duncan wrote:
>> ...  And there's the single 16x PCIE slot @ 4x speed, perfect for the
>> quad-port Ethernet card.
>
> http://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-634025-001-629133-001-Ethernet-1-GB-4-
PORT-331FLR-Adapter-HSTNS-BN71-Card-/371258575339

Yeah.  While I'm having trouble with that link ATM... (Firefox keeps
consuming memory on it until it's killed, lynx stalls, links seems to get
it tho of course I see text only and due to that/cookies/scripts
permissions I'm not sure which, I get basically all the bid outcomes,
etc, all shown at once.)

There's several models of HP quad-port gig-ethernet and at least one Sun
model, on pricewatch.com, showing up as $80-100.  I spent way too much
time on this last nite so I'll probably wait a day or two before doing
much besides replying here, but most of them seem to be posted by the
same company, allhdd, and at least for the one I looked at, they had
three prices available, new-in-retail-box ($110 or so IIRC), new-in-bulk-
unit-box (the price quoted on pricewatch, since I had new-only set), and
used/clean-tested, $50.

Based on that I'm guessing they have the same three categories for the
other models as well, and I'll have to do some further research before
deciding which to get, but I'll likely get a used/clean-tested one,
whatever model I ultimately pick.

And, googling the model I did check on, the kernel has mature drivers,
and HP certifies the model in its servers running RHEL, OpenSuSE, etc.  
Which is more or less what I expected, since ethernet cards tend to have
about the best Linux support of any hardware out there, because it's so
heavily used on net-connected servers and the like.

One thing I /did/ come across, not for that NIC, but actually from
someone running the am1 as a router with a /different/ NIC, was that he
had made the mistake of buying a bypass-supporting card.  The idea is
that if the machine is off (but I'd guess with power still available),
these cards flip to bypass mode and act like simple Ethernet hubs (or
possibly switches, I'm not sure).  While that doesn't interest me, he
thought it was a neat idea, and bought one.

The problem is that these cards apparently require special proprietary
drivers to switch out of bypass mode, and he couldn't get that driver to
work, so the card was stuck in bypass mode. =:^(

Naturally after reading that, I wanted to ensure that whatever model I
ended up with didn't have similar issues, and on at least the model I
checked, there was no hint of such a thing in either the HP stuff I read
or in the kernel driver option help, so I expect it'd be fine.

The one thing I did see is that at one point they had a bad firmware,
that was triggering machine lockups after some amount of uptime.  Tho it
was fixed by later firmware, it's possible that's why this vendor has all
those used cards to get rid of...

So obviously, I want to do a bit more checking on the other models as
well, to see what's up before I decide.  Between the bad firmware
possibility and being a bit confused about the difference between models
at this point, I've some further research to do.

But that research will likely have to wait a few days to a day off... or
at least until I catch up some after last nite...


What I *DID* finally come up with last nite, is a general cost breakdown
and reasonable/ballpark final total.  The local Fry's Electronics has
pretty much everything in stock but the quad-port NIC (the site lists one
model of those too, but at $300, IIRC... pretty much blows the project
out of the water at that price), at a couple dollars difference from the
net price both on pricewatch and at newegg.  So I'll probably get most of
it there, and just order the NIC.  Anyway, here's what I got, based on
those frys prices.

$$ item
85 quad-eth (obviously if I do the used, this will drop to ~$50)
60 am1 apu (frys about $5 high, here)
30 msi am1 mobo (right on price)
40 4-gig ddr3 (seems to be running a bit under ~$10/gig pretty much
all over, and fry's doesn't seem to do under 4 gig sticks, now, so call
it $40, 4 gig)

----
215 subtotal

Less sure on these items, but picked a number based on what I was seeing,
to have one...

70 case/power (that newegg $50 incl 250W PS would bring this down...)
40 60 gig ssd

---
110 subtotal

325 total


Obviously I could drop this a bit.  $35 on the NIC, $5 on the APU, say
$20 on the RAM as I could order online and should do just fine with 2
gig, $20 on the case/power, might actually go burned dvd for permanent
storage just so I'm sure no crackers are going to store anything on it
even if they get in, and players are $30 or under last I looked, so
another $10 there.  Or I could simply use a spare USB stick...

So I could drop it $100 or so... more if I downgraded the APU, but at
$55-60 I don't see the need, particularly as it'd still be a 25W part,
just less powerful.  So if I had to, I could do it @ 200 or so, but 325's
already toward the lower end of the $300-400 I was thinking it'd cost
earlier... plus tax/shipping/whatever, of course.

And $325 is comparable to some of the higher end wifi routers out there,
$300 or so, that this sort of matches against, altho they're higher end
in entirely different areas.

If I decide to throw in a wifi card/antenna (USB since the PCIE will be
taken by the wired net), which I reasonably could at some point, perhaps
after getting the netbook/chromebook I asked about in the original post
as well such that , it'll still come in under $400, which is what I was
definitely hoping to do.

--
Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman


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Re: Machine recommendations?

Duncan-42
In reply to this post by Thanasis
Thanasis posted on Sat, 14 Mar 2015 14:35:47 +0200 as excerpted:

> I think you should ask others using it as router about what its
> practical mean power consumption is, when only doing a routing job.

Some of the guys in the media-player-machine thread I mentioned in my
reply to rich0, have killawatt meters or the like.  Many were actually
running on a 90W supply, with measured wattage topping out at about 50.

I rather suspect the quad-port NIC will double that, but certainly that
250W that newegg was bundle-offering should cover it, and a 120W or so
/might/, tho I'll definitely do more research on quad-port-NIC power-draw
before I go much below 250.

I do like the size of that small case on newegg, and the card profile
(another thing I was worried about that I checked, tho just with the one
card so far) would fit, but it does have less ventilation than I'd like.  
It should certainly be "enough"... with fans... but it might be noisy.  
Passive would be nice, but that'll likely mean bigger/heavier/costlier.  
But a somewhat larger (relative to mITX anyway) case should be easy
enough to stick a few larger/slower/near-silent fans in...

This is, however, one reason I tend to do my case shopping at frys.  For
something like that, I like to be a bit more touchy/fealy before buying
than inet purchases allow.

--
Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman


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Re: Machine recommendations?

Thanasis
In reply to this post by Duncan-42
On 03/15/2015 07:43 AM, Duncan wrote:

> Thanasis posted on Sat, 14 Mar 2015 15:09:28 +0200 as excerpted:
>
>> On 03/14/2015 01:43 PM, Duncan wrote:
>>> ...  And there's the single 16x PCIE slot @ 4x speed, perfect for the
>>> quad-port Ethernet card.
>>
>> http://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-634025-001-629133-001-Ethernet-1-GB-4-
> PORT-331FLR-Adapter-HSTNS-BN71-Card-/371258575339
>
> Yeah.  While I'm having trouble with that link ATM...

simpler link:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/371258575339

HP Ethernet 1Gb 4-port 331FLR Adapter support:

http://h20565.www2.hp.com/hpsc/swd/public/readIndex?sp4ts.oid=5194837&swLangOid=8&swEnvOid=4103

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Re: Machine recommendations?

Thanasis
In reply to this post by Duncan-42
On 03/15/2015 08:14 AM, Duncan wrote:
> I rather suspect the quad-port NIC will double that, but certainly that
> 250W that newegg was bundle-offering should cover it, and a 120W or so
> /might/, tho I'll definitely do more research on quad-port-NIC power-draw
> before I go much below 250.
>
I don't know which PSU you're talking about, but make sure it has good
efficiency and is reliable.
IMHO it doesn't matter much if it's rated 120W or 450W, as long as it's
efficient, ie 80 PLUS Gold Certified, or even better like Platinum (92+).

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Re: Machine recommendations?

Leonid Eremin

I don't know which PSU you're talking about, but make sure it has good efficiency and is reliable.
IMHO it doesn't matter much if it's rated 120W or 450W, as long as it's efficient, ie 80 PLUS Gold Certified, or even better like Platinum (92+).

But here's 2 major cons:
1. high power PSUs are less effective at low power usage.
2. more expensive, after all.
I would not recommend PSU rated at significantly higher wattage.

For motherboard: I've got Tyan S3115GM2N-B with 2x gigabit NIC and atom onboard, which serves as
home file server & internet gateway (1 port WAN, 1 for LAN & gigabit switch after it).
It has low power consumption and managed through IPMI - I can power on/off remotely and have remote
console, even can reinstall/recover OS remotely.
Why don't you look for something similar? Of course, if you don't have some sophisticated routing rules
which requires >=4 NICs.

--
Leonid.
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Re: Machine recommendations?

Thanasis
On 03/15/2015 09:08 PM, Leonid Eremin wrote:

> On 03/14/2015 03:09 PM, Thanasis wrote:
>     I don't know which PSU you're talking about, but make sure it has
>     good efficiency and is reliable.
>     IMHO it doesn't matter much if it's rated 120W or 450W, as long as
>     it's efficient, ie 80 PLUS Gold Certified, or even better like
>     Platinum (92+).
>
> But here's 2 major cons:
> 1. high power PSUs are less effective at low power usage.

Maybe if consumption is less than 10% of the PSU's rating, ie less than
30W for a 300W PSU.

> 2. more expensive, after all.

Not necessarily. Is $45 expensive for a 300W PSU like
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151113



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Re: Machine recommendations?

Thanasis
In reply to this post by Duncan-42
On 03/15/2015 07:43 AM, Duncan wrote:

> If I decide to throw in a wifi card/antenna (USB since the PCIE will be
> taken by the wired net),

or use the 1 x Mini-PCIe slot.

http://www.msi.com/product/mb/AM1I.html#hero-specification

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Re: Machine recommendations?

Duncan-42
In reply to this post by Leonid Eremin
Leonid Eremin posted on Sun, 15 Mar 2015 22:08:16 +0300 as excerpted:

> Why don't you look for something [like the 2-port mobo I have, LAN/WAN
> with a gigabit switch on the LAN side]? Of course, if you don't have
> some sophisticated routing rules which requires >=4 NICs.

I explained this in the original post, but it was long and admittedly
people might have skimmed, so here it is again.

A big part of the whole /point/ of going amd64-based router, despite the
expense and hassle over an old generic off-the-shelf, is that:

(a) I want to put gentoo on it, in part so I can easily play with per-
port firewalling/routing/traffic-shaping rules.  My current old Linksys
WRT54GL running OpenWRT actually has the ability to configure each of the
five ethernet ports (plus the wifi) separately, but I've not played with
it much, in part because it's sufficiently different from my gentoo
comfort zone that working with its config is like reading and writing a
different language I don't really know, such that I'm constantly having
to lookup stuff.

Which I'd be willing to do were I doing a bunch of openwrt, but for just
the one router, it seems like a waste, and I have to look stuff up again
every time I want to make a change because I never actually bothered
learning it properly.

(b) From experience with the netbook, I know that even if it's gentoo, I
won't keep up with it if I'm building everything separately for it.  
Thus, amd64 gentoo, so for many packages I can build once and binpkg
install three times, to the new router, the main machine, and my new
netbook, if/when I get one (that side of the thread hasn't gotten any
hits, yet).


So, while I don't have specific rules for all the ports /yet/, for me at
least, a good part of the whole point of bothering with an amd64 router
instead of just doing off-the-shelf, is that I /can/ do specific rules
for each port, and I want at least five ports (six would be better, two
builtin and the quad-port, but five should do for now), plus a USB-
connected wifi expansion option should I choose to exercise it.

Things I already have in mind:

* I'd very much like to specifically route only VoIP stuff to the VoIP
phone adapter, and keep it from accessing the rest of the LAN.  It's
actually a proprietary adapter, tho I suspect it's running standard SIP-
based VoIP, setup such that it keeps an open connection to the VoIP
server and thus can be contacted across the NAPT-based router/firewall,
and I'd also very much like to log to what it's actually connecting, and
eventually block pretty much everything but the main VoIP server it's
connecting to.  (Sometimes it rings once but doesn't complete an inbound
call.  I strongly suspect that's unfriendly VoIP probes from
telemarketers, etc, that can't complete the call since they can't bridge
the NAPT.  Getting more information and potentially blocking those would
be nice.)

Of course as I said, my current router can do it, but working with its
configuration is like trying to read/write a foreign language, so I've
not bothered.

* The current firewalling is pretty simple NAPT based, with a bit of
stateful for stuff like FTP.  That means pretty much all outgoing is
allowed, only incoming really controlled in any way.  I want to be much
stricter with outgoing.

* I'd like to be able to run simple outside-accessible servers, probably
on the router itself since it's about the only thing on all the time,
listening on some high port.  Nothing fancy, just enough to host
individual files I can link to, etc.  Limiting access to particular IP
ranges, on high-range ports I specify, etc, is planned.  That's why I
said outside accessible, NOT publicly accessible.

* I have/had my current netbook setup such that I could run an ssh server
on it when I wanted, allowing connections only from the main machine (via
local-routed-only IP-address), on the LAN.  Since I deliberately didn't
have anything particularly private on the netbook, I figured running the
server on it was least-risk.  Of course it was private key authorization
only, no password, as well, and not listening on the usual ssh port.  But
I didn't have any specific rules on the router.  With the new router and
new chromebook reimaged to gentoo, I plan on allowing only specific port
to port ssh connections and blocking any others.  Accepting/routing only
ssh connections to the main machine port from the netbook port, as well
as by netbook LAN IP only, should give me enough additional security to
feel comfortable running an ssh server on the main machine as well, so I
can connect to it from the netbook.  Obviously I'd still only start it
manually, when I expected to be using it, in ordered to avoid having it
running all the time, for efficiency and security reasons both.

* That's four ports (wan, main, netbook, VoIP).  The fifth is guest,
which I'll probably leave more open to the net, while strictly
controlling what it can access on the LAN.  After all, I can add new
permissions for port-to-port access to my main machine or netbook
dynamically, if needed.

* The router itself should be reasonably capable of serving as a LAN
print or storage server, should I decide to set it up as such, as long as
I don't expect it to do everything at once.  And being constantly on will
make it convenient for that.  Thus the chances of needing more ports for
that goes down dramatically.

* Of course that's not including the possible USB-connected wifi, which
could of course have its own separate rules enforced, potentially even
with multiple virtual wifi networks.  But I'm old enough to appreciate
the security and constancy of physically wired connections, so while I
want to keep the wifi option open (which is easy to do with usb-connected
wifi, even if I don't have an open PCIE slot), it's not one I plan to
exercise immediately.  But if/when I do, I imagine I'll be pretty strict
with the wired-lan connection rules for it, since I don't particularly
trust wireless as I don't have the physical control of it that I do of
wired connections.  I might setup a publicly accessible no-login,
bandwidth-limited and possibly censorware limited internet connection,
however, just because...

* Should I expand beyond that, or should I find real life changing such
that I have a family's connections to secure and route as well, this
experience will guide me as I expand.  Chances are they'll be way less
concerned about security, and will be happy with general wifi internet
access.  If I need more ethernet ports, I'll have to evaluate at that
point whether I need a bigger router, or can simply hang a switch off one
of the existing ports and shift roles and rules around to accomodate.  
What I'll be learning with this more limited setup will help.

--
Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman


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Re: Machine recommendations?

Duncan-42
In reply to this post by Thanasis
Thanasis posted on Sun, 15 Mar 2015 21:44:54 +0200 as excerpted:

> On 03/15/2015 09:08 PM, Leonid Eremin wrote:
>>
>> But here's 2 major cons [of high-power power-supplies]:
>> 1. high power PSUs are less effective at low power usage.
>
> Maybe if consumption is less than 10% of the PSU's rating, ie less than
> 30W for a 300W PSU.

My ideal would be a reasonably low-power, passively cooled (no fans)
power supply.  Low power because high power passive-cooling gets
massively heavy and expensive.  Passively cooled as it's for a router to
which among other things my VoIP phone adapter connects, which means it's
going to be on all the time, and thus needs to be silent or nearly so, at
least at low usage.

On my main machine both the CPU and PSU fans are heat controlled, the PSU
fan automatically on its own, the CPU fan configured that way in the
BIOS.  However, while the main CPU fan can actually stop if the temp is
low enough (in the winter when I first turn on the machine, I get the
warning buzz for a minute or so as the fan isn't on yet, until it warms
up, and I have a minimum speed set below which I get a buzz as under
normal operations it won't be going that slow), the PSU fans don't turn
down low enough and can bother me if I leave the machine on, say playing
rain sounds, when I'm trying to sleep.

Which is why I jumped at the idea of having the router play at least
music-only and still-frame youtube, etc, in an earlier reply, once I saw
it discussed on that media-player-machine forum.

At some point, I'll probably buy a new PSU for the main machine too, as
the current one is massively overpowered for the job, but it's what I
had. (This PSU originally powered my old dual-socket original-3-digit-
opteron machine, which I was at one point running with four spinning-rust
disks in raid, etc, so it's 850 watt IIRC, while my kil-a-watt says the
entire system including LED-based TV/monitors rarely tops 400 watt,
meaning the computer itself should do fine with a 250-300 watt power
supply, tho I've been going to kil-a-watt check it one of these days to
see what it actually takes, and haven't yet.)  But meanwhile, if I'm just
playing stuff like 12-hours-of-rain while I sleep, with the new amd64
router, I might as well simply use it and turn off the main machine.

But since the router /is/ going to be on all the time, connecting the
phone adapter if nothing else, I'll definitely want quiet, if not
/entirely/ passive, CPU /and/ PSU heat sink/fans.

For the side of the main machine, I did buy at frys some time ago a big
8"/200mm fan, 750 RPM, IIRC 110 CFPM, that's close to silent.  Ideally I
could put something like that in the side of the router to ensure
reasonable circulation, and go entirely passive on the CPU cooler at
least.  I know at 250 watt and so they have passively-cooled PSUs as
well, but I've not looked into it /too/ deeply yet.  I want the thing up
and running first, and plan on tweaking things like the PSU, if
necessary, afterward.

But if I can find something reasonably cheap and near enough to silent, I
might as well get it from the beginning.  Which (besides simply running
out of time) is the reason I more or less just picked a reasonable case/
psu number and ran with it for that baseline cost estimate.

>> 2. more expensive, after all.
>
> Not necessarily. Is $45 expensive for a 300W PSU like
> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151113

Well, considering the one case with 250W PSU newegg was offering on
bundle was $50, $45 for the PSU alone, at a decidedly run-of-the-mill
300W, is indeed "expensive".

But two things to note about that particular PSU.

1) It's not standard ATX.  It's TFX12V, which since I'm looking at SFF
(small form factor) cases, may be useful, depending on the case I get,
but it's definitely NOT the standard power supply most people will be
most familiar with.  (FWIW, I just looked it up and wikipedia's power
supply unit (computer) page has a short mention/description of TFX12V
under "Other form factors", while to the extent it's different, most of
the page covers ATX.  TFX12V is described as common for small and low-
profile systems like mATX and FlexATX, and some of the smaller mITX
cases, mITX being the board and cases I'm looking at, may standardize on
it too.)

<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_supply_unit_%28computer%">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_supply_unit_%28computer%
29#Other_form_factors

So it's /not/ a standard ATX power supply, likely accounting for at least
part of the reason it's $45 for only a relatively low-power 300 watt,
since TFX12V won't get the same manufacturing volume and thus discounts.

Non-ATX power-supply-cases is part of the additional research I'm doing,
so when I saw the PSU photo, I immediately picked up on the non-ATX size
and checked what it was, then looked that up, as I've not memorized the
various abbreviations yet.

2) This PSU /does/ say "super low fan noise" in the specs, and the
reviews seem to agree, tho the noise level in dB isn't actually
quantified for comparison purposes.

I'd be a bit skeptical of the feature claim on its own without an actual
comparable dB quantification, but the reviews do alleviate my skepticism
somewhat.  That may be an additional reason for the price.

And of course it's gold-plus certified efficiency, with an 87% efficiency
number claim.  Again, justifies a bit higher cost.

So all in all, while I've yet to do PSU comparisons and may not need to
if I buy a case/psu combo, $45 doesn't sound unreasonable, given the
three points above.  I'll have to keep this one in mind as I do my case/
psu shopping, as it may just fit the bill perfectly if I buy a case
without bundled supply, that fits TFX12v, not ATX.

--
Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman


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Re: Machine recommendations?

Duncan-42
In reply to this post by Thanasis
Thanasis posted on Sun, 15 Mar 2015 22:04:06 +0200 as excerpted:

> On 03/15/2015 07:43 AM, Duncan wrote:
>
>> If I decide to throw in a wifi card/antenna (USB since the PCIE will be
>> taken by the wired net),
>
> or use the 1 x Mini-PCIe slot.
>
> http://www.msi.com/product/mb/AM1I.html#hero-specification

Indeed.

But in my research I actually saw USB-based wifi on both frys.com and
pricewatch.com, as well as full PCIE, but mPCIE, not so common, at least
at the low-end price-points I was looking at (pricewatch normally ranks
by price, optionally including shipping, and frys can be set to do so,
and I saw USB-based and PCIE near the low end, mPCIE might have been
available, but further up the list than I looked, or perhaps I just
missed it).

So I'm simply going by what I know to be out there, actually available.

...  Now you'll probably link a newegg mPCIE-based wifi antenna.  Not
that I'll complain! =:^)  Thanks, BTW.  You're being immensely helpful,
helping me work out all this stuff far faster than I would have been able
to on my own.

Meanwhile, when I get it all up and running, I expect to return the
favor, probably putting it up on the gentoo wiki.  When I did my original
Acer Aspire One netbook setup with gentoo, I was able to follow wikis
both gentoo and others (arch, some guy had an entire dedicated AA1 site
with intense Linux coverage...), and it made things *MUCH* easier.  But I
didn't really see anything like that for amd64-based routers.  So this
will allow me to return the favor and make it MUCH easier for others. =:^)

--
Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman


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Re: Machine recommendations?

Duncan-42
In reply to this post by Thanasis
Thanasis posted on Sun, 15 Mar 2015 13:31:47 +0200 as excerpted:

> On 03/15/2015 07:43 AM, Duncan wrote:
>>
>> Yeah.  While I'm having trouble with that link ATM...
>
> simpler link:
> http://www.ebay.com/itm/371258575339
>
> HP Ethernet 1Gb 4-port 331FLR Adapter support:
>
> http://h20565.www2.hp.com/hpsc/swd/public/readIndex?
sp4ts.oid=5194837&swLangOid=8&swEnvOid=4103

Thanks.  Both those links actually work. =:^)

--
Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman


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