After the frustrating experiences i had with the Teac HD35-NAS (see my review), i looked around for an alternative solution. I didn't need to look around lot, until i found a product that perfectly fits me.

(it's actually smaller than a normal cd case, and about twice as thick)



The Linksys NSLU2 is a small device with very low power consumption that's ment to be used in connection with the USB drive enclosures you probably already own. But there's more - it runs Linux, and a very active community already evloved, bringing ports of common Linux Distributions like Debian to the "Slug" - as the device is called.

Read around the www.nslu2-linux.org page, and try to find someone *not* satisfied with the device - i wasn't able to. There are lots of users reporting what kind of stuff they do on the WhatPeopleAreReallyUsingTheirSlugsFor page. You also may want to de-underclock the device from 133 to 266 MHz, which is pretty easy.

I'll get a VGA USB Dongle and see if i can use this device as a very cheap thin client (it's only 79 EUR in 20% VAT austria, so it's probably even cheaper in .de). The possibilities are endless! I LOVE it!

Oh, and, yes, there is a 2-staged bootloader on there, so a failed firmware flash won't brick it, unlike the Teac HD35-NAS.

On that: i had correspondence with Dennis from www.aroundmyroom.com, who offers a customized firmware on his web-page, so he obviously has some inside knowledge. He enlightened me that the device does NOT have any rescue system for failed firmware flashes. Actually, i googled a lot more, and found out the device is based around a chip from RDC, the RDC2882, and has many rebranders: Hotway HD9-U2LA, Usbex LanDrive, FANTEC LD-H35NU2-2, FANTEC LD-M35NU2 -2, Macpower Pleiades USB/LAN, Mapower KC31N (which also looks *exactly* the same despite the logo. they have an extensive FAQ (german only, sorry!), also covering the hidden reset jumper and how to use it). I found all these via 2 very long forum threads here and here. I'll use the device as USB client for the Slug now ;)