Projects for a Veteran’s Day Weekend

This Veteran’s day had no real place to go, nothing to do, and all day to do it in.  I decided I needed a new project which would let me extend something else.  I had already done my Ipod and removed it from the death embrace of iTunes.  On to this cute little USB thing that Linksys makes.  By itself, it can make a USB drive be a network shared thing so its a NAS on the cheap.  Combine it with Debian booting off of a external USB drive and you got a project.  I hooked up a Maxtor OneTouch 400g drive to it, downloaded the build, and flashed the debian firmware.  Now I can log into it like this:

mperry@mikesubuntu:~$ ssh 192.168.1.60
mperry@192.168.1.60′s password:
Linux foobar 2.6.18-5-ixp4xx #1 Thu Aug 30 16:47:13 UTC 2007 armv5tel

The programs included with the Debian GNU/Linux system are free software;
the exact distribution terms for each program are described in the
individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright.

Debian GNU/Linux comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent
permitted by applicable law.
Last login: Sun Nov 11 13:49:48 2007 from 192.168.1.16
mperry@foobar:~$ uname -r
2.6.18-5-ixp4xx

All by itself it satisfies one of the 4 major conditions of funky weekend projects.  Just so you are sure, here they are:

  1. Build and install Linux on something that you have always wanted to like some other platform or CPU
  2. Install coolio firmware that extends something or makes it do other or more than what it was intended to do
  3. Cross compile a kernel for another architecture
  4. Learn what a chroot is and what one can do with it

Well, looks like I got the second one covered with this go around.  But whath can one do with it besides SSH to it.  Well, one can run apache off it, samba, rsync, NFS.  Its a complete debian solution on ARM.  So I got 1 and 2 above it looks like.  I had a problem with the drive though so I added it back to my Ubuntu desktop and chrooted into it.  Wow!  Now I got 3 covered!!  

But the main thing is it offers a USB drive to everyone on a home network and by adding Linux you extend its use to being a full Linux distribution and not just a web GUI front end.  And there are two USB ports on this pup.  What could I do with the other one I wonder?  I could add another drive I guess.

I never did compile the kernel but I did download a complete ARM based distribution and installed it.  Well, its great and the projects continue!

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