silence is silence

While there are many items that are more worthy to post here, I choose a mundane thing to post, simply because it requires no effort at exactness of language to make the post. I think that’s part of the reason why I avoid blogging about personal items. It requires such effort to write precisely what I’m thinking, that by the time it is written, the effort put into writing was larger than the effort put into the original doing. Hence my recent focus on living my life, and not committing my life to this most digital of media.

Anyway, the point of this post. I run several PC’s at my house, and the noise is a bit annoying. I’m on a campaign to rid myself of that noise, one moving part at a time. I completely silenced my router/firewall machine this past weekend. I removed the power supply and CPU fans. Then I replaced the harddrive with a 512mb compact flash card ($30 brand new!).

Now the machine is completely silent. It routes my packets and protects the machines in my home from the big bad internet. It makes no noise in the performance of its duties. It’s actually a bit eerie to turn the machine on. It doesn’t make any of the normal noises that a machine makes in spinning up drives and fans when it is given power. It simply boots.

Perhaps it’s something that you have to experience in order to understand. Regardless, tres cool. I suggest the de-fannification of computers to anyone (assuming your heatsinks are adequate for the job using only passive cooling).

  1. Well….you know…I once ran my own little router on a 486. It was the little computer box from an old networked HP scanner, and so was pretty quiet anyway. Even with a 486 and two 10Mb cards the thing kept up with cable modem traffic and even some cacheing. FreeSCO rocks.

    But now, I use a Linksys wireless router. The whole thing didn’t cost much more than what you paid for a CF card, and it even runs Linux. Fanless, totally silent, low power draw, etc. Throw DD-WRT firmware on it and you’re good. SSH in and tweak iptables if you really must. Plus, it was five minutes from a closed box to a running network. However you don’t want to get the most recent version of the router, as it runs VxWorks and the flash is too small; Linksys offers their old router still but slapped an “L” in the name and $20 on the price.

  2. I realize that this thing is incredibly over-powered for what I’m doing with it. I’m not sure that you can truly get a linksys router for less than $35, but I do realize that you can do something similar using one.

    The point here is that my solution is just as silent, and keeps a crappy PC out of a junk yard. Admit it. A K6-400 may be way too fast for a router project, but it’s still way too slow for a mortal to use.

  3. You’re saying the K6-400 that’s been sitting in my closet for 3 years might still have a purpose?

  4. Heck yeah it still has purpose. A K6-400 is a beastly machine when all you’re doing is routing IP traffic, generating a few admin webpages and doing compares with snort.

  5. Except there’s only 3 boxes on our network and the cable modem/router works for us. But if you’d like to set it up …


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