In an attempt to save money, and my ability to ‘acquire’ an old PC, I was recommended a piece of software called FreeNAS. I currently have some extra HDD’s in my PowerMac G5 which I share over the network using SharePoints. This works very well and I’ve set up a couple of AppleScript scripts which I’ve saved as apps, to mount these shares. Work’s very well all in all, and hasn’t failed me yet.
What would make more sense is if it wasn’t a G5 which consumes lots of power, and was something small and quiet that I could pick up from work (old PC being chucked out).
I therefore ended up with a 2.8Ghz P4 machine with a gig of RAM which I will soon be kitting out with a 500Gb drive or 1Tb drive (internal) to use as a storage device. I have now got FreeNAS installed on a USB stick (very quick and easy, had it set up in about 1hr) and boots in no time.
What’s nice about FreeNAS is that it doesn’t have a GUI so there’s nothing to load. It has a Web interface instead, although you can also set the IP address and what not from the device itself. But overall it’s great, I can power it on and off as a headless unit, and can get some nifty logs as well and status graphs from the web interface.
All in all, this will probably have saved me over £100!