Wanted: a Satellite office access box

James McNeill james at heague.com.au
Fri Aug 30 15:21:57 EST 2002

G'Day Steve.
I've stripped down an old 486 for a similar purpose. 486 33s (ish) should be
able to run without a fan or heat sink, and reamain stable indefinitley. Low
end pentiums can be run without a fan, if you've got a sizable heat sink
that's well attached.
As for the power supply, if you can find an old ozbourne AT supplie, you can
just take out the fan, and with a minor opgrade of heat sink on the
components, should be quite safe. I say ozbourne in particular because these
suckers were _SO_ unbreakable. You use any P/S that seemed solid.
I have done this to an ozbourne, & it's run without a hitch 24 hrs a day for
18 months!

as for integrated hubs... if it's a small satelite office (<=6 pcs) you
might consider a linux box with multipule NICs instead. Should be fairly
easy if they're all the same chipset, and would probably be cheeper that a
new router/hub. You'll have to screw with the routing table, but it should


>>G'day all,
Well I have searched around and so far cannot find what I want.  So, I
thought I should throw it open here as what I really want is a linux box in
an appliance.... let me explain.

The requirement  is for a box to dial (phone network) a central office and
supply network access to/from the satellite office.  I want no firewall on
this appliance i.e. I want full access from central office to the satellite
office computers.  I would like it to provide printing services accessable
from satellite office and the central office for printer(s) in the satellite
office.  It should incorporate a hub/switch as well.

Now that is easy you all say.  An old junk PC with linux would do that with
cpu to spare.  However, the environment is dusty, not secure and I am
looking for something that is robust, no fan, low cost, easy to configure
and replace if necessary...

The latest rage seems to be these "Cable Internet Access Routers with
dial backup".  Well, so far every one of those I have looked at has a
firewall that does NAT whether you like it or not!  Hence no access from
central office to satellite office computers/services.

So I am returning to the idea of a junk PC with integrated hub and no hard
disk and Linux.  Just a boot floppy/cdrom.  Problem is there is still a fan
and they will break and overheat etc. Or is there another solution that
anyone can come up with e.g. an "appliance" with no fan that will do it.  I
need to install four of these pretty soon.

Thanks for your time and help.

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