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February 23, 2012

SOHO Solution

For several years I was able to use a Netscreen-10 that I bought off Craigslist for the fairly simple network infrastructure at my house.  I need to be able to deal with a few static IP addresses and a few custom rules for VPN traffic.  Up until about four months ago the pre-Juniper Netscreen-10 unit chugged along like a star.  I actually computed out the MTBF for it, and it went three years beyond what it was designed for. It kept crashing twice a day when my wife's VPN traffic was really heavy, so it had to be replaced.

So, my issue was what to replace it with.  Should I go with Cisco, Linksys/Cisco, Netgear or some other flavor of the week at Fry's.   What I end up with is not what I expected.  I ended up loading Smoothwall on a mini-itx based PC using a IDE to CF converter.  So I ended up with something that didn't cost me a penny (I already had the hardware lying around) and outperformed my previous installation. 

Smoothwall fit the bill and was free.  I'm sure that IPcop or m0n0wall would work just as well on the exact same hardware.   Smothwall is pretty cool in that it provides a snort engine for intrusion detection, which is really helpful in fending off cyber attacks.

 

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February 08, 2012

Happy Birthday Hazel


Today is a very special day for my furry little girl.  Nine years ago today, a furry little Australian Cattle Dog puppy was born.  We adopted her four months later and has been a member of the family ever since.  Her birthday is special you see, as Hazel is the only pet that we know their history from birth, down to the day.  She has been incredibly patient as new member of our family have come on board, human and animal alike.  We are so lucky to have her in our lives.