retiring the slugs

I first started using Linksys NSLU2s (aka “slugs”) in early 2008. Back then I considered them quite useful and I even ran webservers and local apt-caches on them. But realistically they are (and even then, were) a tad underpowered. Worse, since Debian on the XScale-IXP42x hasn’t been updated for several years, the slugs are probably vulnerable to several exploits. The latest version of Debian available for the slugs is probably that which I have running (“uname -a” shows “Linux slug 3.2.0-6-ixp4xx #1 Debian 3.2.102-1 armv5tel”).

The advent of the Raspberry Pi (astonishingly eight years ago now) brought a much more powerful and flexible device into the hands of the masses – and it didn’t need complex re-flashing procedures to get a general purpose linux installation running on it. Over the christmas period last year I added two more Pis (Pi 4s this time) to my network and finally got around to retiring my slugs (well, actually I still have one running, but I will get around to replacing that too soon).

On replacing the slugs I noticed that the 1TB disk I bought as additional storage for my main slug had been running almost non-stop (apart from the occasional reboot) since March 2009. I think that is a remarkably good lifetime for a consumer grade hard disk. Certainly I have had internal disks fail at much lower usage timescales. I have even had supposedly more robust, and certainly way more expensive, disks fail on high end Sun workstations and servers in my professional life.

So if you are in the market for new consumer grade disks, I think I can safely recommend Toshiba.

Oh, and Happy New Year by the way.

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