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Re: OpenWRT

On Tue, Apr 03, 2007 at 10:59:42AM -0500, Harmon Seaver wrote:
>    I guess you didn't really read my post, or else just missed the whole
> point. Multia's, being so low-powered and slow, really aren't usable for
> much of anything these days --- except as a cheap
> router/firewall/access-point. And even at that, unless you already had
> one, I'm sure you could buy a new/used linksys or d-link
> router/accesspoint on ebay much cheaper than finding and paying for
> shipping on a multia. Right?

I know it's popular among geeks, particularly Debian geeks, to repurpose old
hardware to keep it running indefinitely, but power consumption is a real,
hidden cost of running old hardware.  I don't have any hard numbers, but I'm
sorry to say that I suspect buying a new WAP54G AP or similar[1], instead
of running a multia[2], will easily pay for itself in terms of your electric
bill if you plan to deploy it long-term, and that in terms of environmental
and out-of-pocket cost, the best use of an old, low-MHz high-wattage system
like a Multia is to scrap it or recycle it.

[1] http://hardware.mcse.ms/archive80-2005-8-226230.html
[2] http://www.alphalinux.org/archives/axp-list/1998/February1998/0126.html

Yes, I know the environmental cost of discarding computer hardware is
significant -- that's why I have a box full of old hardware I'll never use
again, that I'm sitting on until I have a better option than sending it to a
landfill. :/  But the cost of electricity is also non-negligible; it
apparently costs me about USD 0.20/month to run my WAP54G by the first URL
above, vs. $2.30/mo. as a *conservative* electricity cost for a Multia.  At
$2.10/mo. and a price of USD 64.99 for a new WAP54G (based on a quick
google), assuming for the moment a cost of $0 for the disposal of the Multia
(because I don't have any numbers for this :/), a new WAP54G would pay for
itself in 2 1/2 years.  (And on the flipside of ignoring the cost of
disposing of the Multia, we're also using a "0" for the cost of any PCMCIA
devices needed to run the Multia as an AP.)

Granted, I suppose if you're doing this for the hack value you have to
decide how much that's worth to you in itself; but at least for me, the hack
value is in doing the hacking, not in keeping it running afterwards in a
manner contrary to my own best interest :), so.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
vorlon@debian.org                                   http://www.debian.org/

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