So many USB drives!  Decades worth.  From the first one I got to the last one I got.  All with different FS types on them.  Lots of good old stuff.  Old radio shows, old pictures,  old projects.  God only knows what.

So how to unify them.  I had dug out an old  netgear slug that I had been playing with running Asterisk on 15 years ago and with some help from a nice guy on the slug forum I got it back to the last version of the stock firmware which should support ntfs but on a USB drive, but instead it kept wanting to format my drive.  Urg.  I finally went as far as to take the drive out and plug it into my computer to verify it had files on it and it was ntfs formatted, and it was clean.  All of the above were true.  I am too old and tired to fight with an obsolete slug.  The slug project ended a long time ago and other things have gotten much better in the meantime.

So, out with the slug and in with a thinterm, a Wyse CXO to be exact.  See more here:  These can be had for under $20 on eBay.  Much better.  I can run TinyCore Linux  ( on it.  TinyCore Linux is an incredible project and the folks behind it are super helpful.    In fact I learned a lot about that the night before moving my SO's old websites over to anotehr thin term.  So with that fresh in my mind...  Time to try to make a nas sort of thing.

This one was a bit easier as it is totally inside the firewall but I already had the tech down to install ssh and do it all cert based so I can work on it from the comfort of my notebook and not in an unheated closet.  Big plus there.

This turned out to be brainlessly simple.  I may make it a bit more seamless at some point but I kind of like how it is now.  Install the ntfs-3g package, set that up to run on boot.  Set it up to mount all the drives (the term has 4 USB ports. and it should work with a hub on one or more of them...), set up samba.  Literally that simple.

Now I have one unc address I can go to that has a bunch of sd's that I can cd into and there lie all my old goodies.  I am happy as a clam.  The only last thing I am pondering is taking an old PC case that I have that has 7 usable bays in it and moving all the hdds from the USB to that and running them from the old power supply in he pc case.  I think that may be more efficient.  Perhaps buy a bunch of the sata to usr and pata to usb dongles on ebay to put in the box too.  Than I can get more disks for the external boxes and start the cycle over again!

I spent last night on the disk box.  This was an old PC.  I took the motherboard out.  I took all the drives out.  I gutted the thing except for a pair of wires from the power switch and a pair of wires that go to the LED behind the power switch.  I will re-use them in place.  

Next it was time to modify the power supply.  This turned out to be more of a challenge than I had anticipated.  Actually it required two power supplies.  I wanted 8 SATA power hoses coming out of it.  It had 4.  I also did not want all the stray wires coming out from for the board and CPU power.  So, take the first supply apart.  This was the nicer of the two.  With the supply apart I was able to twist it around so I had access to the bottom of the board.  On this model supply, all the same color wire from a connector set go into one big hole.  The wires have a metal crimp around them that goes into the hole and the entire thing is soldered to the board.

It was soon apparent that none of my pencil irons were going to get near hot enough to deal with that solder joint.  Time to run out to the shop and get my 1960's vintage WEN soldering gun kit.  That made pretty easy work of it and I was able to...

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