CompuLab just released a new version of their tiny Fit-PC2, called the Fit-PC2i. My guess is the ‘i’ stands for ‘internet’, because the most interesting new feature is a second gigabit ethernet port. This allows the device to be used as a router or firewall, so it’s not a feature that helps desktop users much. In fact, in order to fit (pun intended) the second RJ45 socket they’ve had to eliminate two USB ports from the back of the device, leaving just two full-size USB ports.
But there’s some good news too. According to the press release, the ‘i’ can be ordered with a 2GHz processor (although not currently listed on the website), and a 2GB memory model is also available. This is more important than you might think, because the RAM chips are soldered onto the motherboard and can not be replaced or upgraded. Also new is an RS232 port on the front of the device.
So, if you’re looking for a tiny little computer with an astonishingly low power consumption and two network connectors, look no further. Be advised though that the current state of the GMA500 graphics driver is still ‘a bloody mess‘, and you’ll need a display with a digital (DVI or HDMI) input.
When our DLS connection failed a couple of weeks ago, it became clear to me that we needed a backup of some sort. I looked into business DSL subscriptions, but if you need a fast guaranteed repair time, the monthly rates start to look like mortgage payments. That’s why I decided to get a second consumer broadband line and hook try to somehow tie them together into one, easy to use local network. Thanks to a great router by Draytek and some clever tips from various forums, this turned out not to be very difficult at all. Here’s what I did.
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I recently bought a couple a HomePlug adapters to see if they would get me a more stable network connection over wifi. However, as soon as I connected them and fired up my PC I started getting all sorts of network trouble. DHCP would work, but DNS wouldn’t, leaving me unable to surf the web. I now turns out that all this was due to driver issues with the onboard network adapter on my Asus motherboard. This ‘Attansic’ or ‘Atheros’ adapter has apparently been causing issues for many people.
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My work computer is located on the top floor of the house, and is pretty much as far away from my router as possible short of putting it on the roof. Because of this, the wifi connection I use to connect to my LAN is terribly instable and although Vista reports “good” signal quality the throughput can be abysmal at times. This is why I’ve been reading up on HomePlug, or power line networking.
More HomePlug experiences anyone?