Before you upgrade your hardware, consider donating your old hardware…
For those of you just learning about pfSense, welcome! You can probably skip this message if you're new. I'm looking for people who have been around the firewall block a few times.
I know I'm pretty happy about my rustic ALIX running pfSense 2.0, but then again, I only have a 512kbps link to the outside world. It's working flawlessly, and has been well worth going through the RC process, just as it was with the WRAP and 1.2.3, until I got an ALIX. Watching a lot of work put into a project like this has been great, and I know I personally have been having a lot of ideas for the future of pfSense. I know I'm ready to rewrite the whole UI in Flask, "one of these days." I think I've seen enough fracked firewalls from a missing PHP variable for a lifetime. I don't have the patience for debugging that on my embedded systems anymore, but I certainly do appreciate the time lent by people who do.
But that brings me to my point. Just as I gave away my WRAPs when I got the ALIX devices; I find myself in the opposite situation today. I'm in need of older hardware (like the ALIX board you're considering replacing with a new Atom, or even WRAPs… I get use out of them still). I want to play with and debug CARP (and not just in qemu), and I want to be able to give my neighbors access to a really nice firewall and proper community network; since we have absolute squat when it comes to connectivity to the Content Delivery Network formerly known as the Internet. We really do kinda prefer it this way, we're never subjected to endless YouTube videos, and the ones we do get, we cache and re-share locally. Nobody where I live has any money, mostly a bunch of rural homesteaders. I do my best to keep people entertained with wifi access to archive.org OTR dumps I get from driving through the cities, and piles and piles of local datasets, freshly scraped for our own community portal / search.
Panhandling begins here: If you're about to upgrade to something new, please do consider giving away that older device. It will rapidly turn into trash sitting idle, and could go to some good use out where I live. While I think that offers of the older hardware should be given to the publicly contributing pfSense developer community first, if they're not asking, I might as well. I don't have much to swap, but might have some piece of random hardware that you're in need of. Or at the very least, I can give you some satisfaction in knowing that you're old gear isn't collecting dust*. Think about it sooner rather then later, I know I've lived with a lot of clutter I didn't need too over the years. We don't need VLAN routing, or much in the way of crypto like in the cities (we're all within' shooting distance of each other, much easier).
Mostly looking for:
- ALIX boards (don't care which ones, at least 2 ethernet ports is nice)
- Soekris gear
- Accessories for the above (not afraid to machine my own cases and harvest power supplies tho)
Contact me if you're interested letting me take your trash. I'll even pay for postage. Or if you're interested in starting a community pool of hardware to lend actively contributing developers, I'd be more then happy to help setup a program (I'm not an active contributor of pfSense, I quit PHP for mental health reasons years ago).
Thanks for the listen!
- well, actually it will be collecting dust, since the pcengines and soekris stuff is fanless… but at least the dust will be nice and slightly warm.