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Build a 14.5 watt data center in a shoebox

All it takes is a buffalo and some courage

Application security programs and practises

It's sometimes hard to be inspired by NAS (network attached storage) gear, but Buffalo Technology is doing its damnedest to spark customers' imaginations.

Earlier this month, Buffalo dished out the dual drive LinkStation Mini. This baby weighs just 1.1 pounds and measures 1.6 inches by 3.2 inches by 5.3 inches. It will ship in volume next month with a capacity of 1TB.

Buffalo aims this device at Windows (Vista, XP and 2000) and Mac (10.3.9+) users who want to store a lot of media files. The box eats up just 10W and has a handy web access tool for grabbing files whenever you need them.

It's got a built-in DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) certified media server and back-up software as well, which is nice.

"It also includes a Remote Power Feature, which can power up the unit remotely with the included Navigator software," the company said. "The extra USB port allows users to add an additional external hard drive for expanded capacity or a printer that can then be shared via the integrated print server. It also supports UPS so the unit can gracefully shutdown in the event of a power failure."

The LinkStation Mini uses a pair of 5,400RPM 2.5 inch notebook drives to perform its magic, making it the only Buffalo storage unit not to run on SATA drives. You can configure the device in RAID 0 or RAID 1.

The system will start at $699.

Shot of the Buffalo Mini

Buffalo Mini

The Plat'Home and Buffalo Technology hardware discussed will not actually get you to a supercomputer unless you're very, very crafty and have a liberal use of the word 'super.' (But, you know, some creative types have made solid work of DIY Shuttle computers, building a world-class machine at Los Alamos National Lab.) A savvy and admittedly deranged admin, however, could take this tiny hardware and build a very energy-efficient data center in a desk drawer.

Or maybe you'll follow the manufactures' advice and use the gear for the tasks intended. That is, if you're a coward. ®

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