The WD Mybook II World Edition is clearly a device warranting the attention of hardware hackers looking for a small, cheap, low-power platform to build their projects on. Western Digital’s wisdom in not stripping the system portion of the filesystem should be recognized in that it has provided us with a wonderful target for our tinkering. While sporting only 98 BogoMIPS, the hardware has both common and unusual capabilities (in hardware AES encryption and native support for Java bytecode among the exotic) which provide plentiful application levers for our appliance-building projects. I will review here the hardware, its capabilities, how to breach its security, and how to enable it with top-class network configuration at boot-up, on nearly any network. I will then show how to build and install additional software to the device and customize it, using shell script and Perl, for any workload fitting its paperback size and low power requirements. I hope you will follow me and others in this exploration of what our imaginations can make of this small hardware wonder.
Federico Lucifredi is the mantainer of the man suite, the primary documentation-delivery tool under linux, a graduate student at Harvard University, and a software engineer-turned-manager at Novell corporation. Previously, Federico has been a CTO and a network software architect at ‘.com’ and embedded Linux startups, and he has spent two years teaching in Boston University’s graduate and undergraduate programs, while simultaneously consulting for MIT. He is a frequent speaker at user group and conference events, notably the LinuxWorld and the IMPlanet conferences, where he was a panelist representing the jabber community. Federico is a recognized expert in computing performance issues, and consults pro-bono with Standard and Poor’s clients interested in Free/Open Source technical and strategic issues, while participating in the GPL v3 drafting process in the large-corporation panel.
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