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Under the Covers

Figure 15 shows the main board of the Net-Stor. The main processor chip is a a Brecis (now owned by pmc-sierra) MSP2006 Multi-Service Processor that includes a MIPS processor and 10/100 Ethernet LAN interface. The ITE T8212F chip provides the IDE controller for the box.

Hawking Net-Stor main board
Figure 15: Hawking Net-Stor main board
(click image to enlarge)

Like all of the other NAS devices I've reviewed up to now, the Net-Stor was clearly running Linux. The format-disk menu referred to EXT3 which is the native Linux filesystem, and there were several references to "Samba", a Linux/Unix implementation of the Windows file sharing protocol.

As further evidence, I found that the device was running a Telnet server accessible using the default administration user name and password. Telnetting in didn't yield a command prompt, but it did give a long advertisement for a Linux implementation. The message also told me that the Linux kernel version was 2.4.20-br251 and the processor was reported to be an embedded, MMU-less MIPS.

Since the device runs Linux and apparently other GPL-licensed software, source code should be available from Hawking, but I couldn't find it. Hopefully, this is just an oversight and it will be corrected soon.

Figure 16 shows the main board of the Simple NAS. I couldn't find a whole lot of information on the processor, an RDC R2881. But from what I could find, it appears to be a 16 bit RISC-based, 80186 compatible processor. The IDE controller is a Acard ATP865 .

Tritton Simple NAS main board
Figure 16: Tritton Simple NAS main board
(click image to enlarge)

The Simple NAS appears to be the first NAS box I've reviewed that doesn't run Linux internally. Poking around with the device, I found it also has a Telnet interface but also has a simple command prompt. The syntax of the command prompt is reminiscent of DOS, complete with references to a C: drive. The drive format appears to be FAT 32, while a status command told me that the device is running at 125 MHz. The DOS operating system, the relatively slow speed and the 16 bit architecture may explain the Simple NAS' unimpressive performance.

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