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SubjectRe: Scheduled Transfer Protocol on Linux
>I believe it's possible, but I think Larry's estimates of 50% extra cost 
>($200 -> $300) are off the wall. The Itsy shows you can make Linux boxes
>small enough, but the pricetag (several thousand $) also shows that it's
>economically impractical.

Itsy is a research project, not a commercial product. If you wanted to
build a single hard drive prototype you couldn't do it for $100 either.

Where do you think those thousands of dollars go? It isn't on the basic
computer components. The CPU in Itsy is a SA-1100 which probably costs
about $50 in even one-off quantities. It needs virtually no glue logic,
just a stick of RAM, some boot ROM and you're away.

Now, if you're in the hard disk industry, chances are you plan on selling a
million units or so. So, you go to ARC or ARM or MIPS or SPARC (or...) and
license a small CPU core that you can put into an ASIC. Then you do the same
for a gigabit ethernet controller, a DRAM interface, and whatever else you
need. Maybe you design some of these yourself. Maybe you plan on putting all
this onto the same die as some of your existing logic. Whatever, you end up
with a chip that you can churn out for a handful of dollars apiece and that
contains the majority of the components you need to run Linux.

>Yup. 100mhz Pentium and motherboard is literally $50, including case and
>NIC and RAM. Shove a $200 disk inside and I effectively get exactly what
>Larry's talking about (hot swappable ethernet interfaced disk drive) but
>my version is a bit bigger. Space doesn't concern me. Dollars do.

That 100MHz Pentium may cost you $50 today, but when you want to buy another
ten next week (and you want them to be the same as the first one) things won't
look so good. In any case, space and power are big concerns for a lot of


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