Your input requested for a new Home Server hardware mod

by Alex Kuretz on August 24, 2009

in Forum Spotlight

Forum member “cakalapati” makes and sells the MediaSmart Server VGA/PS2/Serial debug cables (that also work on the Acer easyStore). Now he’s working on an idea for a new hardware modification for Home Servers, and he wants your input on how to make it meet your needs.

More and more people are building their own WHS servers but DIY solutions fail to achieve the elegance of the HP MedisSmart Server and the Acer easyStore computers. These hardware solutions work nicely in part because of custom hardware solutions that don’t exist in a DIY solution–for example LED status indicators, a USB recovery drive, a reset password button, etc.

I am tossing the idea of creating a tiny faceplate that would provide the same functionality except that can be mounted on *any* computer (big and small).

The faceplate would have the following features:
- Four customizable RGB LEDs (customize the brightness, blink, color, when they turn on or off)
- A customizable buzzer (in case of error or when a long operation completes)
- A nice uOLED screen (like the one seen here). This can display status or various operations your DIY solution is working on.
- An option to hook into the computer’s reset switch (in case the computer hangs, it can be rebooted via watchdog capabilities)
- One or more customizable push buttons (allow you to boot in recovery mode or simply manually kickoff a backup).
- Temperature monitoring (?)
- << your suggestions go here>>

Do you have any ideas? How much would you pay for a solution like this? I would love to hear from you. Post your thoughts on this forum or if you don’t feel comfortable posting, email me at mss_cable_service (at) yahoo (dot) com. I would love to get your feedback.

Be sure to help Charles out and give your input on what you’d like to see in a hardware modification like this, either here or in his forum post.

Article by

I'm Alex Kuretz, and I'm the founder of I was the Lead Test and Integration Engineer at HP for the MediaSmart Server until April 2008 when I moved on to other opportunities outside HP. I've kept active in the Windows Home Server community, creating several add-ins and helping users make the most of their Home Servers.

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