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Modification of Inexpensive NAS Devices for Field Monitoring

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Computers in Agriculture and Natural Resources, 4th World Congress Conference, Proceedings of the 24-26 July 2006 (Orlando, Florida USA) Publication Date 24 July 2006  701P0606.(doi:10.13031/2013.21850)
Authors:   Ryoei Ito, Toyokazu Hirozumi, Yuichi Nagaya
Keywords:   NAS, Linux,.field monitoring, USB

Recently many inexpensive NAS (Network Attached Storage) products are available in commercial base. It is well known that some of these devices use Linux inside. Although almost all of them are customized Linux, it is possible to modify these products for our own purposes, because many hackers release useful information to modify such devices on the Internet. These devices would become tiny servers with huge data storage area, once if we could install appropriate software on them. Application of famous Linux distribution, such as Debian, Fedora Core and so on, would make installation procedure easier and supply many useful software packages. Authors focused Buffalo Technologys NAS device called LinkStation. This is one of the most popular inexpensive NAS products sold in Japan and other countries. LinkStation consist of main circuit board, power supply and HDD. As the CPU is Motorola/IBM Power PC, many Linux distributions are available for installation. Authors developed Debian sarge (Debian GNU/Linux 3.1) image files with many useful software packages for data collection and field monitoring. Authors also applied customized Linux kernel and modules to utilize many USB devices (such as USB web camera, USB-serial converter, UPS, USB wired/wireless network adapter), which were not supported in original system. Authors installed these modified LinkStation on a couple of sites for field monitoring under different circumstances and found that they worked fine. These experimental results showed that our system would be a powerful and convenient tool in agricultural and environmental monitoring.

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