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By asm2750
You know maxtor recently came out with a harddrive that you just hook up on a network cable and it acts like a shared drive. I thought that was pretty neat, and I was thinking if it would be possible to take my USB 2.0 drive enclosure and make a device that would read via the USB port on the drive, and then put it though a network cable like a shared drive as well. It sounds pretty tricky, but not impossible. One future addition I would like to try, is also intergrate a USB hub to the device, so that more drives and possibly printers could be hooked up to it for shareing as well. Now im sure someone is going to come and tell me not to reinvent the wheel, but it would be nice to have a device that can have alot more flexablity. Somments, suggestions in a courteous tone are welcome.
By orbitaudio
my first post:)

would it not be easier to just make a device that allows you to connect hard drives to and it converts to a network interface.

Implementing a File System, Volume Manager, USB stack + hub stuff, and TCP/IP stack and then network file storage would be alot of work!

USB 2.0 embedded hosts aren't the easiest thing to come by atm either.
By wiml
You could maybe avoid reinventing the wheel and get a lot more flexibility ... the Linksys NSLU2 is basically a tiny box that has 2 USB ports and an Ethernet port, for making your USB drives network-visible. The interesting thing is it runs Linux (although there's no way to tell that in normal operation) and there are a lot of people making custom firmware images for it: google for unslung and openslug. It's an ARM (Intel XScale) running at 133MHz (266 if you change a jumper) with 32MB of RAM. Costs about $80-$90 retail. Seems very hackable.