Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Web Server On a Business Card

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the at-your-service dept.

Hardware Hacking 169

mollyhackit writes "We've seen tiny Web servers in the past, but rarely ones that are home-built. Here's a guide to building your own tiny web server with a footprint no larger than a business card. The design uses two major chips. One handles the SPI to MAC/PHY translation for the ethernet jack. The other chip is a PIC24F, which hosts a simple web server and reads files stored on a microSD card. All components run at a low 3.3 volts. Part of the compactness of the design comes from the PIC24F having programmable pins; only four jumper wires were needed. The single-sided SMD design is easy to manufacture at home. Part 1 covered many of the 24F's features and both posts have full code available."

cancel ×

169 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

If every a server was going to be slashdotted.... (4, Funny)

JohnHegarty (453016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165381)

If every a server was going to be slashdotted....

Re:If every a server was going to be slashdotted.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25165497)

If "every" a server...? What?

Re:If every a server was going to be slashdotted.. (4, Funny)

Flipao (903929) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165575)

I think he accidentally the whole server....

best first every! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25165931)

best first every!

Re:If every a server was going to be slashdotted.. (3, Funny)

Big Nothing (229456) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166107)

I don't understand this obsession with making things smaller and smaller - I want my stuff to be bigger and bigger. For example, I have my web server inside an old Cray Y-MP shell (not with original hardware, mind you). Then again, I live in an old church and have plenty of room to spare...

Re:If every a server was going to be slashdotted.. (2, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166727)

I have my web server inside an old Cray Y-MP shell...

Or a Cray-2 with little plastic fish floating around, but the Fluorinert would probably bankrupt you :-)

Re:If every a server was going to be slashdotted.. (3, Funny)

Deagol (323173) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167215)

Did you take out the pews to make room for the garbage?

Re:If every a server was going to be slashdotted.. (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167381)

A link [youtube.com] for the young-uns.

Debate (3, Funny)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167511)

Geek 1: "I won't be satisfied until I need an electron microscope to see my web server!"

Geek 2: "I won't be satisfied until I need a crane to plug in my web server!"

Re:If every a server was going to be slashdotted.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25167479)

Yeah but can you imagine a BEOWOLF cluster of these things ?

As big as a business card eh? (3, Insightful)

bestinshow (985111) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165397)

I'm glad I don't have any 1cm thick business cards in my wallet.

Re:As big as a business card eh? (4, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165463)

I don't have any 1cm thick business cards

Loser. I have hundreds!

Re:As big as a business card eh? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25165677)

Is that a web server in your pocket sir, or are you just happy to see me?

Re:As big as a business card eh? (4, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165823)

I'm glad I don't have any 1cm thick business cards in my wallet.

In fairness, he did say in the footprint of a business card.

Yes, it's not the overall dimensions of a business card, but it's a pretty damned tiny thing for a web server.

Cheers

Re:As big as a business card eh? (3, Insightful)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166037)

Which makes one wonder - what would I ever need a web server the size of a business card? I appreciate efficiency and all, but honestly...

Re:As big as a business card eh? (5, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166153)

When I see a really good looking woman, I might want her. But, if the woman is really really good looking, I might say to myself "that's some really expensive pussy. Can I afford it?"

Having a web server built right into my wallet is very convenient. I can check the balance without taking my wallet out of my pants. Smoothness counts in such situations.

Re:As big as a business card eh? (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166413)

Yeah, now that is an answer! Touché!

Re:As big as a business card eh? (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167707)

That explains having a web browser in your pants, but not a web server.

Re:As big as a business card eh? (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166223)

Which makes one wonder - what would I ever need a web server the size of a business card? I appreciate efficiency and all, but honestly...

Why? Because he could, obviously. He really needs no better reason than that.

Projects like this don't get done because the world is clamoring for a web server that has a foot print which is comparable to a business card. They get done because someone with the necessary skillset (or, who is developing the skillset) did it for practice/experience/fun. This is no different that the vast majority of open source projects -- someone did it because they wanted to.

Sure, it's not something which is likely sale-able. But, if you were interviewing someone to do work in a related area, and their "resume" included a little wee web server like this, you'd have no doubt but that he knows what the hell he's doing. In some ways (likely that you and I can't quite imagine) he likely has advanced the state of the art.

I know for a fact that I (and likely 90% or more of all Slashdotters) couldn't ever hope to do this. This isn't cool because of its utility, it's cool because it's novel, and, well, it's just plain old cool. That's the point.

Cheers

Re:As big as a business card eh? (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166369)

I didn't ask why he did it. That answer is obvious. I asked what would the need be for actually using the device. I was hoping for something more creative, like running a web hosting business out of one of those Japanese "drawer-style" hotels.

Re:As big as a business card eh? (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166995)

if i had some of these that where POE then i know places at locations i could hide them.. rather than be a webserver i would use it to run other services. could be useful to have a device which you plug in that would run and map the network connected to it.. then phone home and deliver results..

not that i would use it without permission - but rather something small and cheap i could put some place and let it monitor things and report back

Re:As big as a business card eh? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167343)

why don't you build some then, afaict he has made the complete design available.

You may want to get the board made commercially if you don't fancy nasty chemical stuff but the build should be pretty easy.

Re:As big as a business card eh? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167277)

There isn't really anything that difficult here, the TCP/IP stack and basic webserver code is afaict provided by microchip, I think they also provide some stuff for working with SD cards. The components are all in nice big packages.

Re:As big as a business card eh? (2, Insightful)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166729)

How about embedded or remote applications? HTTP is a very simple and widely implemented data exchange protocol that would be useful for a variety of tasks.

For example, the microcontroller could do other things such as data logging, save them to the SD card, and cough up the data on HTTP request. Many network attached devices (especially routers, printers and plotters) contain embedded web servers... why not something of your own creation?

I've considered installing a microcontroller in my car (which predates real onboard computers) to monitor things like speeds, pressures and temperatures. An HTTP interface would be a handy way to display the data on nearly any device and/or download raw data files without putting my own data protocol together.
=Smidge=

Re:As big as a business card eh? (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166839)

For a car you could have one 10 times the size of a business card, and build it cheaper because of that fact. There are already plenty of processors in cars. Cars are big and have lots of room for electronics.

Re:As big as a business card eh? (3, Interesting)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167135)

My car was exactly 0 processors in it. It has an AM-only radio which doesn't work, making the fuel gauge the most advanced piece of functional electronic equipment in the entire vehicle.

For minimal impact, I would want it as small as possible with no moving parts. Using very little power is also a plus, since it would have to endure some pretty extreme environments (High humidity, High/Low temperatures) so it would go into a weatherproof enclosure - and heat becomes a concern.

Something like this project would cost me under $50 to build, be small enough to mount inside the engine compartment (shortens and simplifies sensor wiring, no modification to the interior) and use very little power (no dead battery).

I don't need a full PC to do the job, and such a thing would cost me at least $250 or so.
=Smidge=

Re:As big as a business card eh? (2, Insightful)

FiveDozenWhales (1360717) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166827)

I can imagine lots of situations in which I'd like to be able to take a web server in my pocket. Making a variety of files quickly available on a LAN without having to muck around with whatever file sharing is on the machines there, for one.

Re:As big as a business card eh? (3, Funny)

ToadMan8 (521480) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167163)

I can't understand why I'd want a daily-driver that can go 225 mph, but I value the technological pursuits of Formula 1 teams to come up with things that make normal cars lighter, faster, more efficient in a scale I can actually appreciate on a day-to-day basis.

Ah! A car metaphor! I didn't even plan that.

Re:As big as a business card eh? (1)

ChibiOne (716763) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167259)

I've seen a couple of automated industrial systems and applications that make use of a webserver to operate, interfacing via Ethernet with the robot/crane/etc. These, of course, need a full workstation, OS and all, in which to install the application.

A pocket webserver, with replacable code thanks to the SDcard, would be ideal to get rid of the workstation, making the system easier to mantain (no dealings with OS errors) and repair (just switch a malfunctioning "web-card" with a new one, using the same SDmemory).

Re:As big as a business card eh? (3, Insightful)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166049)

You know... I realize we're a bunch of geeks here but, really...

This is the reason that I enjoy being geeky and, well, is why I am considered geeky. I hadn't seen that before and when I just read about it I was pretty much smiling like a little kid on Christmas morning. I have absolutely no need for something like that at this time. I probably don't have the patience to build it unless I had a need.

That doesn't matter to me.

It still made me smile, read the article, and imagine a small email gateway or something trivial for home use.

I suppose it is like that for most of us here on /. though so anything more and I'd be preaching to the choir which would be even sillier considering the percentage of people here who are even geekier than I and probably will build one.

Re:As big as a business card eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25166363)

I'm glad I don't have any 1cm thick business cards in my wallet.

In fairness, he did say in the footprint of a business card.

Yes, it's not the overall dimensions of a business card, but it's a pretty damned tiny thing for a web server.

Cheers

Furthermore, if the maker wanted to wire a half-cut Ethernet cable straight to the hardware, the form factor would probably be cut in half height-wise.

Re:As big as a business card eh? (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166427)

Does it run on an hearing aid batteries?
If not, what's the size of the power brick?

Re:As big as a business card eh? (2, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167401)

Does it run on an hearing aid batteries?
I doubt it would run on hearing aid batteries. AA's would probablly work though. (this is just gut feeling though, check datasheets for more detailed info)

If not, what's the size of the power brick?
That probablly depends on what the person who built it had hanging arround.

Re:As big as a business card eh? (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167683)

Let me know when we can make a computer with a holographic interface the size of an American Express card.

We already have projectile weapons the size of key-fob garage door remotes.

Re:As big as a business card eh? (1)

superdave80 (1226592) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167065)

The footprint of a business card, not the thickness of one. RTFS

Wireless Connectivity (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25165417)

Now if this could serve up pages wirelessly: hello future!

Re:Wireless Connectivity (4, Interesting)

Flipao (903929) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165651)

That's the thing isn't it.... what's the point of so much portability if you still need to plug wires into it.

Re:Wireless Connectivity (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166393)

There's plenty of use for wired embedded devices, such as for sensors, where you may have many of them and don't want to be continously changing batteries. Add power-over-ethernet and this class of device is very useful for all sorts of embedded things where you don't want to have the device battery powered.

Re:Wireless Connectivity (3, Funny)

Fumus (1258966) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167269)

You can use it as a ninja-camouflaged webserver hidden in your flower pot so that the police raiding your hideout will never find it?
Dunno.

Re:Wireless Connectivity (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165895)

I'm sure any smartphone could work well as a web server, and it would have wireless :) The only thing stopping this kind of future for the last few years (okay so mobile webservers are utterly pointless, but mobile browsing is extremely useful) seems to be greedy telcos.

Re:Wireless Connectivity (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166139)

Just a stab in the dark but it would seem likely to me that the very first uses of a mobile server this small would be phishing and malware dispensing. Human nature and all that...

Re:Wireless Connectivity (2, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166305)

I haven't RTFA, but last time I saw an article like this it was for an extremely low power server, which only served a page once every 5 seconds or something crazy like that. Perhaps this server has a decent response time, but I'm assuming it will still be pathetic compared to a fully fledged server, or even just a mobile phone.

As for the malware angle, what do you mean? I don't see the benefit in carrying around a microserver when you have a legion of zombies at your disposal (as most malware authors probably do) - zombies are harder to trace back to you than something that you are carrying around with you or have physically planted somewhere!

Re:Wireless Connectivity (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167413)

Making more zombies as you walk down the street being a fake access point or the likes. (That's what I was thinking at any rate when I typed the post.)

Attention slash dot, and other inter-nets (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25165443)

Hello. It has been brought to my attention that you are all heterosexual straight people, who exclusively enjoy penis-vagina intercourse. In oter words, you are not gay. In conclusion, what is a server? Some kind of paperclip? That is like totally gay.

Re:Attention slash dot, and other inter-nets (1)

Flipao (903929) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165705)

It's not gay, it's Metrosexual, we're totally straight, just happen to be in touch with our feminine side.

Metrosexual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25166113)

Ahhhh,
the new gay.

Re:Attention slash dot, and other inter-nets (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166545)

It's not Metrosexual, it's a bunch of hairy dudes that want to feel pretty.

Re:Attention slash dot, and other inter-nets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25166601)

Whatever you are saying is not true because Jesus was my father when he mated with a tyrannosaurus to create GOD!

Re:Attention slash dot, and other inter-nets (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166657)

Slashdot has a mostly male audience, but its denizens have aproximately the same ratio of gays to straights as non-nerd sites.

A server is a computer that serves web pages to your computer. A Troll [wikipedia.org] is someone who "posts controversial and irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the intention of provoking other users into an emotional response[1] or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.[2]"

In other words, you [uncyclopedia.org] and yo' momma [uncyclopedia.org] .

Now go away or I shall taunt you again, fool.

Sure it sounds cool.... (3, Insightful)

iamwhoiamtoday (1177507) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165465)

but what's the real point? Anyone with a website that has any real traffic to it is going to need a more powerful server then that... this device is more of a "hey look guys, this is so cool" instead of a "hey boss, I found a way to cut spending on our new web server"

Re:Sure it sounds cool.... (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165501)

Or it's so the user can plug in and browse to it locally rather then having to connect to their web site.

Or it's just a neat trick to show off for cool points.

Re:Sure it sounds cool.... (4, Insightful)

Alioth (221270) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165545)

The real point is an embedded webserver can be used to provide easy, simple access to some embedded device using software that is shipped as standard on any PC or any smart phone. There are other uses for things that can speak HTTP than serving huge content-rich web pages. This particular device might not be terribly useful on its own but that's not to say similar devices aren't. There are lots and lots of applications for embedded devices that can host a tiny server of some kind.

Re:Sure it sounds cool.... (1)

whimmel (189969) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165753)

such as connecting it to your home's irrigation system..

or your home's alarm system..

or your coffee maker.

Geeks today. They have no vision.

Re:Sure it sounds cool.... (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166377)

418 Im a teapot.

Re:Sure it sounds cool.... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25165775)

Indeed, that is exactly the point. Use this device to embed a web server in a larger device.

Here is another device that can serve web pages but is arguably even more useful [avnet.com] (and it is smaller). Instead of a PIC, it's a Virtex 4 FPGA with integrated PowerPC core. Obviously it runs Linux [jwhitham.org.uk] , but more importantly, you can put extra hardware in the FPGA, connecting Linux software to whatever other hardware you wish to use. This is very flexible, since you probably won't need any other electronics to make your embedded system.

Re:Sure it sounds cool.... (2, Insightful)

torkus (1133985) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167749)

It's also $700 for the whole package. Even just the mini-module is $250.

The board in the article is small and cheap enough that you could put them in out-of-the-way places and abandon them.

Re:Sure it sounds cool.... (1)

JesseL (107722) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167761)

And then if you don't need to add tat much capability, the Lantronix X-port [lantronix.com] modules are nice. Very handy when you want to add web functionality to something with a simple serial interface or simple i/o.

Re:Sure it sounds cool.... (4, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165763)

Add an RS-232 line or some Digital IO and you can now control your thermostat on your iPhone. Everything in your house could have a webserver. Setup a central polling computer using cURL and a MySQL database and track temperatures in every room of the house, or your refrigerator or ... anything in your house.

Get a digital or serial water meter and monitor water usage from the road. Toss in a valve and be able to remotely shut off the water to your house if you know you're going to be out of town for business longer than expected.

Smart Home devices are quite expensive and not very "open". A tinkerer could create their own smart home at the fraction of the cost.

As a controls engineer I can just imagine tracking the temp in every room of my house with respect to outside temp and setting up a sweet PID controller on my thermostat to control temps much better than a single temp sensor in a central location in the house. Toss some flappers into the air ducts and you could probably set up a house to keep a temp +-5 degrees throughout the entire house.

Re:Sure it sounds cool.... (1)

knewter (62953) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165979)

w/r/t smart home software, hope you've seen http://www.linuxmce.org./ [www.linuxmce.org] I've got a weak linuxmce setup in my home, and it's very nice. Someone with any money at all could have a badass system orders of magnitude cheaper than any other way.

Sure it sounds cool/hot. (4, Funny)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166019)

"As a controls engineer I can just imagine tracking the temp in every room of my house with respect to outside temp and setting up a sweet PID controller on my thermostat to control temps much better than a single temp sensor in a central location in the house. Toss some flappers into the air ducts and you could probably set up a house to keep a temp +-5 degrees throughout the entire house."

Or I could buy a programmable thermostat that does all that.

Re:Sure it sounds cool/hot. (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166127)

A commercial device is nowhere near as flexible as a DIY. And it's not as fun.

Re:Sure it sounds cool/hot. (2, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166629)

I have a programmable thermostat. It has 1 temp sensor located in the main hallway. This is no way indicative of temperature in my back bedroom or in the basement. There is no controls output for commercial HVAC duct flaps to direct flow.

The PID controller in it is on the 'safe' side. I'm sure the gain and phase margins are huge because you never know where it's going to be installed. They probably have quite a large hysteresis band to keep from always burning fuel. I could design a controller that was specific to my house. That kept the wife's study +5 degrees warmer than other rooms without burning too much extra fuel.

Again, I have a controls concentration BSME. I do this for my job (although on much much different types of systems, with response times in the milliseconds not minutes range).

Re:Sure it sounds cool/hot. (1)

bloobloo (957543) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167197)

Does it even do proper PID control? I have only ever seen on/off thermostats, but I haven't looked that much.

Re:Sure it sounds cool/hot. (2, Funny)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167377)

Probably not in the least. Probably just a on off with some built in hysteresis. Exactly the reason to do something like this.

Now... where did I put that Matlab 2008b CD. Simulink and XPC to control a 1700 sq.ft. house a bit over kill? :)

Re:Sure it sounds cool/hot. (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167433)

I wouldn't have thought they would use anything as fancy as a PID controller. Just a simple on-off switching control with a reasonablly wide hystersis band so the heater isn't switching on and off all the time.

Re:Sure it sounds cool.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25167427)

But linuxMCE has figured it out already ;) For a fraction of the cost of systems like crestron, amx, or control 4. Although I would install something like a global cache gc100 that gives me a webserver that could control multiple devices, not just the one.

remote devices, intranet, control systems... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165781)

There's lots of applications for little http servers that have nothing to do with "websites".

Stick this server as the "upstream" of a wireless access point, and you've got a cheap throwdown local information server for a business without opening yourself up to wardrivers.

If you have a phone with a SD card and a camera, you can take some pictures then use this to post them on a LAN.

YOu can plug this in when your regular server is down for some reason.

If you're concerned about theft, something like this is easier to secure than some little computer that needs cooling and AC, and less of a loss if someone does rip it off.

Once they add the ability to drive control lines through a RESTful interface, you can stick this anywhere you can run ethernet to control relays, turn lights on and off, etcetera...

Re:remote devices, intranet, control systems... (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167531)

Stick this server as the "upstream" of a wireless access point, and you've got a cheap throwdown local information server for a business without opening yourself up to wardrivers.
Wouldn't a linksys WRTSL54GS (basically a wrt54g with a USB port) running openwrt and serving files off a USB stick be an easier and neater soloution?

Re:Sure it sounds cool.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25166221)

> this device is more of a "hey look guys, this is so cool" instead of
> a "hey boss, I found a way to cut spending on our new web server"

And?

Re:Sure it sounds cool.... (0)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166231)

Imagine a beowolf cluster of OW! OW! STOP HITTING ME!

Re:Sure it sounds cool.... (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166681)

I wouldn't stick this in a server cage, but I most certainly would stick it in a small device or home-automation project where a full-sized computer is either not practical, or not feasible.

This kit is a very cheap, extensible platform that one can build upon. I could see these being used as front-ends for other PIC devices.

Re:Sure it sounds cool.... (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167187)

Why does it have to have a point? It's just fun. In other words, "because we can".

Might be actually useful... (2, Interesting)

Sasayaki (1096761) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165495)

I wonder. If these are cheap, small, low power and low heat, could one simply create a vast array of these then use one central server to direct each connection to one "server", with a traditional (LAMP etc) server taking up the excess if the number of units runs out?

Sounds like a holiday project for me...

Re:Might be actually useful... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165529)

If the plan would be to run the back-end on a medium-sized LAMP server and then distribute the load of serving the cached pages via an array of these things, then it could be a very interesting project indeed.

Let us know how it turns out.

Re:Might be actually useful... (4, Funny)

SkunkPussy (85271) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165583)

This webserver would fit inside a medium sized LAMP...

OT - your user name (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166567)

Evil-X, is that you?

Re:Might be actually useful... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166715)

Well, I think you just gave someone an idea for a nano/pico-ITX case mod project.

Re:Might be actually useful... (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165881)

So, would that be a Beowulf cluster of these?

Layne

Re:Might be actually useful... (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165915)

You could, but like hell is that going to wind up cheaper than a full-sized server (or, if the load is smaller than that, a cheap virtual host)

Re:Might be actually useful... (1)

GordonCopestake (941689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166499)

If it was power over ethernet that might work

WebServer behind my ear (1)

ilovesymbian (1341639) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165517)

Next, they'll implant a webserver chip into my ear under the skin.

No need to go webhosting with Rackspace. :)

And this is news why? (1, Informative)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165579)

There have been smaller webservers made. Just a few
http://www.webservusb.com/ [webservusb.com]
https://research.sun.com/spotlight/2004-12-20_vgupta.html [sun.com]
http://linuxmafia.com/wearables/ [linuxmafia.com]
http://d116.com/ace/ [d116.com]
http://tzywen.com/photos/smallservers/sfarm2.jpg [tzywen.com]

This after 3 seconds of typing in the search "smallest web server" in google and waiting for 0.11 seconds. So what does this one make it so special?

Re:And this is news why? (4, Informative)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165745)

So what does this one make it so special?

You can etch the board yourself and make it at home from parts.

Re:And this is news why? (4, Funny)

basicio (1316109) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165813)

"We've seen tiny Web servers in the past, but rarely ones that are home-built."

You couldn't even bother to read the first sentence of the summary?

Re:And this is news why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25167487)

You couldn't even bother to read the first sentence of the summary?

That would have taken way more than 0.11 seconds.

Re:And this is news why? (3, Insightful)

sryx (34524) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166547)

The web servers you linked to all require an intervening computer to actual connect them to a network (the first one seems to be WAMP on a USB drive, as it requires a copy of Windows to run). They are "web servers" in the same way that Apache is a "web server". This device is totally self contained, requiring only power and a Ethernet cable. And damn impressive. It might be clearer to refer to this as a really small "web serving computer", the Sun article would still take the cake as the smallest web server in my book, but then this one wins because of it's ease of implementation. As a side scary note, image a tiny bit more power and a second Ethernet jack on this thing. Yo cold set it up to sit as a proxy for a real production web server adding a few lines of malicious JavaScript to any outgoing HTML page. A device that small, with that purpose, would likely go undetected by most competent server administrators. Kinda makes those keyboard loggers seem tame.
-Jason

Re:And this is news why? (1)

dword (735428) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167205)

what does this one make it so special?

It made it to Slashdot.

Small scale ethernet (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165641)

There's quite a bit of small scale ethernet stuff available - my favorite chip at the moment for handling ethernet is Wiznet's tiny W5100 (or its bigger brother the W5300). These contain not only an ethernet MAC/PHY but a TCP offload engine, so your microcontroller can get on with whatever job it needs to and only deal with the higher levels of the protocol - meaning the software on your microcontroller can be simpler and spend more of its time dealing with whatever task you're using it for. The W5100 is in a 0.4mm pitch LQFP-80. I've been having great fun with this little chip: http://spectrum.alioth.net/doc [alioth.net]

The W5100 also can act as a true memory mapped device (you can either talk to it with SPI, or via an indirect parallel bus, or through direct addressing) so it's a great chip for 8 bit CPUs which have a full address/data bus because you can transfer data to and from the chip many times faster than you can with SPI.

There are also other ethernet MAC/PHY (with no TCP offload) chips other than Microchip's offering - SiLabs have one in several packages (including a terribly hard to solder by hand leadless QFN).

Complicated project for beginners... (2, Informative)

compumike (454538) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165921)

There's a lot going on here and it sounds like a neat project, but I just hope that beginners aren't misled. This is a complicated project and there's a lot of separate skills which would all have to be learned at once: masking/etching PCBs, fine-pitch SMT soldering, lots of pieces of code that all have to play together right.

Just hoping that newbies will realize that there are simpler electronics projects [nerdkits.com] (relevant shameless plug) with much more instructional guidance they should start with before taking on something like this.

--
Hey code monkey... learn electronics! Powerful microcontroller kits for the digital generation. [nerdkits.com]

Re:Complicated project for beginners... (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166309)

Well, seems like your projects are aimed more for the 12-year old kids than this. The project they're talking about in the article is obviously not meant for people who don't really know what a MCU is, and I doubt that anyone would mistake it as such.

Re:Complicated project for beginners... (2, Informative)

Alioth (221270) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166609)

I would say start out simpler than you did. I started a self-directed Learn Electronics course - i.e what I did is get a pile of components and some breadboard, and do stuff with them to learn.

I started with transistors, resistors, diodes etc. - building logic gates and latches with bipolar transistors, building LED flashers from discrete components rather than a uC and code, then building simple switch mode power supplies to investigate inductors. I then started doing things with 74 series and 4000 series logic. I then combined this knowledge to design and build a 7 tube nixie display of my own design, that took its data via RS232 - all implemented in 'little logic' with not a microcontroller in sight. I didn't do it because it was the BEST way to do it, but because it would provide lots of learning. I had to build an SMPS to make the 170 volts. I had to, with 4000 series logic and a 555, make a UART (it's bidirectional), with all that implies. The nixie display has buttons I can push to send stuff back. (My second nixie project did use a microcontroller, an Atmel ATtiny2313).

I found doing it this way (not jumping straight in with microcontrollers) extremely valuable. The nixie project in particular taught me about all sorts of things, including glitches, timing issues, fan out and all the rest, as well as resulting in a really cool looking piece of strip board encrusted in chips. (The display now happily sits showing NTP synchronized time on top of my computer desk and has been in continuous use for about 18 months). The trouble with jumping straight in with microcontrollers is (from what I've seen on electronics forums) is quite a few hobbyists get into quite a complex software design and get confused by the electronics issues, and end up spending ages debugging the software when it was a hardware problem all along - a hardware problem that would have been more obvious if they'd played around a bit with discrete MOSFETs and 74 series logic.

My extensive experimentation with making stuff from 74-series and 4000-series also helped me a lot when I got into using programmable logic.

Re:Complicated project for beginners... (1)

Nethead (1563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167347)

Nice project! Two books to recommend for the beginner are:

Don Lancaster, "TTL Cookbook", Howard W. Sams and Co., Indianapolis, 1975, ISBN 0-672-21035-5
and his CMOS cookbook (also by Sams). They are old but will give one an excellent feel for how logic 'legos' can be glommed together.

Also his "Active Filter Cookbook" is great if you want to play with analog signals.

I started out with a perfboard, 9v battery, 7805, a pile of 74xx chips and actually learned enough to put a 6502 based computer board into production without any schooling beyond late 70s high school electronics class.

Duh! (1)

sw155kn1f3 (600118) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165955)

You should have IPv6 address and connectivity on them. China already is running out of IPv4 addresses for gods sake.

Well (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165987)

This sounds like a really good reason to remember to take my wallet out of my pants before I run them through the washer.

So...What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25166047)

This has been a long standing project at my old college.

Yes we even implemented a small motor so that through a web interface you could move the server on the desk.

No it didn't run linux but, why use an os that you didnt create yourself.

I have made smaller (1)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166563)

About 8 years ago I was running a webservers on a smartcard CPU's (both Javacard and Microsoft's discontinued .Net card). It's the size of the chip on that SIM card you use in your GSM phone (which is also a smartcard). Smaller and thinner than a US dime. These don't typically have ethernet ports but they do have USB.

It's too big (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25166799)

How about a web server in an RFID tag? Needs no power supply.

WebServer on a Phone (1)

KumarMettu (925461) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166891)

I blogged about turning your phone into a web server in 2003 here: http://javaswamy.blogspot.com/2003/09/j2me-turning-your-phone-into-web.html [blogspot.com] I ran a web server on my nextel i830 at the time. Any one can connect to the webserver and the server provides my GPS location to the user.

XMas Lights - Similar Design Example (1)

bradgoodman (964302) | more than 5 years ago | (#25167105)

I used a similar PIC chip and the little I2C ethernet controller for a similar design to control my outside xmas lights.

It was a little bigger than a business card - but was able to dim 32 channels of AC power for my lighting strands. I Used 2 of these board to control all the lights.

All the lighting commands were pumpted to via. UDP packets from my Linux server - it was a pretty impressive display!

Check it out at: http://www.bradgoodman.com/dimwatt [bradgoodman.com]

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>