When I grew up In the eighties and early nineties a proper computer had to be rather big and bulky whether it was a desktop or a server didn't matter since the only motherboards and cases available where of the AT and later the ATX standard.
(Image courtesy of VIA Gallery from Hsintien, Taiwan)
Back in 2001 VIA released the Mini-ITX standard, enabling computers to be built using small 17*17 cm motherboards. Although the first Mini-ITX motherboards where quite underpowered and I still had the memory of lousy VIA chipsets fresh in my mind (remember the KT133 series?) so I stayed away from these boards for a few years but never letting them completely out of sight.
Then in 2006 when I finally got a proper 100Mbit Internet connection to my apartment I soon realized that my old beloved Linksys WRT54G router wasn't up to the task as it couldn't handle more than ~23Mbit of traffic in either direction.
As a direct result of this i started looking alternative router with an open firmware. When I couldn't find one i decided to build my own based on a the smallest, quietest and most power effective x86 hardware I could lay my hands on and guess what it ended up being a Mini-ITX machine!
After this I was truly bitten by the Mini-ITX bug and to this day I have replaced my whole server park with various kinds of Mini-ITX machines that I've built over the years.
Stay tuned cause in the coming weeks I'll be blogging about these Mini-ITX machines that I now use as router, server, HTPC and incremental backup server.
For a little "sneak peak" head over to my picture galleries where some of these machines can be seen along with some short info.
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