Full circle


I have a WatchGuard Firebox (the original model) that was picked up at a computer recycler after they were discontinued. They were special at the time for being an early corporate adopter of Linux.

Internally, it uses an off-the-shelf AT powered (the 'soft off' of ATX being an issue) Pentium motherboard. Originally, the box was set up to be a firewall, so has three network cards in it. Instead of a hard drive, it had an IDE CF card reader internally, and a floppy drive on the front for manual software upgrades. The CF Reader is long gone, replaced with an old hard drive that was pulled from a computer that was upgraded.

The previous owner of this particular box clipped a couple of holes in the back of the case so that you could hook a keyboard (XT-style plug) and monitor to it directly. This box was used for years as a DNS and backup email server (MX store-and-forward). I'm strongly considering reprovisioning it with a Linux firewall distro.

If I ever decide this machine's outlived its usefulness, I'll probably go ahead and replace the floppy drive with an internal card reader with usb interface and donate it to an organization that reconditions old computers for underprivileged youth.