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Linux Journal: Equinox ESP-2 MI 10/100 Serial Hub [Review]

Jul 15, 2003, 10:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Gollsneider)

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"The ESP-2 MI 2-port serial hub by Equinox does its job--enabling serial peripherals to function as IP-enabled devices on the network--efficiently and without any fuss. You simply plug a serial device into the hub, connect the hub to the network and configure the host computer with the software. If you were able to use your device when it was directly attached to the computer's serial device, then you can be using it on the network within ten minutes of unpacking the ESP-2 hub.

"The ESP-2 is a small (1.75" high x 4.75" deep x 6" wide), light (less than a pound) device with 32MB of SDRAM memory, 4MB of Flash memory, an auto-detecting 10/100Base-T network interface with a RJ45 connector and two 9-pin serial ports that support RS-232, RS-422 and RS-485. The configuration and management software can run on Linux (I used Red Hat 7.3), AIX, SCO OpenServer/UnixWare and Microsoft Windows 2000/NT/XP. The key point of the device is the unit converts data between its serial ports and its network interface and then communicates across the network. The hub packetizes the data and sends it to its host computer using TCP. Serial devices such as a barcode scanner can be out in a warehouse, where the scanner needs to be, sending data to a server that is protected in a restricted area, where the server should be. Previously, each device would need to be attached to a computer within a few feet of it, which limited the mobility of the equipment and greatly increased the number of computers required..."

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