So I got a free Acre Aspire 64 bit AMD Acer Aspire. Since we have Macs at home, and no desire for a PC I thought I'd turn this box into a Network Attached Storage device, NAS for short. After some preliminary research I found that FreeNAS would suit my needs... it is light enough to run over Linux off of a USB thumb drive, freeing up all of the internal drives for the NAS. The Aspire supprts four SATA drives natively and more when I buy an expansion SATA card. To start and experiment with NAS I bought two 2-Terabyte drives and configured them in a mirrored array through the FreeNAS interface. I'll add two more 2TB drives so I can take full advantage of FreeNAS's RaidZ2 and dual redundant drives.
The first problem was setting up FreeNAS. Although it is famous for it's 5 minute setup, that depends greatly on one's famillarity with the terminology. To try to understand some of THAT I looked at PDF's that were to make it easy to understand the relationship between VDEVs ZVOLs and ZPOOLs and whatever. After two days I was still lost. It didn't help me. Although these third part help said "RTFM", when I did that, the terminology had changed. The freakin manual that I read has no information on what steps are necessary and which are optional. It assumes that we know all that already.
So... a trip to YouTube was in order. Within 15 minutes I had my FreeNAS configured and showing up in my MacBook Pro finder over wi-fi ( thanks to TooSmartGuys ).
My next problem was that with the added network traffic, with some other work I was doing to clear two 1.5 TB drives I was already using, the WiFi router was overheating. The wifi in our house would suddenly slow to a crawl and then stop completely. While examinig my setup I realized that an old 10/100 Netgear switch was creating a bottleneck and was unnecessary in the data path - so I removed it. Then I hung the router in a position with better airflow. Time will tell if overheating is still a problem.