tumaBox is currently powered by a Debian Wheezy with many open source packages the most important being Openmediavault, Kodi and Owncloud. We added our own software to it to add new features and increase functionality and ease of use. All the software is tuned and optimized to maximize performance.
We plan to add a horde of new features if we get enough support from our community. The current software choices are subject to change as well. We actually are testing different combinations for quite some time.
Yes, it's really fanless. The only noise is provided by the HDDs spinning which you wouldn't normally notice much in a normal computer because of the fan noise. If you set an idle timeout for your HDDs you could make them stop spinning and then you get no noise at all.
It does get very hot but it depends on how you define “too hot”. If you think about the CPU, it has thermal protection included so there's no risk. If you think of the motherboard, RAM or other components they all handle it very well. If you think specifically for the HDDs all reputable tests indicate that HDDs are much more affected by start-stop count than temperature. There are many people looking at temperatures and comparing them with what they think it's “too hot”. The truth is that different components have very different acceptable temperature ranges.
But we had to see for ourselves. Our prototype boxes run for almost a year now with tasks and loads that exceed the average user scenario. We didn't have a single problem so far. And we intend to keep it that way.
The aluminum case is specially designed to dissipate heat but you also have to follow the restrictions for using the box: place it as far as possible from any other objects, do not place it in direct sunlight, respect the maximum 30C ambient temperature.
Actually we have wondered this ourselves. But when you put it down on paper it starts to make sense.
The cost of one tumaBox is made of hardware costs, then taxes, commissions, more taxes and more commisions and a very small remaining amount.
This remaining amount is actually smaller than you think and we invest it in development of the product. Yes, we do base our products on free open source software but we add functionality and code of our own. Yes, we do plan to give our software for free, but we need your support to be able to do so. We also hope to be able one day to give our contribution to the wonderful people that develop the open source projects that we use in your product. Yes, they do have to make a living as well.
When you buy one tumaBox you actually invest in the future of this product so that it can become better. All tumaBox owners get software updates with added functionality as we develop it. This is what you pay for. It's cool to have free software but people have to make a living. Some people do it for fun but we can't afford to. Companies do it for proffits made out of support, consulting or advertising. We don't sell advertising, we don't charge for support, we have a simple business model: people pay for what they get. No hidden costs.
On the other hand when you look at the market you see that tumaBox is not that expesive. Sure you can buy a cheap NAS, but when you look at a similar performance range you see that our competition is even more expensive. You get their pretty software without the source but I guess you could trust them to know what's best for you. And good luck on convincing them to give their software away for free to other people that would like to support such a project but simply can't afford to. Sure you can also buy cheap media players and much cheaper routers but they don't have all the features of tumaBox. The power of tumaBox it's from all the features put together. You can beat any of them separately but their power combined is quite unique.
First of all congratulations for being such a tech savvy person. This is the kind of things that appear over and over again in any talk about NASes of any brand. We actually thought this once ourselves and instead of adding our valuable “we can do this ourselves” input to those talks we actually started building it instead. You can see the result.
When people say they could build one they actually think of something a bit different: I could get some hardware and put some free open source NAS software on it and maybe a couple of other free open source packages on it and I'm good to go. tumaBox is more than this: there are many such packages put together, made to live together in harmony and tuned for maximum performance and convenience for the average user. And there's also our own software which today may be small but which we will grow substantially if we get enough support. And there's the convenience of having everything put together for you. When you put together the time and money invested to get something like this (not just a simple NAS or a simple media player) you might think that you would have been much better off if you buyed one of our products.
If you still want to build something like tumaBox for yourself then don't forget to share it with the rest of the world - preferably for free.