Linutop diskless computer

Linutop Logo Linutop is a Linux-based diskless computer. It offers a completely silent, low-power operation in an extremely small package. Its main purpose is to surf the Internet. It is just a small box which has USB ports for attaching the keyboard, mouse and a port to attach a monitor.

Linutop can be used in

  • Libraries, schools, universities
  • Business and Government offices
  • Hotels, hospitals, internet cafes, etc

Linutop Desk

Specification:

  • AMD Geode
  • 512 Mb ROM
  • 256 Mb RAM
  • 4x USB 2.0 ports
  • audio in & out
  • 100baseT Ethernet
  • VGA output
  • Size: 9.3 x 2.7 x 15 cm
  • Weight: 280 gr

Expandability:

USB2 , Wifi connection, Flat panel,

Softwares:

  • AbiWord Word Processor
  • Evince PDF reader
  • Firefox Web browser
  • Gaim instant messenger
  • Totem media player

Boot Linux faster with Open BIOS

If you want faster boot/reset times on your Linux box, you should consider switching over to OpenBIOS. OpenBIOS can save the time wasted by proprietary BIOS legacy support for MS-DOS and other unnecessary functions.
The proprietary BIOSes typically found in off-the-shelf PCs and boards often account for more than half of total boot time. And, much of this time is spent loading drivers and compiling information useful to legacy OSes such as DOS, but largely useless and redundant when using a modern OS such as Linux, which tends to do its own hardware probing, and load its own hardware drivers.

This problem can be avoided by replacing the proprietary BIOS by OpenBIOS. Open implementations can be configured to perform only the required initialisation tasks before booting the OS.

Another approach is to use linux itself to initialise its hardware. The LinuxBIOS loads a small kernel directly on the ROM. This can be easily attained as current hardware has 1-2MB of flash ROM onboard.

Smartlink Modem in Ubuntu Dapper

This week I had installed Ubuntu Dapper 6.06 and tried really hard at making my SmartLink Internal Modem to work in it. It hadn’t worked in any other distro other than Debian Sarge. I started with a 64 bit version of Ubuntu, but it didn’t help. I followed the instructions in Launchpad and configured the modem. So here are the steps that I followed to make my SmartLink modem work in Ubuntu 6.06.

  1. First we need to have a few packages which need to be installed before installing the driver. You need to have build-essential, linux-headers-ARCH (where ARCH is your kernel version and can be found with uname -r in the terminal), fakeroot, module-assistant and debhelper. All these can be installed (with the dependancies) using apt-get.
  2. Then you need to install ungrab-winmodem from the linmodem website. Just extract it and make; make install to install it.
  3. Download slmodem-2.9.11-20051101.tar.gz from http://phep2.technion.ac.il/linmodems/packages/smartlink/
  4. Download sl-modem-daemon_2.9.10+2.9.9d+e-pre2-5build1_i386.deb, but don’t install it yet.
  5. Extract the tar.gz file and type make and then sudo make install in the folder where you extracted it.
  6. Type sudo modprobe slamr
  7. Then install the sl-modem-daemon using dpkg -i sl-modem-daemon_2.9.10+2.9.9d+e-pre2-5build1_i386.deb command.
  8. Type sudo /etc/init.d/sl-modem-daemon restart to restart the daemon.
  9. This ends the installation part of the modem. Now you can setup your internet connection.
  10. I used wvdial and unusually, the modem redialled every time the ISP showed the Login prompt. So, I put in the Stupid Mode = 1 in the /etc/wvdial.conf file.

Linux Device Driver Kit

Are you a device driver developer who longs for a proper device driver development kit for Linux? Here is a Linux Device Driver Kit which is released as a CD image for download. This CD image consists of everything a device driver author would wish for – copy of linux kernel source code, pre-built copies of all of the in-kernel docbook documentation for easy browsing, a full copy of the O’Reilly book, “Linux Device Drivers, third edition”.

There are also few things that would be included in the future releases, like

  • searchable index of all documentation
  • prettier webpages
  • more documentation
  • possible inclusion of the KernelNewbies wiki.

There is also a CDROM label included in the root directory which could be printed.

Koobox – $300 Linux Desktops

KooboxKoobox is a sub $300 GNU/Linux desktop released by Mirus which runs on Linspire GNU/Linux. Though Ubuntu has an OEM installation, I still haven’t used Linspire GNU/Linux.

There are three models that are available with Koobox.

  1. Essential: $299
  2. Multimedia: $399
  3. Performance: $499

Currently it is available only in US and I wonder when it will be available in India. And how much successfull it could be here.

Mac Mini leads to MiniPC with Linux

Mini PCA Taiwanese systems integrator is readying a tiny Linux-powered PC likely to make even Mac Mini owners envious. The AOpen MiniPC measures 6.5 x 6.5 x 2 inches, is powered by an Intel Pentium M or Celeron M processor, and runs Linspire Linux.

The MiniPC will be available initially in two versions. The MP915-C will be powered by an Intel Celeron M 360 processor clocked at 1.4GHz. The MP915-P will be powered by an Intel Pentium M 740 (Dothan) processor clocked at 1.73 GHz. Both models will use Intel’s 915 GM chipset, and come with a 512MB DDR2 400 SODIMM memory module running at 533MHz.

Mini PC

The Celeron-based MiniPC will include a 40GB hard drive, as well as a slot-loading DVD player and CD writer. The Pentium-based model will have an 80GB drive, and adds DVD+/- writing capability. Both models inlcude a pair of USB 2.0 host ports, along with an IEEE 1394 (FireWire) port. Both include Gigabit Ethernet ports, while the Pentium-based model comes pre-installed with an 802.11b/g mini-PCI card.
Both MiniPC’s include DVI (digital video interface) ports, and S-Video.

Mini PC

The A-Open MiniPC will ship this month in the US through TigerDirect, with prices starting at $399, including the Linspire operating system. A $499 version running WIndows XP will also be available. The Pentium M version is likely to have a street price in the US of about $600.

Linux powers robotic cow-milking machine


A 122-year-old dairy equipment company has used Linux to control a robotic cow-milking system (the system is robotic, not the cows). Delaval’s “Voluntary Milking System” lets the cows decide for themselves when to be milked, and gives dairy farmers a more independent lifestyle, free from regular milkings. The system runs a 2.4.18 Linux kernel.

Tech Tags: linux vms