Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 19th May 2003 17:32 UTC
Morphos Genesi was very kind to send us in a fully featured Pegasos-based computer with MorphOS and Debian pre-installed. Here is our review with a number of screenshots of the supported OSes. Update: That machine has now being donated to the Computer History Museum in the Bay Area.
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by Anonymous on Mon 19th May 2003 17:53 UTC

Great review!

I believe that thermal and noise issues are becoming a big liability for x86. When computers are one box sitting in the corner humming, used only once every couple of days, it's one thing. But when people like you and me want to make our own set top boxes, or mount something under a cabinet in the kitchen with one of those neat fold down touch screen LCD's and have music, recipies, etc stream to it, we need moderate amounts of CPU power and we don't need no stinkin fans!

I work in the embedded world, and many of the products are SoC, MIPS-based for ultra low end, and ARM7 / StrongARM / XScale going up, but in my opinion, none of them scale as well up or down compared to PPC. I mean, just look at the sheer amount of ppc variant chips out there, for just about every purpose. And scales to MP too.

I had a point in here somewhere. When most companies use these boards, they typically throw a bunch of hardcore driver hackers at it and hack the shit out of a couple reference boards. They then bootstrap whatever RTOS they're using. How much of a pain in the ass this can be should not be underestimated. One bad race condition in an ISR buried deep in a 3rd party closed driver can cause a fault once every 300,000,000 times executing.

So what I'm trying to say here is that it'd be cool also if these folks decided to scale down to even lower power and smaller boards, perhaps with built-in 802.11 and put up things on their site like "so you're a geek and want to create a silent, low power, wireless mp3 / ogg / video etc client in your kitchen. This board comes pre-loaded with linux and good documentation, boots from a compact flash." I'd probably buy 5 of those right now. Like I said, they're probably available from elsewhere, but are targeted at companies that already have a team of platform engineers. SoC-style systems are cheap to make (translating to decent margins), these guys could probably make some decent money.