Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 24th Feb 2009 18:22 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Chip company ARM is prepping to make its move into the netbook market, and now it has shown off a few prototype designs that really show off the benefits of using the ARM platform: thanks to passive cooling, no fans are required, enabling ARM netbooks to be much thinner and lighter than their Intel counterparts. Thanks to ZDNet, we have a nice video overview of these ARM netbooks - as well as a few very tiny ARM desktop machines.
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RE: I'm almost excited
by lemur2 on Wed 25th Feb 2009 02:18 UTC in reply to "I'm almost excited"
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

What about flash and skype? I hate to pull out two binary blobs as reasons not to support such a cool device but my reality is that I use both of these every day. Also, are all the same codecs going to work? win32 codecs, etc? NDIS wrapper? Do these things integrate bluetooth and webcams?


Flash -> gnash
Skype -> Skype for Linux
win32codecs -> ffmpeg
NDIS wrapper -> native Linux wireless driver (eg atheros, intel)
bluetooth -> bluez
webcam -> yes indeed.

No need for any binary blob drivers on Linux any longer. Not saying that every single hardware device has open source drivers ... but if ARM are building a non-x86 netbook it would be utterly stupid of ARM to include a chip that had only an x86 binary driver available when there are plenty of other chips to choose from that do have native Linux drivers ...

In fact, a company such as Atheros recently went to considerable lengths to ensure their chips had open source drivers, even going to the extent to hire developers to write said drivers, precisely so that Atheros chips would be able to be considered for use on machines such as these ARM netbooks.

There is a big market out there (especially embedded devices, servers and supercomputers) these days for anything that can run Linux.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: I'm almost excited
by lemur2 on Wed 25th Feb 2009 03:58 in reply to "RE: I'm almost excited"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

There is a big market out there (especially embedded devices, servers and supercomputers) these days for anything that can run Linux.


Speaking of which ... here is a server machine, that is also an embedded device, that runs Debian:

http://www.tgdaily.com/html_tmp/content-view-41525-136.html


It is built right in to the wall plug!

I have no idea what architecture it actually is, but I don't think it is x86.

Anyway ... once you have the basic build environment set up, and you can successfully cross-compile the kernel, then given that Debian is all about having the source code available, it means that all 26,000+ Debian packages should be available to your port almost straight away (once the initial work is done).

That type of thing is the whole POINT of having the source code. One can port it.

Incidentally ... Debian's collection of 26,000+ packages is perhaps the biggest SINGLE collection (as in, all in the one place) of source code on the planet, wouldn't it be?

Edited 2009-02-25 04:02 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: I'm almost excited
by transputer_guy on Wed 25th Feb 2009 05:17 in reply to "RE[2]: I'm almost excited"
transputer_guy Member since:
2005-07-08

<
http://www.tgdaily.com/html_tmp/content-view-41525-136.html

It is built right in to the wall plug!
>

Or just go to Marvell.com

That link is almost as interesting but for a variety of other uses, embedded controllers and what not. The ARM netbox version shown in the article though is a bigger more capable device. If $200 buys a netbook, I wonder what a netbook without the KB & LCD will cost. Thats something I could slap on the back of any monitor. The Marvell link gives a $50-$100 netbox inside the power brick but probably less capable in some way. It is an ARM chip architecture combined with many other PC components on a single SOC (system on a chip). It even says 512MB of DRAM inside, but I bet that is off chip but packaged as bare dice on femto sized board. It has no video, just 1 Gb network and 1 USB2 port, period.

Question
Does Ubuntu/Linux support any of the USB->VGA adapters out there? And if it does, would that only be for a second head rather than the only head?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: I'm almost excited
by steve_s on Wed 25th Feb 2009 20:14 in reply to "RE[2]: I'm almost excited"
steve_s Member since:
2006-01-16

A bit of research and you'll find that wall-plug computer is based on Marvell's Sheeva platform, which is ARM compatible.

Reply Parent Score: 1