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Extreme Linux Server Available to North America

ScuttleMonkey posted about 6 years ago | from the hot-hardware dept.

Hardware 188

jcasman writes "CNet is covering an announcement from Japanese Linux provider Plat'Home on a low-cost, super tough Linux-based server, now available in the US, that can handle extreme heat and cold. 'The OpenMicroServer is kind of an "extreme" use server pushing the boundaries for normal, low-cost hardware. In a 624-day endurance test, the OpenMicroServer performed normally under 122 degree F conditions. The unit also employs a power efficient AMD Alchemy (MIPS) CPU and precise part placement based on thermo-fluid analysis to achieve semi-hermetic construction.'"

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That would be (5, Informative)

cephah (1244770) | about 6 years ago | (#23151130)

50 degrees Celsius for the rest of the world.

On that note (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23151438)

What is the difference between celsius and centigrade?
And where does "stat" come from when used in medical dramas? .... "give him 10 mg of Adrenaline Stat!"

Re:On that note (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23151580)

latin: statim

Re:On that note (5, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | about 6 years ago | (#23151596)

What is the difference between celsius and centigrade?

In practical terms nothing.

In technical terms 'centigrade' scale is defined as having zero at the melting point of ice, and 100 at the boiling point of water at standard atomopheric pressure. While celsius is defined as the kelvin temperature - 273.15.

The reason for the difference was that the melting point of water is hard to measure precisely, due to the mechanics of melting creating an insulating layer of meltwater around the ice, that you can't simply stir to remove because that would introduce heat...which obviously is counter productive.

So they redefined it in terms of Kelvin which could be measured more precisely, and renamed it to make it unambiguous which definition was being used.

And where does "stat" come from when used in medical dramas?

stat is from the latin 'statim', which just means 'immediately' or 'at once'.

Re:On that note (3, Informative)

atraintocry (1183485) | about 6 years ago | (#23152150)

Regarding Celsius/centigrade, while the name change happened a few years after the change in definition, I don't think you can consider them to be separate scales. Some people still say "centigrade" and when they do so you have to assume that they're just using the wrong name, rather than start converting.

Plus, Kelvin is itself based on the triple-point of water so we can't say that Celsius is based on water and centigrade isn't. They're really just synonyms.

Re:On that note (1)

Post-O-Matron (1273882) | about 6 years ago | (#23152194)

Also 0K is a theoretical state of absolutely no heat. i.e by definition there can't be anything colder than 0K. There is no -1K.

The closest thing to 0K is outer space, which is around 3K because of the background radation, without which it would probably be 0K.

3K is about -270C, which is very darn cold. Try to think about that the next time you watch the space-walking-without-a-suit scene from Sunshine(2007).

Re:On that note (4, Informative)

danbert8 (1024253) | about 6 years ago | (#23152272)

Acutally, you can survive a limited amount of time exposed to space. See 2001: A Space Odyssey. Arthur C Clarke knew what he was talking about.
Yes, space is very very cold. But vacuums are very good insulators, so there isn't much to take the heat away from you other than radiation, which is a very slow process to lose heat by. Your blood will boil from the low pressure before you'd freeze or suffocate.

Re:On that note (1)

Post-O-Matron (1273882) | about 6 years ago | (#23152334)

I wasn't trying to argue otherwise. I'm just saying that it's something fun to think about when you watch that scene.

An interesting side note though: I wonder how reliable those estimations are. I mean it's not like we've exposed human test subjects to outer space to check how long it takes them to die, right?

Or did we...?

Re:On that note (2, Insightful)

Digi-John (692918) | about 6 years ago | (#23152516)

Scully, are you familiar with the Apollo 18 mission? It was a secret launch to test the survival times of unprotected humans in space.
But Mulder, that's crazy, the government would never--
Would never what, Scully? Never kill to hide the TRUTH? Never cover up what the public has a right to know?

Re:On that note (1)

NerdyLove (1133693) | about 6 years ago | (#23152562)

Or Short Circuit (1986) :-)

Re:On that note (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23152992)

Or Heinlein's "Gentlemen, Be Seated," Argosy, May 1948.
Reprinted in The Green Hills of Earth ;-)

Re:On that note (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23151896)

And where does "stat" come from when used in medical dramas? .... "give him 10 mg of Adrenaline Stat!"
stat comes from statim in Latin which means immediately. You were only a Google search away from that answer.

Extreme use? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23151160)

So this server shouldn't get slashdotted?

I say we test it.

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those... (-1, Offtopic)

JK_the_Slacker (1175625) | about 6 years ago | (#23151166)


Re:Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23151370)


ALICE: Ambiguous: Ask who, what or where is Ralph Kramden ?

That's nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23151400)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of MOONS!!!!

Re:That's nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23152186)

Taking the joke too far: Those are no moons!

Re:That's nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23152332)

Or perhaps, the reality is, there is no moon.

Ummm..freezing is now 0 F? (4, Funny)

Seakip18 (1106315) | about 6 years ago | (#23151190)

It can handle down to the freezing point (0 degrees F), too.
TFA can't be right. Though I got an American education, I'm pretty sure freezing is 0 C/32F. Looks like the article writer didn't read the specs.....sounds like somebody in Norway.

Re:Ummm..freezing is now 0 F? (4, Funny)

Adambomb (118938) | about 6 years ago | (#23151248)

sounds like somebody in Norway.
Nah, its just intended for a NASA re-entry module computer.

Re:Ummm..freezing is now 0 F? (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about 6 years ago | (#23151262)

Well if in Norway a No actually means a Yes, who's to say what temperature means?

Re:Ummm..freezing is now 0 F? (0)

jd (1658) | about 6 years ago | (#23151418)

Fahrenheit was developed by adding contaminants to water and marking the new freezing and boiling points, if I remember that science class corrctly, making 0F the lowest temperature you can get salt water (saturated? I forget) before it will freeze regardless. It's useful as a domestic range largely because the fixed points were based on extreme but realistic domestic cases. Since computers are not domestic items, I do not see the value in using fahrenheit.

Re:Ummm..freezing is now 0 F? (5, Interesting)

joggle (594025) | about 6 years ago | (#23151664)

The value of Fahrenheit is that it has greater precision than Celsius (when just reporting the integer part of course). The other is that it is a bit easier for people to relate to: 0 degrees is cold!, 100 degrees is hot! Whereas in Celsius 0 degrees is somewhat cold and 100 degrees, well you're way past dead at that point.

Re:Ummm..freezing is now 0 F? (1)

CowboyNealOption (1262194) | about 6 years ago | (#23151976)

The value of Fahrenheit is that it has greater precision than Celsius...

Wouldn't a decimal point solve this problem?

Re:Ummm..freezing is now 0 F? (4, Insightful)

CrazedWalrus (901897) | about 6 years ago | (#23152100)

I think that's what he meant when he said "(when just reporting the integer part of course)." People tend to think you're being overly anal retentive when you start quoting them decimal points in everyday conversation.

In other words, Farenheit gives you greater precision without making you sound like a dick. :-)

Re:Ummm..freezing is now 0 F? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23152226)

Sure, but with Celsius you'll at least know how hot it is when your blood starts boiling...

Re:Ummm..freezing is now 0 F? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23152458)

Well, for someone used to celsius it is a lot easier to relate to celsius. Also, living in Finland where we get a fair share of snow in the winter, having 0 degrees celsius be the melting point of water is very useful, as anything less means dry snow and more means wet conditions.

Further, I just have to comment on the dying thing... I've been in saunas heated to over 100 degrees celsius lots of times and I'm still alive. Perhaps swimming around in boiling water isn't such a good idea though.

By the way, 0 degrees fahrenheit isn't all that cold...

Re:Ummm..freezing is now 0 F? (1)

notamisfit (995619) | about 6 years ago | (#23152586)

According to Cecil Adams, the inventor of the scale hated using negative numbers in his temperature logs, and 0F was colder than it ever got in Denmark (where he was working).

Re:Ummm..freezing is now 0 F? (1)

jd (1658) | about 6 years ago | (#23152872)

Just imagine what the scale would have been like if he'd worked in northern Alaska....

Re:Ummm..freezing is now 0 F? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23151710)

Hmm - freezing point of what? I'm sure something freezes at 0 deg F.

How about some details? (4, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 6 years ago | (#23151192)

Ok, so it's wide temperature range, low power, and low cost. How about some more detail?

  - Actual power consumption. (How does it vary with load and temperature? What voltage (range) is required?)
  - Price.
  - Processor speed.
  - Internal memory. (Disk? Flash? How much RAM?, ...)
  - I/O ports. (How many? What are they?)


TFA was fluff.

Re:How about some details? (4, Insightful)

harrkev (623093) | about 6 years ago | (#23151290)

Try to RTFA. There is a link to most of this stuff (except price). Dual GB and one 100 ethernet (not bad). USB connectors. The problem is that the thing appears to support CF as the only internal storage option. Great for an embedded system, but there is no way to add a hard drive, short of the USB ports.

Re:How about some details? (1)

Major Blud (789630) | about 6 years ago | (#23151346)

The only specs I could find that you refer to say that it has a PowerPC 405 CPU, but the summary says it has Alchemy. I think the specs linked from the article are for a different platform.

Re:How about some details? (3, Informative)

harrkev (623093) | about 6 years ago | (#23151582)

Thanks for link but still in the dark. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 6 years ago | (#23152406)

Thanks for pointing out the link. It gives MOST of what I want.
(I see it's got lots of nice ports but requires an external modem,
which also must be hardened, low power, temperature capable, etc.)

Unfortunately, I'm still in the dark about one very important thing:

They give lots of info on the range of acceptable power INPUT TO THE INCLUDED WALL WART. However they give no such info on the 12V input to the device itself. Is the external supply handling the stabilization of that broad range of power input or is that a capability of the device itself.

Is it suitable, for instance, for hooking directly to a 12V renewable energy system or plugging directly into an automotive power supply? That means operates and is undamaged by sustained voltages between 11.75 and 14.5V, with transients far above and below that. (Protection against accidental polarity reversal and auto-shutdown if voltage has a sustained drop below 11.75V to prevent damage to batteries are also a good idea. "Sustained" in the low voltage case means tens of seconds: You don't want it to go belly-up when an engine is cranked.)

Re:How about some details? (1)

Ironsides (739422) | about 6 years ago | (#23152174)

Las I heard, CF and IDE were essentially the same. All you will probably need is a pin adapter and a power supply for the drive.

Re:How about some details? (1)

harrkev (623093) | about 6 years ago | (#23152364)

I have seen adapters that let you use CF on an IDE cable. I have never seen the reverse. While possible, good luck in trying to get an adapter to hook up your digital SLR to a 3-1/2" desktop hard drive.

Re:How about some details? (1)

Major Blud (789630) | about 6 years ago | (#23151298)

It uses Alchemy, which is a MIPS processor that AMD typically uses in embedded devices, such as portable media players and such....as a result, I wouldn't expect to have Crysis running on this thing anytime soon.

Re:How about some details? (1)

kwalker (1383) | about 6 years ago | (#23151468)

Here's where I found more info: http://www.plathome.com/products/microserver/oms/oms_spec.html [plathome.com]

This looks like a tough SLUG with some slightly better hardware.

Price is something I'm still looking for myself.

CPU: AMD Alchemyâ au1550 400MHz (Someone said this was MIPS)
Memory: 128MB (PC133 SDRAM)
Flash ROM: 16MB (User area approx. 2MB)

Looks like it's got a pair of Gbit ports and a POE-capable 10/100 port, a pair of USB2 jacks and some status lights. Also some weird RJ-45 serial port adapters, one for a modem and one for a console.

It's got a 12v/3A power supply, so it probably runs 30-50 Watts.

It's too small to house a hard drive. It looks like it's got a CF card reader built in, so you should be able to slap in something up to 8GB without any trouble, and maybe up to 32GB. Otherwise you have to hook something up USB.

Re:How about some details? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 6 years ago | (#23152136)

For reference, the slug has:
  • 266 Mhz ARM (sometimes underclocked to 133 Mhz)
  • 8 Meg (?) Flash ROM
  • 32 Meg RAM
I love my slug but I would prefer more ram.

Forgot the most important question! (3, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | about 6 years ago | (#23151218)

BUT - will it run linu..... oh, nevermind.

Re:Forgot the most important question! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23151348)

Yes, the operating system is Linux and it runs Linux applications and common open source applications. This is an example of how flexible Linux is. This type of use wouldn't be possible with Windows due to licensing costs AND inability to modify Windows to work on MIPS processors. Great use of Linux on inexpensive hardware.

Re:Forgot the most important question! (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | about 6 years ago | (#23152076)

There are a variety of Windows versions that run on MIPS operating systems, including Windows NT, Windows CE, and their variants. Also, I do not know what the Windows CE licensing costs are, but CE starts at $15 per seat and only goes down, especially if you buy in significant quantity (like any Windows licensing).

Re:Forgot the most important question! (1)

chunk08 (1229574) | about 6 years ago | (#23152158)

I do not know what the Windows CE licensing costs are, but CE starts at $15 per seat and only goes down, especially if you buy in significant quantity (like any Windows licensing)
Linux: $0 per seat and goes dow... wait... no, they don't pay you to use it. Darn.

Re:Forgot the most important question! (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 6 years ago | (#23152296)

Windows CE runs on x86, ARM, MIPS, and SHx

Re:Forgot the most important question! (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about 6 years ago | (#23152430)

Sure, but show me how to make CE act as a firewall, dhcp server, local dns, router, and mail relay for a remote office.

This little box even with its small amount of ram, and limited storeage could take care of all those needs for six or eight people while being almost no bother to maintain. Have a problem with it one day well they are light send them the replacement next day AM deliver and let them send you the old one back for repair ground for pennies.

Even if you could get CE to run on a platform like this try getting it doing all that work and being stable. With Linux most of that software already exists as good reasonable hardware independant source. Most of your work would be extracting the tarballs and typing make. Somehow I doubt you would have such an easy time doing it on windows. Now before you tell me that is not CE's fault because all that software was developed for Unix like systems, let me respond with maybe CE should have been more unix like, and maybe M$ should have made the platform more availible and attractive to port that software too. We also know that CE is not nearly stable enought to be used that way.

Re:Forgot the most important question! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23152544)

Get a life twitter.

Temperatures down to freezing? (1)

caseih (160668) | about 6 years ago | (#23151230)

Being from a cold weather climate where I can see several applications for outdoor applications, I am curious as to what they mean by "down to the freezing point (0 degrees F)." Surely they meant 0 Celsius.

Re:Temperatures down to freezing? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23151440)

Well, 0 degrees F will be the freezing point of something; just not for water under otherwise-standard conditions.

Re:Temperatures down to freezing? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 years ago | (#23152932)

Not a whole lot. I've got standard gear running out in the "wild" that runs year after year at their "extreme" temperatures.

Hell I have a old P-III that has been running a Digipeater on top of a tower in a nema 4 sealed case for 10 years now. It has seen -10DegF on a regular basis, as well as internal temps above 120F.

What is so special about this server? I've been able to buy intel based stuff that can do this for decades now.

Wow! (2, Interesting)

jd (1658) | about 6 years ago | (#23151270)

A server that could be used in North Dakota! (Seriously, that place is lethally hot in the summer and lethally cold the rest of the year. Rumour has it that the Indian burial mounds there were built by aliens, as the Indians didn't want to stay there long enough.)

An extreme end server that is ruggedized against severe temperatures has potential value in a number of areas. First, it certainly meets the thermal requirements for military-grade systems, so I would expect to see this getting some interested looks from that direction. Severe temperatures have killed voting machines, so that's another place that might be very interested in this server. Commodity e-voting with far more reliable hardware will sound a LOT more atractive to many States. The range isn't extreme enough to support some of the really harsh environments out there, but it would be good enough to get a tracked vehicle with a hose attachment into places too hot and too dangerous for human firefighters who wouldn't be able to stay that close to a fire.

Re:Wow! .....You're stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23151742)

Commodity e-voting with far more reliable hardware will sound a LOT more atractive to many States.

As someone who actually sits in the tally room on election night, please STFU. We paided $2500 per touchscreen voting maching in my county in 2005 and have funding scheduled for replacements in 2020. Where in the hell can you buy a machine (for any purpose) that lasts 15 years and costs $2500?

Outside of issues with printers getting jammed on election night, we have zero issues with hardware. I've worked on ES&S, Diebold, and Sequoia equipment. Trust me, it all sucks because they are all broke and recertifing your product costs about $4,000,000.

Hardware is not the issue. The issue is that voting machine companies upgrade their clients hardware once every 10 - 20 years and make minimal profits off the support because *GASP* they can't attract decent upper management due to zero growth in the industry. They get crap programmmers for the same reason. The hardware is all off the shelf mini-itx motherboards. It doesn't have problems.

Software is an issue and will continue to be so until the government actually starts to pay more for voting machines or nationalizes the industry. I've sent bug fixes(Yes, I've modified their code and sent it back to them. Any clerk's office can get access to the source by signing an NDA.), and they don't roll them in until 2 or 3 years down the road due to the cost of getting certified.

Producing patches would bankrupt any voting machine vendor as you have to get recertified from top to bottom anytime you change the code.

But yes, I'm sure you are right. Local governments are just dieing for this. It's not like you couldn't fit a homeless shelter inside most current voting machines as it is. I'll give you a clue. They are huge for a reason.

You people need to stop talking when they have no clue what you are talking about. The voting machine industry is a mess for a lot of reasons, and if you want to fix it, I suggest you stop reading slashdot and start studing for the law bar.

.....just venting.

Re:Wow! .....You're stupid. (1)

jd (1658) | about 6 years ago | (#23152492)

paided? Well, that's a new one to me. Must see if anyone notices in a game of Boggle. $2,500 for a machine and you want it to run for 15 years? I built embedded kiosks for the US Coast Guard for a fraction of that that not only had to last 10-15 years but do so under rough seas and/or under fire. I've built embedded systems for chemstry departments that had to work more-or-less indefinitely in an atmosphere rich in nitric acid fumes. (Metal literally corroded in front of you.) No, what could I, a mere programmer, not some tally room typist, know about extreme conditions?

If you were the least bit serious and genuinely wanted a ruggedized voting system that could last 10-15 years on a continuous run without maintenance, I could build vastly superior machines to the ones you get for $1,500 initially, perhaps half that if you ordered in bulk. If you wanted printers that could never jam, that would be harder but I don't regard it as even in the realms of difficult. I see no reason why I couldn't design and build you a jamless printer with equal warranty if that is what you really wanted. My guess is that a fair-sized fraction of Slashdot - probably 2,000 of the 100,000 readers to visitg regularly - could do at least one or both of these tasks.

It is also interesting that independent observers and those to voted in the last few elections complained of machines overheating far more than they complained of paper jams (where paper was supplied). Are you saying that all these people lied and you are the sole bearer of truth? You may well be telling the truth about the machines you monitored, but how dare you insinuate that all those other folks were out-and-out liard, unless you have definite proof they were?

Above all, how dare you tell the technical community that we're mere "slashdot readers" when most of us can build vastly superior machines, maintain machines to a higher standard, or even just know how to keep a bunch of rollers clean? Unless you're willing to put your money where your mouth is, and run the comparison, don't tell us what we can and cannot do.

Re:Wow! .....You're stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23152776)

If you wanted printers that could never jam, that would be harder

Actually, that would be trivial if you were "doing it right": don't use the ultra cheap thin thermal paper, and engineer the printer so that paper is fed straight through it (for instance, the paper path runs along the side of the device, from the top to the bottom, with the print head in the middle underneath the paper path facing up (so that the ballot comes out face down). It could be done the other way around, but with the printer inside the device, the paper path can be accessed via a simple thin hinged cover to replace paper or unjam it in the event that it does jam). If you go with non-thermal paper, bonus points if you use a printer from a company that doesn't charge $50 per mL of ink.

Also, excellent comeback, though "liard" has got to be up there with "paided" ;)

Re:Wow! .....You're stupid. (1)

jd (1658) | about 6 years ago | (#23152828)

Thanks! As for my typos...Argh! Laird and visitg. (Yep, I found another typo in my post.) Gah. Well, at least at this rate I should be getting an offer to be a Slashdot editor. :)

Extreme? (5, Informative)

clarkn0va (807617) | about 6 years ago | (#23151274)

0-50C is hardly extreme. (Use the AC adapter and it's 0-40C--same as just about any of the commodity electronic components in my home).

Sorry if I'm not overly impressed.


Re:Extreme? (4, Informative)

Flavio (12072) | about 6 years ago | (#23151504)

Exactly. I design instrumentation for the power industry. We're talking about equipment which has to run at up to 70 C during the day, every day, with a target lifespan of at least a decade. That can get tricky, specially in humid environments (think of power substations installed deep in the jungle), but it can be done and has been done for the last 50 years.

0-50 C gets close to consumer grade. As long as you choose power efficient designs, use a decent safety factor for the power supply and buy good parts (meaning no cheap electrolytic capacitors built with stolen formulas), there won't be any problems.

Re:Extreme? (1)

johannesg (664142) | about 6 years ago | (#23151510)

Yeah. I work in the space industry. I am currently looking at equipment that needs to survive temperatures from -200C to +200C, in a 10-7mbar vacuum (i.e. there is no heat conduction through the atmosphere, so you can forget about fans). *That* is an extreme environment.

What is described here is merely the room temperature range preferred by my two colleagues (I think they are both weird, but that's another story).

Re:Extreme? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23151616)

Yeah but will your super duper space kit run linux?

Re:Extreme? (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 6 years ago | (#23152682)

...you can forget about fans

Even if they have cool looking LEDs on them?
Nothing is more EXTREME than a fan with LEDs.

Re:Extreme? (1)

codemachine (245871) | about 6 years ago | (#23151798)

Agreed. The outdoor air temperature here can vary from -45C to +45C. And at +45, you can bet that most electronics will be running warmer than ambient temperature.

I'm most disappointed in this thing's ability to handle cold. Only down to 0C? Pretty much useless around here.

Re:Extreme? (3, Interesting)

JungleBoy (7578) | about 6 years ago | (#23151906)

I agree as well. I regularly need embedded servers/controllers and ethernet switches that work down to -40 degrees (C/F are the same here). I install them on mountain tops in Alaska. What really annoys me is when the specs list -40 as the minimum operating temperatures, but they used crappy ethernet PHY chips that need to be kept warm, so they use a heater circuit. They never tell you this in the documentation, you just wonder why the power usage goes through the room when it gets cold.

Re:Extreme? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23152316)

Yeah, 0 to 50degC.. wow (not!).

Go for some of the net4801/5501 boards rated up to
70/60degC and they're a little cheaper.

Xtreme (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23151278)

If its Xtreme then it has to be good!

Half the story (4, Interesting)

JesseL (107722) | about 6 years ago | (#23151342)

How well does it work in a condensing atmosphere?

It's easy to work down to 0C when conditions are perfectly dry, it's another story when everything starts to sweat.

And what kind of airflow are we talking about when operating at 122F ambient?

Re:Half the story (2, Insightful)

snowraver1 (1052510) | about 6 years ago | (#23151682)

Generally speaking, condensation is not really an issue for operating electronics.

Using electricity, however much, generates heat. This means that the device will always be warmer than the ambiant temperature. If the temerature drops to the dew point, condensaction forms on objects that are the same temperature or colder than the dew point, but since your device is generating heat, it will remain dew/frost free!

Think, when there is frost (or dew) do you ever have frost on the exterior of your house? The small amount of heat leaking through the walls keeps your house dry.

If you introduce active cooling (things that will lower the temp to below the ambient temp), then you can have condensation.

Re:Half the story (2, Insightful)

JesseL (107722) | about 6 years ago | (#23152278)

How about when powering up a device that's been off for a while?

Or if the ambient temperature suddenly shifts? Not everything lives in a stationary box.

I've had to apply conformal coatings to enough industrial electronics to know that humidity does cause issues for them.

The stuff my company has done in manufacturing power generating wind turbine controls makes this thing's specs pretty unimpressive.

Re:Half the story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23151702)

Given the relative humidity spec of "RH 20-80% (to prevent condensation)", I'm guessing "not well".

Re:Half the story (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 years ago | (#23152954)

Grab a can of Chemtronics spray conformal coating and I can make it work fine in 100% humidity and constant condensation. It's brain-dead easy to make this stuff more durable to atmospheric conditions. Typically though you put them in a sealed cabinet with a dessicant can so you dont have the problem

Semi-hermetic construction, huh? (3, Funny)

roystgnr (4015) | about 6 years ago | (#23151378)

How can something be "semi"-airtight? Does this mean that if you plug it in and drop it into the bathtub with you, you'll only end up semi-dead?

Free samples available (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23151458)

It looks like free samples are available for testing.


Though, it looks like you have to return it eventually.

Thermo-fluid semi-hermetic what?????? (2, Informative)

viking80 (697716) | about 6 years ago | (#23151722)

You do not know what "precise part placement based on thermo-fluid analysis to achieve semi-hermetic construction" means?
Well, lets break it up:
a) "precise part placement"
b) "thermo-fluid analysis"
c) "semi-hermetic construction"
It means that
A) the CPU is placed close to the case, so B)the case functions as a heat sink. Therefore, no fan is needed and the box is C) dustproof.

This happens to be a fairly common design.

Re:Thermo-fluid semi-hermetic what?????? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23152572)

Well, the pictures show a big "heat dissipation plate" between the CPU and the case, so the case isn't the heat sink. But don't worry -- nobody else read the article either.

I'll help you by breaking it down:

a) "precise part placement"
b) "thermo-fluid analysis"
c) "semi-hermetic construction"

It means that

1) the marketing director and the product designer spent some time together at the bar, so
2) the marketing director came away with some fancy-sounding words for the press release...
3) profit.

What about Canada? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23151790)

The product webpage says it's only available in the U.S. -- the headline is misleading.

Re:What about Canada? (2, Interesting)

belg4mit (152620) | about 6 years ago | (#23151940)

What about Canada? You're just as guilty of centricism. What about Mexico, Panama, Honduras...

Re:What about Canada? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23152800)

Just to nitpick: the GP post is guilty, but not "just as guilty".

The term North America (in English) is commonly used in the media (and in corporate literature, as a market demarcation) to refer to the U.S. and Canada. (Strictly speaking, Mexico should be included as well, but in the English-speaking media, Mexico is often regarded as part of Latin America).

Whether or not Mexico is included depends on the context.... but generally, North America is not a a synonym for the United States.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_America#Usage [wikipedia.org]

Did you know? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23151802)

Many evolutionary servologists believe that the computers that function in modern server room environments share a common ancestor that existed before air conditioning and electric power generation. Ancient servers were likely powered by sulfur compounds and operated at much higher temperatures and pressures.

That's not ruggedized (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about 6 years ago | (#23151908)

I just came back from the Embedded Systems Conference, where you see systems running on shake tables, or submerged in aquaria. With fish. -18C to 50C is not an industrial temperature range. Normally, the "commercial range" is 0C to 70C, and "industrial range" is -40C to +85C. It's all solid state memory, so there's not much of a temperature problem at the low end, as long as the humidity is low enough to avoid condensation or ice. "Thermo-fluid analysis to achieve semi-hermetic construction." - right.

Also, the thing has a MIPS processor, and it's a bit late for that. It's not even AMD product any more; the Alchemy line was sold off to Raza [razamicroelectronics.com] years ago.

A 624 day endurance test! (1)

foxtrot (14140) | about 6 years ago | (#23152600)

So by the time you buy it, the darned thing's already been obsolete for a year and a half or so?

Home Data Center candidate? (1)

planckscale (579258) | about 6 years ago | (#23152616)

This actually looks like something I could use. I am considering building a mock up of a data center in my condo. The big problems are lack of space, noise, heat, and power. I'd be interested to know the price of one with minimal specs. I'd like to put 6 of these in my closet, and have one run as a NAS, and the other as routers, firewalls, and servers. If they are under $500 I would highly consider them. Putting a real 19" rack in the closet with real 1u or 2u servers is just amazingly hot and noisy. But 6 of these stacked on top of each other with a fan-less switch (anyone know of a good one?) seems like a good option.
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