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Small Footprint Computers

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the cuteness dept.

Linux Business 297

Robert Cliff writes "VIA's Mini-ITX based computers have been covered in Slashdot before, but not by this company. This product is interesting because it is a SiS based, fanless 233 MHZ system measuring only 4.75 x 6.25 x 1.9 inches, and it can run off BOTH AC and DC. If you need something larger / powerful, they have other Mini-ITX based systems, which they claim is built "on same factory that builds the cases for many high-end audio products". These guys seem to be heavily promoting Linux."

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297 comments

Let me get this straight.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6296704)

"VIA's Mini-ITX based computers have been covered in Slashdot before, but not by this company."

Um, this company builds Mini-ITX computers or do they cover/review them?

Or is it Slashdot that builds them or this company that builds them?

Errr, um, I'm confused.

Re:Let me get this straight.... (4, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296740)

I see your confusion. They also seem to be building their machines outside, on the roof:

they have other Mini-ITX based systems, which they claim is built "on same factory that builds the cases for many high-end audio products".

Re:Let me get this straight.... (2, Interesting)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296922)

I love my mini-itx server, but the built-in NIC just plain craps out on me when I'm uploading large quantities of MP3s to it via Samba. Anyone else running Clarkconnect (RH-based) see the same thing?

Re:Let me get this straight.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6296970)

> Errr, um, I'm confused.

It's a paid slashvertisment.

ac _and_ dc? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6296721)

Does that mean AC _and_ DC, or AC _or_ DC? And is pretty much useless, but or would be nice. Even nicer would be if it's capable of switching between them while it's running, as long as at least one is plugged in. Of course, I'm just an AC, and too lazy to actually read the article...

Re:ac _and_ dc? (1)

bdc0 (541532) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296811)

From the article:
External power supply - AC (85 - 240 volts) / DC (12 volts).
So if you have AC, you need an external supply with 12 V DC out. DC you need 12 V. Sort of true of everything with a wall wart or external supply (e.g. every laptop). Nothing new here.

Re:ac _and_ dc? (1)

toddestan (632714) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296904)

The big question is, of course, could it handle being wired directly to a car's electrical system? Which generally puts out a not very clean 11-14.5 volts DC depending on various factors. I'm guessing it can't - but if it could it would be damn nice.

Re:ac _and_ dc? (2, Informative)

bdc0 (541532) | more than 10 years ago | (#6297141)

Not enough details provided to tell. Given the cost, I would put a part before it, e.g. a step up/down switcher [ti.com] and some caps to handle (electrical) noise.

Re:ac _and_ dc? (5, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296858)

Does that mean AC _and_ DC, or AC _or_ DC?

He says AC and DC. I assume that means it needs an AC waveform superimposed over a DC bias. That seems obscure, but actually any phone jack will supply such a voltage. Therefore, I conclude that this system is powered by telephone dialtones.

FUCK ALL OF YOU LINIX LOVING COCKGOBBLERS (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6296726)

Linux is only free if your time has no value. - Jamie Zawinski

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_
g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/_CMDR_\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)__TACO_|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\WAS_HERE_//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_e_x_*_


Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Re:FUCK ALL OF YOU LINIX LOVING COCKGOBBLERS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6296736)

"g_o_a_t_e_x"

I always wear Goatex brand tampons!

Oh shit, writer's block! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6296733)

This article has nothing to do with the RIAA or SCO. What the fuck am I supposed to complain about in my comment?

Re:Oh shit, writer's block! (1)

Uart (29577) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296936)

They do offer to install windows on these little buggers. Thats mildly reprehensible of them. You could try to complain about that. If that fails, there is always the obvious, "why would I pay for a computer that small! I can get a normal sized one for much less" -- seemed to work well the last time Slashdot posted an article about a small computer.

Re:Oh shit, writer's block! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6296952)

Complain because they offer to install windows? Thats the stupidest thing I have heard. Complain if they FORCE you to install windows.

Easy! (4, Funny)

mhore (582354) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296980)

What the fuck am I supposed to complain about in my comment?

Simple! They don't come in Beowulf clusters or run BSD by default!

mike.

Re:Oh shit, writer's block! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6297010)

Perhaps this [tinyurl.com] will help.

Oh god, please stop me. (4, Funny)

tuba_dude (584287) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296737)

I don't know, it seems like a pointless plug for these guys, but with linux pre-installed, it also seems worth it.

Also, since I can't resist:
Imagine a beowulf cluster of these...on a BOOKCASE!

Re:Oh god, please stop me. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6296830)

And because I'm an idiot, how the hell can that be modded overrated without being previously moderated?

Re:Oh god, please stop me. (4, Funny)

merlin_jim (302773) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296966)

Also, since I can't resist:
Imagine a beowulf cluster of these...on a BOOKCASE!


I hope it's a metal bookcase and that you took all the books out first.

Cause otherwise that's gonna be real hard to explain to the apartment manager how that fire started...

Re:Oh god, please stop me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6297045)

Tell the manager the fire started when you and his daughter were in bed together, rolling around, and you knocked over some candles. He'll forget all about the fire.

Re:Oh god, please stop me. (1)

tuba_dude (584287) | more than 10 years ago | (#6297074)

I'm personally leaning toward the "excessive fire-suppression system" method to prevent fires in the first place. The "too much fun in bed with your daugher" method sounds like too much running.

hand holding it (5, Funny)

pbranes (565105) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296739)

I don't think I would get near it if that gross hand comes with it.

Discount Hand Models (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6297077)

Welcome to the Crypt Keeper's House of Hand Models.

Honestly, do you think they could have gotten someone beside Doris the lunch lady??

Nice (5, Funny)

fudgefactor7 (581449) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296747)

Now I can have an answer to the age old question "Are you happy to see me or is that a computer in your pocket?"

Re:Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6296965)

Err, seeing that until recently PC's haven't been pocket sized (PDA's aside,) wouldn't the advent of pocket sized PDA's actually unsolve the answer to said question? :) In the old days, you'd KNOW what was in said pocket (excluding banana's, etc.) ;^P

Re:Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6297053)

And we're pretty sure you're not talking about the 6.25 inch edge, now are you?

Dear Slashdot (2, Funny)

Donald Knuth (677635) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296750)

I'm interested in placing an ad similar to this one for the upcoming release of "The Art of Computer Programming, Volume Four".

Which of your departments at OSDN should I contact to take advantage of this wonderful marketing opportunity? If I wish to purchase more than one article, is there any volume pricing available?

I've been begging (5, Interesting)

ToadMan8 (521480) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296757)

for one of these for some time now. I would like to put it with wifi in the back of my car and run a custom (read: linux) mp3 server. Now all I need to tack down is the touch screen LCD interface for it (seriously). A little LCD (must be at least 300 whatever brightness units to see in the sunlight of a car interior) isn't bad on it's own, but with touchscreen it's a bit more pricy. Oh, and I don't yet understand how to interface it with a normal OS like a desktop linux or windows (god forbid). Any suggestions? Anybody done anything like this? This appears to be the perfect 'puter for it though ::grin::

Re:I've been begging (0)

tuba_dude (584287) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296886)

I've had a couple opporotunities for interfacing a headless system with a desktop. I'm using one now as a file server and streaming music server. Last month I had a problem with my monitor, and the only way I could use that system was through a remote X server. I still got full use out of it by using a friend's old laptop as the interface. Lots you can do, it's all a matter of what you need it to do.

Re:I've been begging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6297040)

Good hell. Did you even read his question? He was asking how to interface an LCD touch screen with linux. Suddenly you are blabbing about a remote X server. Shut up please!

Re:I've been begging (1)

tuba_dude (584287) | more than 10 years ago | (#6297124)

Oh hell, I'm an idiot. Right. Attempt number two. Older/cheaper touchscreens are usually serial with drivers, or emulate ps/2 mice.

Re:I've been begging (2, Interesting)

Dstrct0 (442821) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296975)

I know where you can get a cheap LCD touch-screen:

Look up Softfield Technologies. I think the URL is www.softfield.com [softfield.com].

I recently picked one up from them for around $40 CDN to replace the one on my PDA. It isn't colour, but I haven't had any trouble with brightness, and the price is mighty good. You might have to rig your own connector to hook one of their screens up to a Mini-ITX machine, but I've heard from a friend that Softfield is really good about providing pinouts and other technical specs upon request.

Good luck, be sure to post an article about it when you're done!

Re:I've been begging (4, Informative)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296993)

Look into the PJRC MP3 board - http://www.pjrc.com/tech/mp3/ . No need for a full computer.

Serial Dumb Terminal (1)

SHEENmaster (581283) | more than 10 years ago | (#6297025)

You just need to run a few wires back to your computer, and write a script that listens on /dev/ttyS0.

You can play an mp3 from your script with "mpg321 foo.mp3" or "mpg123 foo.mp43". The former works better IMHO.

I have an mp3 server in my stereo the shares its file over samba, so that everyone in the house (myself and the winshit lameasses) can get files or add to them.

Re:I've been begging (4, Informative)

throbbingbrain.com (443482) | more than 10 years ago | (#6297127)

Now all I need to tack down is the touch screen LCD interface for it
Try a Matrix Orbital [matrixorbital.com] VFD. It's bright enough for viewing in direct sunlight.

It's not touchscreen, but it works well and there's already Linux based software [cajun.nu] to drive it as an MP3 jukebox

I used a VFD 20x4 display, an IRman IR reciever, and a credit card size remote control in my car. Works great.

SiS (4, Informative)

Iron Monkey (113162) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296765)

From my experience, at least with my vid card, SiS and linux don't mix all that well...

Re:SiS (3, Informative)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296860)

SiS laptop video series don't do acceleration well under linux, but who uses the acceleration with this type of computer/chipset?

The SiS video isn't much faster than a old TNT or so, even when accelerated.

I've used Linux with ECS K7S5A and K7SEM and used the onboard video with no trouble, albiet not accelerated.

Re:SiS (1)

jmaatta (550428) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296874)

From my experience with various SiS hardware, they don't mix with anything. I've had problems with every single SiS-based thing I've ever touched to.

Buggy IDE chipsets destroying data, buggy video cards not working like their specs say they should, ...

Too bad (1)

mykepredko (40154) | more than 10 years ago | (#6297144)

I was looking for a good platform for a home grown TiVo, the GP+ looked just about perfect with its video in/out and networking capability.

I guess this ain't it.

myke

This interests me (3, Insightful)

KingDaveRa (620784) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296773)

I'm the kind of person who would like some sort of constantly running system like this (I want to implement a Cache sometime) so these sorts of systems intrigue me. I couldn't put up with the constant whirr of a full PC, but I could put up with one of these. Trouble is, this one seems so pricey, considering the minimalistic specs. For the price I could build a much faster, more capable system, albeit a lot louder (and a bit bigger - its a MATX case I've got lying about here). Are these guys just aiming for too small a market and pricing themselves out? I think they might be.

Re:This interests me (1)

toddestan (632714) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296998)

Do what I just did. Build a system, put it into a closet or another less-used room, and run the cables out to monitor/keyboard/mouse/etc. My AMD Athlon 2000 now lives in the closet, with it's 2 HDDs, 7 fans, and all that other stuff and I can barely hear it when I shut the closet door. Plus, all my shirts now come preheated! (the closet is like 110 degrees F, seriously)

Dear Slashvertisers (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6296780)

I'm interested in placing an ad similar to this one for the upcoming release of "The Art of Spam, Volume Four".

Which of your departments at OSDN should I contact to take advantage of this wonderful marketing opportunity? If I wish to purchase more than one article, is there any volume pricing available?

There's some irony here (1)

mykepredko (40154) | more than 10 years ago | (#6297102)

The "Slashdot Effect" is for real... You would go broke with the number of people accessing your page, reading sample pdfs, etc...

It would be much more efficient for you to take over a bunch of different systems, have each one create a number of Yahoo! and Hotmail accounts and send out advertisements using this tool. You know, using what's in the book to promote it.

At the very least you would find out if the methods in the book works (and probably get a better handle on your ancestry to boot).

myke

Cool... but... (3, Funny)

tbase (666607) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296785)

That little guy has some potential, but that is quite possibly the cheesiest looking case I have ever seen. They should have at least put a blur filter on that picture - Sheesh! How about hitting the mold with a hammer a couple of times to knock the air bubbles out of the plastic, at least for the one you're going to use for the product shot!

233MHz??? (4, Funny)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296788)

Phhsht. My toaster has a 533MHz processor, and it runs off of AC, DC _and_ chemical energy (aka toast ;)

Re:233MHz??? (1)

einstein (10761) | more than 10 years ago | (#6297068)

hmm, toast power? do you put in 2 slices of bread, and only get one piece of toast back, the other used for fuel?

somehow I doubt bread with catch on as a energy source. Think of the distribution problems! bread trucks having accidents and catching fire!

oh, wait, that hydrogen I'm supposed to be afraid of. carry on.

Mini-ATX is fine and all (4, Funny)

NightWulf (672561) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296789)

But for some reason I think of my computer like my car, if it isn't big, loud and forcing other people to stare at it, it's not good! I want the giant 9 bay tower with the jet engine fans blowing out 100,000CFM of air. Hell you want a nice pc mod, figure out a way to shove a motorcycle muffler on the tower, and add a throttle level to the mouse, rev up your system before the big crunch session.

The above post about power and tower size has no correlation to the size of my genitalia, ah who am I kidding....

Re:Mini-ATX is fine and all (1)

aliens (90441) | more than 10 years ago | (#6297080)

Heh, it makes me laugh to think of a geek grunting like Tim Allen on Home Improvement around his PC.

More Power!!! Urh Urh Urh (spelling?)

Perfect! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6296803)

I can hear the trolls now....
Goatse The Server...

$400? (2, Insightful)

dafoomie (521507) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296810)

It looks cool and all, but $400 is a little much for a 233mhz system without video. Maybe if you had a specific need for something like this. You only need to go slightly bigger (a few of them stacked on top of each other) and you can have a modern system for around that price.

Where's my clan? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6296815)

what happened to it?

My experiance (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6296820)

I am here today to dicuss my discust with Gentoo Linux! Why can't they make a version of XFree86 that works! I have now threw by gentoo disc in the bin and have installed a REAL [suse.com] linux distribution.

It's not linux that is not ready for the desktop, it is half assed distros like gentoo, debian and gnu/hurd that are not ready for the desktop. Come on, why should I care if Debian has the ultimate package system when it ships with 2.2 kernel that makes you edit about 50,000 text files just to get twm working. Let alone a fully featured gnome desktop complete with sound, dri AND printer working. Wake me up when all you have to do to install gentoo is

1. Insert CD into drive
2. Wait 1 hour for it to compile
3. Come back to fully featured gnome desktop.

I am now comforatble on my shiny new gnome desktop which unlike the gentoo version, dosen't slow to a halt when a cron job is runining.

Support Qualtity distros, it may not be free, but you DO GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!

Re:My experiance (1)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296898)

eh, try going back to the source and grabbing a woody deb disk. Worked magic from me, just don't try updating from potato to woody. Might even want to go as far as sarge, but if you want to use Gnome 2 this may be a bad idea.

Re:My experiance (1)

Chuck Bucket (142633) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296976)

haha, you borked the SuSE link too! You need to use the PREVIEW button before posting. :) Perhaps Gentoo isn't for you, but it sure is for me. Currently running 4 Gentoo boxes, 2 as desktops with Gnome. Over 5 years I've been through RH->MDK->DEB->SLACK and now I'm all set on Gentoo.

CB

Diskless terminals. (4, Interesting)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296822)

Depending on the cost (and it would have to be cheap), these would make GREAT xterminals. Hell, as I speak I'm prepping a 233MHz laptop for a new life as a web kiosk/dumb terminal for a coffee shop.

Of course, this doesn't address the really issue with size: the screen.

Heres an idea.... (1)

bc8o8 (683988) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296825)

Wrap one of those foldable monitors around one of these, add a roll up keyboard, and you've got one hell of a portable system!!

Re:Heres an idea....Form factor. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6297110)

" Wrap one of those foldable monitors around one of these, add a roll up keyboard, and you've got one hell of a portable system!!"

Oh lovely. Computers in the burrito format.

Damn, I thought this was mini-itx NOT FROM VIA (4, Interesting)

ahooton (175832) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296832)

I have been really hoping some other company would start releasing good mini-itx motherboards, other than Via. Their support for linux on the mini-itx boards is just really, really bad. Why is it that no other companies are releasing this form factor? It will be a huge part of the motherboard market (regardless of the OS), once there is some competition by the board manufacturers. Right now, we're all stuck with just one provider for these boards!

Is there somebody I have missed that is also making the mini-itx format?

Re:Damn, I thought this was mini-itx NOT FROM VIA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6296960)

I am not aware of any... shuttle is good enough for most people.

Re:Damn, I thought this was mini-itx NOT FROM VIA (2, Informative)

merlin_jim (302773) | more than 10 years ago | (#6297018)

There are a couple of companies releaseing to the mini-itx standard now, but not a lot. And though others have claimed good linux support I have yet to get a distro to install on my first gen mini-itx... I've tried SuSe 7.1 personal, 7.1 pro, 8.0 pro, and Redhat 8.

For all your mini-itx goodness, checkout www.mini-itx.com daily.

Apple's New Prodcut. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6296838)

NEWS BULITIN - Cupertino, CA

Rumors came to an end today. In a press conference, Steve Jobs announced the new Apple user input/output device. The device, called COCK(R), it is a radical shift in human interaction devices. COCK(R)'s enhanced as it also contains feedback support.

Basically COCK(R) looks like a shaft with two balls at the end. A user places the shaft into their mouth and keeps the balls pointed towards the monitor. There are sensors on the balls that track the motion of the COCK(R) in relation to the monitor. The user must look at the area on the screen to move the mouse. Thrusting of the shaft results in click actions. Additional functions may be provided by mapping licking and coddling the balls.

Since the device is used by one's mouth, bio-metric security can easily be used on OS X. COCK(R) has a built sampling device which can match saliva to specific users on the computer. As such, the user will have access based on their spit.

Feedback exists in several forms. First the shaft may increase in size to better fit the user's mouth. This usually takes a couple of minutes. There is also the ability to give the user a slight shock given error conditions on the computer. Additionally, in severe error states, a milky substance will be emitted from the COCK(R) to signify an error condition to the user.

Questions at the press release signified mixed opinions on COCK(R). There seems to be resistance to using such a device in the non-Macintosh community. Steve Jobs acknowledged this problem. As such, the current mice will still be available when purchasing Macintoshes. Currently Apple is marketing towards current users of their platform. "Product testing showed us that long-term Mac users were most willing to use COCK," Jobs stated.

Despite resistance, Apple does not feel it will hurt their sales, only increase them. Jobs said "We at Apple hope that COCK will be as important as our switch to G3 based computers. As such, our marketing staff are fully committed to convincing every one that COCK is the best."

Now that Steve Jobs released COCK(R) onto the world, he hopes sales will increase steadily. One mac fan stated "COCK is the best IO device in the world. Even the milky error substance tastes great!" Apple's stock has not significantly dropped or rose. However, Apple's online store estimates that sales of COCK(R) will rise in the next two weeks.

Re:Apple's New Prodcut. (1)

boy_afraid (234774) | more than 10 years ago | (#6297008)

You don't know how close you really are.

Take a look at this device [wired.com] that you do put in your mouth. It will let you see with your mouth, or sense other things like G-forces when you fly and put this thing in your mouth.

Re:Apple's New Prodcut. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6297034)

That has got to be the most subtle way of calling mac users gay that I have ever seen. Good stuff.

I'm going to take an edumacated guess (0)

confused philosopher (666299) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296842)

...and say that Quantum Bigfoot drives won't fit in a small footprint computer box?

Am I right? Please mod me as overrated if I'm right.

Bah! That thing is ugly check out (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6296843)

this: http://www.hushtechnologies.net/

ipv6 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6296855)

i use IPv6 and it really buzzes my nuts

RMS (3, Funny)

threephaseboy (215589) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296856)

(from the site)The MicroServer supports many x86 operating systems. This includes Windows 9x, Windows CE.NET, Windows XP embedded, GNU/Linux, BSD, and QNX.

This company is really RMS in disguise!

Hide them in walls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6296875)

You could put one of these things in your wall and drill a hole through for the monitor and keyboard cables.

No more big, unsightly cases on my desk!

Small racks made from an Erector set? (1)

pmz (462998) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296876)

Throw two of them in a shoebox, and you've got a perfect fault-tolerant high-availability DNS and LDAP information infrastructure solution!

Put an Oracle RAC cluster in the top drawer of your desk!

Imagine a beowulf of these in your pants!

Seriously, though, Pentium 233 MMX-equivalent performance is great for my first option above (with or without the shoebox).

Soekris (5, Informative)

ziegast (168305) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296887)

Another company uses the same concept with more of a specialty for diskless firewall products and wireless. The have good support for OpenBSD /w hardware crypto acceleration as well as Linux and FreeBSD.

http://soekris.com/

-ez

only 1 out of 3? (1)

Eyston (462981) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296888)

I understand you have to give up performance for size, but do you also have to give up price at the same time? Small and cheap isn't even cheap.

-Eyston

Worlds fastest coffee-cup-sized computers (2, Funny)

Attitude Adjuster (683211) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296890)

In other news, norhtec.com anounce the world's fastest coffee-cup-sized computer (your coffee cup isn't 4.75 x 6.25 x 1.9! How do you get any work done?).

Comparison of SPEC CPU2000 benchmarks against suitably optimized(*) Apple G5 demonstrates mATX computers are infinitely faster than Apples latest offering at both integer and floating point computations.

(*) G5 test optimized by switching it off. "Its faster that way", claim benchmarking company.

Advantech (5, Informative)

pokka (557695) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296911)

If you want to build your own system, go to Advantech [advantech.com] and choose "Biscuit SBCs". They have fanless, VIA-based 667mhz computers that are roughly the size of 3.5" Hard drives. The computers include almost everything you need: audio, ethernet, VGA, TV out, IRDA, USB, IDE, and CompactFlash support. The only things you need to do yourself would be finding/building a case and finding a stable 5VDC power supply.

Small game machine recommendations (1)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296917)

Here's a question out there with all these "small, cheap machines" being talked about.

I'd like to get a small computer that I'd only use once a month on Gameday with my friends. All I really care about is that it has a good enough processor for playing Medal of Honor/1942/Warcraft III/etc.

All I really give a crap about is the AGP slot - I figure I stick 512 MB of RAM, have a "decent" processor, and 50% of the cost is the ATI/Nvidia "cool slick 128 MB piece of hot stuff" inside.

Who's got an answer for a gamer on the move and on the cheap?

PR Ratings? (1)

virtualkuz (638083) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296939)

Per the article this thing isn't even 233mhz.

NorhTec's first microservers are based on the SiS 55x SoC. The SiS 55x is a x86 MMX compatible CPU that offers superscaler execution and a pipelined floating point unit. The SIS 55x has three superpipelined Inter Units. This means that for a given clock cycle, the SiS 55x can execute more than on instruction. For example, at 100 Mhz, the SiS 55x offers the same computational power as a 233Mhz MMX. In the picture below, you can see our custom designed casing and heatsink that makes the GP/GP+ fan-less.

100MHz of POWER!!!! For small embedded applications that would be fine, but MP3/Video player this is not.

Slashvertisment (-1, Flamebait)

CaptainFlyingToaster (265282) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296941)

Why is this even a story? What's next:
"Coming May 30, _Finding Nemo_, the heartwarming story of a clowfish's search for his lost son. Produced by Pixar, a company that heavily uses Linux!"

All that powerful? (1)

The Joe Kewl (532609) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296945)

My only problem with the VIA Mini-ITX solutions is that even the newer 1Ghz models that have been reviewed don't always seem to have enough power to offer a regular desktop user.
I recently built myself an NES PC [hellalame.com], and chose an alternate Mini-ITX board that was socket 370 based that allowed me to choose a more powerful CPU.
Heck, there are even P4 based boards out there now from Commell Systems [commell-sys.com].
I guess I am just wondering how long it will be until VIA steps up the performance on their EPIA boards...

wow that's a neat looking thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6296959)

totally worth every penny for $50. Anything more than that is ridiculous.

Yes, but can they handle a Slashdotting? (1)

krysith (648105) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296962)

Looks very cool, and the price is actually rather good IMHO for a little guy like that. I've always wanted to use something like this for building a robot. It's a perfect size.

But first, let's give it a real-world test: a good old-fashioned Slashdotting! I mean, what would it say if a server company can't handle being slashdotted?

Good so far.

Take wi-fi on your vacation trip (5, Funny)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296967)

Pack a music/video server into the mini-van and give the kids in the backseat two notebooks to play with on the way to the beach/mountains.

Jamie: "Mom, Jimmy crashed my Windows again!"
Jimmie: "heheheh"

actual size? (1)

RimmerExperience (456643) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296988)

Caption beneath the product image of our daily Mini-ITX dose:

Shown above: Actual size of the GP/GP+

Have PC's really been decreasing in size all this time? Maybe instead video cards are handling higher and higher resolutions.

Don't you wonder also, "How big is that woman's hand?" (imagining they found a woman 8 feet tall with gigantic Man Hands)

Ah, one more step to my dream computer... (2, Insightful)

heironymouscoward (683461) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296989)

(Patent pending)

In which the "computer" consists of a number of bricks, assembled much like the child's toy "Lego". The bricks come in standard sizes, half-height, double-length, etc. There are bricks for computing, bricks for storage, bricks for power, for backups, and for i/o.

To assemble a "system" you simply choose your bricks and click them together. Bricks have universal connectors in each "bump" which exchange power and information.

Implementation: each brick is a complete computer, and the "system" is a network cluster. A "storage" brick is simply a PC with a fat HD. A "memory" brick being one with lots of RAM.

When I want a new server, I can simply assemble one from bricks that are lying around. When a PC gets too slow, I can replace or add a computing brick. There is no limit to the size of a system: I could plug together hundreds of random bricks to build a computing wall or desk.

The bricks are built to some specifications so that the OS can work with them easily. But competition between manufacturers will ensure that the most innovative and tasteful bricks are the most popular.

The Bricks OS has no concept of file systems. Instead user spaces are automagically synchronized between storage bricks. No backups are ever needed because all available space is always used to keep redundant copies of data.

Personal user spaces can be held on small bricks that are eminently portable and can be connected to portable power supplies and foldable LCDs (hey, I saw this in /. today!) to create instant portable systems.

Lastly, security. All bricks are marked with a sticker reading "Steal me and the RIAA will sue you!"

High-speed USB 2.0? (1)

Traa (158207) | more than 10 years ago | (#6296995)

I am very interested in these (or other) small form factor computers. Especially the fanless models (that's just sweet). But I do have a need for High-speed USB 2.0 (demonstrating image sensors). The specs sheet on the pages don't answer what type of USB the MicroServers come with. I have allready sent them a question, but if any of you readers know the answer, please feel free to email it to dam@yellowcatdesign.com.

Any suggestions about other small formfactor PC's with High-speed USB 2 are also welcome.

Thanks.

233MHz? Try 100MHz (4, Informative)

tbase (666607) | more than 10 years ago | (#6297004)

From the "Details" Page: "For example, at 100 Mhz, the SiS 55x offers the same computational power as a 233Mhz MMX."

Tranquil PC ? (1)

toddestan (632714) | more than 10 years ago | (#6297041)

While I'm sure these computers will still have their uses, I would think for most people the Tranquil PC would work much better, with it's 1Ghz, harddrive, and fanless operation.

http://www.tranquilpc.co.uk/

Perfect for cisco router replacements. (4, Interesting)

mnmn (145599) | more than 10 years ago | (#6297057)

Although I cant reach the website, its slashdotted now, Ive been waiting for such computers. I intend to replace cisco routers on many levels with these if they have available PCI slots.

I think the crashing PC prices will harm the cisco market and might spin off PC based router companies. For this reason, Cisco is focusing on management technologies that cannot be replaced by simply replacing that router. Web-frontends for management software that can manage routers and switches via SNMP and proprietary protocols, and other protocols like the CPD that will become indispensible and will make it hard to go from a $2500 router to a better $200 pc-router.

And for that reason, there is great potential for free/opensource management software as well as its cliet stubs for Linux/FreeBSD routers firewalls and other SNMP devices. Theres also great potential for an IOS emulation app for Linux/BSD.

I'm just amazed at how an operating system can run on mainframes and pdas, emulate the binaries of many OSes, have all the functions of any other OS and challenge Sun, Microsoft, Cisco and game console markets in one blow.

want power over ethernet? http://soekris.com (1)

puzzled (12525) | more than 10 years ago | (#6297073)



I just got my first Soekris box a few days ago - haven't had much of a chance to play, but they fill the same niche as this northtec stuff *and* they take power over ethernet - very handy for remote deploys - say a router for a wireless network running the MikroTik OS ... http://www.mikrotik.com

The Price Problem--It's In The Cards (4, Interesting)

istartedi (132515) | more than 10 years ago | (#6297126)

The price problem with these things is usually in the cards. I know because I've been doing a lot of research online, looking for SBCs (Single Board Computers) that I could wedge into something small enough to build my holy grail: a "white box" portable.

Why not get a laptop? Because I hate the ergonomics and the form factors on laptops, and I hate the proprietary battery tech.

The most affordable card I've been able to find is made by Wincomm. Google around for it, or just check out BWI [bwi.com]. It's still pricey $350-$450 IIRC. You can even get a fanless Transmeta version for like $100 extra dollars if you're still into that.

All of these cards are expensive when compared to PCs of comparable performance. I have several theories as to why: 1. They cater to the industrial computing and/or embedded market. When you can get them in onesies and twosies (which isn't always the case) they are going to cost more because these companies usually deal on volume with large manufacturers. 2. In some cases they are "ruggedized" and you pay for that even if you don't really need it. 3. The market is just smaller, so they have to price higher to recoup R&D costs. 4. Hefty licensing fees from chip companies (sometimes you have to pay thousands of dollars just for the rights to a reference design using their chips).

So, until somebody mass-produces the mobile equivalent of a generic MoBo for mobile CPUs, you're going to pay a premium for small form factors. Also, you would have to have better mechanical standards for connectors and add-on cards. The barriers aren't technical, just structural (as in "business structure"). There is no strong incentive for the power players to do this--yet.

At some point in the future, somebody will break through all this garbage. When they do, we could see some really exciting and affordable portable clone technology. That's what I'm searching for, and waiting for before I buy new hardware. By then, these cards should be powerful enough for non-jerky video too. They're almost there, but not quite.

Industrial Design: Fit and finish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6297134)

Looking at this fugly box, it makes me appreciate the high quality, thoughtful industrial design Johathan Ive produces for Apple.

It doesn't look like anything on it is particularly milled very precisely.

did you see their Panda.com
http://www.norhtec.com/products/panda/i ndex.html

Oy! Please stop!

Sister Site (1)

jpmahala (181937) | more than 10 years ago | (#6297147)

Check out www.n0rh.com [n0rh.com]. (if they aren't still slashdotted.) They are primarily a high-end audio company based in Tailand with a rather unique philosophy. Take a look at their speakers!

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