Minimum hardware requirements and a few odds and ends.

From: Ed Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Wed Apr 21 2004 - 22:44:44 CDT

Hello All:

    I know that it doesn't take much of a computer to run a cd only based Linux program like Knoppix or Slax. However, I note that there is also a proposal that 'images' of the computer generated ballot be burned to a CD at the same time if I understand this correctly. OK, that means 2 CD drives with one being capable of burning CD's. Slax says that it doesn't run very well on 16mb of Ram. So that suggests that a minimum amount of Ram would be at least 32mb. Let's see now, we would also need sound cards for the blind unless they were integrated into the motherboard but that is more or less standard anymore. Will the touch screen monitors require special video cards? In terms of general machines, I'd guess that you wouldn't find machines with 2 CD drives and one being a burner in much of anything less than a Pentium II. What do other people think?

    By the way, I can't help but notice that both Knoppix and Slax seem a little cranky or unpredictable on the various machines I tried them on after downloading them today. I noticed that they weren't very happy with Samsung 21" CRT monitors although they worked after a fashion. On one of my machines, the keyboard quit and on another the sound wouldn't work. On yet another machine, the network card quit. So, I kind of wonder about the viability of them as a general solution to what to do with PC's that come with Windows installed. Of course, there is the possibility of operator error.

    Finally, about the proposed 'hacking contest'. This is a public relations idea to build confidence in the software developed through the open voting consortium. It would be nice if we could borrow a few DRE machines from a county and submit them to the same treatment. Each hacker would get 3 hours to compromise a machine that is set up to vote. Each machine would have been 'voted' and the results would be known to the judges of the contest. Then the hacker would have to cause the totals to change say by 5% without leaving the room. You could have it during one of the yearly black hat conventions. Most importantly, it would also be a confidence building measure for Joe Lunchbucket and his elected representatives. Yes, as far as software testing goes it is silly and unneeded but for publicity it could be very effective. Also, just think about how a head to head contest would be as a clear demonstration of the problems of privately built DRE's.

Thanks, Ed Kennedy

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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:15 2004

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