Re: Small Linux platforms

From: Edward Cherlin <cherlin_at_pacbell_dot_net>
Date: Sun Jul 17 2005 - 01:59:07 CDT

On Saturday 16 July 2005 11:37, Karl Auerbach wrote:
> > Cameron L. Spitzer wrote:
> >> if I had to pick a platform for The Product I might start
> >> with Strongbox or Smoothwall or something simple and
> >> security oriented like that.
>
> It is not all that hard to build a very tiny, very focused
> Linux system that contains only the stuff needed to get the
> machine up and to do its job.
>
> I've been working on a project and my entire linux system -
> from bootloader to networking - is on the order of 25
> megabytes, and that includes a running Python environment. (I
> boot from a compact-flash card that came with a digital camera
> but was really too small for photographic work.)

I have been making this point since we started. The Simputer
holds a substantial Linux system in 32M of on-board Flash
memory. There are several Linux distributions, commercial and
free of cost, specifically for embedded systems (single-function
devices with special hardware). Encore Technologies would be
happy to build low-cost voting machines if we can demonstrate a
market for a thousand or more.

> I'm running a 2.6.11 kernel. Much of the non-kernel software
> comes via the busybox and buildroot projects -
> http://www.busybox.net/about.html and
> http://buildroot.uclibc.org/
>
> (My hardware platform is the three-ethernet wisp-router board
> - it draws something on the order of 3 to 5 watts, i.e. it
> could run all day off of a battery. I don't need video
> output, and it doesn't have any, so its probably not an
> adequate platform for a voting system.)

The monochrome Simputer runs with the screen on for six hours, on
two AA rechargeable batteries, if you don't need the backlight.
The color version, and the larger Mobilis tablet version, run
for proportionately shorter times.

> http://www.wisp-router.com/product_info.php?cPath=39&products_
>id=269&osCsid=2dbb898284cf7fbdfec87775e3f62e97
>
> --karl--

There are dozens, probably hundreds of such boards. I worked on
documentation for a number of them at LynuxWorks.

-- 
Edward Cherlin
Generalist & activist--Linux, languages, literacy and more
"A knot! Oh, do let me help to undo it!"
--Alice in Wonderland
http://cherlin.blogspot.com
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Received on Sun Jul 31 23:17:17 2005

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