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Small Form Factor PCs

© June 2008 Anthony Lawrence
  • Small Form Factor PCs
  • Duane Wessels and Matthew Weaver
  • O'Reilly
  • 978-0-596-52076-2

This is about using little embedded computers for various little projects. That's great fun and the authors go into sufficient detail about the various problems you could run into, so you'd probably want to read this if you were contemplating something like one of the eight projects it presents. But I don't think this book should have been published.

This is starting to become a theme with me. I complained about Running Xen because it's already out of date, but that's not my problem with this book (though parts of it ARE already out of date). My problem with this is that I don't think it should be a book at all: it should be on the Web.

Very specifically, it should be at Makezine.com, the same website prominently advertised on the front and back covers. Or maybe these projects should have been in MAKE magazine and then put on the website.. I just don't think they should have made a book out of them.

Maybe I'm wrong - maybe O'Reilly and the authors will make much more money from a book than they would from publishing through the magazine and website. That would honestly surprise me though, because the Web would be the first place I'd look for information like this. I'll buy a book when I can't find what I want, but I don't think that would be the case here.

But as noted, I could be wrong.

Amazon Order (or just read more about) Small Form Factor PCs  from Amazon.com

Tony Lawrence 2008-06-15 Rating: 3.5

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Inexpensive and informative Apple related e-books:

Take Control of Upgrading to El Capitan

Photos: A Take Control Crash Course

Take Control of the Mac Command Line with Terminal, Second Edition

Take Control of High Sierra

Take Control of Automating Your Mac

More Articles by © Anthony Lawrence

Sun Jun 15 20:38:51 2008: 4337   drag

This is what I want:

It seems that Ti has finally smelled the Open Source wind. Previously they were very difficult to work with, but now they seem to be very happy to release documentation.

This mainboard was created by a group of Ti employees as a side product and is being released as a cheap way for Linux 'enthusiests' to get experience hacking on ARM embedded-style hardware without the expense of purchasing a full fledged development kit.

The processor is a new type, Cortex A8. ARM10 architecture. is very cool.
Unlike older ARM boards it's designed for desktop-ish workload. SIMD processor extensions (think mmx), for example. (The A9 (next version of the same type) should even have the ability to do SMP. ) So it should have much better multimedia support then previous ARM designs.

USB OTG (power over USB, client USB support, and USB2.0 host support)
DVI-D out
S-Video out
Stereo In/Stereo out
SD card
R232 serial, jtag, i2c, i2s
600mhz CPU. 128 megs of RAM. 256 megs of NAND flash, 2d/3d acceleration features,

Fantastic little thing. Target price is 150 dollars. Fantastic value and very fast compared to other types of 'hackable' ARM hardware. Most of what you'd want in a PC, but on a embedded form factor.

Very cool stuff.


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The idea of "work, then get paid" has been deeply ingrained in our culture by employers who want to limit their risk. Well, I like to limit my risks also. I like to get paid before I do work. (Tony Lawrence)

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