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Linux Embedded devices

I’m currently working on a small project. I came across cool software called LCDproc. If you have HD44780-based display you can build really cool system for just US $15.

LCDproc is a piece of software that displays real-time system information from your Linux/*BSD box on a LCD. The server supports several serial devices: Matrix Orbital, CrystalFontz, Bayrad, LB216, LCDM001, Wirz-SLI, Cwlinux(.com) and PIC-an-LCD; and some devices connected to the LPT port: HD44780, STV5730, T6963, SED1520 and SED1330. Various clients are available that display things like CPU load, system load, memory usage, uptime, and a lot more. CDproc supports Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Darwin and Solaris (beta support). LCDproc cycles through several screens of information. The screen order and display duration can be configured at run-time.

The CPU Utilization screen displays the system’s current CPU utilization. These values are the normal values reported by Linux.

Above is the CPU Utilization screen displays the system's current CPU utilization. These values are the normal values reported by Linux. The percentage in the title bar is the sum of all non-idle cycles, and the bar graph at the bottom of the display reflects this percentage.

Download LCDproc software

=> Visit LCDproc Project Home Page.

Motorola RAZR 2 V8 Linux phone review

I did used Motorola RAZR V3 for sometime in 2006 before I dropped it into a swimming pool :( The new RAZR 2 has a bigger screen, better UI, quad-band GSM 850/900/1800/1900 with EDGE and Linux platform. OSnews has published a review for the new RAZR 2 V8:

The RAZR2 V8 is a quad-band GSM and EDGE phone, it features two 240x320 TFT screens (one internal 2.2" and one external touchscreen 2.0"), 512 MBs internal storage out of which 420 MBs are accessible, Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support, a microUSB charging/data/audio port, and a 2 MP camera without flash. The V8 came with a headset, a British-style charger (PureMobile added to the package both a converter and a mini-USB Motorola-branded charger), a microUSB 2.0 data cable, CDs and manuals, and a 770 mAh Li-Ion battery.

Motorola RAZR 2 V8 Linux phone review

=> Read review here and you can get Motorola RAZR2 V8 Spec Sheet here.

It is believed that it is one of the most popular cell phones around the world. And now it has been updated to run Linux. There is also V9 model with 2Mp camera and a full HTML browser. I want one. I might get this one or may be Apple iPhone.

ASUS Eee PC: $199 Cheap Linux Laptop

The ASUS Eee PC is an upcoming series of ultra-portable laptops designed by Intel and ASUSTeK, aimed at the consumer market. According to ASUS, the name derives from "the three Es": Easy to learn, work, play; Excellent Internet experience and Excellent mobile computing experience

ASUS Eee PC, a small, slim, and light portable computer that is priced at $199. It is powered by Linux.

Both the price and the size of the devices are relatively small in comparison to similar devices, such as Ultra-Mobile PCs. The Eee series is viewed partly as a response to the XO-1 notebook from the One Laptop per Child initiative.

The Eee PC is running a version of Intel's 910 mobile chipset, it uses a 900MHz Intel Dothan based Pentium M CPU, it has 512MB of DDR2 memory, full 802.11g wireless capability, and a flash-based hard drive. There will be at least two different models of the Eee PC, with the $199 version using a 4GB flash hard drive and the $299 version using a 8GB drive.

Cheap Linux Laptop Specs

1. CPU - 900MHz Intel Dothan based Pentium M
2. RAM - 512MB of DDR2 (no upgrade possible)
3. Wirless - 802.11g
4. Hard disk - Flash-based hard drive ($199 for 4GB model, $299 for 8GB model)
5. Weight: .89 kilograms
6. Battery - Approx - 3 hours life
7. Misc - 4 USB 2.0, VGA output, 10/100 Ethernet, 56K phone modem

Few advantages

a) Cost - anyone can afford such system
b) If you use laptop for web browsing, e-mail and a ssh; this is a good system.
b) Almost no noise

Check out this product page for more information. What do you thing? Would you go for such cheap latptop?

Nokia E90 Review (Good for sys admins)

I’m still stuck with Blackberry and Nokia 6130, good folks at Osnews has posted a nice review of Nokia E90 business phone:

The E90 is a Communicator-class device and very popular among businessmen, but also among system administrators too (one of our friends, sysadmin at Google, is using Nokia's qwerty/wifi devices specifically for SSH access). Read on for our review of the impressive E90.

Also checkout Nokia E90 and N95 side by side feature chat. I don't have any plan to get new phone but I might try out Nokia 800 Internet Tablet PC soon :D.

BTW, do have an iPhone? If you have let me know your experience...

Linux USB Pen / Stick RAID

Tux does all sort of things including setting up a RAID on USB sticks :)

From the article:

This is an example of productive and practical use of a RAID. Granted, this project does not have the archaic grandeur of a Floppy Disk RAID, but then again, the capacity and performance of this system are utterly superior to those of a Floppy Disk RAID. The following is meant as an instruction sheet of how to build a rock-hard USB stick RAID system and simultaneously transform from an ordinary nerd to a SUPER LINUX GURU.


Download of the day: Fedora 7 CD / DVD ISO

Update: Nov-25,2008: Fedora Linux 10 has been related and available for download.

Update: Nov-7,2007: Fedora Linux 8 has been related and available for download here.

Fedora 7 has been released. The Fedora Project is a Red Hat sponsored and community supported open source project. Its goal is the rapid progress of free and open source software and content. It offers cutting edge softwares for desktop usage. The latest version of the popular Linux distribution has a lot to offer users and developers.

New in Fedora 7

=> This release features GNOME 2.18 and KDE 3.5.6.

=> This release integrates Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) technology with Fedora's graphical virt-manager and command-line virsh tools. KVM provides a hardware accelerated virtualization solution, and users have a choice between KVM and Xen, along with Qemu, in this release.

=> In this release, the performance of yum, Pirut, and Pup have been significantly improved.

=> This release features integration of a new FireWire stack in the kernel for more robust device handling.

=> Fedora now includes improved power management through implementation of dynamic ticks in the kernel.

(click to enlarge, more screenshots @ Fedora Website)

=> I can now install Fedora on my Sony VAIO Notebooks

=> See Fedora 7 release notes.

Download link - ( Download Fedora )

Download of the day: Fedora Core 7 CD / DVD ISO
You can download Fedora via the web/ftp server or via BitTorrent (recommended).

Fedora 7 DVD ISO download

= > Visit mirror to download Fedora ISO images (2.7 GB)

Fedora 7 Live CD ISO download

=> Use Live CD (700M) if internet connection is slow or you just want to see how Fedora works. You can install fedora from Live cd.

Fedora 7 DVD ISO BitTorrent download

=> Download from BitTorrent (requires a BitTorrent client)

What is Nokia Maemo Linux?

From the my mailbag:

A friend of mine was talking about Maemo Linux. Can you explain what is Nokia maemo Linux?

What is Nokia Maemo Linux?

The Nokia N800 Internet tablet is a wireless Internet appliance from Nokia. The N800 was developed as the successor to the Nokia 770. It is designed for:
a] Wireless Internet browsing
b] E-mail functions
c] Includes software such as Internet radio, an RSS news reader, image viewer and media players for selected types of media.

Maemo Linux is used in Nokia N800. It is a development platform for handheld devices. You can think Maemo as a desktop for handled device. It is modified version of Debian Linux. According to project webpage:

Maemo provides an open source development platform for Nokia Internet Tablets and other Linux-based devices. It is build from components widely used in open desktop and mobile systems. We strive to make maemo open, accessible and useful to all developers wanting to squeeze the possibilities of the mobile desktop and the Internet.

The maemo SDK contains the tools needed to create and port integrated applications, replicating the Internet Tablet environment in your PC. The Hildon Application Framework is a good entry point to understand the peculiarities of this platform. A shortcut for you to consider.

This website offers official documentation, tutorials, bug reporting tools and repositories of unstable versions for testing. It also provides services devoted to and maintained by the maemo community: software catalog, project hosting, documentation wiki, Planet news plus mail and IRC support channels.

You can purchase this cool toy N800 at Amazon! I'm going to get one before XMS :D