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DIY linux-based MP3 player Appliance 153

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the for-the-do-it-yourself dept.
An anonymous reader submitted "LinuxDevices.com has just published an interesting how-to article about converting a GCT-Allwell set-top box into a linux-based TV set-top MP3 player. As a helpful aside it does useful things like email and web browsing through your TV. Looks like a fun project. A related article shows how to turn the same set top box into a router."
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DIY linux-based MP3 player Appliance

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  • by Svartalf (2997) on Thursday October 25, 2001 @12:13PM (#2478126) Homepage
    The Allwell 1030n is a National Semiconductor Geode based machine, not the Celeron that he claimed he bought.

    Go to the Allwell website [allwell.tv] and look up the STB1030N from the products pulldown. Right now, they're selling these things for "router appliances" and really cheapo set-top boxes. In the router appliance arena, they're not too bad; in the set top box arena, they're weak (though usable for many things.).
  • Been there done that (Score:4, Informative)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday October 25, 2001 @12:37PM (#2478260) Homepage
    Many many of us did this and have been using our GCT allwell mp3 players (and Divix players) for over 1 year now. but we weren't robbed by GCT allwell for the tune of $500.00 for the box, we paid $59.95 for the exact same hardware (sans the ethernet) from compusa called the websurfer pro.

    Dont do the Disk on chip route, stuff a 20 gig laptop hard drive in there and store the mp3's on that. (Or 2 of them for 40 Gig of storage.)

    Me? I added a hollywood+ mpeg card and use my box as a movie on demand system... now to get a server with a couple of tv tuner cards to record tv shows and pipe them to the allwell box for later playback :-)

    Oh and the article is no-where near a step-by-step to getting an mp3 player running, it only covers really basic steps to getting linux on the Disk on chip.
  • by Ether (4235) on Thursday October 25, 2001 @12:40PM (#2478277)
    About a year and a half ago, a company tried selling these rebadged thru Comp USA as "Websurfer Pros". At first, they didn't make you sign an activation contract, so you could get them for $50 out the door, for a 233 with 32 and and Disk on chip.

    See: http://www.linux-hacker.net/websurfer/ws.html

    A friend of mine had one of these- it's an OK piece of hardware, but not anything to write home about, when you can pick up complete PPro systems for under $100, which have none of the space and configuration limitations of that slimline formfactor (limited expansion slots, small case, etc). As a set-top, it's underpowered, for my taste. The IR keyboard (at least the one that came with the WSP) is nice, tho. TVout is decent, also. The WSP also did not have the built-in ethernet.

    Note that you also can't swap out the CPUs on these beyond the Cyrix MediaGX processor (it has on cpu video and sound).
  • by cr0sh (43134) on Thursday October 25, 2001 @04:14PM (#2479825) Homepage
    A few of the people on the mailing list sell them via ebay auctions. These devices aren't off-the-shelf things - they were made by Acer specifically for OEM use - Acer won't even acknowledge much of anything about them. So, the only people who got them were cable companies and a few others. In America, it was N|C (now Liberate), in Europe it was NTL (cable company). Some of the people related to these companies and others have found my list and have helped with the hacking (providing needed info, selling boxes, etc).

    So, yeah, they are available, but only sporadically...

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