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Low-Cost Board Runs Linux, Google Apps 152

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the cheap-fun-toys dept.
An anonymous reader writes to mention that hardware hacking enthusiasts can now get their hands on the guts of the Everex TC2502 Linux PC for just $60 (USD). The compact x86-compatible "gOS Dev Board" offers a lightweight Linux-based OS designed for use with Google Apps. " Along with a Firefox browser supporting the Google toolbar, gOS includes local productivity applications, such as OpenOffice.org. However, its main goal is "coherently packaging Google Apps to give users the idea that they can use Google as their main environment," explained Paul Kim, of Everex. "
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Low-Cost Board Runs Linux, Google Apps

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  • by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @05:51PM (#21273983) Homepage Journal
    Throw that bad boy in a nice case [amazon.com] with some ram [amazon.com] and a decent hard drive [amazon.com], and it's not a bad deal. You could probably put together a machine with maxed out ram, decent storage and a much more attractive case for the same amount if not less than you'd pay for the Walmart version [walmart.com]. And while the processor isn't a powerhouse, I'm sure any distro could do allright on there. Gentoo might not be the best choice, but otherwise... (Just kidding there. While the gentoo crowds seem to have calmed - it really was a joke.)
    • by vondo (303621)
      This is a great deal. I use a board almost like that (smaller that uATX, though) as a file/web/database server. It runs Ubuntu 6.06. I think I paid about $80 for mine. I think I put 256 MB in mine plus 80+400GB of disk. I have a Gb-E NIC waiting to go in it at some point.

      The only thing I would change is to put a bigger heatsink on the CPU to eliminate the 40mm fan. My fan crapped out and getting a good replacement for those is always a pain.
      • I've been googling around and I can't find the same thing with a processor for close to it. Boards without a processor come close - but not with it already included. I think this may be my Christmas present to myself this year.
        • by TopSpin (753) * on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @06:23PM (#21274399) Journal
          http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813135057 [newegg.com]

          $9 more, NVidia graphics processor, Athlon 3200+, same 0-MB of RAM...

          You'll need a heat sink. Avoid installing >1 DIMM. Does that qualify as 'close'?

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by LWATCDR (28044)
            Yea but it takes DDR and not DDR2. That actually drives up the cost of memory :(
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by jamiethehutt (572315)
            $9 more, NVidia graphics processor, Athlon 3200+, same 0-MB of RAM...

            You'll need a heat sink. Avoid installing >1 DIMM. Does that qualify as 'close'?


            This board doesn't compete with an Athlon 3200 on performance/cost, it does however blow it out the water on efficiency. I want a router/firewall box and having it running 24/7/365 means the electricity adds up and the Athlon ends up far more expensive. I don't have the exact figures but when I worked this out for my parents file server we found that it was
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by FrankSchwab (675585)
          Try: http://shop3.outpost.com/product/5325528 [outpost.com]
          Intel uAtx board, Celeron 215 soldered on, takes DDR-II 533 or 400, onboard graphics, one PCI port, $70.
          • I really miss living by Frys. Closest to me is now an 8 hour drive away. That is close - little bit slower processor, lower cap on ram - but it is a decent deal, you are correct.
            • Search for that board elsewhere. It's just a cheap board, not some Fry's deal. You should have no trouble finding it online etc.

              I was looking at that board recently, my only big complaint is that it has 10/100, not gigabit. It's a pretty sweet little platform.

              • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

                by stoolpigeon (454276) *
                yeah - it was just seeing the Frys name that made me think about how much I miss those stores. I could go to the one by my house and spend a couple hours without buying a thing. The first linux install I ever did was Suse and I bought it at Frys. (Had dial up at the time - so downloading wasn't really an option and I didn't know much about Linux. That got the ball rolling for me though.) Mostly I purchase stuff from Amazon - for a host of reasons. But sometimes it is fun to just wander aisles of tech
                • I also miss Fry's. I used to live in Portland and there is one just south of there. Huge store. Sold just about everything electronic - including 603 surface mount resistors. Take that, Radio Shack. The place had everything and great deals too. But I moved away and now just remember when someone else mentions them. Sigh...
          • by LWATCDR (28044)
            It only has one ATA and no SATA ports so it wouldn't make a good NAS
          • http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813185103&ATT=13-185-103 [newegg.com]
            * PC CHIPS M789CG(3.0A) VIA C3 Samual 2 2000+(800MHz/133) VIA CLE266 Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo
            * $44.99
            • by vondo (303621)
              While a board like that still has its uses, the board in TFA is a Via C7 running at almost twice the speed of this one and has two SATA ports. Power envelope is likely similar as the C3 is a pretty old processor now.
              • by argent (18001)
                You can always spend more money and get a better system, or spend less money and get a worse. The board in TFA's main advantage was price... lord knows the VIA chips are none of them bahn-burners. If you really need more capability than the board I dug up provides, will the GOS system be any better suited to the job? I also found a better setup for about as much more than the board in TFA just down the street from here: which I previously posted about [slashdot.org].

                And on the other hand, if the GOS box will do the job, i
            • by Hadlock (143607)
              That's also about half the speed (and the processor is at least two generations behind the GOS board), plus the bus isn't as fast. Over 4 years (expected lifespan?) how much is your time worth to you?
              • Over 4 years (expected lifespan?) how much is your time worth to you?

                Enough to spend an extra $15 over TFA and get an AMD CPU, and a motherboard with an AM2 socket and nVidia GPU. If this setup isn't good enough, then likely the C7 1.5 GHz isn't either.
          • That's the Intel D201GLY [intel.com]. You might be better off with the D201GLY2 [intel.com]. It's faster, fan-free, includes SATA, and it's roughly the same price. I think retailers are clearing stock of the original version right now, which is why the V2 board is a little harder to find. Do a search for it at www.google.com/products/ though (for example) and it'll turn up, again at roughly the same price as the earlier model.

            If only it had a DVI output instead of that dinosaur analog VGA output -- and possibly a gigabit net
          • Yea. those celerons mini-ITX boards look tempting. I've seen them around for quite some time.

            celeron 1.33Ghz versus VIA C7 1.5Ghz - celeron is probably faster, VIA is lower power
            celeron board is IDE only, no SATA. the VIA board has 2 SATA ports.
            VIA board has room for two DIMMs(2GB max), Celeron board has only one DIMM(1GB max)
            SiS Mirage graphics engine on the celeron, UniChrome on the via. neither are fast. and both can decode MPEG-2 in hardware. UniChrome CN700 can also do MPEG-4 decoding (and there is Lin
    • Let me build on what you posted. Assume you also put in a solid state hard drive. The power consumption would be extremely low, and you could use them in offices across the country with little need to admin a full Windows environment.
    • I am very seriously considering getting one.
      Its a sweet board with a perfect price.
    • by houstonbofh (602064) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @06:09PM (#21274225)
      The form factor is to big to fit in the really small cases (mini-atx) and too small to expand in a big case. Besides, motherboard CPU combos at about this price with more performance are not uncommon. http://www.directron.com/nf61sm7comb58.html [directron.com] Nothing really special about this but the Google tag.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by DragonWriter (970822)

        The form factor is to big to fit in the really small cases (mini-atx) and too small to expand in a big case.

        The really small cases are, for instance, mini-ITX. Mini-ATX is almost exactly the same size (area) as Micro-ATX, but a different arrangement (8.2x11.2cm instead of 9.6x9.6cm), so its true that this Micro-ATX MB won't fit in a Mini-ATX case, and is too big in one dimension. But, just the same, a Mini-ATX MB wouldn't fit a Micro-ATX case, for exactly the same reason. Micro-ATX cases are IMO reasonably

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by theGreater (596196)

      For additional extra credit, google for the following:

      Walmart/Everex GPC TC2502 (VIA CN700 + VT8237R Chipset), PC2500E

      Or just check the LinuxBIOS Mailing List [linuxbios.org] thread about this very board, which is available from ClubIT.com [clubit.com] for about $60.00 with free shipping.

      -theGreater.

    • What about just a power supply and that board screwed into a $10 Radioshack case that isn't even for PCs, but can have some holes cut for cables to go thru, and a tube for the CPU fan to vent? No HD or VGA (except for initial OS install), just a tiny USB flash and NFS.

      Is there a PS that can drive this little device that doesn't have a fan? And can that little sucker run a Linux that can run madplay and curl, so I can stream audio from my network? Maybe even build this sucker into some network speakers, even
      • by macz (797860)
        Just get a Linksys WRT54GL wireless router, put DD-WRT on it and you have the power supply, Wireless access, and a minimal amount of flash ram runing Linux as a mostly general purpose computer. Total cost is about $60-70.
        • by Doc Ruby (173196)
          But that doesn't give me an audio output, so running curl and madplay won't give me a very good streaming audio player.
      • google 'picoPSU' and your dreams will come true.
    • The ATX-style powersupply is a pain to add in.

      I want an inexpensive board like this that takes a 12V supply, or
      a PC hd connector like the FPGA boards out there from http://www.digilentinc.com/ [digilentinc.com]

      It would be easier to put these in autos or stack them up for
      robotics projects that way.

      - Ralph
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @05:52PM (#21273993)
    "a lightweight...OS designed for use with [web apps]"

    aka: Thin Client

    Coming soon to a handset near you! Oh, wait...
    • by vxir (668726)
      Thin? TFA says its based on Ubuntu!
      • by Fred_A (10934)

        Thin? TFA says its based on Ubuntu!
        That could be made light, since it's "based" on it.
        What cracked me up was :
        "with the lightweight Enlightenment window manager"

        I remember how this would have been considered downright silly a few years back :)
  • Nice. i want one.
  • I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LaughingCoder (914424) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @05:57PM (#21274051)
    What exactly is the BIG DEAL? I would still need to buy a disk drive ($50), some RAM ($30), a box/supply ($30), a monitor ($100), a keyboard and mouse ($20), and perhaps some speakers ($15) ... the motherboard and CPU are no longer the major expense in putting together a PC. Heck, newegg has the Celeron D315 (2.26GHz) for $38, and an MSI barebones system (box, 300W power supply, motherboard) for $70. Add in another $100 for HD/RAM/KB/Mouse an you have a pretty decent system for $208.
    • Or you could just go buy the bloody computer at Wal-Mart. It's the same board as the one they're selling at Wal-Mart for $198.
      • But the one at Walmart would have less ram, a smaller hard drive and I'm guessing not the nicest peripherals. So for the savvy geek shopper - an even nicer machine at the same price as Walmart's machine is within reach. I think that is pretty awesome myself.
        • I'm not debating that at all; my point is simply that for the cost of the motherboard they're hawking you can buy the whole computer. You and I are on the same wavelength about computers anyway. lol.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by vondo (303621)
      Well, for one, the nice thing about these Via CPUs is that they don't use much power. You can easily put together a whole computer that uses 50W. I wouldn't use it as a desktop, but I use something similar as a home server.

      BTW, the Walmart price does not include a monitor.
      • by darthflo (1095225)
        If you really care about the power usage and can live with some restrictions, use a notebook instead. With some power-saving features enabled and the display usually turned off, you'll average some 10-15 watts with a real (read "Core Duo class") processor and a USB or second internal harddrive. Base cost's gonna be higher though.
    • What exactly is the BIG DEAL?


      The big deal is that, when the ~$200 system was announced in its full-size case here, people commented that they'd like to have the same thing, but in a smaller form factor, since the board is, after all, a Micro-ATX board. Now they can.

      • by andreyw (798182)
        The $60 you can spend buying this overstock holdover from 2004 can get your a better motherboard + CPU. Thus I don't see why on earth this is a "good deal". It's just a slow-ass VIA-based Mini-ITX motherboad. The fact that Walmart is selling something based on it should already be a warning sign.
        • Re:I don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

          by DragonWriter (970822) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @09:37PM (#21276573)

          The $60 you can spend buying this overstock holdover from 2004 can get your a better motherboard + CPU.


          Most of the alternatives people have posted that are similar in price have some advantages and some disadvantages. None seem to be clearly and unquestionably "better" in every way, just different and in the same general ballpark. So perhaps its not outstanding, just another low-cost option that's well supported in Linux. Which, unsurprisingly enough, is somewhat interesting to a substantial part of the Slashdot crowd.

          It's just a slow-ass VIA-based Mini-ITX motherboad.


          Micro-ATX, actually.

          The fact that Walmart is selling something based on it should already be a warning sign.


          I suppose that we should be suspicious of Linux, too, then...
          • by vondo (303621)
            Flex-ATX actually, I think. They say micro, but the size quoted is smaller than micro.
            • Flex-ATX actually, I think. They say micro, but the size quoted is smaller than micro.


              Good point. What is it with mbs that are marketted as a different form factor than the most accurate one? I mean, sure, you can use a flex-ATX mb in a micro-ATX (or plain ATX) case, but why wouldn't you make sure that all your marketing material emphasized flex-ATX, since that gives the buyer more, well, flexibility than micro-ATX.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by vrmlguy (120854)
      The deal is, you don't have to buy all of those pieces. For instance, I already have a beign box, KVM switch and smallish power supply lying around. ("Smallish" os OK because ClubIT quotes "maximum power draw of just 20 watts and idle power as low as 2 watts".) I'd like to get one and add a couple of big honking disks. Newegg has "Western Digital Caviar SE WD5000AAJS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM" at $99 right now. Mirror two of those babies and I'd have a fine home server for Gallery, e
    • Why get a Celeron D when you can get a amd x2 for $65.99 and the am2 systems boards cost less as well.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tumbleweed (3706) *
      What exactly is the BIG DEAL? I would still need to buy...

      Anyone truly deserving of the label 'geek' already has all of that stuff laying around from previous machines. I know I've got a 20-pin PC Power & Cooling PSU just itching to get back in the game, and some old DDR2 RAM as well. They're crying out, I tells ya!
      • Re:I don't get it (Score:4, Interesting)

        by mrand (147739) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @11:09PM (#21277355)

        know I've got a 20-pin PC Power & Cooling PSU just itching to get back in the game, and some old DDR2 RAM as well. They're crying out, I tells ya!

        What do you mean old DDR2? How can it be old when DDR2 wasn't introduced but four years ago!? I don't own ANY DDR2 memory (or DDR3), much less any old DDR2.

        Now, I do have 128 or 256 MB of EDO DRAM, a 700 MB SCSI hard drive (cost me around $1k in 1992), and a real AT-style keyboard (with big connector) that I wouldn't mind putting back into service... or we could go back further in the closet and gut the AT-compatible by tossing the 10 MHz 286 motherboard, and use its 70 MB hard drive from ~1987. I think I'll pass on trying to make use of the TRS-80/Tandy 16b with its full-height 12 MB hard drive. Some things are just not worth it, even to a nerd.

              Marc
        • by Tumbleweed (3706) *
          What do you mean old DDR2?

          It'll be old when you use this as an excuse to get a new system, and thus have old DDR2.

          You need to learn to think creatively. You'll get more new toys that way.
    • Why do you need a harddrive and monitor?

      Also C7 has hardware crypto. it's worth getting just to play with that:)
    • You could get 1 GB RAM from HP for $9 [slickdeals.net] (look at the rebate form: it really is a $40 rebate on a $49 item). A used power supply costs $5. I never pay for a monitor, mouse or keyboard; too many are being thrown or given away these days in the rush to flat screens and wireless mice.
      • You could get 1 GB RAM from HP for $9 [slickdeals.net] (look at the rebate form: it really is a $40 rebate on a $49 item). A used power supply costs $5. I never pay for a monitor, mouse or keyboard; too many are being thrown or given away these days in the rush to flat screens and wireless mice.

        You mean you could have gotten that deal.

        The deal specifies that any ram must be purchased before 10/31/07 - and you posted about it a few days later.

        But at least I'm aware of that site now, so thanks for the mention of the link.

  • You have opened my eyes. I no longer want one.
  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by teknopurge (199509) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @06:00PM (#21274093) Homepage
    From the article:

    "..but with the lightweight Enlightenment window manager instead of heavy Gnome/KDE desktops. "

    I never thought I would live to see the day.....
    • by Otter (3800)
      Heh, that's exactly what I said when I read that...
      • by GiMP (10923)
        Seems you're not alone! Enlightenment a light window manager? Sheesh! Next thing they will tell us is that it ships with a lightweight word-processor called Emacs.

        Then again, in those days, we thought Netscape Communicator 4.x was bloated... although, despite living in the age of dial-up, it was at least 17MB, the same size that Firefox is currently!
  • "dev board" ? (Score:5, Informative)

    by MrTrick (673182) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @06:03PM (#21274133) Homepage
    This is just a motherboard, with a C7 processor already attached to it. No memory, no non-volatile storage...

    According to TFA, it "comes with gOS", but gOS doesn't sit anywhere on this 'dev board', it has to be installed onto a regular hard drive just like a normal computer.

    Bad article. It's not a dev board, it's an entirely normal mobo. The ONLY thing about it that is even remotely special is that there are linux drivers for all its components.

    If it were a dev board I'd want at least some attached flash storage, and some interesting pin headers.
    • Re:"dev board" ? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @06:12PM (#21274249)
      > This is just a motherboard, with a C7 processor...

      Ya, that was my problem with the piece too, no reason for it to be on linuxdevices since it is just another Via Mobo+CPU deal, this time blown up to the MicroATX form factor instead of the Mini-ITX VIA normally prefers. $60 for Mobo and CPU is OK I guess but not especially newsworthy.

      "Devel" board to me implies something to develop for an embedded 'target'. What is the target system this board aims at? A PC running an x86 Linux isn't embedded computing. It isn't new, interesting or different. Linux on x86 is now mainstream. A decade ago a commercial outfit pushing Linux systems would have been newsworthy.
    • The C7 processor is supposed to use a lot less power than a normal chip. From what they are saying, someone leaving a computer on a lot could expect to save 10.00 a month in electricity. IF that is true, it wouldn about pay for itself in 24 months (again, that assumes what they are saying is true).

      I set one of the 299.00 Wal-Mart computers up for a local volunteer fire station that had an application that needed XP, but they could only find Vista computers new. I wiped the drive and installed a legal copy o
    • I think might just be a certified hardware/software combination and nothing more. They would probably include a software install CD that would be already set up for a quick, painless and predictable installation - probably with minimal options, if any.
    • by monopole (44023)
      While just a another miniATX it is nice to know that is fully supported by gOS and presumably Ubuntu I was disapointed to not see onboard WiFi with compatible drivers.
  • by jfim (1167051) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @06:03PM (#21274143)

    The gOS distribution [...] is based on the just-released Ubuntu 7.10 ("Gutsy Gibbon") distro, but with the lightweight Enlightenment window manager instead of heavy Gnome/KDE desktops.
    Enlightenment is lightweight nowadays? Is it because Enlightenment improved or because Gnome/KDE got bigger? I remember it being quite unstable/slow a decade ago, but how have things changed in E?
    • I thought so too. It seems to require more resources than KDE or gnome. gOS FTW!
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Almahtar (991773)
        WHAT? You have no idea what you're talking about. I use both KDE and Gnome a lot, and when I feel like it I switch to E17 for variety. On my 512 MB/Ram notebook KDE and Gnome tend to use around 160-220 MB all started up these numbers include the kernel and everything. E17 uses about 45. Once again this includes the kernel.

        Getting from Login to fully functional desktop in E17 takes about 1.5 seconds.

        I love KDE and Gnome and the functionality they have, but nobody can tell me E17 doesn't whip the pa
    • by dbIII (701233)
      It always could be. The demo themes showed off all the shiny bits available with different large background pics on each desktop. I used to run it on a pentium 60 with a fairly lightweight theme. Rob Malda (aka Taco) even did a few relatively lightweight themes and his theme site led a lot of enlightenment users to Slashdot on day 1.

      I'm currently using the Ganymede theme which is pretty and doesn't consume a lot of resources.

  • I found an old emachine sitting by the trash. 2.8 celeron, 80GB, etc. Not bad for the price. I found out why someone threw it out. The motherboard is glitchy: it won't recognize drives unless it is warmed up for an hour or two, and even then it is a 50/50 chance. I was going to canabalize it for parts until now.
    I assume that this board should be an easy match. Anyone see any problems? Thanks.
    • by Sleepy (4551)
      It's not a good match. It may WORK, but that's not the same thing.

      C7 is good for embedded apps, or low-power low-heat. It's not at all responsive in the way that your USUAL overpowered desktop CPU is.

      If your budget is $60 same as this, I'd get a CPU/mobo combo from NewEgg or Directron. Seriously. If you thought a 2.8Ghz Celeron would be OK, you can easily match it with a AM2 processor or an older P4. Shop around.

  • Any opinions on if the cpu has enough juice to be worthwhile as an inexpensive test platform for some distributed computing experiments?

    I've been hunting for cheap systems to put together for some experimental work I want to do (as well as learning how to properly run a Beowulf), and so far this looks like the best deal I've seen. With onboard lan and video, all I'd need to do is toss in some memory, hack together some sort of combined power supply, and build a rack to store the boards in, and I've got
    • by Junta (36770)
      So key things when building a beowulf cluster are performance per dollar and performance per watt. Hit sweet spots in those and you can adjust the rest through node count.

      In this case, buying 4 of these boards would probably suck down more power than a single quad-core Intel planar+processor. The cost of 4 boards (plus memory, etc) would probably be not much cheaper than consolidating all of that into one chassis. So if expecting a significant lifetime out of it, it's not really worth it. You can put tog
      • by LithiumX (717017)
        Heh. I specifically kept my old car after it finally broke down and was replaced (due to negligible trade-in value). Since then, I used it as a training platform for basic repair - and it works again.

        That means I have a fully functional older car (and a 99 Saturn SL2 isn't that bad for an extra car), and I've been thinking along the same lines (though I intended to use a laptop - cheap older laptops seem much easier to maintain in a car due to low power, batteries, inbuilt (but removable) display, and
    • Re:Cheap Cluster? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by vrmlguy (120854) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [esywmas]> on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @09:59PM (#21276777) Homepage Journal
      The cheapest way to play with a Beowulf cluster is to set one up a cluster of virtual machines, using Xen or VMware. I'm more familar with the VMware products, so I'll describe them. You don't want VMware Player, since it is optimized to provide good graphics for playing games and the like. Instead you want VMware Server, which only supports standard VGA but is optimized to run lots of VMs in the background. Both of these are free, btw. Once you have your hypervisor set up, install several identical single-core VMs. Try for twice as many VMs as you have real processor cores. You almost certainly want to do this on a 2-way or 4-way processor, to get plenty of multiprocessing. You don't want to set up multi-core VMs, because they tend to perform much worse than virtual single-cores. "Attach" everything to a virtual switch than isn't connected to the outside world. Now you can experiment with all sorts of Beowulf configurations. Only when you get something that you like (say, for ray tracing) should you consider translating it into real hardware.
  • What i'd like is a tiny power efficient motherboard, such that i can put lots of them in a rackmount case...
    Coupled with a single PSU to power several baords (i figure a regular server psu should easily handle a stack of these small boards) and some high speed server fans to cool all of them at once (single boards shouldnt need much cooling, but a stack of them in a confined space would)...
    And maybe a small unmanaged switch in the case too, running off the same PSU.
    Like a blade server but on the cheap. Blad
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Jorophose (1062218)
      VIA used to sell a 4-socket C3 motherboard. A local store still has a few.

      And since each C3 would consume only about 4-7W (depends on model) that's a grand maximum of 28W, probably idling at around 4W. It was intented for servers, but I don't think it sold very well. Still, it was a great idea.
  • the complete machine (Score:3, Informative)

    by bcrowell (177657) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @07:11PM (#21275045) Homepage
    I kept checking the local walmarts for availability via the online inventory interface, and they were always out of stock. Checked SF, Chicago, NY, ... same deal. I wonder if there's been unexpectedly strong demand. The customer reviews on the walmart site look very positive. I finally ordered one via walmart's service where you can get it shipped to the store for free, and they'll you email when it arrives. This is for my young daughter to play flash games on, read wikipedia articles, etc. Not sure if I'll want to keep gOS or just install standard ubuntu. I guess I'll try installing gnome and seeing whether the performance is acceptable. The monitor and keyboard will probably end up costing more than the machine itself. I love the low power consumption, so I don't have to nag her to turn it off.
    • by Jairun (982778)
      If you want to just go with Ubuntu and not use the gOS (which may meet your requirements). Check out Xubuntu, it's Ubuntu coupled with the lightweight XFCE desktop. I've heard the performance on low end systems is pretty nice and you can still use the normal Ubuntu support. Personally I just enjoy the desktop environment even though I don't really need the minimalist footprint.
  • I'd be tempted to get this, but then I saw that it only has VGA output. If I'm getting something like this, it's not to use it as a desktop: it's to turn it into a PVR or a frontend for Myth. But no S-Video or DVI? That's suicide for this board. This means I'd have to go buy a video card for this, since all of my spare video cards are AGP, which just gets added on to the bill.

    I guess I'll have to look elsewhere for a VIA board for my next PVR. I suppose I'll also have to wait until some cable-card dev
    • by rmcd (53236) *
      Maybe you can clear something up for me. I built a Myth frontend using an ASUS board (M2 NPV-VM) that supposedly had hdtv out on board, but I never got the fancy video options to work. I've ended up just using the VGA out (my 42" Panasonic HDTV has a computer input). It actually looks really good -- at 10' it's hard to distinguish the PVR signal from broadcast HDTV. I was surprised.

      So I guess the two questions are: 1. Are you sure VGA won't do the job, and 2. What am I missing?

      • Maybe you can clear something up for me. I built a Myth frontend using an ASUS board (M2 NPV-VM) that supposedly had hdtv out on board, but I never got the fancy video options to work. I've ended up just using the VGA out (my 42" Panasonic HDTV has a computer input). It actually looks really good -- at 10' it's hard to distinguish the PVR signal from broadcast HDTV. I was surprised.

        So I guess the two questions are: 1. Are you sure VGA won't do the job, and 2. What am I missing?

        Not all TV's have a VGA input. So if they only have Component, Composite, S-Video, and HDMI, then you're SOL if you have only VGA. I suppose you could get a converter to change a VGA plug to a DVI, but then you still have to use a DVI-HDMI cable.

        But then again, I am posting this 3 hours after being at the bars. Have fun figuring out what the hell I said.

    • I don't see any major earth-shattering differences between VGA, DVI, component, or HDMI on our TV. The type of hookup doesn't magically change the quality of the picture.

      Oh, and you won't be seeing any CableCARD devices that aren't a part of a full system until roughly the same time the Earth is roasted by the Sun. You'd be better off finding a good cable box that's easily controllable by Myth.
  • Hey, it's linux on the desktop at the consumer level, and I like that.
  • The board in the Wal-mart PC is mini-itx. This one is micro-atx. There's a difference. I got all excited when I started reading this article...a $60 mini-itx board would be very nice indeed.
    • Do you know for certain that the Everex PC ships with a mini-ITX board? Neither the product page on Everex's and Walmart's site specifies this, and the various reports I read across the web last week when this was launch weren't all in sync on the specs. I'd be shocked that two boards were manufactured, so called DEV micro-ATX board and the mini-ITX board installed in the PC.

      Later,
      -Slashdot Junky
  • by andreyw (798182) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @08:48PM (#21276107) Homepage
    Apparently the only thing you need to peddle low-performing VIA-based crap these days is just to call it a "Dev Board". Hardware hack? What hardware hack? This is a basic run-off-the-mill PC motherboard. With a sloooowwww C7. If you're not hardware-modding your existing motherboards (via SMBus devices, or something else...) you are NOT MODIFYING THIS ONE EITHER.

    "This is not a "low-cost board running Linux"... this is "a run-of-the-mill PC that can run Linux". And you're kidding yourself if you think that you cannot buy the same motherboard cheaper by going around these wily marketeers. What joke... and a slashvertisement. Buy Everex! Google in Everyone's Home!

    Let's see what it DOESN'T have... This is like, seriously, 2004 tech here...
    1) No gigabit.
    2) Questionable AGP chipset
    3) See 2 - No PCIe, given this is AGP.
    4) VGA? At least not CGA...
    5) Lots of legacy I/O ports no one cares about.

    If you think you cannot by a BETTER motherboard for $60 is... well... I want some of whatever it is that you're smoking.
  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @08:52PM (#21276137)
    teh new hotness(tm) is mini-itx or even smaller.

    I called the local walmart to see if they had that cheapie pc in stock. they didn't. I didn't want to wait and I wanted to see what all this low-power VIA stuff was about.

    so I got a true mini-ITX system which is using the same c7 cpu: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2010/1890660635_273662e3c9_o.jpg [flickr.com]

    note, it DOES RUN HOT. I am not kidding. I bought it as a fanless system to run myth-tv back-end on. it does - and it captures 2 HD streams ok over 10/100 VIA ethernet. but the heatsink runs VERY hot to the touch. no way could I even use a cover on that system for more than 15 minutes before it overheats.

    if you plan to use that c7 cpu in something 'real', you better have good cooling.

  • If you are hoping to get full Linux support for this board (from gOS Products [thinkgos.com]):

    "Experience our first developer product. We encourage developers to advance the currently limited driver support for this eco-friendly VIA board."
  • and not available in any store. It's kind of a bait and switch, Wal*Mart version.

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