Archive for the ‘ Linux ’ Category

Small Pc’s for small price

The Raspberry Pi , a $35 computer has moved beyond the proof-of-concept phase, are now shipping to early adopters — mostly developers and programmers who want to see what the inexpensive, minimalist machines are capable of. The short version: a $35 Raspberry Pi can do pretty much anything a normal desktop computer can do.

And it’s not alone. For an additional $35, you can pick up the Mele A1000. Unlike the Raspberry Pi, the Mele comes nicely finished in a black plastic enclosure. It’s also decked out with additional ports, like HDMI,VGA and RCA audio and video hook-ups. On the top of the A1000, there’s also a SATA connector so that you can plug in a standard internal hard disk drive for additional storage. It’s also got an 802.11 b/g/n wireless adapter, 2GB of internal storage (with Android pre-installed) and an SD Card expansion slot, twice as much RAM as the Raspberry Pi, and a faster ARM processor (1GHz).

The $70 A1000 isn’t necessarily intended to be a full computer, but the SD Card slot is bootable. That means you can load any ARM-compatible operating system (like Ubuntu, the most popular Linux-based OS) onto a spare card, boot it up, and turn this little Android- powered networked media player into a desktop computer. Throw on something like Ubuntu for TVs (or GeeXboX) and you’ve got an inexpensive way to turn any television into a smart TV — even an ageing CRT.

Are devices like the Mele A1000 and Raspberry Pi suitable for every PC user? No, of course not. Their limited hardware makes them a poor fit for intense tasks like high-end photo and video editing or hardcore gaming, but they’re certainly capable of handling more mundane computer use. Word processing, web browsing, instant messaging, and casual gaming are all well within reach of these humble systems.

While the A1000 and Raspberry Pi are cool devices in their own right, the really exciting news here is that they’re part of a whole new breed of low-cost computers. ARM chips have ruled the smartphone and tablet market for years. Now, manufacturers are starting to experiment with the low-cost, high-efficiency chips in a desktop setting. They’ll even be supported by Windows 8 when it arrives later this year.

More manufacturers dabbling with ARM puts more heat on Intel and AMD, and ultimately that should help drive desktop computer prices down. You can already pick up a Windows netbook for $249 today, so it’s not hard to envision a time in the near future when $100 or less will get you a very capable multi-core computer system.

[Source: Liliputing]