Flutterby™! : The Sounds of Silence

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The Sounds of Silence

2003-07-30 15:05:10.815421+00 by ebradway 3 comments

I now have the Via Eden hooked up to my 512MB CF card with the IDE-CF adapter. The machine boots extremely faster and is eerily silent. I am 100% sold on these Eden motherboards and as I find the money, I'll be replacing all of my machines, including my server. And it might just be apt-get, but I'm quickly falling in love with Debian. Has anyone played with using a CF card for the boot device and a standard hard drive for data? I'm thinking for an AV system where you might want to store your MP3s on a hard drive but boot off the CF (speed and low-power normal operation). Maybe even copy the MP3s to the CF before playing to allow the hard drive to spin down sooner...

[ related topics: Free Software Music Open Source Shoes Currency Embedded Devices - Via Eden ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: The Sounds of Silence made: 2003-07-30 18:14:46.387948+00 by: Dan Lyke

I've run hard away from power saving hard drives ever since I ignored one and had it die quickly from a 5 minute poweroff and a 10 minute buffer flush cycle, but it might be time to look into that again, especially now that I'm laptopping so much. Boot and essential utilities on CF disk and a 256Meg cache, even with write-through if logs are dropped onto CF, seems like a great idea.

I have a longer rant boiling about the death of interface-based computing, or at least screen, keyboard and mouse, as I see that most of the development for that will be either Microsoft or overseas in India, and if I want to stay employed I have to look at new ways to use computers. Lots of little silent thingies that do the right thing based on interfaces that already exist is high on my list of ways to expand the computing market.

#Comment Re: The Sounds of Silence made: 2003-07-31 05:42:30.281566+00 by: ebradway

Try hanging one from a helium balloon!

I'm beginning to find many other applications for parts of this system beyond simple georeferenced aerial photography. The gondola could be used for remote monitor or anywhere you need more intelligence than just a camera and maybe some remote access. The balloon system would be ideal for environmental inspections: EPA can float it over the drain from a plant to monitor effluent, you can fly it over an intersection to monitor traffic patterns. Or one of the first alternate applications I'll write: some optical recognition to track vehicle speeds on a section of road - tie it to a camera pointed at the license plate and you can automate speeding fines. No radar either. This is essentially VASCAR - a notoriously bad system where a cop sits on an over pass with a box and toggles a switch when you pass one point and toggles again when you pass another. Too much error there and no real evidence. The balloon can produce all kinds of evidence - and much less expesive than the film based radar systems.

Yes, the ITX format allows us to do alot fo the things that the PC104 folks have been doing but at a much lower pricepoint. I just VIA would leave a game port on the motherboard - eight easily addressed TTL I/Os - or a 'GeekPort' ala BeBox. I'm sure the parallel port would work too. I'd gladly give up the mouse and keyboard ports. That's all going USB in places where you'll use a mouse and keyboard...

#Comment Re: The Sounds of Silence made: 2003-07-31 16:09:17.887651+00 by: Dan Lyke

According to everything I've read you can sink 18mA off the parallel port. I've been sinking 10mA off of it, running those through resistors to an opto-isolator with some reasonable gain, and using it to switch some isolated signals. And, obviously, it works for input.

I've been doing this with Windows[Wiki], but the documentation says Linux[Wiki] does it even easier.

Also, if you need more I/O, don't discount the idea of cutting apart a cheap USB joystick or game controller... And I've become a big fan of 16 pin DIP 4-in-a-chip opto-isolators. Take care of the common ground problems like *that*.