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VIA C3 Epia and Eden based machines

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Hi all,

Recently on the norwegian Skolelinux list the use of VIA based
motherboards for thin clients was discussed.

I'd like to move the discussion over here for all Skolelinux developers
to enjoy (not only scandinavians). Please do *NOT* reply to both lists,
but only to the debian-edu@l.d.o one.

Older hardware is great for thin clients, but if you are out to buy new
hardware anyway, those based on the VIA Eden motherboards are probably
the best you can get for the purpose: Completely silent and extremely
small - VIA invented a new formfactor called "Mini-ITX" at 170x170mm,
much smaller than the official ATX, FlexATX and MicroATX standards[1].

The VIA Motherboards are built around a VIA C3 or C3-II CPU, which works
with non-optimized Linux i386 kernels or kernels optimized specially[2].

Some components on the boards are special, but basic features works
out-of-the-box. There is extensive documentation on configuring and
optimizing performance on Linux[3], and work in progress for an
optimized framebuffer used on the boards.

There are several websites dedicated to various housings for the VIA
boards[5] (how about builting it into a chrismas decoration?!?).
Personally I favor the ultra-compact and fanless Cupid cases from HighGreen.

If you happen to live in Denmark like me, both boards and cases are
available through mailorder[6], delivered next day. Don't know about
other suppliers...

~ - Jonas

[1] Have a look at http://formfactors.org/ for official standards.

[2] If interested in apt-get'able precompiled kernels for C3 and C3-II,
have a look at http://debian.jones.dk/ (scroll down for instructions),
or grab them directly from http://debian.jones.dk/slamuf/pool/sid-jones/

[3] Linux VIA Epia HOWTO: http://www.viaarena.com/?PageID=378

[4] Patches to Linux kernel and XFree86 for optimized framebuffer:

[5] Example case (258x210x65mm):

[6] Supplier in Denmark: http://www.shg.dk/

- --
* Jonas Smedegaard - idealist og Internet-arkitekt
* Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

~ - Enden er nær: http://www.shibumi.org/eoti.htm
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