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Re: free software mini pc

On 12 February 2012 15:06, green <greenfreedom10@gmail.com> wrote:
> Stan Hoeppner wrote at 2012-02-11 21:15 -0600:
>> On 2/11/2012 8:09 PM, green wrote:
>> > I need a fanless mini PC; it will run Debian.  It will be used in a
>> > production environment.


I share your sympathies. I really hate fan noise! There are ARM
computers that run at 5 watts, and can be passively cooled.... but can
they be used as a 'desktop'?

I've been thinking about that question a lot. The main difficulty is
that I frequently use Iceweasel and it requires a lot of memory (or,
at least, it does the way I use it), so these computers with 1
gigabyte of RAM aren't really going to cut it.

What I could do is use one of these ARM computers as a thin-client and
use vnc or xwindows forwarding to run Iceweasel in the cloud
somewhere. The problem with that is, for me, since I live in
Australia, I'm going to need a cloud that is hosted in Australia due
to the latency. But cloud hosting in Australia is nowhere near as
affordable as it is overseas, this is due to economies of scale and
Australian hosting is always going to be more expensive.

So my next plan is to build a 'beowulf cluster' out of ARM computers,
and use that as my desktop. You've probably heard of Raspberry Pi?
Well that's a pretty nice system, and costs on $35, draws 3.5 watts,
but has only 256meg of RAM. I'm sure, in the not too distant future,
there'll be system's like this, at a similar price, with at least a
gig of RAM. Then I could buy 10 of them, for $350, and I'll have a
system with 10 gigabytes of RAM and drawing 35 watts. Plus a network
switch of course.

Anyway, getting back to the original post. I actually bought a Trim
Slice. One of the first ones they rolled out. Unfortunately I haven't
been able to spend much time playing with it, although I was using it
as a VNC client for a while, plugged into a TV. It did ok. The Trim
Slice kernel has been updated since then so some time I am going to
upgrade and see how it can perform. Actually my Trim Slice lacks a
couple of hardware features, for instance the power light doesn't come
on and the system cannot power-off unless you pull the plug out. I
actually need to send my TS back to CompuLab for that because it is a
problem with the first systems they produced.

If you have specific questions about the Trim Slice I'll try to help.


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