Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tiny Devices with Linux

A little while ago I acquired one of these. It's a cute little embedded ARM computer with some pretty impressive specs. People owning these things have done everything from running web servers on them all the way up to a full Linux desktop computer. Impressive, right? You bet, especially when you take into account that they use 5 watts of power! Whoa!

These things come with Ubuntu Jaunty for ARM pre-installed and ready to roll. So, what did I do with mine? Glad you asked! I've managed to offload most everything I used to use my high-powered HTPC/server for. It's running my MythTV backend, including wake-on-lan support for my HTPC (which now is off most of the time), running an IRC bot (wingnut on #wing-linux, you may have met him!), and managing my private domain so I can SSH in at will. I've even got a copy of Apache running on it, serving MythWeb, a web plug-in for MythTV.

I love tiny little ARM computers, especially with Linux on them. They're a lot of fun to work with, a challenge to program for, and it's simply amazing what you can make them do. Even with all that, I've still got a lot of horsepower left over to use. Just gotta figure out what to make it do!

On the Wing Linux front, things are well and moving steadily. Our latest 0.4pre4 development release seems to be a hit; lots of good results, few bugs reported so far. Sounds like we're getting close to releasing 0.4. We've now got 11 supported devices, with more on the horizon.

We've also been working hard with the Linwizard project bringing our kernel changes to the main-line kernel. So far, we've got a kernel booting with SD card support, up from not having any omap850 support at all. We're still waiting on our patches to be approved, but I'm hopeful we'll get them in soon. This work will give us lots of new things for our project, one of which is long-awaited sound support and wifi -- not to mention all the work on power management that's been done since our kernel was released.

Lots of good stuff coming -- Stay tuned!