May 2005 Picks

The hottest Linux and open source products.

Chewing Gum or Linux Computer?

Gumstix (http://www.gumstix.com) recently released the next generation of its connex platform — the world’s smallest, fully-functional computer — and it runs Linux. These amazing PC’s are literally paper thin and must be seen to be believed (see picture at right.)

The connex PC’s use Intel’s Xscale processor (rated at 200 or 400 MHz), contain 64 MB of SDRAM, and 4 MB of flash memory. The fully open source environment of the connex runs kernel 2.6.10 and handy software such as sshd, Apache, Bluetooth, and more. Development can be done via the gcc 3.4 cross-compiler. The devices, costing a little over $100, can also be fitted with wired Ethernet adapters, compact flash adapters, and various other components.
Aside from a myriad of potential commercial applications, these low-cost devices are ideal for the advanced hobbyist. So, grab a Gumstix and get your miniature masterpiece rolling.

Tiny Penguin Powers PBX

Snom Technology (http://www.snom.com) has released an ultra-compact Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) PBX based on Linux. Aimed at the small- to medium-sized business (SMB) market, the compact device can integrate with several other COTS VoIP devices and supports up to fifty users.

Features include compliance with RFC3261, automatic forwarding, on hold music, conferencing, voicemail, an auto-attendant, and more. All of this is controlled via a convenient web interface. Configure the box through Snom’s web site and then plug it into a LAN, all in a matter of minutes.
Such convenience and savings in a tiny package, thanks to the Penguin. (Check out the Snom 360, too. It’s a Linux-powered VoIP phone.)

It’s a Dessert Topping! It’s a Floor Wax!

Need to automate your home lighting, connect to the Internet, and keep burglars away? Try Digital Glu’s (http://www.digitalglu.com) new Glaucus appliance.
The Glaucus can store and stream a digital music collection for the LAN, and can act as an Internet gateway, including a firewall, proxy, intrusion detection service, web server, VPN, DNS, and mail servers. It can also act as a backup repository and file share. Phew! On top of all that, the Glaucus can control several home automation components, including climate, lighting, security and surveillance systems, blinds, and other appliances. The question is what can’t it do?
The Glaucus runs Linux and software from Point Clark Networks, makers of Clark Connect. The machine is powered by a 1 GHz Eden processor, has 256 MB of memory, a 200 GB hard drive, and two Ethernet ports. The Glaucus starts at $1399 and can be wall mounted in an out of the way location.
If you’re considering a home server or have an advanced network, Digital Glu’s Glaucus might be the tool for you.

Bring Doom with You

A short time ago, Jobo (http://www.jobo.com), an 80-year-old company that manufactures analog and digital photography products, released the Giga Vu PRO for professional photographers who wanted a quick storage and viewing device for field work. The device features a large 3.8-inch color LCD monitor with 320×240 pixel resolution, a CompactFlash Type II memory card slot, a 2200mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery, USB 2.0 high speed I/O, and either a 40GB or 60GB hard drive.

That’s cool enough, but then came the hackers…
Sourceforge is now hosting a Linux-based SDK for the Giga Vu Pro at http://gigavupro.sourceforge.net. You can replace the kernel, add filesystems, and install a cross compiler on the device. The main force driving the project? Hardcore hobbyists in need of a portable Doom terminal! The Giga Vu Pro has speakers, a joystick, and soft buttons for game play. In between marathon fragging sessions, it can also play audio and video files.
Doom and the Giga Vu Pro: Don’t leave home without ’em.

Have you heard or seen a cool Linux product? Send email to Matt Tanase at class="emailaddress">tanase@qaddisin.com.

Comments are closed.