Sunday, June 16, 2013

Tiny Computer Mother boards

Variscite are making computer boards for use by PC makers that are extremely small for their computing power. The 2 Euro coin shown in the picture is about the size of our 50 cent piece.

The DART-4460 features a 1.5 GHz dual core 'ARM' processor with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of Flash Hard Drive. It's a complete system with WiFi, Bluetooth, HDMI out, SD card support and USB ports. This unit has been optimised for Android / Linux and would be capable or running Firefox, Chrome, Libreoffice and VLC media player. Power requirement is about a tenth of a Watt so it could be sourced from the HDMI outlet which connects to the Monitor or TV. Keyboard, mice and cameras can be run from WiFi or USB ports.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Mint 15 Live or Install DVD

With Microsoft's continual change of Desktop layout's a look at the alternatives could be worthwhile. Linux Mint 15 would be a good choice for those familiar with XP, as it keeps to the basic XP layout. It is a free download and has an installation time of around 15 Minutes. I tested this distribution on an entry level single core Toshiba laptop that came with Windows 7 preinstalled, that I considered to be too slow to be usable. Boot time over 2 minutes compared to Mint's 35 seconds. Mint was ready to go on broadband Ethernet, and wireless with just knowing the wireless password. A laser printer and Multifunction printer scanner installed themselves without any intervention. Firefox with flash, Thunerbird E-mail, Libreoffice 4, VLC media player and DVD burner software was already provided on the distribution. I added Cheese camera and Skype applications which immediately worked. Virus checkers are not required. The only drawback is for iTune users as this is not supported.