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[News] Linux on on Everything, Everywhere

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A contradiction in terms, Linux is.

,----[ Quote ]
| Linux can be a telephone or a mainframe. It can be a television or a toaster. 
| It can be text only or graphical. Linux even fights amongst itself as to 
| which process, distribution, text editor, graphical manager, et al. reigns 
| supreme. How many of you have giggled over the flame wars between the gooey 
| generals and command line commanders? How many times have there been 
| arguments about Linux being easy/hard to use?     



You're A Linux User/Supporter: You Just Don't Know It Yet Â

,----[ Quote ]
| I'D like to start by asking you a series of seemingly unrelated questions. Â
| Have you watched Shrek or Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone? ÂHave you
| flown on Continental, Virgin America or Singapore Airlines? ÂDo you drive a
| BMW, Fiat or Renault car? ÂAre you serving in the United States Army? ÂHave
| you ever bought anything online using Paypal? ÂHave you ever stayed in a
| Sheraton hotel? ÂOr travelled by train in Canada? Â Â


The hidden world of Linux

,----[ Quote ]
| There are many great FOSS projects that utilise old PC hardware and give it a
| new lease of life. The best is desktop computing with various Linux
| distribution flavours like Mint, PCLinux, Ubuntu and countless others. In
| fact it is my considered belief that the best hardware to run Linux on is
| infact (almost) any machine that is at least 12 months old. It is possible,
| of course, to select components based on the degree (and maturity) of the
| specific support under Linux but this has two major drawbacks. Â Â Â
| [...]
| Not only do such projects look to modify embedded Linux devices, but some
| great projects have sprung up to utilise old PCs every household seems to Â
| accumulate in order to fulfil a number of key uses. For example,
| comprehensive firewall distributions like IPCop or Smoothwall or NAS
| distributions like FreeNAS (although this is based on BSD.) These are not
| dirty hacked operating systems either but very mature, streamlined, low
| memory footprint distributions which run headlessly. Being totally
| administered through a web browser makes these distributions feel extremely
| professional and polished (even if the archaic hardware they are running on
| doesnât) this being coupled by the extraordinary amount of options present
| really makes these projects an extraordinary example of the flexibility of
| Linux/BSD. Â Â Â Â Â


Linux everywhere

,----[ Quote ]
| Take yesterday as a case in point. ÂI checked the order status of my Elonex
| One, and sent an email to see if my order for the One can be upgraded to the
| One+ (bluetooth, and bigger internal memory). ÂI then caught the train to the
| Queen Elizabeth hospital, watching the in-train tv which is powered by some
| Linux flavour (given the error message I saw a few weeks back). ÂVisiting my
| friend Simon at the QE, heâs spotted that the tv/phone/internet screens that
| each patient has are powered by Linux. ÂThis is of course when heâs not
| tapping away on his Asus EEE, and hopefully writing the next Da Vinci Code
| (only better). Â Â Â Â


Linux is truly everywhere

,----[ Quote ]
| I spent a long time smiling about the Linux bootup screen that I had just
| seen. To begin with, it reminded me that Linux, and other open-source
| products, are now everywhere. Linux is no longer for the uber-geeks. It's not
| just for system administrators and programmers, either. Linux is now at the
| core of mainstream appliances, there even when you don't think that a
| computer or operating system might be involved. Â Â
| [...]
| Finally, Moore's Law and the general trend toward cheaper and faster hardware
| means that Linux now fits into even more places than it did before. We
| normally think of Linux as an operating system for servers, or even for
| desktop computers. But we can expect Linux to be at the heart of a growing
| number of appliances, from video-on-demand devices to digital video recorders
| (e.g., TiVo), to cellphones (e.g., Android and OpenMoko). The Linux-powered
| refrigerator, with a built-in bar-code scanner that can tell you how long ago
| you bought milk, isn't far behind. Â Â Â


What CANâT Linux do?

,----[ Quote ]
| 1. The story mentioned above. A man installs Linux on sixteen Playstation 3s
| (with zero hardware modifications), clusters them together, and creates a
| system to simulate black holes. Â
| 2. Installing Linux on a Mac. I was just reading the most recent Wired
| magazine that has a good story on how Apple has created a very closed system
| where only Apple software plays on Apple hardware. Hello Yellow Dog Linux! I
| have run Linux on an iBook - it was sweet. Â
| 3. Routers. We all know that Linux works well on routers. OpenWRT installs
| well on many Linksys routers.
| [...]
| 11. Airplane black boxes. Montavista uses a Carrier Grade Linux to power
| in-flight recorders.
| 12. Brain surgery. Yep. This Linux-powered robot helps in brain surgery.


Embedded Linux: Out of sight, out of mind

,----[ Quote ]
| Embedded Linux devices fall into two categories:
|    1. Where the Linux OS is anonymous simply because it has been used by
|    engineers as part of the tool set. For example branding of a flight data
|    recorder would be weak. The buyers in a specialist market would buy based
|    on specificaton, price and their own professional evaluation.
|    2. Where the Linux OS can do its job but not intrude on the heavy branding
|    of its host device. For example TomTom, Motorola, Palm and Sony would have
|    good market reasons not to compete with Microsoft branding. The don't
|    wan't or need any interference from 'Microsoft Inside' stickers.
| So what follows this section it is just a list really, thinly disguised by a
| theme! Apologies, you may know it all already, but hopefully some sections
| will be as news to you as they were to me. Even with some kind of theme there
| were still eleven categories. Skip the bits you are familiar with.

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