My Yellow Drum Machine

Here’s a cool home-made Robot Drummer !!!

robot drummer

 

You can see some funny videos of this bad boy in action here.

While it’s not exactly a Rock Band Drum gadget , it still kicks ass !!!

Robotics | No Comments

An OS written in Assembly

No I’m not talking about an Operating System written in the Church halls.

No I’m not talking about an Operating System written in the 60’s.

I’m talking about Menuet OS. (For some wierd reason, I was reading the name as M-e-n-u-n-e-t until I actually sat down to write this post)

The Menuet Operating System claims to have been written entirely in assembly language.

menuetOS

Here’s what they have to say about it :

MenuetOS is an Operating System in development for the PC written entirely in 32/64 bit assembly language…

… It supports 32/64 bit x86 assembly programming for smaller, faster and less resource hungry programmes.

I have one word for this, “Wow” !!

I mean, c’mon!!

Admit it.

Didn’t you want to write a complete OS, or maybe just the bootloader, or even just a driver in complete assembly language, ever ?

But the whole thought of re-learning assembly, writing the tedious code….. was a bit too much for our lazy asses.

But these guys actually did it. They even got some decent GUI going o. And considering it is all in assembly, it must have taken quite some amount of dedication on their part.

If you visited their site, it has all the possible resources, complete from sample assembly programming applications to the Assembler they used, to their Ethernet driver architecture.

I couldn’t find their source anywhere on the site and their license indicates it might not be GPL’ed.

I tried downloading the M64-82.ZIP file, but it failed more than once.

IF any of you guys managed to actually get it running, I’d love to hear from you , or better yet, see some screen-shots.

Software | 2 Comments

Pre-Releases

I found this great article which covers the pre-releases of the three biggest and arguable, the most popular Linux Distros, viz, Ubuntu, Fedora and OpenSuse.

The article is a good read for anyone who want to have an overview of the versioning scheme for this Distros as well.

Apart from some great screenshots of the Alpha releases for this Distros, the links at the end of the article also point to their respective Release Schedules.

I for one am desperately waiting to install Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron.

Read and watch more here…

Open Source | No Comments

Linux MiniPCs

The Mini-PC or Mobile Internet Device market is really starting to sizzle. And the great thing is, that some of the hottest and best-selling Mini-PCs run Linux.

In this post, I will be giving a bird eye view of some of the Linux-based devices which are causing a stir in the market.

LinuTop

The LinuTop fanless mini-PC comes in two variants an uses the AMD Geode processor.

Linutop2_1
Linutop

It comes with the standard I/O ports for audio, USB 2.0, etherne and monitor.
As you can see in the pic, it can be mounted quite cozily behind a LCD Display.

Linutop2_3
Linutop Bracket

It has Xubuntu Linux installed with applications such as Firefox, Gaim and OpenOffice.
Linutop is currently available for around ~$450 and ~$350.

Elonex

This one’s touted as UK’s first £99 laptop. With an agenda to rival the ASUS EeePC, this baby weighs about 1 Kg and has all the standard ports mentioned above along with wireless connectivity.

Elonex
Elonex

Originally designed for the Education community, it has all the applications required for playing Music, viewing photos and a suite of Games.

The ElonexONE might have made a slightly late entry into the market, but it’s availabiliy in UK and the low price, makes it a gadget to watch for.

Everex gPC

Everex‘s Cloudbook a.k.a gPC was an instant hit at Wal-Mart and was one of the most sought after products in the store. Another reason for it’s popularity was tha OS it was running.

Everex
Everex gPC

The “Rocket” gOS, was a Ubuntu-based Linux Distro with Google and other Social -Networking gadgets. Everex is now releasing the gPC-mini in competition with Apple’s Mac-mini.
At $499, it consists of 30GB HDD, Webcam , 512MB RAM and a 1.8GHz Intel Dual-Core processor..

Zonbu

The Zonbu laptops are based on a small form-factor hardware the creators like to call the Zonbox. It is based on the Gentoo Distribution and runs the Xfce desktop environment.

Zonbu
Zonbu

It consists of all the standard open source software for Internet, productivity,media along with Wireless connectivity.
The Zonbu desktop-mini or the Notebook are both moderately priced at $99 and $299 respectively.

ASUS EeePC

This one is the mother of them all. The EeePC was not necessarily the first mini-PC out there, but it definitely is the most popular.

EeePC
ASUS EeePC

ASUStek, first released the ASUS EeePC 4G ultramobile PC, with the Xandros Linux OS and it soon became the most sought after Christmas gift in the US. To date, it still remains the most popular mini-PCs. By 2008, the company promises to flood the market with 12 million EeePC’s.

Well, after reviewing all these, there are two things to be taken under consideration :

1. The the era of low-cost, small form factor, clean-tech, fanless PCs has arrived.

2. These need to be available in large numbers if they are to withhold the attention of the masses. For example, apart from the US and few other countries like UK, they are not easily available. Not for the same price anyways.

Apart from the ASUS EeePC, I don’t know if any of these are available in India. But what I wouldn’t give to play around on these and see if they are actually worth spending time on !!!

Open Source | No Comments

Installing 145 OSes in a PC

Oh yeah !!

Thats what I call sheer madness … Godliness !!!

But before you start googling around and counting the number of OSes actually out there let me give you the distribution (hint hint) myself :

  • 3 DOS Operating Systems
  • 5 Windows Operating Systems
  • 137 Linux Operating Systems

The author goes on to mention that he tried installing BSD variants in his Setup as well, but they gave some issues in co-existence with other OSes.

I confess that I myself have not read the entire article in detail, but it has always been one of my ambitions to try out as many full-fledged Distros as i could.

Read more about this fascinating project here.

Open Source | No Comments