[olug] Tiny computers

nate nate at bluddclot.com
Mon Apr 5 22:16:27 UTC 2010

> I love the functionality but I despise MS Windows. WTF is up with all
> the different versions Home, Home Basic, Media Center, Professional.
> Confusing to me.

If your going Windows 7 the versions you want for home use is Windows 7
Premiuma or Windows 7 Extreme. Premium includes all the extra media
stuff and Windows Extreme includes all the features of the different
versions of Windows.

Otherwise I don't think that any other version of Windows is worth a
crap for home users interested in multimedia stuff.

> I don't think the tiny computers originally suggested would have the
> oomph to decode any video at a decent framerate. The nVidia chip in
> the Revo makes all the difference on this underpowered machine.

I saw a 'Sheeva Plug' mentioned and that is just right out. It's a ARM
system with no video output. Very kick-ass for cheap file server, but
not worth a damn for any sort of multimedia work. 

For non-Nvidia Atom systems there is a answer. You have to sacrifice a
Mini-PCI Express port, but this device will allow fully accelerated
media playback without proprietary drivers....

And that is the Broadcom Crystal HD:

You can purchase Mini PCI Express versions for around 60-80 dollars and
they can easily provide 1080p H.264 performance. No sweat. 

Open Source drivers and everything. 

But But But... Support for those things is not mature yet. Major media
playback things for Linux.. like XBMC or MythTV... is in alpha-status
only. It can work, but it would take a lot of work to set it up. So it's
pure Linux-Geek-territory-only right now. 

For details on the use with Mythtv you can find it at:

And like I said before, if your goal is to get good performance for
Flash-based playback your going to need a powerful CPU in Linux. I
recommend a Core2Duo. 

That being said.... There is a ongoing sale with Lenovo laptops and Visa
that last until 6/30/10. 35% off any purchase made with a Visa card.
(Find out for yourself, I don't know all the details)


A Lenovo laptop with Nvidia graphics should run out about 600-700
dollars, so with the deal you can get a very fast system for $400-450.

Keep in mind that I don't know about Linux compatibility or all the
details of the offer (and not all Nvidia devices support VDPAU), but it seems like a kick-ass deal on the surface.

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