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Re: How to build a linux based cheap (handheld ) computer



| From: Tim <ignored_mailbox yahoo com au>

| On Thu, 2009-03-12 at 22:55 -0600, Frank Cox wrote:
| > http://beagleboard.org/
| 
|   Are they a
| reasonable alternative to an ordinary computer?

In what sense?

For most cases where one would use an ordinary computer (PC) they are not 
a good alternative.

- a bare PC board doesn't fit well on most desks or tables.

- it has no ethernet interface.  They recommend a Linksys USB to
  Ethernet adapter.  One more thing on your desk.

- it gets power from something not included in the picture: either
  from USB or a wall wart (your choice).

- a 600MHz ARM isn't as nearly as fast as current PCs.  Probably not
  as fast as the OLPC XO's CPU (guess).

- 128M of RAM is tight these days 

- At US$149 for the bare board, it doesn't compare well to a Dell Mini 9
  netbook which has gone for as low as US$200.  Remember that the netbook 
  includes a case, power supply, faster processor, more RAM, "disk", 
  display, and keyboard, all pre-configured.

On the other hand, the Beagleboard looks to be quite interesting for
some projects.  A regular PC would be out of place on such projects.

The question is a bit like asking if a wheelbarrow is a reasonable
alternative to a pickup truck.  Generally, they are best suited to
different problems even though there is some overlap.


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