Τρίτη, 27 Δεκεμβρίου 2011

5 Most Popular Linux-hackable Gadgets

Linux is a powerful and versatile operating system that can be utilized to hack just about any electronic hardware device. To prove it, I have here a list of popular gadgets that are already known to run Linux.


1. Nintendo DS

DSLinux, a port of the Linux operating system, made it possible to install Linux on Nintendo DS. DSLinux runs a modified µClinux kernel. It is currently based on uCLinux 2.6.14 (Linux-2.6.14-hsc0). It only runs in textmode and nano-x which is displayed via a custom framebuffer console driver. Input is done via a keyboard displayed on the touchscreen of the Nintendo DS. DSLinux has no package management facilities. Instead, DSLinux builds are distributed as a single tar archive.

With the exception of the microphone, all hardware inside the Nintendo DS, including the wireless is supported by DSLinux. The Nintendo DS firmware can be read from /dev/firmware, but write support is left out for safety reasons.


2. Apple iPod

iPod, everybody’s favorite music player can be installed with Linux. A µClinux-based Linux distribution called iPodLinux is able to run on several iPod models. When the iPodLinux kernel is booted it takes the place of Apple's iPod operating system and automatically loads Podzilla, an alternative GUI and launcher for a number of additional included programs such as a video player, an image viewer, a command line shell, games, emulators for video game consoles, Computer programming demos, and other experimental or occasionally unfinished Computer software.

Here are some of Podzilla’s features:
* An iPod-like user interface
* Video playback with sound
* Support for AAC, MP3 and basic OGG playback (4G & 5G Music Player Daemon is multifunctional, but can be fixed)
* Many games, including TuxChess, Bluecube (Tetris clone), Chopper, StepMania (a Dance Dance Revolution clone) and more
* Recording through audio jack at much higher quality than Apple's firmware
* Ability to play the games Doom and Doom II (and presumably any Doom Total Conversion; Chex Quest for instance)
* Ability to run many emulators, such as iBoy (Nintendo Game Boy Emulator), iNES (Nintendo Entertainment System Emulator), iDarcNES (port of the multiple system emulator DarcNES), iMAME (port of Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator), and iGPSP (Game Boy Advance emulator)


If you are interested in installing Linux on your iPod (5th Generation Video iPod), perhaps this will help: 13 Not-So-Easy Steps to Install Linux on iPod

3. Microsoft Xbox

Xbox Linux is a project that ported the Linux computer operating system to the Microsoft Xbox. There is also a newer project for the Xbox 360, Free60. Because the Xbox uses a digital signature system to prevent the public from running unsigned code, one must either use a modchip, or find an alternative system for running unsigned code. Since the Xbox is essentially just a PC, with a custom processor, a hard drive, RAM, and 4 USB ports, it is capable to run several readily available Linux distributions smoothly. "Xebian", an Xbox compatible version of Debian, and Gentoox, a similarly customized version of Gentoo are known to run successfully on Xbox.

An Xbox with Linux can be a full desktop computer with mouse and keyboard, a web/email box connected to a TV, a server, router or a node in a cluster. One can either dual-boot or use Linux only; in the latter case, one can replace both IDE devices. One can also connect the Xbox to a VGA monitor. A converter may be needed to use keyboards/mice in the controller ports, however this is fairly easy to achieve because the Xbox uses the standard USB bus.


4. Nintendo GameCube

Nintendo GameCube Linux is a project to port Linux to the Nintendo GameCube (and now the Wii) in the same manner as Xbox Linux. The GameCube was seen to be a less attractive system to port Linux to since it not only lacked an on-board Ethernet port and internal hard drive, but also an optical drive natively capable of reading DVDs.

Nintendo GameCube Linux also recognizes SD Cards and Multimedia Cards and is able to use them normally, given the appropriate adaptor.


5. Sony PlayStation

Linux for PlayStation 2, a kit released by Sony Computer Entertainment in 2002, allows the PlayStation 2 console to be used as a personal computer. It included a Linux-based operating system, a USB keyboard and mouse, a VGA adapter, a PS2 network adaptor (Ethernet only), and a 40 GB hard disk drive (HDD). The PS2 Linux distribution is based on Kondara MNU/Linux, a Japanese distribution itself based on Red Hat Linux. PS2 Linux is similar to Red Hat Linux 6, and has most of the features one might expect in a Red Hat Linux 6 system.

The Linux Kit turns the PlayStation 2 into a full-fledged computer system, but it does not allow for use of the DVD-ROM drive except to read PS1 and PS2 discs due to piracy concerns by Sony. Noted open source software that compiles on the kit includes Mozilla Suite, X-Chat, and Gaim. Light-weight applications better suited to the PS2's 32MB of RAM include xv, Dillo, Ted, and AbiWord. The default window manager is Window Maker, but it is possible to install and use Fluxbox and FVWM.

Linux for PlayStation 2 Kit

The PlayStation 3 is also capable of running Linux. Many distributions are compatible with the console. Debian, Fedora 8, Gentoo, OpenSuSE and Ubuntu can be run on the PlayStation 3. Yellow Dog Linux for the PlayStation 3 was first released for the PS3 in late 2006.

Yellow Dog Linux on PS 3
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The 10 Hottest Linux Powered Gadgets

In recent years, we have witnessed an almost prolific resurgence of the Linux Kernel. Easily re-purposed by companies and free of licensing and cost, the open-source system is continuously being integrated into new consumer electronics.
Linux has become so ubiquitous in fact, that many of you may already own Linux-based gadgets without even knowing it!
  1. Aigo Mobile Internet Device
    The first Mobile Internet Device to be announced, the Aigo MID has a 4.8 inch screen (800 by 480), Intel Z500 Atom Processor, WiFi, 3.5G HSDPA and GPS. It weighs just 352g and runs on Midinux 2.0 which has large icons for its touch interface. MIDs fill the gap between that of PDAs and UMPCs, they are faster and have a wider array of applications in a slightly larger package. However, reviewers note that the Lithium Ions last for only 2 hours. Suitable for those tired of slow PDAs with expensive propreitary software who are looking for a more familiar Windows or Linux environment.
    Price: US$1163
  2. Nokia N810 Internet Tablet
    The third version of Nokia’s popular Internet Tablet, the N810 is actually smaller than the N800. However, despite it’s diminutive size Nokia still managed to squeeze in a GPS receiver. It’s built in webcam, Opera browser and GPS makes it an excellent travel guide and leisure companion. Nokia’s Internet Tablets currently have quite a large Geek following, so there’s plenty of 3rd party apps to download and tryout. If you’re itching to try Google’s new mobile OS, you can now also install Android onto the N810. Definitely for the Geeky, but simple and cool enough for the casual user.
      Price: US$390
  3. Asus Eee Box
    The Asus Eee Box is equipped with a 1.6Ghz Atom processor, Linux (or Windows XP) and costs just US$269 for a minimum of 1GB RAM, 80GB HDD and Wireless-N. It also has a DVI port for a monitor and the usual array of USB and ethernet ports. However, it does not have an optical drive. The main advantage of the Eee Box is it’s power consumption which is 1/5 that of a traditional desktop. Asus positioned it as a good buy for those with tight pockets (and space) or environmentalists concerned about electrical wastage.

  4. Asus Eee PC 901/1000/1000H
    The Eee PC 901, 1000 and 1000H models are a welcome improvement over the 701 and 900. They clock in at higher processor speeds and longer battery lifetimes (4 to 7 hours) thanks to the Intel N270 Atom 1.6Ghz Processor. The 1000 and 1000H models are also equipped with a larger 40GB Solid State Disk and 80GB Hard Disk, respectively. Weight: 1.17kg, 1.25kg. 1.45kg, respectively. An excellent travel companion for those needing a lightweight, compact subnotebook that packs a lot of juice for the road.
    Price: US$650
  5. OpenMoko FreeRunner Smartphone
    The FreeRunner is OpenMoko’s attempt at making the mobile phone market as open as the PC industry has been. The smart phone runs entirely on Linux and is fully customizable on both the software and hardware levels. Heck, it even comes with the OS source files and interfacing data cables. So far, sales have been pretty good and the FreeRunner has sold out. The perfect device for students learning how to program a phone with Linux, as well as for seasoned Super Geeks.
  6. Motorola Ming A1600
    The Ming A1600 has started shipping in China, but we can expect it to arrive soon in other parts of the world. It is equipped with GPS, handwriting recognition and a 3.2-megapixel camera with business card reader. The phone has a quad-band GSM/GPRS Radio that supports Edge networks. It also supports 4GB of MicroSD storage and has Bluetooth. The Ming’s suave black curves and curvaceous body would appeal to fashion conscious business people. Whilst its Linux OS would allow the power-user to install all sorts of 3rd party apps.
    Price: unannounced
  7. Archos 605 WiFi
    The perfect alternative to an iPod Touch, the Archos WiFi sports a large sharp display with an excellent web browser. The device also supports smooth full screen video playback, an excellent choice for an Apple-averse media hoarder.
    Price: US$379
  8. Mvix MX-760HD Wireless HD Media Center
    The Mvix 1080p Media Center features high performance networking and hi-definition playback with support for a tremendous range of file formats. It’s huge internal HDD provides ample room for your entire media collection. The device also supports content streaming from your PC to your home theatre/stereo via a wireless network. The perfect solution for bringing what’s on your PC to the living room widescreen, in High-Def!
    Price: US$329
  9. Sonos Digital Music System
    With the Sonos, you can play music wireless all over your home. Just place Sonos Zone Bridges wherever you want music to play. You can play the same song in all rooms or different songs in each room. The system is controlled wirelessly via the color-screen remote and each Zone Bridge connects back to the main base station via your home’s WiFi network. Perfect for transforming your home into a musical wonderland.

    Base Price: US$999, Additional Zone Bridges: US$99 Each
  10. Garmin Nuvi880
    The Garmin Nuvi880 works just like any other Garmin Receiver, albeit its running Linux. With all the hacks and custom maps going for the Garmin Community right now, we just have to wonder what manner of ungodly innovation a Linux powered version will inspire! A solid GPS navigation solution that is proven and reliable, and now poised to have even more going for it.
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