ASUS motherboard and FreeBSD
I have just bought a pretty cool book-sized computer that I can haul around
in a suitcase and demo my new science museum exhibit prototypes. A notebook
computer wouldn't do, because I can only get 30 f/s video into a FreeBSD
system using a PCI board with the Brooktree chips.
(There are several other possible sources of video. One could use a web cam,
but I have found no non-window drivers that know how to talk to one, especially
in compressed mode, which is what those puppies use to get 640x480 at
30 frames per second. Why doesn't some webcam manufacturer publish this
interface? The Unix/Linux world is waiting.
Another potential source of video is a Firewire device, but again, I don't
know of any drivers or the documentation needed to write one. It sure
would make this task easier.)
So I need a small, fast computer with one or two IDE slots. I wandered the
web and found a bare-bones system, plus 3GHz Pentium 4, with a quarter gig
of RAM, for under $500. Not bad. I populated it with an old disk (only
13G!) and CD-ROM reader.
I obtained the system from
Essential Computers. They appear to
be an efficient company in New York that sells Taiwanese stuff. I ordered
an Asus Pundit AB-P2600
on Thursday, expedited, and it arrived on Monday. Very nice.
They have packed a complete computer into a small space, with -2mm of extra
room. Yep, the Intel heat sink doesn't quite fit, and they supplied their
own, which seems to be 2mm smaller. Also, the 2 PCI slots assume that the
PCI board is shorter than the metal tang. Another 2mm would have let it fit.
I managed to weave one Hauppauge video board into place.
I loaded the FreeBSD release 4.9 into it. There are problems: