[aprssig] RE: Single Board PC

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Sat Sep 10 00:25:05 CDT 2005

huston at astro.princeton.edu wrote:

> On Sep 09, 2005, at 23:52, Tyson S. wrote:
>> So how do these work anyway? Bob beat me to the punch, I was just  about
>> to send the exact same question to the group about how to find one of
>> these units. I have access to a 5,000 foot tall mountain with  broadband
>> Internet at the site free of charge for me to use. I would like to put
>> up a server for multiple things just like Bob wants to do. I see the
>> MSI P4MAM2-V at newegg as Shanon describes and that looks plenty cheap
>> for a ham, but does it need a hard drive? 
Any conventional system based on Windows must have a hard drive.    Some 
types of Linux installations can run directly from a CD-ROM without a 
hard disk.   

Some flash memory devices are now getting large enough (2-4GB) that in 
principle, you could build a working Windows installation on them.  This 
won't work very well in practice because the flash devices have a finite 
number of read/write cycles - somewhere between 10,000 and 100,000 
writes.   Windows is continually writing back to the drive it is on for 
temp files, virtual memory and to the always-open Windows registry. Not 
to mention the various log files UIview creates that are constantly 
being updated and appended to.  Using a flash drive as a substitute for 
a hard disk under these conditions will cause it to fail quite quickly. 

>> can it run on a 12v battery?
As far as I know, the only integrated motherboard that will operate  
DIRECTLY on +12 VDC only with no external power supply or converter of 
any kind is the Via Computing micro-ITX EPIA-TC that I mentioned in an 
earlier posting on this thread, and that I describe here:


One of the sites linked on my page sells DC/DC power converters that 
plug into standard motherboard ATX power sockets, allowing nearly any 
motherboard to be powered from a single +12 VDC source. 

>> once I configure it, can I unplug the keyboard, mouse and monitor and
>> have it sit there and run all by itself? Please forgive the simple
>> questions, but these things sound too good to be true.

Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
EchoLink Node:      14400    [Think bottom of the 2M band]
Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.com

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