News and Happenings from the Japanese Linux Pioneer

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Final Results: GPS Monitoring System

Feedback from Steve Castellotti of El Cerrito, CA:

I received my OpenMicroServer a short time ago but have already began making progress on my project.

Connecting to the Web Settings Tool proved no problem and I was soon up and running on my home network.

The first step I took was to install a 4 GB Compact Flash Microdrive, in order to act as a local storage extension to the built in Flash ROM.

The next step was to connect to Plat'Home's software package repository and begin downloading a few essential components, including OpenVPN to connect to my private network, Apache for serving up custom software and content on my LAN, PostgreSQL for storing the data I would soon be collecting via RS232 from my Trimaran's engine and solar panel arrange, and Icecast for streaming mp3 via HTTP.

I had no problem connecting both my 1 TB external hard drive and iPod as additional USB Storage devices.

Most of my existing software is written in Python, so I am now in the process of stepping through cross-compilation for the 400 Mhz MIPS-based AMD Alchemy CPU. This will allow all of my data collection and storage to run unmodified on this system. I am also working on cross-compiling Samba for network file sharing and libgpod to access the mp3 music files stored on the iPod for direct streaming via Icecast.

Finally I am strongly considering shifting to a Debian based installation (running off the Compact Flash drive) in order to access an even wider community and variety of pre-packaged software. A nice feature is that I can switch between my existing operating and trying a completely new software distribution simply by swapping out Compact Flash cards.

One of the benefits I've already seen with regards the OpenMicroServer compared to similar embedded devices is the level of processing power and onboard 128 MB of RAM memory. With some systems offering as little as 8 MB of memory it is nearly impossible to compile additional software packages, let alone run them with any reasonable expectation of performance.

OpenMicroServer has not let me down.

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