[Company] Weekly Update 9 and 10/2010

Daniel Clark dclark at pobox.com
Sun Mar 14 21:36:31 EDT 2010

On Tue, Mar 9, 2010 at 7:17 AM, Sébastien Bourdeauducq
<sebastien.bourdeauducq at lekernel.net> wrote:
> On Sunday 07 March 2010 09:04:57 Wolfgang Spraul wrote:
>> ---4 how to describe SAKC & Milkymist One
>> For our two new upcoming boards, there were some discussions recently about
>> how to market them, and for now we seem to like this:
>> Milkymist One: VJ box
> Maybe "Interactive VJ box"? to highlight the fact that, contrary to computer-
> based VJ, it has several interfaces not commonly found on laptops (MIDI,
> DMX512, Video IN, RC5 infrared, maybe bare GPIO)?
> Or even something with "physical computing"...

Ooo, it has video in? I'll go look at the wiki pages, but wonder if it
could be pressed into service as a remote KVM. See also "Suggestion:
KVM over IP function for next-gen sim (sim.two)" at http://ur1.ca/odpa
or below (note the simplemachines project is going towards even
simpler designs, so wasn't interested in this.)

To those who are unfamiliar, a KVM over IP switch allows you to behave
as if you were at the keyboard and mouse of a remote computer over a
TCP/IP connection. You can do anything with the computer you could do
if you were physically there, including new OS installation, changing
things with the boot firmware, etc. They, either separately or built
into servers, are used pretty ubiquitously by anyone who runs a server
in one place but is often physically somewhere else.

Recently I've been in need of a remote KVM over IP switch, but all of
the products I've found in that area so far have freedom problems -
other than the hardware and software on the units themselves being
nonfree, almost all of them also seem to require an older (and
nonfree) Sun Java JVM to run their client software. From a practical
point of view even if one installs Sun Java JVM, they seem to be not
all that stable, plus you run into issues with older Sun Java JVM not
working so well under 64bit etc. In general the situation seems like
it is just a mess.

There is however a PCI card that does most of this work and looks like
it may not have freedom problems (I have not looked at this
extensively, but that claim is made) -
- and the hardware design for it is even freely available at
http://sourceforge.net/projects/okvm/files/ (software is browsable at
http://okvm.cvs.sourceforge.net/viewvc/okvm/okvm/ )

If this hardware design was integrated into a sim.two or added in a
modified form to one of the sim.one Add on Connectors mentioned at
http://simplemachines.it/specifications.html I think it would
dramatically increase interest in and hackers on the sim.one, as it
would become not only a platform for random hacking but also something
that has a clear use unique to the world of people who only use free
software - and could also lead to a product that would be very
competitive in the marketplace (existing single-port IPKVM switches go
for $300-$500; if the ability to switch a power outlet remotely were
added, perhaps via GPIO and a http://powerswitchtail.com/default.aspx
to avoid dangerous AC problems, all in a pretty case, you would have a
unique all-in-one remote management device that would work with pretty
much any computer).

Daniel JB Clark | http://pobox.com/~dclark | Activist; Owner
   FREEDOM -+-> INCLUDED ~ http://freedomincluded.com
Free Software respecting hardware ~ Lemote Yeeloong reseller

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