building small, low spec, machines


B

bealoid

(Cross posted, follow ups set to achp-h)

I like the small size, and reduced functionality, of computers such as the
ASUS eee pc. That's the kind of size, price and power that I'm after.


How easy would it be to build a small machine - not necessarily in a laptop
case - with similar size and specs.

Mini ITX is small enough. The VIA motherboard EPIA-5000AG seems to be
okay. It has 4 USB sockets, onboard graphics and audio, onboard lan, and
is fanless.
<http://www.itx-warehouse.co.uk/Product.aspx?ProductID=654>

I'm having real trouble finding small displays at a sensible price. has
anyone seen people using, for example, picture frame displays for a project
like this?

I'm also worried about the practicality of using batteries for this, so I
might not do that, but use a power cord.
 
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J

John McGaw

bealoid said:
(Cross posted, follow ups set to achp-h)

I like the small size, and reduced functionality, of computers such as the
ASUS eee pc. That's the kind of size, price and power that I'm after.


How easy would it be to build a small machine - not necessarily in a laptop
case - with similar size and specs.

Mini ITX is small enough. The VIA motherboard EPIA-5000AG seems to be
okay. It has 4 USB sockets, onboard graphics and audio, onboard lan, and
is fanless.
<http://www.itx-warehouse.co.uk/Product.aspx?ProductID=654>

I'm having real trouble finding small displays at a sensible price. has
anyone seen people using, for example, picture frame displays for a project
like this?

I'm also worried about the practicality of using batteries for this, so I
might not do that, but use a power cord.
Displays of all sizes are available -- all it takes is a bit of
searching. For example, I turned up this with a quick Google search:

http://www.gnetcanada.com/lcd-8-vga-touch-screen.asp

Not necessarily what you want but there are many similar units out there
both smaller and larger and with touch and without. Automotive computer
installations are becoming so common now that the range of displays is
likely to grow.
 
B

bealoid

bealoid wrote:
[snip]
I'm having real trouble finding small displays at a sensible price.
has anyone seen people using, for example, picture frame displays for
a project like this?
Displays of all sizes are available -- all it takes is a bit of
searching. For example, I turned up this with a quick Google search:

http://www.gnetcanada.com/lcd-8-vga-touch-screen.asp

Not necessarily what you want but there are many similar units out
there both smaller and larger and with touch and without. Automotive
computer installations are becoming so common now that the range of
displays is likely to grow.
I can find plenty of lttle displays but they're all pretty expensive.

The model you link to is $399 USD - about £196 GBP, which is only a bit
cheaper than the ASUS lappy I started my post with.
 
K

kony

(Cross posted, follow ups set to achp-h)

I like the small size, and reduced functionality, of computers such as the
ASUS eee pc. That's the kind of size, price and power that I'm after.


How easy would it be to build a small machine - not necessarily in a laptop
case - with similar size and specs.
Impossible.
It requires a custom mainboard to reduce size that much.
The next best thing you could do is buy a very expensive
custom SBC (single board computer) meant for industrial use.

Mini ITX is small enough.
Then why did you write "similar size" above, as a system
based around ATX using mini ITX is multiple times larger.

The VIA motherboard EPIA-5000AG seems to be
okay. It has 4 USB sockets, onboard graphics and audio, onboard lan, and
is fanless.
<http://www.itx-warehouse.co.uk/Product.aspx?ProductID=654>
It's also incredibly slow compared to anything modern.

I'm having real trouble finding small displays at a sensible price. has
anyone seen people using, for example, picture frame displays for a project
like this?

I'm also worried about the practicality of using batteries for this, so I
might not do that, but use a power cord.
Any time you want some special niche product, forget about
sensible pricing.

Maybe one of these, if performance doesn't matter:
http://www.txmicro.com/P4-IBM-NetVista-1.6GHz-20GB-w-15-LCD-p-3642.html
 
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J

jameshanley39

(Cross posted, follow ups set to achp-h)

I like the small size, and reduced functionality, of computers such as the
ASUS eee pc. That's the kind of size, price and power that I'm after.

How easy would it be to build a small machine - not necessarily in a laptop
case - with similar size and specs.

Mini ITX is small enough. The VIA motherboard EPIA-5000AG seems to be
okay. It has 4 USB sockets, onboard graphics and audio, onboard lan, and
is fanless.
<http://www.itx-warehouse.co.uk/Product.aspx?ProductID=654>
well, since you are describing what it has onboard, you may as well
mention that it has an onboard / embedded processor ;-)

I'm having real trouble finding small displays at a sensible price. has
anyone seen people using, for example, picture frame displays for a project
like this?
I wish I knew !

carrying around a 6 inch wide, USB powered, screen would be convenient
for diagnostics !

Picture frame size would be good too (though how big is a picture
frame?) !!

I'm also worried about the practicality of using batteries for this, so I
might not do that, but use a power cord.
these things can take a little power supply - make/model " picoPSU
"... a fanless atx power supply that attaches to an ACDC [brick]
adaptor.

How would you use batteries?

uk places..
www.linitx.com is good, I have bought from them before. But your
place
www.itx-warehouse.co.uk is cheaper (for this at least).. Great find.
another place is http://www.mini-itx.com

I have seen a laptop rechargeable thing..
http://www.laptopbattery.net/universalbatteries.html
Some are quite big (and small seems important to you).. And some are
pricey..
I guess you`d only need 12V (the picoPSU uses a 12V ACDC adaptor)..
I am interested..How you go about that? Making mini itx boards
portable sounds useful!! (though people do have laptops for that sort
of thing).
 

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