Archive for the 'Linux' Category

A Box of C.H.I.P. SBC (and a DIP, too)

When I last showed what was going on with my new CHIP SBC it was rather crude. Well, since then I’ve put it into a plastic enclosure, along with a power switch, voltage regulator, a USB hub, and a 32GB flash memory plug-in. I’m still using the VGA board with this iteration. For the next time around I will use the HDMI board, since the mini-monitor I found will accept either. Here is what it looks like:


The monitor is something I found on eBay, and for about $25 more than what I paid for the one without a case. Oh well, live and learn. It is a 10.1″ diagonal screen with a 1280 x 800 display. I found mine on eBay, but I’ve recently seen where Walmart (!) is selling these for about $105, which is more than what I paid for mine but still not too bad.

Continue reading ‘A Box of C.H.I.P. SBC (and a DIP, too)’

More CHIP computer notes

After getting the VGA “DIP” add-on PCB installed and running I’ve been playing around with the CHIP a bit more. Between the day job and a couple of books in progress I don’t have a whole lot of spare time, but I did find out a few interesting things. Continue reading ‘More CHIP computer notes’

The C.H.I.P. has arrived

A while back I discovered the C.H.I.P. single-board computer from the Next Thing, Co.. After checking out their web site and doing a bit of research I pre-ordered four of the $9 units. When they arrived about 2 months ago I eagerly picked a box at random and pulled out the small PCB inside. Continue reading ‘The C.H.I.P. has arrived’

Extracting Linux System Hardware Info

Ever wonder what’s inside your PC? Trying to hunt down all the various bits in /etc (and other places) can be a real PITA (Pain In The Ass). Since I routinely tweak system configurations as part of my work, I went looking for something that would make my life a bit easier in this regard.

One tool that I found is a graphical thing called hardinfo. Granted, it’s been around for a while, but for whatever reason I was blissfully unaware of it. I started with Linux back around 1996, so I learned where things were the hard way–by doing my own installs from scratch with a bag full of various system components. Since then it seems that each distro likes to move things around in the various system directories. To make things more interesting, some distros have moved to variants of the original init schemes (Sys5R4 and BSD have entirely different approaches), and scripts that once lived in /etc/init.d now hide in little sub-directories off to the side.

Well, life is short, and mine is getting shorter by the minute, so I’ve given up trying to learn where things are squirreled away. The hardinfo utility simplifies things by doing a lot of the collection work for me, and it has a pleasant GUI. Oh, and it also generates a nicely formatted report in HTML.

There are other tools out there, as well.

The discover utility generates a terse listing of everything it finds on the system bus. It tosses its output up onto the console, so it can be easily redirected into a shell script for further massaging if you have an awk, grep, or sed inclination.

Another tool, hwinfo, also generates a dump of info to a shell window, but it generates much more than discover. Perhaps too much, if, like some folks, your eyes tend to glaze over staring of gobs of cryptic codes and obscure acronyms.

Yet another command-line tool, lshw (which I suppose is short for LiSt HardWare), creates a listing that’s a bit less cryptic than hwinfo, but still requires that the user have a good idea of the types of hardware devices one might find in a PC.

All of these tools can be installed on an Ubuntu system using the apt package manager (or synaptic, or whatever tool you use to deal with apt packages). I don’t know about Redhat, Fedora, CentOS, FreeBSD, or any others, but I suspect that most, if not all, are available for those environments as well.

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Little Buddy

An awesome little friend

Jordi the Sheltie passed away in 2008 at the ripe old age of 14. He was the most awesome dog I've ever known.