Bargain Fanless Mini-ITX BareBones PC in DSL-store
Forum: Hardware Talk
Topic: Bargain Fanless Mini-ITX BareBones PC in DSL-store
started by: Jagan
Posted by Jagan on May 13 2006,16:13Hi
Has anyone here bought the "Bargain Fanless Mini-ITX BareBones Computer" in the DSL-store?
Is a US power-cord included? Is it a 2-prong or 3-prong (grounded)?
(The reason I'm asking is that I'm norwegian, and I need to know which plug-adapter I have to buy.)
I've been told that it can handle both 110V and 220V, so that shouldn't be a problem.
How does it work otherwise? Fast?
Posted by John on May 14 2006,06:40Magnus,
The US power cord is included, it is a 3 prong with a ground.
Performance wise it is very similar to an Epia 10000.
Posted by DocR on May 28 2006,01:39Just got mine up and running with 1G of ram and a 1G USB-ZIP pendrive.
I'm a newbie to Linux, and have played with Knoppix briefly before discovering DSL (in the Linux Toys book pusblished by Extreme Tech.
Case opened with four teeny-tiny screws, snapped in the DDR, re-screwed (tight fit, because it really does make contact with a rubberized mating sheet over the heatsink), plugged in peripherals, and crossed my fingers.
DSL booted right up from the pendrive, AND I've got net and sound working with absolutely no tweaking atall, atall. Slick.
Couple hours of runtime, and the side of the case is very warm to the touch, but not alarmingly so.
Next project: see if I can get my external notebook HD drive working, and if the sound is clean enough, I'll be working on making this into a music server.
Or maybe, I'll be taking this pendrive home instead of lugging my laptop.
Posted by kerry on May 28 2006,04:11what is that slit in the front for? I keep looking at the pics and googling around but can't find out what the slit is for.
Posted by dogstar on May 31 2006,20:00I had the same experience - plug in the memory and the USB/DSL, turn it on, and you're in business. Plug into a router and you have instant internet.
The last mini-ITX case I bought had hardware and wires to mount a laptop HD, but this one doesn't. I see in the store a "40-44 pin laptop drive adapter", which I assume is the wire, but no mounting brackets. Any ideas would be welcomed. Maybe I have to make my own bracket?
Thanks for your attention.
Posted by dougz on May 31 2006,23:07Subjectively, how is the performance? Any problem with streaming video decoding? Crashes or hangs?
Ever run any distros other than DSL/DSL-N?
Posted by yiddea on Sep. 12 2006,12:52I got one recently. 512MB was the sweetspot for pricing on RAM so I shoved that in there. Boots great on USB. Had some issues with booting but not accessing external Hard drives (2 of them). It can boot on an external DVD drive over USB. I tried KNOPPIX, GNOPPIX, Freespire, Linspire, and Fedora Core 5. KNOPPIX boots but always goes to it's virtually useless recovery prompt. The -spires fail to boot. GNOPPIX fails to boot. Fedora boots but cannot find partitionably media even when there is an USB hard drive attached. DSL and DSL-N both run swimmingly from either CD or USB flash.
I decided I need to put a drive inside. Heat buildup will be a problem but before I can get to that I need to find a way to mount the drive and a way to power the drive. Preliminary experimentation with ATX fan power connectors lead nowhere.
I see a block connector with red and black wires on it attached to the PS and a weird kinda half molex with red and black too. Does anyone know if these are safe to use? How about guidelines for pulling fan power from the board without frying it? Maybe a good way to steal power from a USB port and bringing it back inside?
Posted by yiddea on Sep. 12 2006,13:07Oops. Allow me to clarify my hard drive issues. I have no trouble accessing USB hard drives. I have problems booting on them on this system despite my success with USB CDrom drives and USB flash drives. I tried 2 drives.
With that in mind I still want to pursue the internal IDE route because using an external USB hard drive as the main drive is highly unorthodox for most OSs and I am only just forming ideas about how I intend to use the unit.
Posted by dslfool on Sep. 12 2006,15:37
Do I understand correctly that you want to boot from an internal IDE device and use an external USB drive for data? If that's the case, have you considered using a Compact Flash card with a CF-to-IDE adapter? If you're OK with either a frugal install or loading DSL into RAM, this should eliminate the heat and power concerns.
For a while I was using a notebook computer this way - I replaced a notebook's internal hard drive with a 256MB CF card, booting DSL to RAM and using a USB flash drive for my data. I later grudgingly replaced the hard drive only so that I could dual-boot DSL and Windows and my wife could use the latter. :-(
Posted by yiddea on Sep. 13 2006,01:08
At the time of my post, yes. I have considered using a CF adapter on the inside but I have revised my goals during my experimentation today. In fact, I have decided that there is no intelligent way to manage a hard drive on the inside of that tiny case. One must buy low profile RAM to have any chance of success since there is precious little room to guide the IDE cable anywhere and there is no good place to mount the hard drive either. This is assuming, of course, that one intends to forgo the dubious possibility of using the PCI slot and one can find a way to power the drive. Also, the CPU reaches an idle temperature of ~54C without the extra heat from a 2.5" drive in the case with it.
For this project I wanted something that is a little more standard and easier to accessorize than DSL since I am not a linux expert. I am instead experimenting with a xubuntu installation in a test 5GB USB drive and I will switch that to a 4GB USB stick. If I want to get ambitious enough to make a tiny computer with drives and cards and such I think I will just have to accept that it will be less tiny than this. Or possibly go more custom with a bigger power supply and a nano motherboard instead. This was my first go at Mini-ITX so I bought it direct from Mr. DSL.
I have reserved my CF adapter to similar duty as you described.
I have a sweet subnote I got at the flea but it is having intermittent connectivity issues with the CF adapter. I think this is due to it's poorly designed caddy as the CF drive works perfectly well in another laptop. I hope to nail it soon as I really groove on the silence and the battery lifetime of running on CF. It is my goal to emulate as closely as possible my favorite workhorse laptop of all time: The TRS-80 model 100 (And it's variants).