Diary of a geek

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Andrew Pollock


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Saturday, 08 August 2009


The fit-PC2 looks interesting. As say a MythTV front end, I think it would be more promising than a Zonbu Mini, at a similar price. It certainly looks sexier.

If my current front end wasn't also a back end and therefore had a cable tuner card in it, I'd be more interested in exploring this. That said, I could investigate more seriously discontinuing using the cable tuner card and just using the HDHomeRun for all my tuning needs. Then my MythTV setup would be crazy distributed.

In fact, for my own edification, let's do a side-by-side comparison...

 Zonbu Minifit-PC2
Price$299 USD$359 USD
Processor1.2 Ghz VIA C7-M1.6 Ghz Intel Atom Z530
GraphicsVIA CX700M2, VGADVI
WiFi802.11bg optional extra802.11bg standard
Storage4GB Compact Flash160GB 2.5" SATA

If you opt for the diskless one for $245 you get a 1.1 Ghz Intel Atom Z510 instead. Not sure if the WiFi chipset is different as well. So if you scrap the storage, you can undercut the cost of a Zonbu Mini considerably. I'm not sure how the Atom compares with the VIA CPU in terms of actual performance.

Interestingly, it seems if you want a device capable of automatically booting when power is restored, you have to order a specific model, the "instant on" one. Sheesh. You'd just make that a BIOS setting and be done with it.

It sounds like the display is something proprietary. Pain.

Sadly the miniSD port doesn't seem to support SDHC, so I guess you'd have to use a USB stick if you wanted to go for a non-rotational-disk-based solution.

It's good that they're up-front about all of this.

Despite some possible short-comings, there's something very appealing about a device small enough to be able to bolt onto the back a TV using a VESA mount, although that would make the integrated IR received kind of pointless, which is a shame. This looks like a device worth keeping an eye on.

[16:37] [tech/gadgets] [permalink]

Monday, 01 December 2008


I just learned about Rovio courtesy of an advertisement in last month's Wired, magazine.

My initial thought was that it might be useful for Sarah's feral cat trapping antics, but alas the FAQ says it's not recommended for outdoor use, so I doubt it would perform well in low light.

Having just watched the promotional videos, I see where this would come in very handy in the smart home I'd like to build one day... It'd be so cool if when we were away from home and the home detected an intrusion, notified me, and then dispatched a Rovio to show me what was going on. Then I could call the police if necessary.

The one immediate downside I can see is that it only seems to support WEP. How 2001.

[07:50] [tech/gadgets] [permalink]

Wednesday, 26 October 2005

Falcom A2D-1

Australian Reseller
Cellular Access
SAGE-AU Member Discount
Why do I think this is cool?
The Falcom A2D-1 is a great industrial-grade GSM modem that works very well with stuff like smstools and can therefore be integrated nicely with monitoring products such as Nagios. I've used one of these personally at home for a number of years, and in two different jobs. Generally I find them to be more reliable than a mobile phone and gnokii. Just putting this blog post here in the hope that the new Australian reseller's Google juice is increased a bit.

[19:32] [tech/gadgets] [permalink]

Thursday, 05 May 2005


Australian reseller
SAGE-AU member discount?
Why do I think this is cool?
This is great for the situations where you want remote controlled power, but don't want to go all out for (or need as many ports as supplied by) something like what Cyclades or APC sell.

[23:53] [tech/gadgets] [permalink]