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A $25 PC On a USB Stick 352

KPexEA writes with this excerpt from "[Game developer David] Braben has developed a tiny USB stick PC that has an HDMI port on one end and a USB port on the other. You plug it into an HDMI socket and then connect a keyboard via the USB port, giving you a fully functioning machine running a version of Linux. The cost? $25. The hardware being offered is no slouch either. It uses a 700MHz ARM11 processor coupled with 128MB of RAM and runs OpenGL ES 2.0, allowing for decent graphics performance with 1080p output confirmed. ... We can expect it to run a range of Linux distributions, but it looks like Ubuntu may be the distro it ships with. That means it will handle web browsing, run office applications, and give the user a fully functional computer to play with as soon as it's plugged in. All that and it can be carried in your pocket or on a key chain."

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A $25 PC On a USB Stick

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  • Power? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Friday May 06, 2011 @08:58AM (#36046452)
    If the HDMI is on one end, and the USB is on the other, is this thing battery powered?
  • Neat idea but... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by loftwyr ( 36717 ) on Friday May 06, 2011 @08:59AM (#36046464)

    I'd love one of these if it had networking as well. It would be a great thing to have a portable computer that could fill in for a emergency terminal, not just a dedicated machine with no connectivity, I guess I could carry a hub and such too but then the usefulness of having it on my keychain is gone.

  • Interesting. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday May 06, 2011 @09:04AM (#36046506) Journal
    Not quite as capable, in certain respects, as the Gumstix [] line of similarly sized ARM boards; but, on the other hand, you'll be lucky to walk away with change from $200 after getting your main board and an I/O expander if needed if you go that route. I wonder where the cost delta comes from?

    One minor nit, this system doesn't appear to have any onboard networking(aside from the USB port which, from the picture of it connected to the B port of a hub, would appear to be one of those 'OTG' master or slave jobbies, which could easily enough act as a USB CDC or RNDIS connection to a host PC(which is kind of a waste for a single user; but a basic cheapy desktop loaded with USB cards could easily act as a gateway/fileserver/host for CPU intensive or x86 only programs over an X tunnel for a classroom full of the things)). I have to wonder if a "Flash drive sized" computer that basically doesn't work unless connected to a powered USB hub and a USB network adapter or CDC host PC might be rather less useful than would be a "pack of playing cards sized" computer that actually has a NIC and at least enough USB ports to support a mouse and keyboard(and ideally one extra for miscellaneous purposes)...
  • Re:HDTV (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ThinkWeak ( 958195 ) on Friday May 06, 2011 @09:17AM (#36046644)
    Doesn't this have the possibility of replacing the computers in the computer lab? A PC for every kid that is their own person machine. All they do is plug it in when they go into the lab. Of course, troubleshooting problems on these things might be a nightmare, but you'll have that.
  • MAME-On-A-Stick? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 06, 2011 @09:22AM (#36046678)

    This could be a godsend for MAME DIY builders... vastly cuts down the cost of the computer segment, and simplifies the video connection to HDMI. Plug one end into your controller and the other into the monitor. Boom, done. You could store a buttload of classic games on a fairly small SD card.

  • by steak ( 145650 ) on Friday May 06, 2011 @10:18AM (#36047274) Homepage Journal

    lose the webcam and add a nic. then tape that thing to the back of a monitor, boom, thin client.

  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Friday May 06, 2011 @11:52AM (#36048354) Journal

    I told people years ago that some day we'd walk into a drugstore and buy PCs next to the cigarette lighters and cheapo fans.

    It just seems like a logical conclusion to the "cheaper, faster" trend. I started thinking this way in the late 90s. Prior to that, it was always $2000 for a PC. They just kept getting faster. Once they got fast enough to do video it seemed like there was not much more need for speed. It seems like price competition really heated up after that.

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