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The EeePC as a low-power music player

Feb 25, 2009, 14:04 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Forrest Cook)

"The current off-grid audio system uses a car stereo deck with a built-in CD player driving three stereo speaker sets, all running on 12V DC power. Power consumption is in the range of 5-10 Watts, depending on volume. The car stereo deck has an auxiliary audio input for connecting external sound sources, such as a computer. After one becomes used to a Linux-powered music system with unattended playback of a large music library, manually swapping individual CDs every 45 minutes seems like a lot of trouble.

"Initially, a stripped-down desktop computer was considered for the job, but the power consumption was a bit too high for continuous off-grid use, especially when powering the machine equipment through a DC to AC power inverter. A number of mini-ITX systems were considered for the job, but their prices were high, power consumption was still moderate, and an external monitor, with more power consumption, was required.

"A laptop computer seemed like a better platform for building such a system. Taking the small system idea one step further, it was decided that a palmtop computer would be a good candidate for the task at hand. The ASUS Eee PC was chosen because it was inexpensive, common, tiny, self-contained and would run on low power. Also, another LWN editor had an Eee PC model 4G (701) that he was willing to part with. This machine uses a solid state flash drive for its primary filesystem."

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