"My recent trip to Atlanta Linux Showcase revealed a growing
number of embedded solutions based on Linux. Being the classic PC
guy, I had to ask why use a non-standard embedded system instead of
a Linux-based computer?"
"The common theme for the embedded devices at the show was
networking. MontaVista and Absolute Value displayed some very
compact Linux-based router/firewall solutions, all based on boards
from Embedded Planet. I talked to Embedded Planet about their
systems, which are mostly development platforms for PowerPC
applications. Since their major focus is network routing, I
couldn't help but compare their solutions to my home router ... a
Cyrix CPU with a floppy disk and just enough RAM to run the Coyote
Linux floppy. Their solution requires new hardware, while I made
use of the "old clunker" in the closet."
"The new generation of Linux-based embedded devices have a
different market. While a PC-based router has all sorts of
advantages in power & expandability, the power of a 486/Pentium
processor is wasted on "packet bouncing". ... But the largest
advantage to an embedded system is what it doesn't have ... it
doesn't have the look of a computer. As far as personal computing
has come in two decades, a majority of the public still associates
moderate discomfort with configuring a computer system."
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