low cost development hardware
Posted Nov 11, 2005 5:31 UTC (Fri) by drag
In reply to: low cost development hardware
Parent article: Cell Broadband Engine Software Development Kit Version 1.0
I have a full on Gnome desktop with Mono apps like Beagle and Tomboy and it runs fairly acceptable on a AMD 1.4ghz/256meg machine, this is supposed to be a pretty bloated setup. This PS3 should be around the same level of performance for general applications. (even though the powerpc part is 3ghz it is pretty stripped down)
I wouldn't want to run big Java apps on it, though.. Java is notoriously memory hungry. Although I'd bet kdevelop would run on it pretty nicely.
What it would be great for is a multimedia machine. Something that deals with mostly streaming data and games that have been optimized to use 256 megs of RAM. Stuff like that favors more having fast/fat interconnects rather then large amounts of ram.
Also it should be significantly more inexpensive then a average machine, as well as the ability to play all the PS2 games I own, as well as some older PS1, and the newest PS3 games that I will likely own in the future.
In addition it should be quiet too. It should make a nice Linux desktop, and if it gets popular it will probably encourage people further to favor development that is fairly RAM conservative.
And not to mention inexpensive. And also that the majority of computer-using households in America will have one within a couple years simply to run games. The ability to run Linux on it will be just a nice bonus. Being able to run firefox on the HDTV for the kids while dad is on the PC doing taxes maybe attractive way to get the children to f-off.
As for the average "joe-blow".. if people make specialized distros for it it could be very attractive. Stuff like Mythtv (with a seperate inexpensive PC backend in the basement) or could I imagine somebody wanting to use Amarok http://amarok.kde.org/ (if you haven't used it you need to check it out) to handle all their audio needs and sync their music collections on the PS3 up with their Ipods. I think that Amarok would be attractive to the average music buff.
If you setup 'live cds', especially with stuff like PS3 were the hardware is so controlled (every system will be pretty much identical) then you can make it dead easy for even only semi-computer literate people to use Linux. No need to mess around with dmix, or alsa. No need to install software or configure anything.. it's already been taken care of by experts. (I feel that tight control over the hardware it's one of the significant advantages that Apple has with ease-of-install and configuration.)
However on the other hand, I expect for Sony to completely screw it up, as far as making it easy to run Linux on it.
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