In the kitchen?

A PC in the kitchen... whatever for? We often get people over who has the need to "use the internet". Then I take them into the study and they use my PC. Afterwards, I find that: First solution was to let them use my laptop, but I had the same problems. Then came this solution: put a PC in the front of the house for general usage. Maybe like a very small little internet cafe. But a real PC presented issues of its own, the biggest of which is the noise from fans.

Enter my friend the IB300. We used them on some projects at the office, but have since replaced them with a different SBC (SingleBoardComputer). I was able to put my eager little hands on one and started playing.


The parts that I used:

Step 1

The Linux server was already up-and-running with FC4, so I just installed the LTSP software (version 4.2). For this I pretty much followed the installation instructions as supplied. The one thing that was a bit hard, is to get your DHCP server to work with you. Mine happen to be Dnsmasq running on a OpenWrt-enabled Linksys WRT54G. Here is the config that I added:
dhcp-option=48,     # font-servers
dhcp-option=49,     # x-display-manager
dhcp-option=66,pion             # tftp-server-name

Here is the config from lts.conf

        SERVER             =
        XSERVER            = auto
        X_MOUSE_PROTOCOL   = "PS/2"
        X_MOUSE_DEVICE     = "/dev/psaux"
        X_MOUSE_RESOLUTION = 400
        X_MOUSE_BUTTONS    = 3
        USE_XFS            = N
        SCREEN_01          = startx
        SCREEN_02          = shell

        X_MODE_0           = 1024x768
        X_MODE_1           = 1024x768
        X_VERTREFRESH      = 60
        SCREEN_01          = startx
        SCREEN_02          = shell

Step 2

The IB300 runs of 5V DC. The powersupply I could get had strange "uk/euro" (not sure which) plug and I was not able to get a real adapter for it. With some soldering, a couple of short cables and plenty help from the gluegun I ended up with this:5v plug

Step 3

I needed to get the IB300 to boot from a local device. This is where the compactflash comes in. With Slackware it is very easy to do a bare-as-you-can-get installation. Now I download a zlilo image from magic and add that into the lilo config. In the end I do not use any of the local installed Slackware software except for LILO to do the boot.
note to go and get the LILO config file to show here...

Step 4

At last I can assemble the entire "PC". I use the standoffs to make a little platform on which the IB300 is mounted. This platform is then fixed to the side of the bookcase. You can see some photos of the final result here. ib300 mountedcurrent status