Subject: Re: portable box ideas?
To: None <>
From: Simon Truss <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 04/16/2007 16:54:55
Douglas Allan Tutty wrote:
> I'm going to be traveling and would like to have a computer with me.

> Short of building my 486 main board (with on-board S3 video) right into
> a briefcase, what have others used for small boxes?

> Ideally, the box would have built-in basic video, USB, serial port (so I
> can attach my Courier modem), CD drive, hard drive, and be silent.  As
> much as possible, I want to be able to use off-the-shelf components like
> drives (so that means 3.5" SATA), standard LCD monitor, standard (mini?)
> keyboard, mouse, etc.
> Finally, I want it to be chaaper than a used laptop.

If you could accept the higher price in return for reliability you could 
look at the Panasonic Toughbook series or  Terralogic Toughnote. I've 
used both in the past but not long term in production environment.

> Does anyone have any links to such a beast?

Simtec and Technologic Systems both claim NetBSD support, Arcom is just 
another example of the kind of thing you could look for. ARM based or 
similar low power cpus popular in the embedded world are the thing to 
look for.

Others have suggested mini-itx and these are very good motherboards. In 
all cases pay particular attention to PSUs esp if using 12/24v batteries 
or with DC-DC converters. there are far too many that should work 
according to their spec and fail to perform in practice.

depending on application I would actually recommend a used laptop or 
ruggedised laptop, but you said price was an issue. My only other 
thought for relevant hardware but probably still outside your price 
target is to use a second hard zaurus/CE based pda/computer. They are 
small and light, no moving parts and are often built more like mobile 
phones making them more robust than laptops. They often have usb so can 
use external disc drives.