Author Topic: An x86 alternative to the Minnow for many projects  (Read 1359 times)

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Offline Orpheus

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An x86 alternative to the Minnow for many projects
« on: August 14, 2013, 11:24:17 am »
I toyed with getting one when they were first announced, just because it's x86 [I've since taken MOOCs in Android, Processing, etc. so that's now moot]

...but then I realized that you can get a MUCH more powerful, capable system for as little as $125 (sometimes less) at CowBoom (Best Buy's liquidation arm) in the form of a used netbook! (for actual use as a laptop, etc., I'd spend a few more bucks for one of their refurbs, but for a project, their "pre-owned" grade is just fine) Then again, this time of year, my local Freecycle is full of "free for the taking" tablets, etc.

I'm not crapping on the Minnow product. I'm just pointing that out for those of you who might find it useful. Although everyone seems to compare these devkits to laptops and tablets, and most of us HAVE used an old computer as a controller, headless server, etc.,  people often seem quite surprised when I turn the comparison around. It's as if devkits occupy a different mindspace.

Of course power draw is an issue in many projects. I still use a 1999 Virgin Webplayer internet appliance [built-in crappy 10" 800x600 color LCD, wireless mouse/kybd] as a benchtop/mobile serial/USB controller/display, because it only draws 5V 1A -- less than many devkits, after you add a display, keyboard and mouse. and a LOT less than a lot of old netbooks/laptops.

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