Greetings from the Land of Squeak -

I posted the following message to C.L.Smalltalk, but I like the Ruby
crew, so I wanted to share it with you as well.  It's Squeak Box of
course but, as you will observe, changing a few files on the Flash
would make it a Ruby Box.  All the work on compact CF-bootable Linux
will work for you guys too, right?
---------------

I have a fledgeling company that sells a weather station I designed in
Squeak.  To make it a real product, I had to come up with a low-cost
processor that runs Squeak acceptably.  Finally last year I found one
based on the Mini-ITX board that looked promising.  I engaged Michael
Rueger and Ian Piumarta to come up with a compact Linux capable of
supporting Squeak, and that could be booted from Compact Flash, and we
now have what is effectively an embedded Squeak machine.  I've
negotiated with my supplier (for weather stations) for a "Squeak Box"
configuration at a special price.  Since it's a cool thing, I thought
I'd let people know in the wider Smalltalk community.

The price is $250 (I get none of this).   After unwrapping you get...
A black box that is just the right size for an LCD display stand
(1.75"x9"x11.5").  Also a 12v power supply that plugs into the wall.
Inside is a 533MHz VIA Mini-ITX motherboard with 64M of memory
installed.   There are no fans in the box, and it still stays cool. 
On the front is a slot that accepts a compact flash card, which
appears to the processor as an IDE disk drive.  The Squeak PC is
shipped with a 96M flash card installed which includes

	1) A compact Linux 2.4 boot system,
	2) A full Squeak 3.6 (plus OSProcess and Games) with Linux VM, and
	3) about 60MB of free space (!).

On the back is a host of connectors that include stereo audio in and
out, network, 2 USB, RS232, mouse, keyboard, display, video and
printer port.

The unit is complete and ready to boot.  All you add is keyboard,
mouse and display.  With no fans and no disk, the only moving parts
are the boot button and the electrons -- it is *silent*.  The 12v
setup is nice, since you can get UPS for the price of a battery, or
power it straight from your car (it draws about 1 amp).

The supplier is SolarPC.com.  They make a specialty of Mini-ITX
products.  Check out their web site at
    http://www.SolarPC.com
and motherboard details at
    http://www.solarpc.com/bepia.htm
There is an order page at
    http://205.147.44.194/store/commerce.cgi?product=SolarPC
The Squeak configuration is at the bottom of the page.

The Flash is set up for Squeak but, of course, it could be anything
else that is happy with this Linux.  Other squeak images should run
fine (you can import them via FTP, or a USB memory stick), and other
compact Linux-compatible systems should run fine as well.  Of course
you can put in more memory, and use bigger Flash or even a hard drive,
but we wanted to make the Squeak Box simple and cheap.  We have
started a Swiki area on this (see
http://minnow.cc.gatech.edu/squeak/3502), and presumably it will grow
as people think of more things to do with the box.

Happy New Year

    - Dan