Easy linux images for CompactFlash and x86/Via Epia embedded devices?

From: Dan Lyke 
We're doing a massive rework of our house wiring. I tore out the
doorbell transformer, ran the numbers, and realized that the
transformer draws about 3 watts(!). All the time.

Hell, thought I, for that power I could run a Linux server doing
nothing but watching the doorbell. And if I ran a Linux server, I
could have it tunnel through the shop firewall and alert me back in the
workshop when the doorbell rang! And maybe hang more cheap webcams off
the computer, so I can show who's at the front door. And have a better
sounding doorbell than the gawdawful synthesizers they're using these
days. Heck, I could get a couple of lengths of cast iron sewer pipe,
and hook up a couple of solenoids, and have an actual freakin door
bell. And then I could have some mechanism for sending messages to the
shop when people are watching it.[0]

So I looked on my shelf and I could buy a couple of Raspberry Pi
boards, or even rework a couple of Atmel dev kits, but I have 2 500 MHz
Via Epia devices sitting there on the shelf. They probably draw an
extra watt or two, but they're x86, have serial ports and NTSC out
and a parallel port for digital I/O, and...

I could compile this from scratch. I've done it before[1]. But I'm sure
there are images.

I've found the iMedia embedded Linux install, but before I boot back
into Windows to follow their instructions for putting an ISO on
CompactFlash, I wanted to know if anyone else has a recommendation for
any other quick easy way to get a web server, some Perl, Python, or
even just C, everything running as root, on to a CF card.



[0] http://shopcam.flutterby.net/
[1] http://www.flutterby.com/archives/wiki.cgi?wikiid=726

=============================================================== From: Dave Brockman ------------------------------------------------------ -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 I'm not familiar with any of what you seek... but please do share if you turn up something. Silly me, I was just like head on over and download the cf image based on your card size... and then I woke up and remembered I was browsing the pfsense repository..... Regards, dtb - -- "Some things in life can never be fully appreciated nor understood unless experienced firsthand. Some things in networking can never be fully understood by someone who neither builds commercial networking equipment nor runs an operational network." RFC 1925 -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v2.0.17 (MingW32) Comment: Using GnuPG with undefined - http://www.enigmail.net/ iEYEARECAAYFAlDl/DYACgkQABP1RO+tr2S00wCgurCBUPUMY8qeQbCwD10AvvAJ NvgAn04G+nuRIWpy4r/nYjx8Lm3OxWig =tgkN -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

=============================================================== From: Dan Lyke ------------------------------------------------------ On Thu, 03 Jan 2013 16:46:30 -0500 Dave Brockman wrote: So I just pulled the trigger on a pair of Raspberry Pis and supporting hardware from Newark rather than continuing to dick around with this. For whatever reason, this isn't booting off the .iso copied to the CF card. I could compile the whole damned thing from scratch, or I could try to get this running with a PXE boot, but that probably ends up with me compiling the whole thing again. All I want is a head-end that I can solder some sensors too and run a few Perl scripts on, and I think the Raspberry Pi is the way for me to get that.

=============================================================== From: DaWorm ------------------------------------------------------ Why not boot the CD for a slim distro directly, and use the install procedure to install to the CF card? The minimal Debian would be probably work well enough for that. I had one of those mini systems that didn't have a CD, but I used a USB IDE converter to boot it.

=============================================================== From: Stephen Kraus ------------------------------------------------------ http://elinux.org/Embedded

=============================================================== From: Matt Keys ------------------------------------------------------ How about a SIP device for a doorbell? http://8774e4voip.com/blog/5-sip-door-phones/

=============================================================== From: Dan Lyke ------------------------------------------------------ On Thu, 3 Jan 2013 20:22:42 -0500 DaWorm wrote: Because the power supply on these devices isn't beefy enough to run a CD drive, so that turns in to "grab another power supply, hang a CD drive and this motherboard off it, ...". And it'd be nice to fit this in < 128meg (yeah, I've got two larger CF cards lying around, but I use 'em for other things), and I'd still have to re-target /var/ and /tmp/ on to something else, and... Which is why I said "screw it, I'm just going to buy 2 Pi boards with SD cards that have Debian pre-loaded and the only decisions I have to make are which pull-up resistors to use on the TTL I/O lines". Dan

=============================================================== From: DaWorm ------------------------------------------------------ Ah, gotcha. Like I said, I used a USB to IDE adapter and external brick supply on mine, so they were already present, didn't have to scrounge for them. I'm really bad about hanging on to stuff like this. Got way too many PII's and even a 386SX laptop lying around. Need a spring cleaning badly, but I always seem to have spare parts when anything odd like this comes up. Worm.

=============================================================== From: Dan Lyke ------------------------------------------------------ Yeah, I also realized that what sent me down the "My doorbell can run Linux!" path was that I knew I could run a Linux machine + switching power supply that drew less than the 3 watts(!) that the doorbell transformer does, but that the Epia boards are probably 9+ watts at idle. Screw that bogus LLNL report about standby power, 3 watts for a button that gets pressed maybe once a week is worth any number of milliwatt leakage in the capacitors in iPod chargers doing nothing during the day.