LinuxConf.Au: Open Source Art

Posted in Networking, Conferences, Operating Systems on March 29, 2007

LinuxConf.Au: Open Source Art

Why do all laptops look horrible? What does it take to turn hardware into something beautiful and lasting? I dismantled a laptop and reconstructed it as a simple piece of art. By removing all unnecessary parts and combining the naked hardware with acrylic the laptop has taken on a completely new form. The goal is to make several units, and incorporate them into a home operations center.

The project began by reusing laptops which had broken disks or disk controllers. The machine boots via the network, and uses root over NFS. A discussion of the deconstruction process, and the setting up of pxeboot with root over NFS will begin the presentation.

Now that you have a beautiful display, what can you do with it? As an avid cyclist I have a keen interest in the weather. When is it going to rain and for how long? I developed software to monitor the national weather site, and keep a 24 hour cache of data locally. The presentation will cover the data retrieval and retention process.

Finally, now that we have this data how do we display it? My initial work has been in using enlightenment for graphics via the framebuffer device. The code is written in C, and displays still and motion images of weather data. The talk will end with a tutorial on developing display code for viewing various data sets, and a discussion of ideas for improvement and new hacks.

This presentation should be interesting for hardware and software hackers alike, as well as the curious. I hope that people will walk away motivated to hack hardware for their own purposes.

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Tags: Networking, TCP/IP, Conferences, OS, Linux, Lectures, LinuxConf.AU, C and C++