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Linux 2001 — Linux Developers' Conference
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29 June - 1 July 2001,
Renold Building
, UMIST, Manchester

Wookey - Aleph One Ltd.

WITHDRAWN TALK Open Hardware and Embedded GNU/Linux

Unfortunately Wookey has had to withdraw from this year's conference because he has received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go on a caving expedition to China.

This talk will cover the fundamentals of using GNU/Linux on Embedded systems and PDAs, using the LART StrongARM device as an example. It will also discuss the potential for Open Hardware to make a completely open development environment.

Embedded GNU/Linux is currently an area of expanding activity. For embedded people Linux is a revelation in ease of moving between CPU architectures, stability, driver support, and community co-operation. Desktop developers coming to embedded development have to get used the contraints of small systems. Cross-compilation of kernels and apps is normally necessary and setting up a suitable toolchain needs some skill. Recent kernel developments include useful things like MTD drivers, JFFS2 and increased power management support, all useful for low-power embeded systems. There are also developments in sqashing everything down to fit - uClinux, microwindows, busybox and smaller C libraries.

Related to the embedded Linux activity is increasing interest in Open Hardware. Projects such as the LART are bringing the advantages of Open Source to hardware design - many eyes, different areas of expertise, full disclosure, and vendor independence. Of course Hardware costs money so the barriers to entry are higher than with software, but there are advantages nevertheless.


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