[9fans] The $200 walmart "gPC" - Plan9

This is a discussion on [9fans] The $200 walmart "gPC" - Plan9 ; seems to run Plan 9 right out of the box. It's an rtl8139, the graphics work, I am going to transplant the drives to it tomorrow and see if it all continues to "just work". But the Plan 9 install ...

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Thread: [9fans] The $200 walmart "gPC"

  1. [9fans] The $200 walmart "gPC"

    seems to run Plan 9 right out of the box. It's an rtl8139, the
    graphics work, I am going to transplant the drives to it tomorrow and
    see if it all continues to "just work". But the Plan 9 install CD
    booted and ran just fine. Seems like a nice fast little machine for
    Plan 9. Of course, Plan 9 has graphics up and running before the
    delivered OS can get to the point of saying "what language do you
    tawk" but that's to be expected.

    Nice, I thought I was going to have to host plan 9 under a VM, but it
    appears I can just run it.

    I did have to make one improvement, however: I had to take a
    screwdrive and slash it through the "touch this sticker and void your
    warranty" stickers. Standards must, after all, be upheld.

    Anybody want a "google desktop" cd :-)

    ron

  2. Re: [9fans] The $200 walmart "gPC"

    > Seems like a nice fast little machine for Plan 9.

    Dirt cheap too. Even w/ Fry's specials it would be hard to put
    together a comparable machine for that amount.

    Given that it has VIA's C7 chip which has extra instructions for
    crypto, including SHA1
    (http://www.via.com.tw/en/initiatives/padlock/), it should make a nice
    venti server--although you would probably need to upgrade the 80 GB
    drive... What would be involved in patching Plan 9's libsec to use
    the C7's crypto instructions?

    John

  3. Re: [9fans] The $200 walmart "gPC"

    Strange, I looked at the manufacturer's website - not a mention of
    Plan 9.

    On Feb 1, 2008, at 12:47 AM, John Barham wrote:

    >> Seems like a nice fast little machine for Plan 9.

    >
    > Dirt cheap too. Even w/ Fry's specials it would be hard to put
    > together a comparable machine for that amount.
    >
    > Given that it has VIA's C7 chip which has extra instructions for
    > crypto, including SHA1
    > (http://www.via.com.tw/en/initiatives/padlock/), it should make a nice
    > venti server--although you would probably need to upgrade the 80 GB
    > drive... What would be involved in patching Plan 9's libsec to use
    > the C7's crypto instructions?
    >
    > John



  4. Re: [9fans] The $200 walmart "gPC"

    > What would be involved in patching Plan 9's libsec to use
    > the C7's crypto instructions?


    it didn't look too hard, but there's a bit of work to do in the kernel
    to enable it (and enable sse for some instructions).
    are there similar things on intel and amd? i haven't really kept up.
    no doubt they all use different instructions and conventions so
    we'll need an array of implementations.


  5. Re: [9fans] The $200 walmart "gPC"

    >> Seems like a nice fast little machine for Plan 9.
    >
    > Dirt cheap too. ...


    given its spec i was amused by the reviews that refer to it as `underpowered'
    (although even Linux should be fine on that)


  6. Re: [9fans] The $200 walmart "gPC"

    I've been using a passively cooled 500Mhz C7 in my EPIA 5000 for a few
    years as a CPU/Auth see 9fans passim for how pleased I am with it

  7. Re: [9fans] The $200 walmart "gPC"

    > Dirt cheap too. Even w/ Fry's specials it would be hard to put
    > together a comparable machine for that amount.
    >
    > Given that it has VIA's C7 chip which has extra instructions for
    > crypto, including SHA1
    > (http://www.via.com.tw/en/initiatives/padlock/), it should make a nice
    > venti server--although you would probably need to upgrade the 80 GB
    > drive... What would be involved in patching Plan 9's libsec to use
    > the C7's crypto instructions?


    we have been getting similar machines for <$150. they're sold
    as thin clients with a gigabyte mainboard and case. they pxe boot
    but don't have power or room for a hard drive. they work
    very well, but i don't think they would make very nice venti
    servers with only 10/100 ethernet, regardless of the processor.
    a single disk would scare me, too. i guess i'm just a paranoid
    performance weenie.

    - erik


  8. Re: [9fans] The $200 walmart "gPC"

    On Feb 1, 2008 3:41 AM, Charles Forsyth wrote:

    > no doubt they all use different instructions and conventions so
    > we'll need an array of implementations.


    oh yeah, they are all quite different.

    Great fun, eh? And now there is a 64-bit via part.

    ron

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