[mythtv-users] Neoware Thin Clients

match at ece.utah.edu match at ece.utah.edu
Tue Jan 22 16:42:33 UTC 2008

On 19 Jan 2008 at 12:38, Mark A. Hoover wrote:

> >> I've found a couple Neoware thin client boxes that have 800 mhz and 900
> >> mhz processors in them and thought about picking a few of these up in
> >> order to make Myth front ends out of them until I can build the front end
> >> that I really want.  What I'm trying to find out is if anybody has built a
> >> box on such a slow machine?  I don't need it to do HD right now, so if
> >> it'll do SD it'll work for the time being.
> >
> > We picked up some old ones for work to use as Citrix terminals and
> > found that the graphics cards in them are a bit lame - problems
> > scrolling through PDF files, for example. Not sure if that indicates
> > there might be a problem playing back video files or not, but
> > something to watch out for perhaps.
> Interesting....the clients should be on their way as I type this, so once 
> I can get setup to boot them, I guess we'll see what happens.

Exactly which NeoWare clients do you have?

My buddies and I have been playing with some NeoWare E100's, and I'm 
convinced they'd make a dandy SD frontend, except that they are VGA-out 
only, so if you want to drive a TV you need a VGA-to-whatever adapter, 
unless your TV has VGA-in and I'm not sure that there are good video 
drivers available for this purpose (I'm also not sure there's not, as I THINK 
they'll run with unichrome drivers). I can state with authority that whatever 
video drivers Ubuntu installed out-of-the-box make no use of any hardware 
accelleration or 3D capability that might be available in the video chip, but for 
the things we've been using them for (which is not yet MythTV) this has not 
been important. Someone on the Mini-Myth forums was working on installing 
Mini-Myth, but I don't remember if he was successful. I don't see why not, as 
these are very similar to some of the VIA EPIA boards.

We've had trouble getting them to recognize more than 512 MB of RAM, and 
part of that is shared with the video controller. You can select how much.

I'm using one as a car computer (since these run on 12 volts) and as 
general-use Linux desktop boxes, just by adding some solid-state disk 
storage, and/or boot it from a thumb drive, and/or add a disk. It's also easy to 
get them to boot Linux diskless over your network.

Our boxes have the PCI risers installed, so we can add one pci card. Usually 
we choose a USB 2.0 card with an internal port for another thumb drive. This 
seems to be the most useful configuration for us. We've also run video 
cards, SCSI controllers, IDE controllers, and ethernet cards from this single 
PCI slot. You could add a 4-port network card and turn it into a router if you 

They (the E100's) have a 44-pin disk drive port on the board, so you can just 
barely stuff a 2.5 inch laptop drive in the box, or with an adapter, a CF card 
or two. There's no place to mount anything, so we just wrap the drive up in 
it's cable and stuff it in the box... so far, so good... or attatch it to the front 
panel with a screw.

It will have a small (all ours are 32 MB) solid-state drive either on the 44-pin 
IDE port or in a 32-pin chip on the board containing the Windows CE code... 
hardly big  enough to be usefull for anything we've wanted to do, so we just 
remove them.

The on-board USB port is USB-1.0 and the ethernet controller is 100MB. 
Sound is stereo, and works fine in Linux.

Not sure what else I can share with you...


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