For those who don’t know.. As a nation we have essentially decided to give up our manned space program. While NASA has done amazing things with robots and satellites in space the one aspect that really captivates is manned exploration. As with most huge projects, things haven’t exactly gone as planned with the shuttle or space station over the last 30 years. But now as reality sets in and we see the ending of the shuttle program it strikes me as a milestone that the United States will not have a way to get people into space forcing us to rely on the cooperation of others (who are not our friends) to do so. I wanted to share a few things for those who are interested. From Penn Jillette in How to Play In Traffic
I’ve been interested in small embedded hardware systems for a while. Until recently I was using OpenWRT on a reflashed Linksys box for my router. That worked.. but had limitations and since it isn’t an intel based system that means you have to cross compile anything you can’t find a package for. So recently I’ve been playing around with the new Alix boards from PC Engines. I ordered two model 2c3 boards which have 3 10⁄100 network ports, serial, USB, CF, and a mini-pci slot. In the case.. the boards are slightly bigger than a double thick CD case and only pull about 5w which is fantastic for any sort of solar/battery system (ie for outdoor wifi mesh network nodes). These boards are only about $130 and are ideal for all sorts of network related uses. Noticably absent are: vga port, pci or other expansion slots, power headers for disk drives.