[clug] Arguments on list + Linux H/W Question

Bob Edwards Robert.Edwards at anu.edu.au
Wed Apr 8 18:02:10 MDT 2015

On 08/04/15 23:53, Neil Pickford wrote:
> Thanks Bob and the others who offered suggestions.
> I had been thinking about a Toshiba Tecra laptop solution for a while
> (as I have a couple of these gathering dust) but the lack of dual NIC's
> and Serial ports was a drawback.
> The reason I don't want to go USB serial are:
> Having a dedicated 16550 type UART that is always at a known address and
> not distracting the CPU too much vs the remapping that sometimes occurs
> with USB devices being plug and pray.
> I want to absolutely know which device/tty port will be doing what
> monitoring task.

I must confess that I rarely use more than one USB-serial convertor at a
time (usually an FTDI type with a micro-controller on the other end).

If you use two different convertors, then udev rules can be used to
quickly sort out which is which and keep that constant.

Other than that, Linux support for USB-serial has been quite robust
for some years now.

> Also I didnt mention an intention to be fanless / motorless - less dust
> and no mechanical maintenance.

A notebook with SSD (I'm assuming that SSD is a given) has no moving
parts other than the keys and the display lid.

> The laptop does have the advantage of built in display and UPS (battery
> - till it dies)

Almost all UPS's have batteries, which will die.

Laptop will continue operating with a depleted/non-functioning battery,
and the battery can generally be hot-swapped, if needed.

> Lots more research to do now :)

I tend to pop into Officeworks, JB-HiFi or Dick Smith and see what looks
OK and just buy off the shelf. Usually comes with a 12-months warranty.
Might save some $$$ shopping online, but, for me, that involves other
risks that I can't easily manage.


Bob Edwards.

> Cheers Neil VK1NP
> <snip>
> On 8/04/2015 9:36 AM, Bob Edwards wrote:
>> My idea: seriously consider buying a ~$300 notebook and use a USB NIC
>> for the 2nd port and USB serial convertors (I know you stated "not usb",
>> but you gave no reason for that - the advantages of using a notebook
>> may, or may not, out-weigh whatever reasons you have for the serial
>> ports not being USB).
>> Advantages: cheap, has built-in console, has built-in UPS, low-power
>> (relatively), easy to replace if/when needed, ample storage/RAM etc.
>> cheers,
>> Bob Edwards.

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