[clug] Small Linux tablet machine for kitchen?

Scott Ferguson scott.ferguson.clug at gmail.com
Fri Jun 5 20:03:01 MDT 2015

On 06/06/15 10:37, Paul Wayper wrote:
> Hi all,
> What I want is a small "tablet" machine - a touch screen computer that can
> either have an on-screen keyboard or a remote bluetooth keyboard and mouse -
> for the kitchen.  Aims are:
> * Play music (into external powered speakers) from network
> * Display pictures from network (e.g. Samba share or DAPD or whatever)
> * Browse the web.
> Requirements are:
> * Runs Linux, not a proprietary operating system.
> * Integrated, single unit.
> * Low power.

Add low price, simple internals, and for a very fast boot up -
Coreboot/SeaBIOS support. I'd recommend a Chromebook - and blow away
Google's OS and replace it with your choice of Linux - preferably a
Chromebook with plenty of support to put your own kernel into the BIOS
(Coreboot http://www.coreboot.org/Supported_Motherboards#Laptops).

I like the Acer C710 (no touchscreen) and C720, both cold-boot to a
full, working KDE desktop in sub-6 seconds, but any of the supported
boxes on here has the same capabilities.

If you've never worked with Coreboot before you'll find those images

NOTE: it'll take you a while to get used to the abbreviated keyboard and
it's hotkeys.

> I'd consider having a separate machine and display, because I can tuck the
> machine under the counter and just run leads up to the display.  But the
> whole thing has to be compact and require few peripherals to operate.
> I've looked at Android tablets, but they suffer from not understanding the
> home network.  I've yet to find any app in the Android store that acts as a
> "picture frame" (i.e. picking random images from a directory) where the
> storage is on the local network.  As far as I can see, the last update to
> any of the Linux DAAP daemons was about four years ago, and the most
> maintained one I can find has bugs that prevent about a third of the songs
> from playing correctly (AFAICS it's a 32-bit integer representation issue)
> and it randomly locks up.  The standard Android music player recognises my
> Logitech SqueezeBox share but crashes when trying to load the full
> directory.  Etc. etc. etc.
> Anyone already doing this?  Anyone else looking at it?  Ideas?
> Thanks in advance,
> Paul

Kind regards

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