Embedded systems: silence and efficiency
There are embedded systems in many places. Most of the time you don't even notice they are there. Because of the advent of Open Source software embedded systems are more available to the public. You too can have some small embedded systems working your way!
Embedded systems don't make noise (unless they are intended to do so, like mp3-players) and require very little energy. So, when you want one or more computers in your house running 24 hours each day, it is best to choose embedded.
There are many reasons why you should choose for Open Source software. We name a few:
- Rock solid: the Open Source operating systems are the most stable operating systems in the world.
- Secure: unlike some commercially available systems, Open Source operating systems are very secure. You are in control: the Open Source operating systems allow you to fully configure them the way you want them. You can start with a an existing distribution. Or start with a kernel, add a filesystem with some basic applications and assemble your own system.
- Freely available: Access to Open Source software is easy to obtain. Everything you want to learn can be learned from freely available resources on the internet.
- Linux runs on many platforms and has become the main environment for many embedded applications.
- Application of the freely available tools like busybox and programs from the GNU project result in short developing times and robust systems.
- It is fun to build a small system and experiment with them.
An embedded system doesn't cost you an arm and a leg and you can use and develop your Linux skills. Before you know it you too run some embedded system in your home!
Cheap embedded systems
It is not very hard to obtain an embedded system to toy with. You could try the ACME Foxboard running embedded Linux or the Linksys NSLU2 running embedded Linux. Both systems are inexpensive embedded systems.
Fun and profit
Embedded Linux systems provide a lot of fun for both the novice as the experienced Linux user. The Open Source toolkits are very professional development kits with which embedded Linux systems can be programmed to do whatever you need them to do. Have fun!