Installing Ubuntu on an Acer revo – Low-end HTPC

IMG_20110130_115534.jpgI’m installing Ubuntu 10.10 to an Acer Revo (R1600) today. I’m thinking Ubuntu will perform better as a HTPC operating system than Windows 7. Ubuntu tends to have less overhead. Meaning, performs better on slower hardware.

IMG_20110130_115927.jpgThe Acer Revo is a Nettop PC. It features an Atom N230 single core hyper-threaded CPU running at 1.6 GHz. The performance is similar to the old Pentium M Centrino processors. The Revo has a trick up its sleeve, dedicated graphics (or GPU). There’s an Nvidia ION chipset on board that handles Audio, video and some chipset interconnects. The Nvidia ION in the Revo is similar to the Geforce 8400 chipset from Nvidia. Between the CPU and GPU, the system should playback 720p video. Also depending on the encoding of the video it may handle 1080p.

On the software front, I’m using Ubuntu 10.10 and Boxee. Ubuntu is a GNU/Linux Distribution created by Canonical. Boxee is a Media Center style media manager based on XBMC. Ubuntu provides a fantastic base operating system. I don’t have to worry too much about hardware support or configuring it, as Canonical has done a lot of it for me. Boxee is the same way, it’s ready to go right after install. Most of the needed video and audio decoders are included in the package. Ubuntu and Boxee are a great match-up and did I mention their free?

More to come!






Frankenstein Dell – Data Recovery and Forensics Box

I’m having a little fun rebuilding a old workstation from the office. It’s a SFF Dell GX520. The system sports a Hyperthreaded P4 (hot stuff…) 1GB RAM. So far I’ve loaded Ubuntu 10.10, upgraded the CD-ROM to a DVD-RAM and increased the HD to 160GB.

The Ubuntu Install has:

  • ClamAV
  • Foremost
  • TestDisk
  • I’ve already had an opportunity to put the box to use. I recovered data from a failed WD disc. I think I may get my hands on a virus infected HD next and try cleaning it up and/or run a forensics analysis to determine what viruses are installed.