Realm Systems BlackDog
Flash media storage for general usage, or also referred to as thumb drives, pen drives, and USB flash drives have exploded with popularity in recent years. With these drive capacities now exceeding 4GB, and transfer rates increasing ever so rapidly, users have turned to these devices in order to prepare miniature file back-ups, file transfers, and sharing data - among other things. However, when it comes to the subject of mobile storage and computing, only time will tell what the next generation devices will look like. The engineers at Realm Systems have designed a new product that is roughly the size of two thumb drives yet rather than simply offering data storage capabilities they have designed an entire Linux server. In fact, the server is the world's smallest being able to fit in the palm of your hand. For operation, the device is dependent upon an existing computer system running Microsoft Windows XP or Linux. The Realm Systems server, dubbed the BlackDog, is designed to be a new mobile open-source platform for mobilizing software applications. Although the BlackDog does require a USB port on a client computer for operation, it is fully extendable to meet any needs thrown its way with thorough SDK software and immediate detection when plugging into either Windows or Linux. Behind the scenes, the 400MHz PowerPC processor is running Debian Linux with the 2.6.10 kernel and 64MB of RAM. Other features for the Realm Systems BlackDog include a biometric scanner and MMC expansion slot. Will this 1.6-ounce computer be able to emerge itself into a new class of mobile computing? Today we are taking the Realm Systems BlackDog for a walk as we see the viability of this very product.
· Plug and Play Power. BlackDog is completely powered by
the USB port while connected and requires no external power adapter.
Realm Systems have named this server project BlackDog, and as the name implies, there are several canine characteristics found in the product even down to the container in which it and the accessories are housed. The product packaging comes in the form of dog biscuit bag with various information cleverly displayed around the packaging from sample bytes of juicy code to an innovative ingredients area. Listed in the ingredients area is 99.9% organic open-source technology, 400MHz PowerPC processor, 64MB of RAM, 256/512MB of flash memory, USB 2.0, serial peripheral interface, biometric scanner, MMC expansion slot, SDK, sample code, and collar accessory. There is also a warning on the packaging that reads "STORE IN A DRY PLACE. DO NOT LEAVE SMALL CHILDREN WITH BLACKDOG UNATTENDED. MAY CAUSE DROWSINESS DUE TO EXCESSIVE PROGRAMMING. IF YOU ACCIDENTALLY INGEST BLACKDOG, CONSULT A PHYSICIAN IMMEDIATELY". Moving beyond the creative packaging designers, inside we found the actual BlackDog with collar accessory, SDK BlackDog Chow, USB adapter, USB cable, and BlackDog reviewer’s guide. Of course, in the traditional retail environment the reviewer's guide will not be included. The accessory collar is included purely for decorative purposes and can easily be removed.
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