Making the ViewSonic Tablet PC Run Linux
We now have Linux running on this machine that previously was unusable. Installation was much more straightforward than I initially expected, which is a testament to the current state of Linux development. The biggest hurdles were using the external floppy drive to boot from floppy the first time and working around the networking connection issue. If one was lacking an external floppy drive, I would guess a network bootable image could be created instead. However, with USB floppy drives available for about $30(US), it might not be worth the effort to create the net-bootable install image.
When this article was written, the TabletPC still was with me and had not been used in the field. Perhaps I will have the chance in a few months to write an addendum to relate how well the system performs in the field. I am optimistic that what was nearly a $1,300 boat anchor running Windows 98 is now a highly reliable network maintenance system. Perhaps I should have named the system phoenix.
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Until recently, IBM’s Power Platform was looked upon as being the system that hosted IBM’s flavor of UNIX and proprietary operating system called IBM i. These servers often are found in medium-size businesses running ERP, CRM and financials for on-premise customers. By enabling the Power platform to run the Linux OS, IBM now has positioned Power to be the platform of choice for those already running Linux that are facing scalability issues, especially customers looking at analytics, big data or cloud computing.
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