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back to article Gigabyte's BRIX fall into place

Taiwan's Gigabyte has officially taken the wraps off its BRIX, a sits-on-your-palm PC that offers direct competition for Intel's Next Unit of Computing. Gigabyte hasn't let world+dog know much more than was revealed when it first demonstrated the computers, but has offered up the table below to confirm the specs of the four …

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Gold badge

Does it need Linux drivers?

Does it need Linux drivers? Most motherboards and systems I've gotten over the years did not ship with Linux drivers, the distro just supported the ethernet, sound, video, busses, and so on. Is there anything exotic in there that would require extra support?

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Silver badge

Re: Does it need Linux drivers?

No it's a reference Intel H61 motherboard design, basically the same as the Shuttle DS61/HS61 which works perfectly out of the box with Linux.

The only issue might be the mini-PCI wifi card. The model fitted will probably depends on your region and how picky your local FCC is. But linux can use the windows driver stubs now for most of the proprietry cards

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Bronze badge
Coat

Re: Does it need Linux drivers?

I'm sure it doesn't technically need official Linux drivers, but having them shows support, support that you might end up needing. Also, having them lets Linux developers play a little faster and easier.

BTW, I'm thinking about a D.I.Y. PC running Windows 8...I envision snails. I'm thinking about the type of people buying a Windows license for this...I envision snails.

I think Gigabyte missed the boat on this one.

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Silver badge

Re: Does it need Linux drivers?

Agreed - does Gigabyte need to be hosting the drivers?

I have a Dell laptop with shipped with faulty Windows drivers causing a BSOD, despite their website claiming they were up to date. So I sought out drivers from the Original Component Supplier's website. My uber-geek mate said that Dell weren't great at supplying the latest drivers, so it was always best to go straight to source- and even recommended a piece of 3rd party software that aided this exercise.

In fairness to Dell, I should mention that the laptop came from their 'Refurb' site, so a saving of a few hundred pounds was, for me, worth the bother of a few hours TLC.

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Silver badge

Re: Does it need Linux drivers?

For reasons I completely fail to understand - most of the component makers have deals with the laptops where the official drivers are locked out.

I bought some very expensive Asus laptops for work which had out of date graphics drivers. But the NVidia official ones wouldn't load. There was actually a deliberately coded check - something like "you must use manufacturer supported drivers with this product"

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Linux

Looking in the right places?

"We say that because after rummaging about on the site erected for BRIX we could find no Linux drivers."

BZZZZT! "Drivers need to be downloaded from the manufacturers' website" is a Windows-centric assumption. Linux's architecture makes device drivers part of the kernel.

And it's entirely possible that any required drivers are *already* part of the LInux kernel.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Looking in the right places?@A J Stiles

"And it's entirely possible that any required drivers are *already* part of the LInux kernel."

Well, someone using a Linux fan icon saying Linux will probably work is enough to convince me ...

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Re: Looking in the right places?@A J Stiles

AC, he said it will 'probably work' - meaning that he wasn't trying to convince you of anything.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Looking in the right places?@Dave 126

My point was not to be snotty when all you have is supposition. Some people do have a habit of waving their arms and using phrases like "I expect/suppose", "I'm sure", "Probably" and so on when compatibility is raised as an issue. Rather than using the "Bzzzt!" you're stupid routine, Yet Another anonymous Coward above at least looked into what the hardware was before commenting. I thought I'd expressed the point adequately - poorly worded, I suppose.

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Re: Looking in the right places?@Dave 126

I don't think I've found a motherboard yet that needs any drivers for any operating system whatsoever. It kind of raises the question of how you'd boot the thing up to install them if you did.

While TFA makes no mention as to the graphics chipset, the Brix site does say "Intel integrated graphics", which is completely unsurprising and a good indicator that this device will work in the toy unix without having to touch graphics drivers. Ditto "chipset" (which I guess includes the audio as well as north/southbridge) and other specifications. None of it seems to be too exotic.

If you're unable to get Linux working on this thing, I would be highly surprised.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: enough to convince me

Where an anonymous coward is enough to convince ...who?

(or should that be "whom?")

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Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

Digital signage?

Must be a numpty (and a foreigner to boot) but what exactly is Digital signage? Digitally generated stop signs? Or something to do with digital signing/verification of (DRM?) files etc.

I'll get my coat + coffee now...

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Facepalm

Re: Digital signage?

Think Advertising signs that show different ads on huge screens

Think Airport/Station departure/Arrival displays

Think Bus Stop dynamic timetables

etc

etc

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Coat

Re: Digital signage?

"Think.."

And here I was thinking they wanted my signature.

Let me just grab my digital pen.

Coat, pen, door!

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Silver badge

"brix"?

How sweet! :-)

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Coat

Re: "brix"?

If you do run W8 or another Legacy OS, would that make them LegOS Brix?

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Coat

Re: "brix"?

"How sweet!"

Mines the coat with the hydrometer in the pocket.

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Bronze badge
Thumb Down

HTPC?

Not for me - unless it has a built-in IR receiver, it is *not* a proper Home-Theater PC. It may be a decent Media PC, but not being able to use a stock-standard programmable remote which works on the rest of my Home Theatre stack (TV, Amp, Cable) removes it from the "Home Theatre" qualification.

It really annoys me that manufacturers keep on forgetting this little bit of functionality. And the classic offers of help such as "use a wireless keyboard", "use an app on your wi-fi enable phone", "use..." etc are not useful - why would I want to add *another* controller when my current home-built HTPC - which also functions as my DVD/Bluray/Free-to-Air device - recognises standard remotes? It'd be a step backwards in terms of streamlining.

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Re: HTPC?

Get a USB IR receiver stick it somewhere unobtrusive and mount the PC on the VESA mount at the back of the TV. Or in a drawer. Having the IR on the PC means I need to have it on show.

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Re: HTPC?

Or get a usb-cec adapter from pulse-eight (others are available) and you can use the TV remote if you have a reasonably up to date HDMI TV.

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Silver badge

Re: HTPC?

What Michael said.

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Pint

Re: HTPC?

Or an rf one. My HTPC was built aeons ago and has a metric shitload of storage, consequently to big and noisy to reside in the living room. It sits in the basement 10 feet below the TV and is HDMied to the TV with an rf remote (Firefly) for control. Works for me.

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Re: HTPC?

Or get yourself a USB CEC adaptor and use the TV to pass the signals down the HDMI cable...works a treat on XBMC

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Silver badge

Re: HTPC?

Or you could join the modern age and use a touchscreen device (phone, tablet, iPod) as your remote over Wifi for the ever growing number of IP controllable devices, along with something like a GlobalCache gateway for the IP to IR translation to handle older IR only devices.

Because, let's face it, IR passed its sell by date years ago. Yes, it is ubiquitous in CE devices, but I'd sure hate to wake up in 2033 and find whatever CE devices we're using then are still controlled by something as archaic and limited as IR!

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Bronze badge

An observation...

I note on them fancy Daguerreotypes that the power button is on top of the device (referring to Brix in the singular sounds somehow wrong...). So if you wanted to stack this, perhaps with several Brix (plural - that's better), the button on top is not such a hot idea.

A couple of the i7 Brix (if priced well and good device driver support) pointed at an iSCSI target or NAS might make a nice test bed for clustering, virtualisation (with the Hypervisor of your choice...)...

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Joke

Brix?

I'm so ronrey, Hans.

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Hans Brix? Oh no!

Oh hi Hans, gweat to see you again!

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HBT

Meh

That's what cheap ARM boards/boxes are for. Who wants to pay the Intel/MS taxes.

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