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Plat'Home OpenBlockS Linux Microserver

The Plat'Home OpenBlockS Microserver, manufactured in Japan, is a low-power PowerPC-based embedded Linux device that can be customized for a variety of applications.
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Topic: Hardware
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1 of 6 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

Front view of the Plat'Home OpenBlockS microserver, showing dual ethernet and disk/CF status lights. The underside of the server has an optional expansion bus that allows you to connect 2.5" ATA or Solid State Disk (SSD) drives.

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2 of 6 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

The OpenBlockS has an internal CompactFlash bay which is used for internal storage. The sample which was shipped to me has a 1GB CF card, but you can replace it with a larger one.

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3 of 6 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

The OpenBlockS allows for certain basic install options such as networking setup to be configured over a web interface. As you can see, however, its in Japanese.

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4 of 6 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

As the OpenBlockS is a "headless" server, customization and setup is done through a serial interface. Here I'm using the Linux program "minicom" connected using VT102 emulation at 9600 baud, 8N1 to connect to the device. As you can see from the "top" command, the unit has 128MB of RAM and I have configured part of the CF storage as 100MB of swap.

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5 of 6 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

The OpenBlockS runs on an AMCC single-core 266Mhz low power PowerPC processor manufactured by IBM.

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6 of 6 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

The OpenBlockS ships with a CD containing PDFs of the systems documentation. Notice, however, its all in Japanese, but I was able to follow some of it as the Linux commands themselves are in English. The Plathome.com US site has an earlier version of this documentation from 2003 available in English. Hopefully they will bring it up to date with the current version of the software shortly.

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