Intel 80C186/80C188 Evaluation Board? Re: Single Board Computers

Gil Carrick gilcarrick at
Tue Oct 11 20:18:42 CDT 2005

I understand that Linksys routers run Linux and they have no disk drive and
no console, so I think your definition is not very useful. 

An OS does not require secondary storage. The Palm OS prior to release 5
assumed there was no secondary storage. Every program is always in the real
memory space. The Knoppix distro of Linux is quite happy running on a RAM
disk. I have a laptop that I boot Knoppix on that has a broken hard drive.
It runs just fine. While it boots from the CD-ROM, it uncompresses
everything you run to a RAM drive and runs it from there. It will also boot
from a USB drive.

The closest that the router has to a console is that it supports HTTP on
port 80 so you configure it with a browser. A nice GUI. The router does not
require a console. For that matter, many servers run "headless".


> -----Original Message-----
> From: cctalk-bounces at 
> [mailto:cctalk-bounces at] On Behalf Of Chuck Guzis
> Sent: Tuesday, October 11, 2005 11:02 AM
> To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
> Subject: Re: Intel 80C186/80C188 Evaluation Board? Re: Single 
> Board Computers
> On 10/11/2005 at 6:47 AM Gordon JC Pearce wrote:
> >I'm not sure if that counts, though.  It may well not be 
> running Linux 
> >on anything that you would recognise as PC hardware.  It 
> might not have 
> >a BIOS as such, even.
> I meant "PC" in a much broader sense than in the "IBM PC" 
> sense.  What I was wondering about was how many "appliances" 
> had sufficient I/O capabilities that they could be configured 
> to run a generic operating system.  This would mean at a 
> minimum, some way to do console I/O and some sort of disk 
> storage, as well as being able to support an OS to start 
> with.  So my DSL modem would seem to fulfill these 
> requirements, as disk is simulated by flash memory--I suppose 
> an external PC could even serve as a USB disk drive.  My 
> little FAX box has suffiicent I/O and memory as well as an 
> internal diskette drive to meet the test. 
> A USR Courier modem, with its 80C188, might, but there's not 
> much RAM and no way to connect an external peripheral, so it 
> fails the test, even though you could probably reprogram the 
> PROM and get it to give you a command prompt via the RS-232 port.
> How about a TIVO or an MP3 player?  Certainly most video game 
> boxes have the necessary resources (I seem to recall a web 
> site dedicated to getting early Xboxes running Linux--it 
> wasn't as simply as you'd think).
> Cheers,
> Chuck

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