Related YoLinux Tutorials:
°Linux Sys Admin
°YoLinux Tutorials Index
Free Information Technology Magazines and Document Downloads
The availablility and lack of licensing restrictions of source code for
the Linux kernel, has allowed Linux to be ported to a plethora of processors.
There are the most popular for desktop, laptop and servers:
Memory naming convention set by JEDEC, the semiconductor engineering
standardization body of the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA)
- SRAM: Static RAM (SIMMS connector)
- DRAM: Dynamic RAM. Typically 70 ns. Can only read or write but not both at the same time. (DIMMS connector)
- EDO DRAM: Extended Data Output DRAM
- SDRAM: Synchronous Dynamic RAM. (PC100 compatable) Typically 10ns. DIMM module has 168 pins.
- RDRAM: Rambus DRAM. Requires motherboard chipset support. (RIMMS connector)
- DDR/DDRAM: Double Data Rate/Double Data RAM. Operates twice as fast as conventional
memory by performing two memory operations for every CPU clock cycle.
(PC133 SDRAM compatable) DDR DIMM module has 184 pins.
- DDR266: Double Data Rate at 266 Mhz. Throughput=8bytes x 266 Mhz/sec = 2.1 GB/sec. Hence the term: PC2100
|Video Graphics and video capture:
My choices for best video graphics are:
- NVidia: - Best 3-D support,
chip-set based graphics cards
Quadro (high end CAD), GeForce (PC) and Quadro nView (dual monitor support Quadro)
NVidia based graphics cards are by far the best for Linux
because of 3D performance, 3D GL and GLX (SGI X-window/GL interface)
and X-window DRI support. NVidia is the best for 2D video playback of
video files and DVD's because of the Xv (Xvideo), and Xrender
support. (fast screen access)
In order to enable this support
one must download the NVidia binary "Accelerated Linux Driver Set"
from the NVidia web site and the modified Linux Kernel RPM.
(See the YoLinux kernel RPM install Tutorial)
Source for the modified kernel is also available from their site.
This is NOT included in the Red Hat distribution.
Note that this applies to XFree86 4.0+ which supports these X-window
extensions. (Red Hat 7.0+)
List of popular graphics boards manufacturers which use the NVidia chipset:
- ATI 3-D card: ATI Radeon.
Graphics board manufacturers using ATI chipsets:
- Matrox: Dual Headed Matrox G400 dual headed system
- Honourable mention: SGI digital flat panel display and digital video card.
- 3Dlabs: Oxygen - High end CAD 3D
For the ultimate list of supported video cards and the latest information
see the XFree86 Project Home Page
Video Capture and TV cards:
- Hauppague analog WinTV bt 878 (Brooktree chip-set) - Hauppauge Linux support page
I purchased the Hauppauge model 447 which includes a PCI WinTV
television and FM radio tuner
card, video camera, FM antenna, an internal sound card connector and an
infrared remote. The TV tuner card is cable-ready,
supports 125 channels and closed captioning.
The card is capable of supporting a resolution of 1,600 x 1,200 pixels, and
has S-Video input, audio in/out (1/8" = 3.5mm, 3 conductor minijack),
coax connectors for cable TV and
FM radio cable/antenna inputs well as a remote control (IR) reciever socket
(2.5mm minijack). An external IR reciever is also included. (Newr versions
include headphones with mic and volume control.)
This capture card works with
qVIX Video conferencing for Linux
The prefered Hauppauge video camera has an S-video or RCA video connection such as the:
These use RCA connections on the Hauppauge capture card. (connection diagram.-Model 447 has one more cable connection for the FM radio) Note: The cameras listed are pure video and
require a video capture card such as the Hauppauge. Cameras which use a USB port are often slower.
The default Red Hat 7.1 kernel comes ready to support
TV/Video. If compiling
the kernel, note that it requires the following modules: I2C Core, I2C
Devices, I2C Algorithms, Video4Linux (v4l) API driver, Bttv drivers
(this includes everything required for TV, radio and teletext) and Bttv
mixer device (from the sound section).
|A variety of pixel response rates
(25ms-12ms) sizes (19", 21"), resolutions (1280x1024, 1600x1200,
1920x1200, ...), aspect ratios (HD), video inputs (VGA, DVI, S-Video,
Composite), power supplies and
Dual monitor LCD's:
Mounts for dual monitors:
|Network Interface Cards (NIC):
The winner these days seems to be Intel.
They also manufacture the Intel Pro/100 Dual port server adapter which has
two 10/100 Mbps Ports.
This can be used to increase bandwidth,
enable routing or
setting up a firewall (ipchains/iptables) and only use one PCI slot.
See Using Linux and ipchains/iptables to set up an internet gateway for home or office.
In the near future Intel will present I2O (Intelligent I/O) NICs which are
supported by the current Linux kernel. This will offload the TCP/IP stack to
the network card reducing the CPU load. This will be essential in supporting
iSCSI (network SCSI storage)
- Intel - Pro 1000 and Pro 1000 Dual Port
- Intel - Pro 100 and Pro 100 Dual Port:
|| This PCI NIC card supports two
physical ethernet connections (eth0, eth1) on one card conserving
valued PCI slots. Great for a firewall set-up.
- 3Com - 3c905 (Not the 3c905B and C) -
Other network hardware:
- Cyclades - T1/E1 with built in DSU/CSU PCI cards
- ZNYX - PCI embedded Ethernet switch
- Logitech wireless
"Cordless iTouch" or
"Cordless Freedom Pro" mouse and keyboard. An RF receiver
plugs into the regular PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports on your computer.
(USB mouse connection is also available)
The keyboard and mouse are wireless using radio technology.
The mouse is a two button mouse with middle scroll wheel.
(As a programmer, I prefer three button mice for UNIX workstations.)
- Logitech 3 button mouse.
- I-Rocks - Illuminated keyboards
Hard drive standards: IDE, EIDE, ATA, SATA, SCSI, Fibre Channel
- IDE: Integrated Drive Electronics. Same as ATA, just another name.
- EIDE: Enhanced IDE. Supports ATA and ATAPI standards. Uses Master/Slave, Primary/Secondary configuration, 40 pin cable.
- ATAPI: Advanced Technology Attachment Packet Interface -
Compatible with IDE. EIDE for CD ROM and Tape drives. Includes SCSI-3
like command set.
- ATA/100: Advanced Technology Attachment. Just another name for IDE.
- PATA: Parallel ATA - Refers to older IDE/EIDE/ATA/ATAPI 40 pin ribbon cable parallel interface.
- Ultra DMA/66: 80 pin ribbon cable, 66MB/s transfer rate
- SATA/150: Serial ATA - Reduces crosstalk across parallel
cables by using a single chanel high speed connection. Uses single
bundle of 7 wires of which 3 are ground. 2 TX (transmit), 2 RX
- SATA/300: (3G) 3 Gigabit (Gb) bandwidth.
- SATA II: Added feature set support for SATA/300 drives.
- eSATA/XSATA: External SATA and next generation eSATA, XSATA for greater cable length.
- NCQ: Native Command Queuing - reorder disk requests to optimize seek time.
- SCSI: I, II, 3, fast-wide, 160, 320, ...
Disk Drive Vendors:
Disk Drive Coolers/Heatsinks:
NAS: Network Attached Storage
|Computer Cases (Enclosures):
PC Case Manufacturers:
Notation note: # 5.25" external bays/# 3.5" external bays/# 3.5" internal bays
- Aerocool (Acrylear: All acrylic and clear. No EMI shielding.)
- Antec (P160: 1.2 AL,
4/2/4 bays,USB top upper fron panel, removable mother board pannel, air
filter) (Sonata: Steel, 3/0/2/4 bays,120mm silent fan,2fans,airfilters,
HDD rubber grommet mounted trays) ** Good 2 **
- Atech (STK6551: acrylic-steel)
- Athenatech (A100SC: micro)
- BuyRaidmax.com: Raidmax (Scorpio-668: Aluminum, acrylic sides, Galaxy-988)
- Chenbro (Xpider: plastic, 4/1/6bays)
- Coolermaster (Cavalier T01, Centurion: basic, power supplies, fans)
- Chieftec (Extreme Series: honeycomb, fan filter, 4/2/4 bays)
- Pyrinex.com: Kingwin: Kingwin (K11-BK-WM, KT-424-BK-WM: 2mm Aluminum, acrylic sides, motherboard tray, 4/2/4 bay,3 fan, antishock HDD) ** Good 1 **
- Lian Li solid basic cases
- StoreCase.com - (Kingston Technology subsidiary) Rack and desktop cases for storage drives.
- Supermicro.com - Cases
- Yeong Yang (YY-5601)
Home Theater Cases:
PC cases for home theater. These cases make the PC look like a stereo component.
Active PFC (Power Factor Correction): Reduces harmonic
distorion for a cleaner power source. Controlled voltage for a higher
"power factor". This is preferred.
Passive PFC: Uses a capacitive filter.
Note that most computer cases require airflow provided by the power supply fan.
This makes some of the fanless units inappropriate.
There are also super quiet "noiseless" or silent but not fanless powersupplies.
The Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy or Live PCI with output for
is about as good as it gets. This is
not because it's the best sound card, it's because it's the best supported.
I tried to get fancy with a Turtle Beach and as far as I got was being able to
play my CD and that was it. (I basically failed and ended up buying
a Sound Blaster)
If you want to get fancy you may have to
buy commercially supported drivers from
4Front using Open Sound System (OSS).
(Note: Most other references to OSS refer to Open Source Software)
See the 4Front list of supported cards.
Misc: I use a Radio Shack Three-Headphone Cable Adapter (42-2458) on my
audio input (1/8" minijack) so the sound card may accept input from
my Hauppauge WinTV card, aux input and headphone/mic headset.
Audio Speaker Links:
- Creative Labs speakers
FOURPOINT SURROUND FPS2000 DIGITAL 4 SPEAKERS ONE SUBWOOFER
Four channel/4-speaker digital audio. The
FPS2000 Digital is the only speaker system that provides proprietary
DIGITAL DIN connection with Sound Blaster Live!
The speaker system also includes a separate front and rear audio
inputs, compatible with any other four-channel PCI sound cards. On my
Linux system with
the SoundBlaster Live Platinium, both the line-out and rear-out jacks
CAMBRIDGE SOUNDWORKS SPEAKERS FPS1500 SATELLITES W/SUBWOOFER
- Altec Lansing
- Altec 641LA 5 PC 110V Speaker System
- Altec 4100LA 5 PC 110V Speaker System 70Watts
- ATP3UA 3PC 110V 3PC Speaker System BLACK 18W Subwoofer
- Harmon Kardon
- Monsoon Audio
- Eminent Tech
Choose headphones which contain a volume control and microphone on/off switch.
Some of the old CD-ROMS which were driven off of the sound card may not work,
but in general, most work without any problems.
- Plextor - CD-RW
32X/12X/10X REWRITABLE EIDE CD-RW Internal
32X/12X/10X REWRITABLE SCSI HD50 Internal
Read Only! 40X READER ULTRA WIDE SCSI Internal
I mention the Plextor because all the others are so much alike and this one
stands out. It has the fastest write throughput, available in Ultra-SCSI and
comes with "BURN-Proof" features which allow it to stop in the middle of burning
a CD. This is unique to Plextor. It has been ranked the best by all the reviews I have seen.
The Red Hat compatibility list does not list any DVD players but I have seen
many in use. (I'm not sure of those listed below.)
- Sony DRU110A/C1:
DVDRW CDRW COMBO DRIVE EIDE INT 12X/10X/32X CDRW 2.4X DVD 4.76GB
Combines DVD+RW and CD-RW recording with DVD-ROM and CD-ROM playback in one.
Expensive but it is truly all-in-one!
COMBO DRIVE 12X DVD/40X CD-ROM INTERNAL EIDE
- Pioneer: DVR-A03 DVD-R/RW, CD-R/RW combo
- Toshiba SD-M1401:
12X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SCSI
- Pioneer 304S/305S (10x DVD and 40x CDROM)
- Pioneer DVR-S201 1X DVD write, 2X DVD read, SCSI-2
There are only two manufacturers with
licensed software support of DVD system for Linux.
- Creative Labs: I saw the Dxr2 DVD at Linuxworld in NYC.
The Creative Labs site does not seem to have the DVD playback software for the Dxr2
anymore but instead refers you to the developers
Andrew de Quincey and
- IBM: IBM Thinkpad notebook computers with Linux pre-installed and a DVD
come with the InterVideo, LinDVD player installed and configured.
There is DVD player software available for Linux but its legality has been
under attack in the courts. The battle has not been resolved and unless
the Linux DVD developers lose the battle, the OMS (Open Media System)
software is available from:
- The DVD disk must be mounted: mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom
- Use the hdparm command to enable DMA access to the DVD drive or
else video playback will seem slow, broken and ragged.
i.e.: hdparm -d1 -c1 /dev/cdrom
Also see YoLinux: System Optimization and hdparm
- New DVD players do not have a country code burned in. Burn this in
with specialized Linux software or run it under Windows once before use
- Requires udf file system support in kernel.
- When compiling OMS from source, bootstrap with autogen.sh
to create a configure file, then run configure and
- omi: GUI
- oms: Main program
- libccs: DVD decryption
- Configuration files: $HOME/.oms/
Linux Related DVD links:
If a modem is required, I prefer external modems. No IRQ, Winmodem driver headaches. The Novel/S.U.S.E. Hardware database gives the best list.
- U.S.Robotics - analog
US ROBOTICS 56K/14.4K V92 W/RAPIDCOMM FAX/DATA
- Data Compression Protocol: MNP-5, V.42bis
- Error Correction Protocol: MNP-4, ITU V.42, MNP-2, MNP-3
- Analog Modulation Protocol: ITU V.21, ITU
V.22, ITU V.22bis, ITU V.29, ITU V.32, ITU V.32bis, ITU V.34, ITU V.90,
ITU Group 3 Fax, ITU V.17, ITU V.23, ITU V.27ter, x2, ITU V.92
- Interface Type: Serial RS-232
- 3Com - DSL, Cable
- Best Data
- ActionTec - DSL
- Vicking components
- Xircom - Notebook modems
- Zoom - (Hayes)
- IBM: Mwave - While it is a Laptop ThinkPad "WinModem", IBM provides drivers.
The easiest solution is to use a Postscript compatible printer.
The following designations are often used within the model numbers to designate various features:
- n - Network
- t - Extra paper trays (i.e. paper tray one and paper tray two)
- d - Duplex (Print on both sides of a sheet of paper)
- f - fax
- HP SureStore DAT40 DDS-4 40 GB
External: 20/40GB DAT DDS4 SCSI ULTRA2 LVD SURESTORE DAT40E 3/6MB
Recording Standard: DDS-2, DDS-3, DDS-4 ( ANSI/ISO/ECMA DDS )
Internal: 20/40GB DAT DDS4 SCSI ULTRA2 LVD SURESTORE DAT40I 3/6MB
- Recording Standard: DDS-2, DDS-3, DDS-4 ( ANSI/ISO/ECMA DDS, ANSI/ECMA DDS-DC )
- Native / Compressed Capacity: 20 GB / 40 GB
- Overland Data Inc.
- Tandberg Data
Tape form factors: DAT, DLT, SDLT, LTO, AIT, SLR, Quarter inch, 9 track tape.
|Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS):
- APC - American Power Conversion
UPS BP1400: BACK UPS PRO 1400 1400VA 6 OUTLET 120V LINE-INT
- Voltage: AC 120 V ( 50/60 Hz )
- Average Run Time: 60 min
- Capacity: 1400VA/950W
SMART UPS 1400 RACK MOUNT 6 OUTLET 120V LINE-INT
SMART UPS NET620 620VA 4 OUTLET 120V LINE-INT
- Load Rating: Small workgroup server
- Average Run Time: 11 Ah / 15.3 min
- Capacity: 620 volt-amp, 390 watt
- PowerWare.com - (Best was purchased by PowerWare)
|Miscellaneous and Specialty Hardware:
- USB memory sticks: (i.e. PNY Attache)
These just plug-in to the USB port and they work great.
The device is instantly recognized by Fedora Core 3 and mounted:
An icon appears on the desktop after it is mounted. Double clicking the
icon will open the Nautilus file manager. I find copying files using
Nautilus to be more reliable than via the shell. I wonder if the memory
has a speed issue (??)
/dev/sda1 501600 704 500896 1% /media/usbdisk
- Digital Cameras:
Note: Many cameras are not supported in Linux. I remove the memory card
from the camera and insert it into a USB attached memory card reader.
This works for them all! The typical file system on the memory cards is
DOS FAT and easily recognized and automounted.
- AtecFlash.com - flash memory card reader/adapters. Pro-Gear in case product and external units reads multiple card formats.
- SunbeamTech: 20 in 1 Superior Panel - Ultimate all-in-one front panel for peripherals.
- X10 Smart Home device networking
- SONY USB Jog Controller - Usefull for video editing with Kino (video record, save, edit, play).
Requires SonyJog driver patch or
- ShuttlePro - USB video jog shuttle. (I was told it was Sony compatible??)
- DataVideo: mobile studios, converters, etc
- Sharp Electronics: LCD Video Monitors: (Not a computer monitor, a video TV monitor)
- LC-20VM2 - 20" video/S-video/Component NTSC/PAL/SECAM monitor.
- LC-28HM2 - 28" HDTV Monitor.
- Real Time Visualization: Volume Pro - PCI card for 2D/3D pixel/voxel volume processing acceleration. C++ and JAVA interfaces. (Linux drivers included)
- Hot Little Therm: Thermometer on your serial port
- Barco: Projection Systems
- Romtec Trios IDE Hard Drive Selector:
IDE hard drive disk selector device, which can be placed into a PC's
5.25-inch bay, that enables users to boot from a choice of up to three
separate hard drives (Thus different OS's)
- Blackbox.com - Overpriced but they have every computer connector and widget imaginable.
- L-com - Cables, connectors, KVMs, mounts, blocks, rack panels, etc...
- CablesnMore.com - internal and external computer cables.
- SunbeamTech.com - Custom case lighting and peripherals
- Actuality Systems: Volumetric 3-D Display - 360 degree voxel display device.
- lik-sang.com: Alternative Gaming
- InterSense: InterTrax2
- Virtual reality head tracking system. (USB or serial port) Though
they are not advertised on their web site, Linux drivers are available
from InterSense. (So says Mike Donfrancesco, Director of Worldwide
Sales at InterSense.)
- Heat Alarm
- DTI 3D monitors - Requires software written for this hardware.
- StereoGraphics.com - wireless stereoscopic visualization eyewear.
- Microboards - Stand-alone CD/DVD duplicator
- Rimage - Thermal image printing of CD's in mass quantities.
- BMK-Elektronik MPEG-2 Encoder card
- Firewire: Choose any card which is OHCI compliant
ORANGELINK 3 PORT FIREWIRE PCI BOARD IEEE 1394 DV OHCI 400M/S
- Connectivity Cable: IEEE 1394
- Data Transfer Rate: 400 Mbps
- Data Link Protocol: IEEE 1394 Firewire
- AMI: MegaRAC - Remote access PCI controller which enables server management even when server is down.
- General Electric - MIL-STD-1553 Bus PCI card tor test and development. (was Condor Engineering)
Data Bus Tools - API for Linux. MS/Windows based BusTools GUI will run on Crossover Wine on Linux.
- Quancom.de: Watchdog boards
- Software on Linux system communicates with PC card. When
communication stops it is assumed that the system is down. It can then
issue a hardware reset or turn on an external appliance.
Comes with Linux source code.
- IRIG PCI cards - Receivers for GPS satellite based time. Very accurate.
Data Acquisition and Measurement:
- Comedi.org - Open Source drivers for hardware from all manufacturers
- National Instruments - Measurement, analog and digital data interfaces
- GPIB - power supplies
- NI-DAQmx (pdf) - analog/digital acquisition
Linux PDAs and Mobile Computing:
- When using a KVM (Keyboard Video Mouse) switch to use one
Keyboard Video and Mouse connected to multiple computers, remember to
configure each computer to have the same resolution. Some monitors will
freak out upon an instantaneous switch to a higher resolution.
|Non-Computer Hardware Links:
Upgrading and Repairing PCs (with CD-ROM)
ISBN #0789723034, QUE
The authoratative book on computer upgrading, maintenance,
interchangeability, and repairs. It's the best reference out there.
Equipment and services, including storage,
communications, and servers. Product announcements, marketplace
information, and other articles designed to keep IT workers up to date
with the latest news that matters most. Published weekly.