Sunday, March 14, 2010

Space to play in

Sorry for no postings in the last 6 - 7 months.  I have changed jobs and have been working in a vertical learning curve for the moment.  I now work in the Information Security realm and it is very interesting where Information Security has gone to in the last three or so years - more 'compliance' than 'security' - I guess the suits are looking for ways to 'understand' the concepts (grin) and feel warm fuzzies so they can sleep at night (I know better so I don't!).  As a distraction, hopefully I can now do some more postings and work with the Gumstix that will be of interest to others.  I may even be able to work the Gumstix into a security roll - who knows.

About a year ago I posted information on the use of a MicroSD card to increase the usable storage in a Gumstix system. At that point in time the largest, reasonably priced, microSD card was 8-gigs. Today you can find 16-Gig MicroSD HC (High Capacity) cards at less cost than the 8-Gig MicroSD HC cards of a year ago.  A search on Google for 'microsd card' yields around 4,990,000 hits on the subject.  Most of the median priced MicroSD HC cards of today boost Class-6 (6-MB/sec) data transfer rates.  This is three times faster than the older Class-2 devices.  If your applications run mainly in RAM memory the actual speed of the MicroSD card will only play a part when loading applications or data - in this environment you really don't need the Class-6 devices if cost is the main concern otherwise So what does this have to do with Gumstix computers?  Plenty!  If you are planning to build a Gumstix machine and need more than embedded basic functionality you will need more storage space.  A couple of ways to get more space is to either connected additional external storage through one of the USB ports or to insert a MicroSD card into the Gumstix COM MicroSD receptacle on the board.  Unless you need more than 16-Gigs of storage capacity the MicroSD card method is the better of the two - less hardware and much lower power requirements.  If you need more space then I would suggest a SATA (Serial ATA) solid-state drive, 32-Gigs to 64-Gigs MLC drives are reasonably priced but slower than SLC based drives, with a USB to SATA adaptor.  Of course you will need a USB hub that supplies power as the Gumstix COM does not have enough power capacity on it's USB ports to handle the power needed.

Some microSD cards that work well with the Overo COM computers:

Note - I think these are Class-2 Devices so will read and write at 2-megabytes per second.  Given the cost that is not bad at all.

On a different note - I know this sounds really lame but if you don't mind would you please click on one or two of the ad's liste here???  It does not cost anything to you and it may help offset the cost of hardware to continue working with the Gumstix machines.

 Thank you!

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