I'd decided last year to invest in a zareason shuttle. Quick intro to what zareason is. They started out as a non-profit making linux boxes at a computer hardware recycling centre for low-income applicants. Basically spreading the good word of Linus. Before long they realised they were very good at this and started to offer the service online.
I'd say I've emailed these guys ten times with dumb hardware questions and they've always given me time and good answers. I made the mistake last year to buy a dell server that was going off lease from my company. With two months its power supply went the way of the Dell plant in Limerick. Last time I ever purchase a piece of dell hardware.
Anyway I saved up for this little beautie. And considering I'm building a reprap, I thought this might be the perfect excuse to purchase it. Origionally I'd planned on using it as a media server but I'll just have to save up for one of these.
So the box arrived yesterday, only a few days after I ordered it. Thankfully they support USPS for us Canadians (well I'm Irish but have to suffer the customs and UPS tax like the rest of them). It took me around 15 mins to yank it out of the box, plug in all the pluggy bits and boot up Ubuntu. So installing, no hoping you can find drivers for your hardware, no pain basically. The wifi card I got installed registered immediately and picked up my network. I took a few shots, plugged in my Canon and it registered it and popped up F-Spot to pull them off.
I'd say I've set up maybe 10 linux boxes in my time. And I can't say its always been a horrible experience installing linux (RHEL excepted) but getting drivers to work and picking the right mix of software can take a lot of reading and trial/error. Well Zareason completely remove any need for that. I really think if you're considering getting a new machine, unless its a laptop (than get a mac) I'd say go for one of these guys.
Anyway enough waffling, I haven't done any more soldering since the weekend. I'd planned on going up and doing some more tonight but I'm knackered after my first Krav Maga course. Esp since I thought it was on at 6:15 am rather than pm so arrived at the gym 12 hours early. Here are a few photos of the unboxing I took. Enjoy :).
Comes well wrapped with a nondescript outer box that has the shuttle box inside.
Like Russian dolls here's the shuttle box.
They give you this zareason pen screw and a shot of they're sticker. I wish they'd put in a few of those stickers in would have like to stick one on the box.
The shuttle pc, cool looking piece of kit.
And 15 minutes after breaking the seal on the box I have ubuntu installed and ready to go. The machine is quiet, picked up a wifi connection right away, picked up my camera, had gimp installed so I could rotate the above picture. Proud as punch with my latest purchase.