A preview of the MintBox Mini

In today's open source roundup: A Linux Mint developer previews the MintBox Mini. Plus: A review of the System76 Meerkat. And a refrigerator that runs Ubuntu

A preview of the MintBox Mini

CompuLab has a long history of working with the developers of Linux Mint. The MintBox 2 is a good example of their cooperation, and it has gotten very positive reviews on Amazon. Now there's a new product called the MintBox Mini and one of the Linux Mint developers has a preview of it.

Clement Lefebvre reports at Segfault:

I’d like to thank CompuLab for sending the development team three MintBox Mini. I just received mine :)

Our great relationship with CompuLab is illustrated on the side. Along with the unit specs, it’s great to see our two logos there. We’ve been working together for a very long time now, so that feels very nice.

Inside the box there’s:

the MintBox Mini
a power adapter with removable extensions for (in my case) US and EU sockets
a wireless adapter (which will take one of your 5 USB ports to give you Wifi connectivity)
a DVI / HDMI adapter
a com / serial adapter
a jack / cinch cable
a manual for the Fitlet (which is the same unit as the MintBox Mini but without the Mint branding)

As the name suggests, the Mini is minuscule. I knew it was small, I knew it was pocketable (and it does indeed easily fit in my jean’s pocket, although with the cable, mouse and all you’ll probably use a bag anyway) but it’s even tinier than I realized.

Here’s the Mini beside a tennis ball and a 13″ Macbook Pro:

mintbox mini preview

More at Segfault

System76 Meerkat review

Speaking of small computers, System76's Meerkat is another option for Linux users. Jack Wallen did a full review of the Meerkat and came away with a very positive impression. The Meerkat is available right now on Amazon.

Jack Wallen reports for Linux.com:

When most consider a PC unit of such miniscule size, the general conclusion would relegate the Meerkat to kiosks or multimedia PCs. Although the Meerkat fits those bills to perfection, you would be remiss in not considering this device as a standard PC.

The Meerkat is not an underpowered, ARM-based piece of hardware. Tucked within the diminutive box lies the heart of a giant. Don’t be fooled, this machine can, without hesitation or hiccup, get the job done.

If you’re looking for a “bang for your buck” mini PC ─ one that doesn’t behave like a mini PC ─ the Meerkat is exactly what you want. You’ll get plenty of power, a tiny form factor, and purchasing from System76 ensures you are supporting a company that, in turn, supports open source. Win-win-win.

The cost for the Meerkat? The devices start at $499 for the basic unit. You can quickly shoot that price into the near 1K range by bumping the RAM to 16 GB and the internal storage to 500 GB. The device shipped to me had the default storage size, and an additional 4 GB of RAM. That RAM upgrade took the price to $548 and is an upgrade I would highly recommend. That may seem like a lot for such a small package, but it’s worth every penny … even if the Meerkat will only serve as your go-to multimedia PC.

More at Linux.com

The ChillHub refrigerator runs Ubuntu

Linux really is everywhere these days, including in a refrigerator called ChillHub.

Joey-Elijah Sneddon reports on ChillHub for OMG Ubuntu:

Say hello to the very first Ubuntu powered smart fridge. It’s called ‘ChillHub’ and is connected to the web, has its own smartphone app and can be upgraded with new features and functionality at any time.

ChillHub runs Snappy Ubuntu Core, Canonical’s transactionally-updated minimal Ubuntu spin designed specifically for the Internet of Things. An open platform with an app store that works across a wide range of devices and use-cases, Snappy Ubuntu Core can run on everything, from a teeny-tiny embedded circuit board in a smartwatch to powering the most ruggedised industrial router imaginable.

ChillHub has been stocked (ho ho) with two USB ports, comes with built-in Wi-Fi and has an open-source iOS¹ app available to let owners check sensor data (e.g. temperature) relayed by the smart fridge through ‘the internet of things’.

More at OMG Ubuntu

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