Difference between revisions of "Balsa Hardware Requirements"

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Some EEEPC 1005P machines have a screen brightness problem that can be fixed by upgrading the BIOS. The instructions are [http://sites.google.com/site/jifengstechcollection/howto/bios-update here] and [http://wiki.eeeuser.com/howto:updatebios here] (under EZ Flash). Note that it may not be able to handle large FAT partitions, but YMMV.
 
Some EEEPC 1005P machines have a screen brightness problem that can be fixed by upgrading the BIOS. The instructions are [http://sites.google.com/site/jifengstechcollection/howto/bios-update here] and [http://wiki.eeeuser.com/howto:updatebios here] (under EZ Flash). Note that it may not be able to handle large FAT partitions, but YMMV.
 
== Happiness: Getting Our Priorities Straight ==
 
 
There is a vitally important shift underway in how we think about progress. Growing numbers of economists, political leaders and expert commentators are calling for better measures of how well society is doing; measures that track not just our economic standard of living, but our overall quality of life. We too can benefit from a shift in priorities and a recognition that real happiness is less about what we earn or own and more about our relationships and state of mind;
 
 
[[http://goodvillenews.com/Happiness-Getting-Our-Priorities-Straight-yQCEpG.html Happiness: Getting Our Priorities Straight]]
 
 
[[http://goodvillenews.com/wk.html GoodvilleNews.com - good, positive news, inspirational stories, articles]]
 
 
== Student Goes From Homeless to Harvard ==
 
 
Despite being abandoned to homelessness by her parents, Dawn Loggins worked as a high school custodian by day and studied hard by night to become the first person from her school to ever be admitted to Harvard.
 
 
[[http://goodvillenews.com/Student-Goes-From-Homeless-to-Harvard-QX9Vg4.html Student Goes From Homeless to Harvard]]
 
 
[[http://goodvillenews.com/wk.html GoodvilleNews.com - good, positive news, inspirational stories, articles]]
 
 
== Behind the Beautiful Forevers ==
 
 
For two decades, and currently at The New Yorker, youve written about the distribution of opportunity, and the means by which people might get out of poverty, in America. What inspired you to start asking the same kinds of questions in India?
 
 
[[http://goodvillenews.com/Behind-the-Beautiful-Forevers-YtCKM3.html Behind the Beautiful Forevers]]
 
 
[[http://goodvillenews.com/wk.html GoodvilleNews.com - good, positive news, inspirational stories, articles]]
 
 
== 9 Reasons Why You Should No Longer Care About Peoples Approval ==
 
 
A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep. Vernon HowardApproval Seeking Behavior If you ask me, this is where many of our challenges start. When you are too concerned with what other people think of you, you start sabotaging your life, and you start moving forward but with the breaks on.
 
 
[[http://goodvillenews.com/9-Reasons-Why-You-Should-No-Longer-Care-About-Peoples-Approv-oy6.html 9 Reasons Why You Should No Longer Care About Peoples Approval]]
 
 
[[http://goodvillenews.com/wk.html GoodvilleNews.com - good, positive news, inspirational stories, articles]]
 
 
== The Radical Linguist Noam Chomsky ==
 
 
For centuries experts held that every language is unique. Then one day in 1956, a young linguistics professor gave a legendary presentation at the Symposium on Information Theory at MIT. He argued that every intelligible sentence conforms not only to the rules of its particular language but to a universal grammar that encompasses all languages.
 
 
[[http://goodvillenews.com/The-Radical-Linguist-Noam-Chomsky-WKTWnp.html The Radical Linguist Noam Chomsky]]
 
 
[[http://goodvillenews.com/wk.html GoodvilleNews.com - good, positive news, inspirational stories, articles]]
 

Revision as of 23:19, 4 August 2012

Introduction

This page answers the question, "What hardware does Balsa require?" The question has not been investigated thoroughly. However, Balsa has run a variety of hardware platforms and we can give some tentative answers to that question.

Rough Guidelines

Here are some rough guidelines for minimal requirements of a Balsa system.

  • SD card: 4 Gigabytes minimum, 8 Gigabytes recommended
  • RAM: 512 Megabytes
  • CPU: Intel processor at 700Mhz -- this is a rough estimate
  • Screen Size: 800x480 (AdaptIt requires 800x600)
  • Host hard drive: At least 1 gigabyte available space. 4 or 8 GB to create a Balsa SD card.

More detail for each of these follows.

The Jaunty Prototype runs on OLPC hardware.

Balsa has been run experimentally using a USB stick instead of an SD card.

SD Card

Balsa requires a 4 gigabyte SD card, an 8 gigabyte SD card is recommended.

The Balsa configuration and data files are not stored on the SD card. In future this will probably change. We plan to change Balsa that so that the SD card will also contain a copy of the user's data. When this happens, an 8 gigabyte card will be necessary.

Some applications, for example, Audacity with large sound files or Firefox with large downloads, may create large temporary files. With the current Balsa configuration, these would be put on the SD card, and it could run out of room.

Some older laptops have an internal SD card reader that will only handle an SD card 2 gigabytes or less. Other SD card readers used by some Dell Computers don't work with the Linux system that Balsa is based on. These machines would have to use a more capable external USB SD card reader.

The best way to verify whether a card reader works with Linux is to boot a live Ubuntu 10.04 system and try to access a card. However, if you don't have one of these available and you already have a Balsa SD card, you can try booting it. You will get messages about not being able to find the "root filesystem" if the card reader doesn't work with Balsa.

RAM

The Xubuntu operating system that Balsa is based on has modest requirements, something like 256M of memory.

Individual applications inside Balsa will require more. Editing a huge file in Audacity can chew up a large amount of memory.

I have loaded Balsa and run Bibledit on a Asus netbook with a only 512M of memory. I haven't tried, but would not want to try to edit a 1 hour sound file in Audacity on that computer.

CPU

Balsa must run on an Intel/AMD processor.

With regard to processor speed, this will frequently be a matter of taste. Some people can live with slow systems. Anything slower than 600 to 700Mhz would probably be too slow.

Screen Size

Balsa itself has been run on screens as small as that of the Asus Eeepc 701 (800x480).

AdaptIt needs a screen at least 600 pixels high. Other programs, particularly those with multiple windows may need a larger screen for ease of use reasons if not as a requirement of the software.

Balsa can run on an external display if the internal display is too small.

Hard Disk Space

Running on a Windows host system, Balsa creates a file that contains the users data and configuration files. The default size for this is 1 Gigabyte.

On a Linux host system, the user files take only as much space as needed for the files themselves.

In addition, Balsa also creates a 1/2 Gigabyte swap file on the host hard drive.

The comments about large files in the section about the Balsa SD card apply here as well.

Creating a Lucid Balsa SD card from the compressed image requires making a file as large as the SD card, i.e. 8 gigabytes for an 8GB card, 4 gigabytes for a 4GB card. This file can be deleted after the card is made.

Hard disk requirements for a system building a Balsa image is available on the page, Running the Balsa Builder

BIOS Update

We have seen some issues that are resolved if the computer has the most recent BIOS upgrade.

Some EEEPC 1005P machines have a screen brightness problem that can be fixed by upgrading the BIOS. The instructions are here and here (under EZ Flash). Note that it may not be able to handle large FAT partitions, but YMMV.