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Mini ATX & USB Boot

Old 06-04-04, 11:54 PM
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Mini ATX & USB Boot

Hey all. I was bored at work today (when am I not) and was thinking about a very minimal computer setup.

I belive I read somewhere that some mobos allow you to boot from a USB drive and I was wondering if there are any Mini-ATX boards that would allow this.

So, if there is a MiniATX board with the ability to boot from the USB, would it be possible to have a very minimal installation of, say DOS or Linux that would allow for a sort of "drone" computer that just runs basic programs and has network connectivity?

Let's just say, for the sake of argument, that I want to set up this computer to be on a network and just sit there and run some sort of CPU intensive program (any distributed program) and that's all it does. I know that the Gimps program has a DOS based progam you can run and, obviously DOS would fit on a 128 MB USB drive. DOS also would have internet connectivity - no? So it could just sit there, run the Gimps program and crunch numbers...

I still keep this page bookmarked and was thinking about something similar (I don't have the cash to build it, but was just wondering if it would be possible).

http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20011227.html

Just get a few MiniATX boards with USB drives, network them through a switch and have it just work on whatever you want it to. There would be no moving parts (except for fans so it seems like it would a huge lifespam) so, it could be an interesting project. Like I said, this obviously is a pointless project and I couldn't implement it, but I was just wondering if it's possible...
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