Plat'Home Unveils Final Results of "Will Linux Work?" Contest

Oct 21, 2008

Linux takes on a wide array of computing environments and comes out on top

SAN JOSE, Calif. -October 21, 2008- Plat'Home, Japan's Linux technology pioneer, today announced the results of the "Will Linux Work?" contest. For the past month, Plat'Home's OpenMicroServer (OMS) has been in the hands of the four contest winners who have put Linux to the test. By combining Japanese technology with American ingenuity, the "Will Linux Work?" contest showcased the flexibility and incredible range of possibilities for Linux to do amazing things in a diverse range of environments.

The Results

Castellotti wanted a brain for his boat, but he was not ready for such a high IQ. He connected to Plat'Home's software package repository to download essential components, and he also connected both a 1 TB external hard drive and an iPod as additional USB Storage devices. Now monitoring and tracking on the high seas and in port are easier than ever.

"Even during the preliminary stages on implementing Plat'Home's OpenMicroServer I have already noticed benefits," said Steve Castellotti. "The OpenMicroServer's processing power and memory capabilities far out perform devices of similar size and structure. It did not let me down!"

Ewing wanted to build a Home Utility Support System, and stick it in his basement in an environment somewhat questionable for a normal PC server. Software utilized during the project included gcc, Python, vim, gnuplot, ssh, and Apache. Ewing says that software developed for the project will be made under the GPLv3. The OMS's combination of compact, robust packaging and nonvolatile flash disk, along with the power of its Linux operating environment, passed the test with flying colors.

"The great benefit of the system is in the development environment that supports advanced networking and language tools," said Martin Ewing. "The physical package of the server also made it very suitable as a home automation device for installation in unfriendly environments such as a home basement. Its small size, low power requirements and wide operating temperature range were ideal to accomplish my task."

Duplantis is building a system to control his farm's irrigation system, covering five acres, for watering lawns, providing drinking water for horses and other animals, and keeping a pond full. He had written his own version of irrigation control software. To fully test it will require running it through four seasons, so it is still "in testing," but popping open the hood, installing an 8GB CF card, and reading the manuals was enough to get his system up and running. Being willing to port his homemade irrigation control software to C++ allows him to run everything on the OMS, and interfacing with the irrigation controller via its RS232 interface has allowed him control where, when and how much water flows.

"While the irrigation control system with the OpenMicroServer is still a work in progress, the preliminary trials have been quite successful," said Colin Duplantis. "I anticipate this new irrigation system will reduce my electricity bill and overall maintenance costs, not to mention the small size of the server frees up a lot of needed space in the irrigation house."

Smith needed someone to guard his chickens, someone reliable enough to stay up all night, someone smart enough to tell the difference between a chicken and a raccoon, and someone to close the door at the right time. His system utilizes an inexpensive webcam with IR capability to see in the dark, along with a computer vision library to count the chickens. To determine when dusk occurs, the server will run simple network time protocol (SNTP) and query another server to determine when sundown occurs each day. A stepper motor controller and power supply from a document scanner are used to open and close the coop door. Welcome home chickens!

"Plat'Home's OpenMicroServer has been an ideal fit to accomplish my needs for a 'chicken sitter'," said Gordon Smith. "The whole system fits unobtrusively in a corner of the coop and has the hardware and software capability to accomplish the required tasks. My four spring chickens are very fortunate to have such a capable attendant!"

"We are obviously very excited that our OpenMicroServer was able to handle such a wide range of tests," said Tomoyasu Suzuki, president of Plat'Home. "If the OpenMicroServer is flexible enough to handle these environments and easy enough to use then it is safe to say that the OpenMicroServer can handle any regular office environment. Our winners clearly proved that Linux really could work anywhere."

To see a complete explanation and all the details from the "Will Linux Work?" contest, please visit Plat'Home's blog: http://www.plathomeus.blogspot.com. Or follow Plat'Home on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/plathomeweb.

About Plat'Home

Plat'Home Co., Ltd. introduced the fledgling Linux operating system to Japan when it was founded in 1993. Plat'Home introduced the first server line under its own brand in 1996, and went public at the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2000. Plat'Home is First Partner for SoftEther, developer of the revolutionary VPN software PacketiX VPN. In 2007, Plat'Home established its first U.S. subsidiary, in San Jose, California, to introduce Japanese IT products to new markets. For more information, please contact Plat'Home USA Ltd. at sales@plathome.com.

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Jesse Casman
Page One PR for Plat'Home
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