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Good things come in small packages, it seems

VIA Technologies wrote me a couple of weeks ago and asked if I was interested in looking at their newest development board - a sleek little 17 cm by 17 cm (that's 6 and 3/4 inches square for those of us in the US) motherboard that contains just about everything - two CPUs, three Ethernet ports (one GigE), USB, PCMCIA, VGA, and serial ports. I was forced to tell them "I'd love to, embedded is one of my hobbies, but honestly you should be talking to EE Times, all I can do is blog about it." I was pleasantly surprised when they responded "That's okay, we like blogs! Where do we send it?"

Well my VIA VT310-DP came on Friday. It's sitting on the dining room table where I'm sure it's making Lori crazy. :-)

My dilemma: I shouldn't play with it during the work day because neither NWC or SP covers components, and I definitely have plenty of work to do to meet my commitments for the publications, but I've taken on a couple of major freelance projects outside of work (not in technology), so I really don't have time to play with it in the evenings right now.

Of course I pulled it out and went "OOOhhhh! Ahhhhh!", but I don't dare hook it up and start burning images on it... I know me, and that will put a serious crimp in either my work for you, our readers, or in my freelance work. Right now neither has much wiggle room, but it sits there, calling to me.

When I clear up one of my schedules I'm going to build a NAS box out of it. It's got both SATA and PATA interfaces, and I'm sure I can scrape up a SATA PCMCIA card and a variety of disks from my basement. I figure that will be cool - providing the software that comes with it supports CIFs, I haven't checked yet. If it doesn't, I'll either have to port or find a linux build I can make work with the board. Most of my hobby projects run on Rabbit Boards, but VIA is starting to look mighty cool, I hope it holds up as I get to using it.

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