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Review: Odyssey Blue J4105 MiniPC

Review: Odyssey Blue J4105 MiniPC

Dylan Burger, Canada

My transition to Linux has triggered a bit of a hardware buying spree in me over the past few months. It hasn’t been anything crazy (no matter how much I want a Thelio Mega); aside from a work laptop I actually haven’t spent more than $300 USD on any individual item. Nevertheless, what I lack in high end purchases I have more than made up for in volume. Over the past year, along with dozens of peripherals, I have added a raspberry pi 3b+, 4, and Zero W, a Pinephone and Pinebook Pro, and my latest purchase, an Odyssey Blue J4105 from Seeed Studios.

The systems from the Pi foundation and Pine64 have hundreds of unboxings, user guides, tutorials and overviews available from the community and I don’t see the need to add another detailed review to what is already out there. When it comes to the Odyssey Blue system however, I find that there are considerably fewer sources of information. As I’ve had my Odyssey now for about two months and have a good variety of systems to compare to I think that its probably worth taking stock of my experience.

Overview:

The Odyssey Blue J4105 is a single board computer that has several unique features that differentiate it from the Raspberry Pi and similar SBCs. The major distinguishing feature is that the J4105 is x86-based rather than ARM. It is powered by a quad-core Intel Celeron J4105 processor (1.5-2.5 GHz) that significantly outperforms my Pis and opens up a plethora of software options not otherwise available. Like a Raspberry Pi and other SBCs the Odyssey has the classic 40-pin GPIO, but it expands on this with an onboard Arduino controller with its own 28 pin breakout (I must confess i have not used either of these as yet). Finally, the board has a host of storage options available (eMMC, SD card drive, and two M.2 slots- one B-key and one M-key, and a Sata III data connector) and a SIM card slot. All-in-all the Odyssey board tries really hard to be a “Super Pi”.

Specs at a glance:

The Odyssey X86J4105 is available in a number of configurations either as a solitary single board or shipped in a blue computer case with removable acrylic cover. The case is quite slick and I highly recommend it. Side note: The case is actually available separately and is said to be compatible with Raspberry Pi and Jetson Nano boards as well.

The system can be purchased with one of two storage configurations: a 64 GB eMMC or with a 128 GB M.2 SATA SSD. Note that the eMMC slot does not have an easy snap connector (i.e. Pine64 boards) so if you purchase the 128 GB M.2 version then adding an eMMC will require soldering.

The Odyssey boards ship with Windows 10 (unactivated or activated for a premium). Sadly there are no Linux options at ship, but I was able to load Mint, Lubuntu, and Debian without issue.

How do I use the system:

So the appeal of this system to me was its flexibility and portability. Primarily, this is being used as a media centre where it replaces a Raspberry Pi. The benefit of the Odyssey is the ability to have a large amount of storage contained within the single system. I currently have the 128 GB M.2 SATA, 1 TB NVME, and 128 GB microSD card all connected to a single system with no OTGs, external cables etc… To me this has tremendous benefit because it allows me to reduce the clutter around our entertainment unit considerably.

Because of the multiple storage options I have taken the opportunity to set up a dual-boot arrangement with Windows booting off the 128 GB drive and 1 TB running Linux Mint 20.1. Unfortunately the microSD card is not bootable, otherwise I might have set it up to boot a third distro. One mistake that I made in purchasing was not getting the system with the eMMC installed. Unfortunately installing an eMMC myself is beyond my present ability so I am missing out on another possible storage option. The eMMC is also bootable if you select that option.

Extending from the primary use, my family also attaches a web cam frequently to have family calls where we can sit on the couch and converse with grandparents or cousins on the television. This use is by no means unique to the Odyssey system but the dual booting option does ensure that we can use whatever platform we want.

Finally, we are also in the process of adapting this to be our primary retro gaming platform. We are replacing an old Pi3B+ that I had been running for several years. Initially this was with Batocera running off a USB stick but we recently switched to the Ubuntu version of Retropie to free up another port. From what I can tell I can emulate up to N64 and PS1 without issue- I haven’t tried anything more advanced yet.

Strengths:

The main strengths of this system are the flexibility and the power. I said in my opening that it was trying to be a “super pi” and I have to say that it largely achieves that goal. The system is considerably faster than my Pi4 or my Pinebook Pro. In fact, in a pinch I believe that I could use it as a daily driver. The increased speed coupled with the X86 architecture really opens up new uses for the system- which is actually quite crazy when you think of what Raspberry Pis can already do. In addition, despite being something of a niche product I was surprised by the level of compatibility. I have tried 4 distributions at this point (plus Windows 10) and not had any issue whatsoever.

For me the biggest benefit is the on-board storage. The Odyssey replaced two Raspberry Pi’s, and an OTG with three external hard disks. As this setup was in my living room the new purchase has left me with a very happy wife. On-board storage is something that people have long been clamouring for on the Pi and it really is a game-changer. I’d be utterly shocked if the next version of the Raspberry Pi did not have some form of storage beyond the microSD option. While not really my area of interest/expertise, I think that the on-board Arduino controller and Raspberry Pi GPIOs will be of interest to the tinkerer’s.

Weaknesses:

As you’ve probably guessed I don’t have many complaints about the system. The main issue with respect to the system is the limited documentation which does make any changes a challenge. It even took me some time to figure out how to enter the BIOS. I should note that the manufacturer does make a clear effort to provide information. It is just unfortunate that outside of this documentation there is little out there. Hopefully over time this will change.

The other minor issue I would say is that my fan seems a little “trigger happy”. I have yet to have the system heat up meaningfully but the fan still seems to engage fairly regularly. That said this is something that can be adjusted in the BIOS and I just haven’t gotten around to playing with the settings (for now I’d rather have the system cooled excessively rather than not cooled adequately).

Final Thoughts:

Any single board computer will inevitably end up being compared to the Raspberry Pi. In most cases you can identify one or two aspects that are advantageous: perhaps it is slightly faster, or perhaps it has an eMMC chip. The Odyssey J4105 system seems to try and improve on the Pi everywhere all at once. And I have to say that they’ve done a pretty good job of doing just that. The true test will be longevity and power usage because out of the box the Odyssey board serves a very useful purpose for me. It improves upon some of the minor frustrations I have had with other options (clutter, software compatability…). I would definitely not hesitate to purchase the system again.

So Long, and Thanks for all the Phish

(and worms, adware, and spyware…)
Dylan Burger
Canada

I am (was) a lifelong Microsoft user dating back to the DOS/Windows 3.1 days; never really wanted to switch. For the longest time Windows didn’t just serve my needs, it excited me. I can remember getting Windows 95 on release day and having the sense of wonder exploring for hours culminating in the discovery of the Buddy Holly Easter Egg. The value of “plug and play” was immediately obvious to me although there were significant growing pains and it wasn’t fully actualized until future versions. Windows 98 was a worthy successor to 95 that began to show us the true potential of the internet. For me, XP was probably the pinnacle of the Windows experience. It had finally matured enough to be stable, hardware compatibility was excellent, and internet usage felt fully integrated into the OS for the first time. Nobody wanted to replace XP! But since XP my love for Windows has slowly eroded- Vista and Windows 8 were particular annoyances: overpricing, excessive hardware demands and a forced move to cloud profiles being my main complaints. Despite these issues, I always managed to stick with Windows. I tolerated the security vulnerabilities that cropped up and rationalized that it was a product of being the most popular OS in the world. I justified the exponential increase in trackers over time as a trade-off for better security and stability (not that it ever felt more secure or more stable). Even frustrations and inconveniences like untimely forced updates, OneDrive, and the Windows store were not enough to push me to change.

One reason that I stuck around has been my career. I’m in medical research and I am heavily tied to Windows due to our reliance on Office Suite and several proprietary software packages for data handing and analylsis. Some in my field have switched to Apple but I’d see compatibility issues crop up during presentations or issues working in shared documents and I can’t afford to have that. Plus, I hate Apple. My God do I hate Apple. Literally every Apple product I have ever used felt like it was built specifically to

p!$$ intelligent people off. No, Apple was not, is not, and will not be an option. Chrome? I do too much work offline for that to be a pleasant experience. Plus I’’m trying to reduce the amount of data I give google, not increase it.

Throughout this process I was aware of Linux, but had not seriously considered it as an alternative. I had briefly used Ubuntu on a friend’s netbook in the late 00s and I owned an early generation Raspberry Pi, but these experiences failed to convince me that Linux was a viable option as a daily driver. So I never seriously explored other Linux distros. As a result, like many a divorcee before me, I stayed in my relationship for far longer than I should have.

The final straw with Windows came in March when the COVID pandemic forced me to face my complacency head-on. A little background: I do the vast majority of my computing on my desktop at work. I run an I7-7700 with 32 GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD on that and I have generally kept my primary system fairly up to date over the years. But my work needs outside of the office (pre-COVID) were limited to use of the web and word/powerpoint. My limited home computing needs coupled with frequent travel have led me to use Windows-based netbooks as my sole home PC for over a decade. At the time of the COVID pandemic I was using a Dell Inspiron 11 3162 with 2 GB of RAM and a 32 GB SSD. The system shipped with Windows 10 taking up approximately 11 GB worth of space. This allowed me to run Office and a handful of applications for basic data analysis and productivity (PDF writer, R, Zotero, Dropbox). It was surprisingly fast for such a low-spec system and the battery life is amazing (I can work for a full transatlantic flight without needing a charge). The problem was that the updates to Windows 10 got progressively larger and larger and my system became bloated. Eventually, even after removing all non-essential software and storing all files/folders on an external drive, I still didn’t have enough available space to download and update my system. At the same time, performance suffered and the lag began to frustrate. Call me crazy, but if a system ships with an operating system then I feel like it should work for the lifespan of the computer.

So COVID-19 hits and now I have to face the reality of working full-time on a system that isn’t receiving security updates, lacks the space needed for any additional software, and lags significantly. I nuked and paved, which recovered some of my space but very soon I was lacking the space to update once more. At this point I decided to look into other options while I purchased a new system. I read from several sources that Linux was quite effective at getting the most out of older hardware and I decided to give it a chance. Worst case scenario I’d just put Windows back on.

For to the uninitiated, installing Linux is quite simple. There are hundreds of guides out there but I find this one to be quite good. My first venture into Linux desktop was with Lubuntu. From my initial research this seemed to be a strong option for older systems amongst the popular distros. This proved to be true and in retrospect it was a perfect choice for an introduction to Linux. I was able to get familiar with the “live” usb process and installing over the existing operating system. I ran into zero issues with the process and was soon exploring the new system. I immediately realized a profound speed difference and I was suddenly space rich (even after installing LibreOffice, and moving my documents folders over). I also really liked the look of Lubuntu (at least compared to Windows 10). I saw enough to hold off on reinstalling Windows for a few weeks and from there I was down the Linux rabbit hole.

Over the next few weeks, I started reading, watching countless Youtube vidoes and listening to Linux-related podcasts such as MintCast and Linux for Everyone (and later Distrohoppers Digest). I began to learn of other distros and the concept of “distro hopping” to find one’s preferred Linux environment. I was generally happy with Lubuntu but wanted to see what others had to offer. My own distro hopping period was shorter than most. I spent about a week trying everything that I could think of: Ubuntu (all official versions), Manjaro (both KDE and XFCE), Fedora (GNOME), PopOS, Zorin, Debian, and finally Linux Mint. Once I tried Linux Mint (Cinnamon version) I was done searching. While I could happily use every single distribution I tested, Mint is far and away my preference and Cinnamon is very much my preferred desktop environment. I love Mint’s look and feel: familiar, yet modern looking and smooth. Most importantly, everything about it is simple. Immediately after the install, everything worked without issue; my printer was working without so much as having to click an icon. If I want to change a setting, the option is always right where I think it should be. Beyond setup and configuration I find Mint to be incredibly reliable: updates have yet to cause any issues for me and the software management system is fantastic.

At this point I had realized that Linux was a better option than Windows for my Pre-COVID needs on my home system. The system was running far better than it ever did on Windows, particularly when browsing, and Libreoffice was an adequate substitute for Microsoft Office. However I now had a strong desire to move on from Windows 10 completely. So I began to search for options for all my major software needs. And while my distro-hopping days were short, my “FOSS-hopping” has been much more extensive (and is still ongoing).

For the sake of brevity, the table below summarizes my personal software needs, the previous software that I employed on Windows, the software that I now employ on Linux, and other options that I evaluated. Perhaps down the road I will write separate columns about my software choices on Linux. For now this is just to illustrate that there are software options out there that have allowed me to move over on a near full-time basis.

As you can see I have found a Linux version or a free and open source software [FOSS] equivalent for almost of the software that I use. I am, as they say, a “Mostly Open Source Software” user at this point. If you are a Windows user still on the fence about switching then I would point out that most of the software above has a Windows version that you can try while still on Windows. For the very rare situations where my current software solution isn’t perfect I currently use Remmina to remote desktop to my work computer. Going forward I plan to try Wine and virtual machines as other options for those tricky Windows software needs but for now I am happy with my setup.

So after a 28 year relationship with Windows I am moving on. Like all separations after a lengthy relationship I anticipate a period of time with some interaction while I sort things out, but I don’t anticipate that taking long. I know that there are Windows users out there who are frustrated. It is easy in that situation to feel like there are no alternatives. But the reality is that there are perfectly viable free alternatives to Windows and many major software packages. Give them a try.

Distrohoppers’ Digest Rolls On

This past Friday (12/11/20), I got together with my friends Tony Hughes and Dale Miracle through the miracle of the Internet and recorded a new episode of Distrohoppers’ Digest. Tony and I started this show in April of 2018, just barely making it the first distrohopping show or segment in podcasting, and we are the only one remaining other than the frequent forays into distrohopping by Big Daddy Linux.

At the end of the episode, we made it official. Distrohoppers’ is no longer a 2-man team. Dale is now on the team, after having submitted 3 prior reviews. This was his second episode “in studio” with us. It’s great having Dale on the team, mostly because he is willing to delve into the distros Tony and I would feel unequipped to review due to their complexity; we’re both sort of Extended Release Newbies.

What will we review next? I think Tony is going to finish his review of Ubuntu Studio and Dale is looking at Garuda Linux. I’m taking a look at Mageia 8, but have not decided whether I will review that one; I’m not having a good time with it at present, compared to its PCLinuxOS and OpenMandriva cousins.

You can find Distrohoppers’ Digest at most podcatchers, or you can use the Feedburner link found on our website, https://distrohoppersdigest.blogspot.com .

Mageia 8 Beta 2

I was looking for a distro to try for the next episode of Distrohoppers’ Digest (https://distrohoppersdigest.blogspot.com) and thought I’d revisit Mageia, currently in a Beta 2 of its next version. Mandrake was my first successful installation of a Linux distro, so I like to check up on how things are going. Mageia appears to be produced by the remnant of original French developers, so by all accounts should be the closest to pure Mandrake. Considering how much I like OpenMandriva and PCLinuxOS, how bad could it be?

I found a home-grown installer which wasn’t bad but needed work to make it as accessible as Ubiquity (let alone Calamares, still the gold standard). I did get through it, which is more than I have been able to say about installers for Fedora or OpenSUSE.

After installation and rebooting, it wasn’t all that inviting, although it looked like they had put a lot of effort into trying to make it so. One of the first welcome screens asked if I wanted to use their default package management or dnfdragora? I tried to select dnfdragora, as it works so well in OM. But no, they do not include that in the package, or even in the repos — or they hide it to where their package manager search function can’t find it.

I have tried a few other things, but it is admittedly still early in my foray into this distro. Nothing seems to feel right yet, and I hope that improves soon.

This is a 2nd Beta of their 8th official version, you’d think they’d have ironed out issues like this. Am I expecting too much?

Too Much Going On

I knew when I got talked into starting this website that I would not be able to come up with a lot of new things. I have asked in many online groups for people who would want to write an article for the page. I also need someone to organize this site better, it’s all just a continuous line of blog posts.

Meanwhile, I just participated in recording Episode 349 of mintCast, am preparing to record Episode 018 of Distrohoppers’ Digest, trying to get paying work in these Days of Covid, cleaning a bunch of junque out of the front bedrooms (storage just keeps storing more and more). I have not done any music recording since “A Flower and a Hufflepuff”, which got picked up in the annual Wizard Rock compilation. I am working with an organization trying to sell enough stuff that they can help homeless people with the proceeds. I am not a one-trick pony, but I also am incapable of multastking and get overwhelmed easily.

If anyone would like to help with the web design or submit articles, please come forward. I can be reached at zaivalananda@protonmail.ch or through this website. I hope everyone in Canada and the US had good Thanksgivings and are looking forward to the holiday season as we approach the end of this unforgettable (no matter how much we would like to) year.

Moss

Adventures In Boot

This is an excerpt of my presentation in mintCast 333.5. I thought I had done this already; we’re up to Episode 346 now. It does not cover ALL the bases but it should give someone a head start.

This report is not meant to be a Deep Dive so much as an I Want It Fixed NOW, How Do I Do It? We may be hearing from my other team members as I go along for more tips.

Cleaning up EFI

After many installations of different distros on my computer, I discovered that my EFI boot sector held a folder for each and every one of those distros, making for a lot of non-booting artifacts.

If you want to see what’s in your EFI, you can run efibootmgr in a terminal. Or you can install rEFInd, which will replace your current GRUB menu with an EFI graphical menu, which may help or further confuse you. I note there are icons for boot menus, Ubuntu distros, Mint (has the old logo), and a penguin logo for other Linuxes.

I was greatly confused by all of this. I won’t go through the long process I went through trying to understand the differences between EFI and GRUB, and also being sidetracked by friends who threw them both out and are using systemd-boot.

The final solution, proposed by Andreas in the Ubuntu Podcast Telegram group and refined by conversations with Londoner and cryptodan in the DHD group, is as follows:

Delete everything on your EFI menu (using efibootmgr). Then reinstall with grub-install with a key to writing it in the EFI partition.

Specifics:

using efibootmgr, you view and identify your EFI boots.

zaivala@zaivala-Galago-Pro:~$ efibootmgr
BootCurrent: 0000
Timeout: 1 seconds
BootOrder: 0000,0005,000A,0008
Boot0000* ubuntu
Boot0005* rEFInd Boot Manager
Boot0008* UEFI OS
Boot000A* openmandriva

zaivala@zaivala-Galago-Pro:~$

Then using sudo efibootmgr, delete each one:

zaivala@zaivala-Galago-Pro:~$ efibootmgr -b 0005 -B
Could not delete variable: Permission denied
zaivala@zaivala-Galago-Pro:~$ sudo !!
sudo efibootmgr -b 0005 -B
BootCurrent: 0000
Timeout: 1 seconds

BootOrder: 0000,000A,0008
Boot0000* ubuntu
Boot0008* UEFI OS
Boot000A* openmandriva

zaivala@zaivala-Galago-Pro:~$

Note that you must use sudo. My illustration showed what happens when you do not.

Continue until all are deleted.

Run efibootmgr again, and you will see how effective you were.

zaivala@zaivala-Galago-Pro:~$ efibootmgr
BootCurrent: 0000
Timeout: 1 seconds
BootOrder: 0000
Boot0000* ubuntu
zaivala@zaivala-Galago-Pro:~$

Then use:

sudo grub-install –target=x86_64-efi

If you get this warning…:

grub-install: warning: disk does not exist, so falling back to partition device /dev/sdb1

…then you forgot to use sudo

{NOTE: I have perused the man page for grub-install, and the –target switch is not shown. Thanks to Andreas on Ubuntu Podcast Telegram group for bringing it to my attention.)

Then you just run “sudo update-grub” to get all your boots back.

zaivala@zaivala-Galago-Pro:~$ update-grub
grub-mkconfig: You must run this as root
zaivala@zaivala-Galago-Pro:~$ sudo !!
sudo update-grub
Sourcing file `/etc/default/grub’
Sourcing file `/etc/default/grub.d/50_linuxmint.cfg’
Sourcing file `/etc/default/grub.d/60_mint-theme.cfg’
Generating grub configuration file …
Found theme: /boot/grub/themes/linuxmint/theme.txt
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-5.3.0-45-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-5.3.0-45-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-5.3.0-42-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-5.3.0-42-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-5.3.0-40-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-5.3.0-40-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-5.3.0-28-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-5.3.0-28-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-5.0.0-32-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-5.0.0-32-generic
Found Feren OS (18.04) on /dev/sda1
Found Ubuntu 16.04.6 LTS (16.04) on /dev/sda2
Found Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS (18.04) on /dev/sda3
Found Zorin OS 15.2 (15) on /dev/sda4
Found OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 (4.1) on /dev/sdb3
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-5.3.0-45-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-5.3.0-45-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-5.3.0-42-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-5.3.0-42-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-5.3.0-40-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-5.3.0-40-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-5.3.0-28-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-5.3.0-28-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-5.0.0-32-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-5.0.0-32-generic
Found Feren OS (18.04) on /dev/sda1
Found Ubuntu 16.04.6 LTS (16.04) on /dev/sda2
Found Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS (18.04) on /dev/sda3
Found Zorin OS 15.2 (15) on /dev/sda4
Found OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 (4.1) on /dev/sdb3
Found Feren OS (18.04) on /dev/sda1
Found Ubuntu 16.04.6 LTS (16.04) on /dev/sda2
Found Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS (18.04) on /dev/sda3
Found Zorin OS 15.2 (15) on /dev/sda4
Found OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 (4.1) on /dev/sdb3
Adding boot menu entry for EFI firmware configuration
done
zaivala@zaivala-Galago-Pro:~$

FIXING GRUB

You know that issue I’ve had with each successive installation taking over GRUB? Running grub-install as shown above, in the distro you want to have controlling GRUB, will fix this. [Note that some distros require you to run grub2-install]

If you’re installing a distro and don’t want it to take control of GRUB, and *if* it uses the Ubiquity installer common to many Ubuntu-based distros, our listener Londoner points out you can install by booting to the live disk, open a Terminal, and type “ubiquity –no-bootloader“. This will open a graphical Ubiquity installer but will not install GRUB as part of the process.

Machines, raining.

My main computer got shorted out accidentally, and while I was waiting for a replacement power supply, I got donated two other machines. One is a quad-core Xeon HP Z400 Workstation, and I’ve got that working now. I needed some help with that. Another is an older HP tower, and that one will not turn on at present. And I still haven’t had time to install the new power supply on my old mini box.

I’m back to mintCast, and have a new episode out of Distrohoppers’ Digest. For the longest time we were only getting a bit over 300 downloads on DD, but we’ve now had 3 episodes over 500 and 2/3rds of our episodes are over 400. The latest episode covered SparkyLinux, GeckoLinux (OpenSUSE), Ubuntu Unity, Solus 4.1, and Linux Mint MATE. Next episode (in October) will likely cover Pop!_OS 20.04 and KaOS… stay tuned.

I’m still hoping/wishing for articles to be submitted here. No judgment (other than editorial correctness, i.e., good English). If you’ve got something to say, say it here!

It’s raining computers

A lot of my readers and listeners know how broke I am. I’ve never managed to talk a computer-based employer into giving me a job, despite my decades of personal experience. I’m currently unemployed, although that could break at any minute as I have three solid prospects (Sep 6 2020).

Two weeks ago, my hand slipped while attempting to plug my speakers back into my desktop box. The power supply shorted out. That was, in itself, astonishing (I was astonished, at any rate). One friend immediately sent me the money to buy a new power supply (I ordered the wrong one, but the right one is now on its way). Another friend is sending me a pretty high-end box, probaboly much hotter than anything I’ve ever owned. And yesterday, while visiting another friend, he gave me another tower. It looked old and beat-up and filthy… but when I found the specs on it, yes it was kind of old (1st or 2nd gen i7 processor) but was still hotter than anything I’d previously owned, other than my current laptop.

So I’m fixing these things up. I’ll probably use the newer tower as my personal machine, but the others will be donated to needy kids in my local school district.

It is said that when you give a poor person money, that money finds its way through all of society on its way back to the top layer of the economy. When you give a rich person money, it finds its way to his bank in the Bahamas. I’m upholding the rich and continuing traditions of being poor in America.

Other Pages

I’m to be found in various places on the Internet, on different topics. My personal blog is to be found at Peaceful Hippo, and I also have blogs at Dreamwidth (music and creativity) and LinuxQuestions.org (Linux and computers). I also maintain Triad Bardic College‘s website.

I’m also featured on two podcasts, mintCast and Distrohoppers’ Digest (with associated blogs). My own music can be found on my YouTube channel, Robert Warren’s YouTube channel, and on Bandcamp. Lyrics and poetry I’ve written can be found at Peaceful Hippo.