[LAU] Small instrument hardware module

Patrick Shirkey pshirkey at boosthardware.com
Tue Oct 21 13:12:04 UTC 2014

On Tue, October 21, 2014 10:39 pm, Jeremy Jongepier wrote:
> On 10/21/2014 12:46 PM, Patrick Shirkey wrote:
> <snip>
>>> Nice devices but are they fanless?
>> No, but they are very quiet.
> Bummer, I wouldn't trust on a device that has fans for on stage use.

Every DJ I know uses a laptop with a fan so it depends on how you intend
to use them. As a stomp box it's probably not a good idea but for a
linuxsampler/pianoteq/realtime synth module which sits on a stable dry
surface it shouldn't be a problem.

>>> They also seem to be fairly big, I
>>> guess a Cubieboard is 4x as small as a NUC board. But I haven't really
>>> compared the measurements yet so I could be wrong.
>> This particular model has a slightly larger case. The other models are
>> not
>> as tall. The physical size is approx 10x10x4cm so they are very portable
>> and the solid aluminium casing is very robust.
>> Cubieboards are also very good units but they have some drawbacks too.
>> They are not as powerful as a Celeron and they require cross compiling
>> everything.
> Not entirely true, most of the software is readily available in the
> repositories. If you need unpackaged software or newer versions of
> software you need to recompile, yes. I've got a toolchain set-up for
> this (an ARM chroot with everything installed needed for Debian
> packaging) and it would also be possible to do this on the device
> itself. But indeed, on a x86 machine it's not as trivial as building
> stuff for x86 itself.
>  IIUC, they also don't support the same amount of memory.
> No idea ;) Never checked that actually since most devices I know don't
> come with memory slots or memory chips that can be piggybacked.

The ARM platform shouldn't have a problem with larger memory but the
cubietrucks and all the portable/low end ARM devices I have seen do not
provide support for large amounts of RAM. The highest I have seen is 2GB.

>> As a stand alone device the NUC's can do very well as a relatively low
>> cost processing unit. For the same form factor you can also get an i5
>> chipset. I'm not sure if they have released the i7's yet but they are
>> probably just around the corner. The top end i5's are very close to the
>> same speed as an i7.
> Yeah, I'm definitely going to check them out, such a device would be
> awesome as a multimedia player. So thanks for the info!

Patrick Shirkey
Boost Hardware Ltd

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