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Cloud Robotics Hackathon: Darwin-OP, an Ubuntu Linux Machine with legs!

Do you ever sit your couch and realize you need to go to your computer to do something on your server, you need a bigger screen than your Android, but you don't feel like getting up and going to your computer?

Here's a solution: Darwin-OP!


Darwin is a little humanoid robot, about all he is good at right now is playing soccer, but he is indeed a linux machine with legs. With a few bash scripts, or an Android which pings him, you can easily program him to walk over to your couch, let you plug in a screen and keyboard and you've got yourself a "remote head" with an all new meaning of the term.


At the Cloud Robotics Hacakthon in Montreal I had the good luck to meet a Darwin-OP in person, and even SSH into him and poke around. I couldn't do much more than that because he was running Ubuntu 9.10, and we couldn't find any mirrors serving up packages so we didn't have time to update him so we could install what we had been planning on installing including Mer…

The fieldlinguist - programmer parallel

A fieldlinguist goes out in the field and asks their informant questions. They return to homebase, build a model to reflect their session with the informant, return to the field a few weeks/days later,  ask the informant some of the same questions, and questions which build upon the model. The informant says "No, thats not how it works, it works like this."

The fieldlinguist goes back to homebase, researches similar constructions, rebuilds the model and returns to the informant, the informant says "No, I can say xx is true, but not really not xxx." And the cycle continues until the model converges...

Sound familiar?

The ATI Radeon install blues

YACLM - Yet another cheep linux machine equals picking up another machine with the exciting missing proprietary drivers for ATI Radeon graphics cards.

Graphics Card

What this means in a practical sense, is geting vertical lines instead of an install screen when installing Linux. Here are the steps for (specifically Acer X1470 towers) installing using vesa aka "safe mode" in Ubuntu 11.10

When the CD loads you will get 3 options. Try without installing, Install, and check the CD.
Get your cursor on the Install line, push e to go into edit mode.

Remove quiet splash, in their place add: xdriver=vesa nomodeset

The result will be the ability to install Ubuntu on 800x600 resolution, but at least it installs.

Once you have installed, you can follow online instructions for setting up the drivers you need to get an enjoyable resolution.

If you have Graphics/ X windows/some colors and menus:

1. Go to System Settings and search for "Additional Drivers."

2. Observe "ATI/A…