Originally Published: Thursday, 26 October 2000 Author: Brian Richardson
Published to: enhance_articles_hardware/Hardware Articles Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

Linux Peripherals We'd Like To See

I think he's finally snapped. Brian Richardson (Hardwarus Maximus) has tipped his journalistic hat to MAD Magazine with his latest feature, 'Linux Peripherals We'd Like To See.' Check it out!

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These days, most computer peripherals are designed to work best in Microsoft Windows (sigh). But the rise of Linux in the public lexicon means there may be a market for Linux-specific computer hardware. This is the short list of hardware we here at Linux.com would like to add to our collection. To appeal to the hardware manufacturers of the world, I've drafted some sample advertisements.


The name 'CueDog' makes me think of a gangsta rapper, but this is a bit different. Makers of the :Cue:Cat barcode scanner have spoken out recently against 'reverse engineering' of their protocols under Linux. The CueDog prevents misuse of the :Cue:Cat device by chasing the scanner away from your desk.

CueDog House Playset and Spiked Collar sold separately.

The CD-Bake Oven

Ever had to spend tons of money on cooling fans for that uber-hot processor in your new desktop computer? Why waste perfectly good thermal output by just venting it into the office, when you can use it to make tasty treats.

The CD-Bake Oven fits into a standard 5.25" peripheral bay, and uses extra heat from your system case to bake CD-ROM sized cookies. After just 15 minutes running Mozilla (or five minutes of Quake III Arena) you can have that fresh baked cookie smell venting from your power supply fan.

The CD-Bake Oven comes with cooking mix for chocolate chip, vanilla and peanut butter cookies. Recipes for 'Little Debian Snack Cakes' and 'Stormix Smores' available free (using apt-get).

The Hand of IRC

Ever wish you could bring civility and manners back to the chat experience? The recent swell of Linux popularity has increased the number of rude lam3rs in IRC, and there seems to be no good way to stop them. That's why we suggest 'The Hand of IRC' ... a small, motorized hand that sits on top of a standard computer monitor.

Whenever a chatter does something rude (ask for help without reading the documentation, try to use colors in iirc, spawn a stupid bot), 'The Hand of IRC' slaps the user upside the head. This 'subtle reinforcement' can help bring compliance to the basic rules of Internet Relay Chat.

'The Hand of IRC' supports BitchX, iirc and X-Chat. Opposable middle finger sold separately.


The real problem in marketing Linux is that it isn't ... well ... cute. The Macintosh has always been cute, especially the iMac products. Microsoft Windows isn't necessarily 'cute', but it looks a lot better to the average 8-year-old than 'vi'. But we can all agree that Tux is cute ... so Linux needs a peripheral that's cute like Tux.

The Tuxby (pronounced Tux Bee) is the answer to the dilemma of Linux 'cuteness'. The Tuxby is a programmable stuffed animal, made in the likeness of our favorite penguin. The Tuxby is attached to your computer via a network jack, where it downloads information about you (name, birthday, favorite distribution, Mozilla skins, etc.). After setup is complete, Tuxby becomes your new Linux pal.

And, just like the Furby(tm), multiple Tuxbys can get together for conversation (supports infra-red, 802.11 and Bluetooth protocols). Place two or more Tuxbys in a room, and they begin to have a conversation. In time their vocabulary grows and they begin to act just like a real Linux user ... drinking coffee, writing bash scripts, first-posting to Slashdot and trading jokes about Steve Ballmer.

Tuxby comes with all necessary connecting cables, power supply, and schematics for open-source hacking. Red Hat Tuxby comes with 'linuxconf rules' t-shirt. Mandrake Tuxby looks just like Red Hat Tuxby, but speaks with French accent. Transmeta Tuxby available Spring 2001. Arctic Tuxby Playset sold separately.

Your ideas are welcome. Hopefully we can have some great penguin products in stores by next Christmas.

Well, this proves it ... Brian Richardson has finally lost his mind.

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