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Report from Bang!inux at India’s Silicon City, Bangalore

Wipro, a leading software company in India, displayed a broadband video-on-demand box running on Linux. The bandwidth required is not likely to be seen for some time, but it is proof of the concept and highlights ability and willingness of a major software house to work with Linux. There was also wonderful presentation later by Narain Shenoy of Wipro on their experience with embedded Linux. The project was deployment of a HDTV solution on Linux. The product to be developed was a Digital set top box with a personal video recorder. Real time was required and implemented very successfully using RTLinux.

SCO and Caldera were here too as one of the major sponsors. Caldera showed off Volution, a comprehensive network management solution. We'll try and get our hands on it but the presentation did get us acquainted with its finer points and the scenarios where Volution might be the way to go.

IBM was here with the Linux wristwatch. The hardware for the watch came from IBM, Japan but all the software development is being done in IBM, India. What we saw here was not the completely built-up watch that was shown at Linuxworld but rather the disassembled version. The watch is built around the ARM 7 with 8MB of flash and DRAM. Kernel is 2.2.1, which stands at a little less than an MB, uncompressed. Navigation is via touchscreen or rollerwheel. Communication is via IRDA. An XFree86 4.0 framebuffer server is used for graphics (the watch can display photos too, albeit at 1-bit per-pixel color depth). Bluetooth is also supported. Battery life is 6 hours but work is being done on that. Oh, and it tells time too!

CDC Linux were there to show off Beowulf computing. Unfortunately, power and voltage problems put a damper on their plans. Their 10-machine layout was plagued by machine reboots, which meant that they were unable to fully demonstrate the power of their Beowulf solution.