Linux Toys

Linux Devices is a great website for news about new things that run Linux; unfortunately, it’s less great if you’re actually looking for links to those great new toys.

But they recently posted an article: Open source, Lego-like computer modules run Linux about this really cool new toy thing that’s not available yet (yeah, that’s another thing you can read a lot about on Linux Devices). But then I Googled the company name to see if I could find more, and I did!

Check out Bug Labs. They aren’t shipping their BUG platform products yet, but they do claim they will ship in Q4 2007, which has got to be soon. And it sounds really cool:

BUG is a collection of easy-to-use, open source hardware modules, each capable of producing one or more Web services. These modules snap together physically and the services connect together logically to enable users to easily build, program and share innovative devices and applications. With BUG, we don’t define the final products – you do.

So far, the product line consists of the base, as well as hardware modules for GPS, digital camera/videocam, color LCD touchscreen, and accelerometer/motion sensor. I don’t know what this stuff is likely to cost, nor do I want to know (at least not yet) if only because my guess is it’ll be priced too high.

What’s too high? Well, for what is essentially a plastic toy with a computer inside, I’d want to pay less than I would pay for a full-sized desktop computer (and I’ve heard that Walmart’s started selling Linux boxes for $200). OLPC, originally intended to cost $100 is coming in at about $200. And you can get the Asus Eee micro-laptop for $400. So, for me, the right price would be under $200 for the platform plus enough at least one plug-in module. My guess is that the actual price will be closer to $400 for the base platform unit, and the add-in modules running anywhere from $100-300 each.

Oh well, time will tell. This would make a killer holiday gift for the geek and his/her spawn.

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