Introduction: Computer for RE Systems (Part 2 of 2) (Software)

In the first part of this Instructable Located here , I added all of the hardware that I wanted to get a good desktop system.

Now for the software, but before the software, we have to add yet more Hardware.

We need to attach a CD drive to load an OS, This terminal does support USB booting, but it only has USB 1.1 so it would be slower, I would rather hook up a CD drive.

Step 1: Adding the CD Drive

I used a DVD drive, but a regular CD drive would work as well.

I came across a little problem as well, there was only one power connector that would work on the CD drive and that was being used by the hard drive, I could have just spliced and other connector one, but I did not want to risk overloading the power supply.

I ended up using an external power brick for the CD drive, i found out that even tho the CD drive is getting power, it will not turn on while the IDE cable is plugged into the mainboard. It turns on and off with the mainboard which is great news.

The CD drive is only temporary, once the OS is loaded it will be removed.

Step 2: Uh Oh, BIOS Is Locked!!!!!

Crap now what? The Bios is password protected, a quick online search shown that their was a default password, That password is "Fireport" with the capital F, that should work on most Wyse systems.

For me that worked, but let say it didn't work because someone put their own in. Now what?

If this is your case there are 2 ways that I know of to remove the password and reset it to the default Fireport.

1. Open the case and locate the backup battery, There is a Jumper right next to it, move it to the other position and power up the system, power down, and move the Jumper back. Now the password is the default one. I have tested this and confirmed that it does in fact work.

2. Open the case and locate the backup battery, remove the battery and the main power, Press the power button seven (7) times, replace battery and then the mains power. I have not tried this myself, it may or may not work.

Step 3: BIOS Settings

Once you get into BIOS you need to make it boot from the CD first.

You go under Advanced BIOS settings to do that.

While I was taking these BIOS pictures I noticed one thing, I had 512MB of RAM but it was limited to 64MB. One change of a setting fixed that problem and boosted the speed of the system as well.

Step 4: Install OS

For my OS, I tried Xubuntu and it was not as fast as I thought it should be. I then found an old download of Ubuntu (Warty Warthog).

Once you have the system set up to install, put the CD in the drive and install as you would a normal OS.

Once everything is installed and set up, power down the system and remove the CD drive, then replace the cover.

It would be a good idea to go back into BIOS and make sure the hard drive is set to boot first. Mine was like that already when i removed the CD drive.

Step 5: Finish

Now enjoy your new energy efficient desktop. Screen shot coming soon

Step 6: Changes and Ideas

A few additional things I plan to change, add.

Swamp out the Desktop hard drive for a laptop hard drive(less power needed) or install a IDE to CF or SD adapter and have a 8GB card in the adapter for a completely silent computer.

I might swamp out the WiFi card for a USB 2.0 card

I don't really have a use for a CD drive unless I want to listen to music, even them all I need to do is plug in a USB flash drive with music on it. If i can find a CD drive for less that $20 shipped I may put one in.

Also, Since I am running this on just a 2 amp 12 Volt adapter, it would be easy to run this solely off of a solar panel. This system takes only 2 or less amps, a 30 Watt solar panel, puts out 2.5 amps of current at 18 Volts. you could easily use a 12 volt regulator and power this right off the solar panel. It may even work on a cloudy day. or you can get a charge controller for about $15 and a 7 amp hour SLA battery for about $20 and it would work on cloudy days, plus the panel would have the power to charge the battery and power the computer at the same time.