holy small form factor, batman…

Back in 2002 or so, I became fascinated with small form factor computers. Those of you (okay, *both* of you) who have followed my blog for any time have probably noted this fascination.

There’s something about the shrinking size of all that computing power that really appeals to my geek-ness. I think it’s the possibilities that are opened up for putting powerful computers into more and more everyday things, like toasters, cars, appliances, etc. Or, it could be that the shrinking size of my living space has necessitated replacing all those huge, power-guzzling, noisy boxen of yore with svelte, silent, cool-running machines of the future.

Of course, Apple’s Mac mini is on my wishlist of small computers to add to my collection of small powerhouses, but today I read an article about the new pico-itx form factor designed by VIA, the leader in small form factor design. Prior to the availability of the Mac mini, VIA were the ones to watch in the SFF arena. The mini brought more features, slightly smaller size, and impeccable style to the table. To be honest, the offerings in SFF with regards to visual impact are pretty sorely lacking. I have found that Casetronic has the most attractive cases in the market, aside from Apple.

comparison image shamelessly linked from mini-itx.comSo the new Pico-ITX form factor reference design is targeted to consume about 1Watt of power under normal usage! Pretty amazing. This combined with RoHS compliance, I believe, are helping to push the industry toward lower and lower power consumption and better environmental impact.
Anyway, enough of my rambling.

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