netbookinuse2We have more than a few computers spread around. And seeing that they run at the very least $200-300 for the smallest netbooks, it soon gets very expensive to dedicate one to a particular function, not to mention the amount of power used.

For instance, the weather station requires a computer and software to do data logging. At least it is a USB data port now and not a LPT or serial port. It requires the system to be up and running and connect to both the weather station and the network 24/7.

And then there is the Sudden Ionospheric Detector 2. It too needs software and network and power 24/7. Why not combine the two you ask? Well, in some cases we can combine one computer to service two sensors systems. But more often than not there is a conflict or they just don’t get along.

For example the old SID1 sensor ran a program that used 100% of the CPU, leaving any second program locking up and crashing.

Suffice it to say there are a lot of computers needed and they are large, power hungry and pricey. So what we are looking for are some of the new generation microsystems, with such names as raspberry pi

Basically they are ultra tiny complete computers that use next to no power, fit into very small spaces, and are remotely controlled. Did I mention they are also very cheap? On the order of $25-100.

So that is the next long term project on the books, getting one to test out for its suitability to replace desktop and laptop systems collecting various data.