Chapter 18. Consumer Electronics and Ubuntu


  • Recognizing consumer electronics devices

  • Connecting to a digital camera

  • Working with iPods and other MP3 players

  • Working with CompactFlash and SD cards

Linux is the embedded operating system of choice for many modern embedded devices. Embedded devices is the industry term for things that have computers or control systems running inside them. Twenty years ago, popular embedded devices were things like power plants, factories, assembly lines, and spacecraft. Today, the list still features those same technological chestnuts, but now also includes things like your car, your home gateway or router, your TiVo or other digital video recorder (DVR), your personal digital assistant (PDA), your MP3 or other digital audio player, and so on. Today, many consumer electronics devices contain a full-blown operating system to support their configuration and communication requirements.

Although the fact that Linux is the operating system of choice for most new embedded devices may not matter to you personally, it is very significant for you as a consumer and as a user of a desktop Linux distribution. There are a few major reasons for the popularity of Linux in the embedded world. The fact that Linux is free and, therefore, requires no payment of royalties or licensing costs is extremely important to embedded hardware vendors, who are planning on making a few million devices. First, if they had to pay some sort of royalties on the operating system ...

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