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Open-source gadgets at LinuxWorld

Shuttle, Bug Labs, and OLPC were among the device makers showing off wares at the yearly expo held in San Francisco.

Shuttle monitor
Shuttle's custom version of Foresight Linux on the new XP19 monitor. Erica Ogg/CNET News

Attending LinuxWorld might be a first for us here at Crave. But I did want to head over to the expo, held at the Moscone Center here in San Francisco, to see Shuttle's latest mini desktop, the KPC K4800, live and in person.

Turns out there was more for us to see than we thought--bonus! Along with its just-released $299 mini desktop, Shuttle also had the $199 K4500 on display at the Foresight Linux booth. (Foresight actually created a custom OS just for Shuttle machines.) The KPC 4800 was hooked up to a new display Shuttle is offering.

Bug Labs
Bug Labs' Bug Base gets a few updates. Erica Ogg/CNET News
Bug Labs interface
The Bug Base now has a Web browser. Erica Ogg/CNET News

The XP19 Monitor is almost iMac-esque with it's picture-frame style support. But the similarities really end there, since it's silver, and of course, just a monitor.

Shuttle says the XP19 is 0.9 inches thick, has a 5-millisecond response time, a 9-millimeter border, and integrated speakers. Also, there will be a tablet version of the XP19 in late October or early November.

Bug Labs was also on hand, showing off a few new updates to its Bug Base gadget platform. The hardware is essentially the same, but the software interface for the Lego-like gadget prototyper has been improved. The device now runs Poky Linux--which is intended for small devices--and now has a Web browser and window environment. The software update, available in either late August or early September, will also support Wi-Fi. Also, we hear the MMCmicro card slot will be switched out in favor of microSD in the next version.

OLPC had a booth in the nonprofit ".org" section of the expo hall, but it was really just showing off the XO. No XOs with XP to be found, unfortunately. But still, there was a steady stream of conference attendees crowding around the tiny green-and-white machines.

Absent was the XO's rival, the Classmate PC from Intel. The chipmaker is currently working on the third-generation version of the low-cost laptop which runs both Linux and Windows XP. And though Intel had a fairly large booth at LinuxWorld, a woman manning it said she hadn't even heard of the Classmate.

A row of XOs at LinuxWorld 2008. Erica Ogg/CNET News