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  1. #1
    Junior Member jasong's Avatar
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    Potential as a regular computer?

    I don't know how many of you are aware of this, but the Playstation 3 people have allowed their console to double as a research tool for an online project called Folding@Home. Unfortunately, it's only compatible with that one project, which kind of sucks for me, since I like to jump from project to project online. for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm involved in a hobby called Distributed Computing which basically means I volunteer my computer for online projects which involve doing a lot of calculations on relatively small amounts of data, which makes them perfect for distribution online.

    I was wondering what the processing potential of the Nintendo Wii is. I've heard that, unlike the x-box360 and PS3, that their's a possibility of being able to run a Linux distro on it. I was thinking there might be a project which happens to scream along on Wii hardware. Even if it doesn't scream, it would be nice to be able to take advantage of any power it DOES have. If a 200MHz Tivo can show and record video simultaneously, there's no telling what a Wii could do.

  2. #2
    Pondering Member NateTheGreat's Avatar
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    That's pretty interesting. Anyway, here's Wii's currently known hardware specs:
    Processors:

    * CPU: PowerPC based processor codenamed "Broadway", made with a 90 nm SOI CMOS process

    * GPU: ATI "Hollywood" GPU made with a 90 nm CMOS process

    Memory:

    * 1T-SRAM[52]

    Ports and peripheral capabilities:

    * Up to four Wii Remote controllers (connected wirelessly via Bluetooth).
    * One SD memory card slot.
    * Two USB 2.0 ports.
    * One Sensor Bar port.
    * Four Nintendo GameCube controller ports.
    * Two Nintendo GameCube memory card ports.
    * WiFi 802.11b/g wireless built in
    * Compatible with optional USB 2.0 to Ethernet LAN adaptor.

    Built-in content ratings systems:

    * CERO, PEGI, ESRB

    Storage:

    * 512 MB built-in flash memory.
    * Expansion available via SD card memory.
    * Gamecube Memory Cards (for saving GCN games only).
    * Slot-loading disc drive compatible with:
    o 8 cm GameCube optical disc.
    o 12 cm Wii optical disc.
    * Mask ROM by Macronix.

    Video:

    * Up to 480p(NTSC) or 576p (PAL/SECAM), will work with any TV or projector.
    * Component (including Progressive scan), S-Video, or composite output.*
    * 16:9 anamorphic widescreen support.

    Note: Component cables must be purchased seperately. GameCube component cables are not compatible with the console.

    Audio:

    * Main: Stereo - Dolby Pro Logic II-capable.
    * Controller: Built-in speaker.
    Source

    As for running Linux on Wii, I'm guessing it's quite possible thanks to it's 2 USB 2.0 ports, SD card slot, 512MB internal storage, and Opera Web Browser. However, I believe I heard recently on IGN that PS3 would have a version of Yellow Dog Linux available for download.
    "Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it." - GANDHI


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  3. #3
    Junior Member jasong's Avatar
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    PowerPC, I think, means Macintosh. I've heard the Linux distros for Mac are fairly robust. They fairly scream at sieving, which basically means taking a range of numbers you want to find out whether their prime or not, and looking for small factors, which would mean not having to test them. They're also good at the Elliptic Curve Method, which basically amounts to taking a large number and attempting to find it's factors.(Determining whether or not a number is prime is tremendously easier than determining the factors if it isn't, by a factor of at least thousands. And yes, I just used two different definitions of factor in the same sentence. )

  4. #4
    Pondering Member NateTheGreat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasong
    PowerPC, I think, means Macintosh. I've heard the Linux distros for Mac are fairly robust. They fairly scream at sieving, which basically means taking a range of numbers you want to find out whether their prime or not, and looking for small factors, which would mean not having to test them. They're also good at the Elliptic Curve Method, which basically amounts to taking a large number and attempting to find it's factors.(Determining whether or not a number is prime is tremendously easier than determining the factors if it isn't, by a factor of at least thousands. And yes, I just used two different definitions of factor in the same sentence. )
    Yeah, I believe a PowerPC CPU powered the original Xbox as well. I have a Mac (PowerBook G4 with a 1.67GHz CPU w/ 1GB RAM) and I've run a few different versions of Ubuntu via LiveCD. They run pretty well, although Linux is a bit of a pain if you don't know what you're doing (like me).
    "Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it." - GANDHI


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  5. #5
    ₪ ۩ ₪ vagrant's Avatar
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    I'd have to say no. But yes there is a linux live version mandriva that will be available, but that is just a live distro disc

  6. #6
    WiiChat Member yosh64's Avatar
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    hey

    Maybe you should checkout WiiLi, Live Linux CD for the Nintendo Wii.

    @NateTheGreat: Actually the original XBox didn't have a PowerPC based CPU, but rather an Intel x86 based CPU.

    cyas

  7. #7
    Mr. Nintendo Mario Famous's Avatar
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    I have to say no as well.

  8. #8
    Unofficial WiiChat Helper Link_of_Hyrule's Avatar
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    Linux was used to build the Wii os so basicaly wii is running on a moded form of linux

    Please PM me before adding me!

  9. #9
    Pondering Member NateTheGreat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yosh64
    hey

    Maybe you should checkout WiiLi, Live Linux CD for the Nintendo Wii.

    @NateTheGreat: Actually the original XBox didn't have a PowerPC based CPU, but rather an Intel x86 based CPU.

    cyas
    Ah, I didn't know that. Thanks.

    Just looked it up on wikipedia and it says:
    Licensees

    Companies that have licensed PowerPC include:

    * Altera
    * Apple Computer 'A' in original AIM alliance, recently switched to Intel
    * Applied Micro Circuits Corporation (AMCC)
    * BAE Systems for RAD750 CPU.
    * Cisco Systems for routers.
    * Culturecom for V-Dragon CPU.
    * HCL
    * Microsoft, for the Xbox 360 processor
    * Motorola (now Freescale Semiconductor), as part of the original AIM alliance
    * Nintendo for the GameCube and Wii processor
    * PA-Semi.
    * Rapport for Kilocore 1025 cores CPU.
    * Samsung.
    * Sony and Toshiba, for the Cell processor.
    * Xilinx for the Virtex-II and Virtex-4 FPGAs.
    Source

    I guess that's where I got the idea from.
    "Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it." - GANDHI


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  10. #10
    Junior Member jasong's Avatar
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    Actually, when I asked whether or not it had potential as a regular computer, I was just talking about it's potential to process data. I'm not actually looking to use it as a regular computer, just possibly something to feed my urge for MORE POWER.

    btw, what is this smiley supposed to mean? It looks like he couldn't make up his mind whether or not to make the sign language symbol for,"I love you," or the sign of Satan. Both look somewhat similar, strangely enough, except for the position of the thumb.

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