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Linux-powered PS3s run conference signage

Sep 6, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

A business conference in San Francisco this week is using Sony's Playstation3 running Linux to drive flat-panel displays showing conference announcements. Organizers of the Office 2.0 conference note that when running Firefox under Linux, the PS3 can deliver web-based productivity applications in… next-generation office settings.

(Click for larger view of the PS3)

Sony's Playstation3 (PS3) does not run Linux as its standard OS. However, the device's unique Cell BE processor has been supported in the mainline Linux kernel since late last year. A commercial PS3 Linux distribution has been available from TerraSoft since last October — a month before the PS3 actually shipped, and a company in Germany also offers a server-oriented Linux distro for the PS3. Meanwhile, high-performance Linux application development tools for the PS3 are available from Mercury Computing and RapidMind.

Besides remarkable floating point capabilities and a Blueray optical drive, the PS3 is among the first consumer devices with 1080p high-definition video out. Combined with a high-end LCD flat-panel television, the PS3 can deliver next-generation gaming, movie, and computing experiences in the home or office, according to Office 2.0 conference promoter IT|Redux.

Screenshot of Firefox 2.0 and Linux running on the Sony PS3
(Click to enlarge)

For its its signage application at the Office 2.0 conference, IT|Redux combined the PS3 with Sony's 46-inch KDL-46W3000 Bravia W television. Coincidentally, like most of Sony's high-definition TVs, the KDL-46W3000 also runs an embedded Linux OS.

The Office 2.0 signage installation also uses WiFi networking, IT|Redux said.

Oliver Marks, senior manager of Sony's web portal, stated, “Installing Linux and Firefox on the PS3 enables Sony customers to take advantage of some of the Web browser-based office productivity applications available online today. The Office 2.0 conference is a great opportunity for Sony to showcase the PS3 system's computing power and productivity capabilities.”

Ismael Ghalimi, producer of the conference, stated, “The PS3 running Firefox on Linux is a perfect example of a device that empowers technology in the living room.”

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