If you haven't already read this excellent post  Gizmo 2 – The New Batch  by shabaz  please do.

 

Here is a very brief post of my initial experiences and observations so far..

 

I was lucky enough to win a prototype board in a recent element14 competition and as soon as I received the package I connected everything up to my Sony TV HDMI input and ran through all the demos as described in the above blog.

 

Switching to my Acer LCD monitor which is full HD resolution but does not have HDMI input, only DVI and VGA, I tried a Pi-View HDMI to VGA converter.   I have found with some boards such as the BBB that the 5v on the HDMI interface is current limited to HDMI specs which is not enough to power the Pi-View converter. on the GIZMO2 this was not the case and it works really well.

 

I decided to try various stock Linux distros and to fit a 120Gbyte mSATA SSD to install to and run from.

 

Observation: There are some fine PCB tracks very close to the mSATA mounting holes so some care should be taken fixing anything through them.

 

After a bit of experimentation I found that if I connect a USB DVD drive then the GIZMO2 will look to boot a disk in that first, if that fails then it tries the mSATA and if that fails the card in the uSD slot if there is one. Hitting F12 on the bios splash screen during power-up allows you to manually choose boot device from those available.

 

I therefore used the standard CD/DVD install method for the various distros.   I have so far tried Ubuntu, Lubuntu, Centos, and Debian, and all installed and worked fine, even with the full blown Ubuntu I could play videos smoothly. However, when I tried to open and use a terminal window whilst Ubuntu was doing a software upgrade things did get a bit sluggish, a quick check showed a lot of swap space being used so the 1Gbyte memory in this case is on the low side, 2Gbyte would be much better. I did not have any issues with Lubuntu which is designed for lower memory systems.  I  have also booted  MSDOS that I had on a USB stick it looked okay but I didn't do much with it.

 

Now I am currently working with Lubuntu  and I have installed RepetierHost and Slic3r  software that I use with my 3D printer and I will see how it performs. Initial thoughts are that  it could make a good front end to my printer, the power requirement for the board is 12v - 24v  @48w , I could power it from the printer PSU (it has the spare capacity) and so cut down on mains power cables too.

 

I am pleased that everything I have tried has worked, but as this is a prototype board I don't expect it to be perfect, there may still be the odd Gremlin hiding in there ,

So far so good though.

 

I did say this was a very brief post, there will be more to come, maybe with pretty pictures and video clips with blinking lights...