I was going to give LinuxBIOS a try in order to reduce the start-up time
of my VDR based digital TV tuner and recorder. Currently, it takes 40
seconds to start up, of which slightly over 10 seconds is spent in BIOS.
Last night, I tried to migrate the system from a VIA686 based mainboard
to a i440ZX based one (Asus P2-99 with a 933 MHz Pentium 3 and 256 MB RAM).
The machine felt unreliable (often, it hanged with a black screen after
reset, sometimes even after power-on) and also old: there is no on-board
I have followed the development of VIA Mini-ITX (Epia) boards, and I would
like to know if there are OpenFirmware or LinuxBIOS based solutions, or how
far the Epia support of LinuxBIOS is from being useable? I will need a
programmable wake-up timer (nvram-wakeup) and, if possible, wake-on-LAN.
The board should have either well-supported onboard video (VIA CLE266 is
a bit tricky) or an AGP slot. Some PCI slots and IDE are needed as well.
Unless there is hardware MPEG-2 acceleration, the processor should be
equivalent to a 700 to 900 MHz Pentium 3.