We need a PC with Linux running on it which will act as terminal for configuring the Alix board and which will also host the music library which will be served by the Alix board to the Amp via the USB DAC.
I chose to buy a new machine, mainly because I am sick of the high noise level of the old PC which I used till now for experimenting with Linux. But as I already told, you can use almost any old PC to install Linux on it.
As noise level was an important factor, I chose the following computer :
- Mainboard : Gigabyte EG31M-ES2L / Intel G31 Chipset, FSB 1333, DDR2, SATAII, GLAN
- Processor : Intel DUAL-Core E2220, 775P, 800MHz, 1MB, 65nm, Fan, BOX
Conroe, 2.4GHz, SpeedStep, I64bit, NX
- Memory : 2048MB DDR2 PC-6400, (1x2048MB Max. 4GB), 240Pin
- Harddisc : 320GB, SATA-II, 7200rpm, Samsung (possibility to put 3 more disks)
- Graphiccard : Intel GMA 3100 Integrated Graphics (on Board), up to 256MB Shared
- Network : Gigabit-LAN 10/100/1000 Realtek 8111C
- Card Reader : Yeong-Yang 33-in-1, USB 2.0 (which is useful for configuring the CF card for the Alix board)
- Tower : Yeong-Yang Midi-Tower YY-5704 Silver, 350Watt, ATX
This is a very quiet computer which is what I wanted. It should also be very low on energy consumption, which is good. And it is quite cheap, too (around 350 US$).
I installed Debian Linux 5.0, which is the latest stable one. I will not explain how to install it. You will find a lot of informations here. The easiest way to install it, is to download a CD image and to burn a CD with it. Then you just have to put this CD into the computer and follow the onscreen text. There is a detailed installation manual here. This should be easy (the proof : I was able to do it).
After this, you should have a running Debian Linux 5.0 system in front of you.