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Penguin Power on the PS2?

The Xbox might run on some form of the Windows operating system, but with this new add-on bundle for the Playstation 2 that Sony recently announced, your console system can also double as a personal computer. That's right, friends and neighbors; Linux is coming to the PS2. Currently available through pre-order (May 22nd) from the Playstation.com site, the bundle will set you back 200 bucks.

Sure, the price sounds a bit steep at first, but let's take a look at exactly what you get. Here's the skinny straight from the PS2 site:
The kit for LINUX (FOR PLAYSTATION 2) includes:

* Linux (for PlayStation 2) version 1.0 software

* Monitor Cable Adaptor (for PlayStation 2)

* Internal Hard Disc Drive (40 GB) (for PlayStation 2)

* Network Adaptor (Ethernet) (for PlayStation 2)[10/100 Base-T]

* USB Keyboard & USB Mouse (for PlayStation 2)

I'll give you that PC users can download a Linux distribution for free (assuming you have a fast connection or a bit of free time on your hands), but most people cough up their $40-50 smackers and nab a boxed distribution for the extra goodies. I checked around and found that $60 was about the lowest price available for a 40GB drive, and you could probably tack on another $30 to take into account for the necessary adapters to get the drive to interface with a PS2. Tack on the network adapter, keyboard, and mouse, and you can account for the price without feeling ripped off.

With the network adapter hooked up to your broadband connection, users should be able to browse the web, listen to online music, and even play games online that work with Linux. The operating system should have a word processor built in, but problems would arise when trying to save your mid-term paper to a floppy or even with printing it out. Keep in mind that Linux isn't for everyone. The OS has come a long way towards being user friendly, but it still requires a good bit of knowledge. Unfortunately for those wanting to grab this pack just to get the PS2 hard drive, it is setup to only work with Linux.

By Greg Meadors - 03/03/02

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