And you thought Mini-ITX was spiffy?

Smaller, faster, better. Or sometimes smaller and better instead of faster, but with faster parts that really almost make up the difference. They are SBC computers–Single-board-computers–and they are itty-bitty in a way that 10 years ago was unimaginable. So your phone plays games? Cool. These RAM-stick-sized computers surf the net on 100Base networks and run usable Linux. One, (the C Data Compact Flash Computer) is the size and form factor of a Compact Flash card (type II) and includes 32MB SDRAM and 8MB Flash, and along with a bootable Linux kernel like Damn Small Linux (DSL), can be entirely run off of 2 CFII cards. With the DSL Linux distro able to be embedded in a flash drive, weighing in at a hefty 49.1MB, the potential for small, cheap computers is here. Yes, the AMD Personal Internet Communicator box is no bigger than your average external hard drive enclosure, but a stick of RAM-sized computer run off a Flash drive is pretty spiffy. It’s not going to be playing games any time soon, but the ability to take a computer in less space than most peoples’ wallets take up has got to be good for something. The possibility of keeping your entire medical history or all your personal information on an Internet-accessible pocket computer that is no bigger (literally) than a large pack of gum is an opportunity waiting to be exploited by somebody and sold to nearly everyone for incredibly cheap, making that intrepid entrepreneur into a rich geek. More info here. [Britt Godwin]