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OpenSolaris Vending Machine

Takadonobaba Vending Machines, Creative Commons Photo by Abuckingham, Flickr user
Vending Machines, Creative Commons photo by Abuckingham

Those days I was walking in a college to a tech demo and saw a lot of vending machines for soft drinks, coffees and snacks. So I thought “For a college student can be easier get a soda than a free software copy, like opensolaris”. Wouldn’t be nice if we have an OpenSolaris vending machine?

I sketched this idea:

OpenSolaris Vending Machine
OSVM, Open Solaris Vending MachineBut notice that is not just an CD/DVD vending machine. The OSVM could deliver the newest version of the OpenSolaris distributions to places where internet connections aren’t easy or cheap enough to download entire DVD images. A way to deliver open software to people who would have otherwise not been able to acquire it! Just choose, pay and get your free software.Press button, Receive bacon OpenSolaris.

Conceptual sketch of the opensolaris vending machine

Inside the machine:

  1. Switch
  2. External Internet connection
  3. Touch screen monitor
  4. Coolers
  5. Coolers
  6. Uninterruptible power supply
  7. External power source
  8. DVDs supply
  9. Money chest
  10. Paper money recognition device
  11. DVD Recorder
  12. OpenSolaris computer

Main challenges:

  • It’s necessary an broad internet connection (item 2) so the vending machine can have allways the last builds of each distribution (Indiana, Nevada, Nexenta, Solaris Express, etc). In places where this connection is not available someone should periodically supply the vending machine with more iso images.
  • The idea of using an touch screen monitor (item 3) is having a very usable and rich user interface.
  • The user should pay for using a paper money recognition device (item 10). I don’t know much about those devices but I guess you just buy an money recognition box that do this for you. After payed the money goes to some kind of chest (item 9).
  • The media should come from the supply (item 8 ) to the recorder (item 10) and so be delivered for the user. But how?
  • An technology such LightScribe would just fits perfectly in this machine.
  • The OpenSolaris computer (item 12) should be capable to store and manage all dvd iso images from each distributions. A reliable filesystem like ZFS would help.
  • A software to manage the downloading of each distribution periodically.
  • A software to provide a rich user interface, easy and nice to use. JavaFX should fits well.

Haven’t I see this before?

Someho, yes, some similar idea. IBM did a similar project some year ago and there’s too the cool Freedom Toaster that is similar in some points.

What is all about?

Is just a open idea. You can comment, suggest and I’d love to see that implemented.

Update 20.Out.2008: Thanks for those who are helping this idea and giving more ideas. Specially thanks for Everton Rodrigues. Maybe in some time we have an prototype.

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