XBox as an affordable server
XBox as an affordable Apache web server? With a 733MHz Pentium III processor, 64 MB of RAM, a 10 GB hard drive, 100 Mbps Ethernet, and a DVD drive why NOT? Of course, Apache will have to be "ported" to the platform as a "game". Adam Barr, a former Microsoft employee, speculates in this osOpinion column about how XBox's biggest future may be not be in your living room but in the data center.
So if bunches of XBoxen are bought for running things like 'XApache' instead of games, how will that affect Microsoft? It's well known that they will be losing money on the XBox hardware, hoping to make up for it through game sales and licensing. But if the console is used not for playing games but for other purposes, that can't be too good for their bottom line. Never mind the irony of running Apache--Microsoft's biggest web server rival.
And of course, there's always the Linux porters who won't rest until Linux runs on everything, even down to your wristwatch. I'm sure a port of Linux for the XBox will appear within minutes of it hitting the shelves. Maybe those ill-fated Indrema games can be reconfigured to run on an XBox running Linux (not that would be some serious irony)?
Another extra-credit project would be to extract the precious nVidia video chipset from the XBox and wire it up for a regular PC's AGP slot. The current top-of-the-line nVidia video card (which is below the specs of the nVidia chipset that will ship with the XBox) runs for $500-$600-- the $300 XBox is a downright bargain by comparison.
Oh and about those 'non-standard' USB ports-- well, it's just a matter of creating an adapter to convert a regular USB connector to work with those too. With 4 connectors, you can hook up a mouse and keyboard and still have a couple ports open for a printer, scanner, or a real USB hub.
Well, needless to say... this will be interesting to watch. Shoot-- openxbox.com is already registered.