Donate to the Black Lab Linux Project

When you donate to the Black Lab Linux Project it helps us with many things:

Domain renewals
Aging equipment replacement

How much should you donate? Any amount you wish. No matter how large or small it goes to the project. We also take hardware donations as well. Contact for details. We thank you for your support.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Black Lab Media System now available

Today we are announcing the release of the Black Lab Media System.  The Black Lab Media System institutes a small form factor system that creates a convergence of your digital life..  Powered by the new Black Lab MCOS 1.0 which is a cut down release of Black Lab Linux, The Black Lab Media System is the ultimate set top system that allows you to listen to music, surf the web, watch videos, view photos and with XBMC it allows you to access all the great streaming content the web has to offer.  

The Black Lab Media System is a combination of hardware and software so lets go over what the hardware has to offer.   Below is a visual representation of what the system looks like:

The system specifications are as follows:

AMD Dual-Core E2-1800 1.70GHz
320GB HD
Integrated wifi
HDMI Output
DVI Output
VGA output (With Included Adapter)

DVI output and the VGA adapter are for users who want to connect the set top box to some LCD and CRT monitors so they can use a dedicated monitor.   This also helps users who may want to find a use for an old CRT and LCD monitor they may have laying around.

The keyboard is a  fully functional mini wireless keyboard and touchpad mouse combination that easily fits inside your pocket.  It is a great portable solution for presentations, gaming, HTPC control, mobile device control, lectures, and classroom teaching. The touch pad can be flipped
for use when the keyboard is held either vertically like a remote control, or horizontally. and it is slimmer than many TV remote controls. The system comes with the options of a 3 or 4 year warranty with SquareTrade.

Black Lab Media Center OS


MC/OS is an operating system thats based on the Black Lab Linux distribution but optimized for the hardware and half the size of the Black Lab Linux distribution.  This system upon boot uses less than 512 mb of RAM and takes up less than 2 gb during the installation.  We build in XMBC as our media hub, and we also have Google Chrome and web apps links to Youtube and  Facebook so it really becomes a digital hub.  Users can program as many web app shortcuts they want and take advantage of all the great apps that Google Chrome offers, as well

For starters, users can download the OS from our locker, with the SDK coming in a couple of weeks.  The SDK will have three programming flavors, Java, QT and Gambas 3.  We all like Gambas and feel like Gambas is a powerful enough tool, yet simplistic enough so that developers can create their own applications.
This is truly a user experience and its a system that they can do what they want.  If they want a full fledged PC experience, they can hook up a full size PC keyboard and download a multitude of apps from the Ubuntu Software Center which is included in this release.


Now, how do we intend to bring developers to this platform besides just offering a ISO download?  Well, we will have the system boards which will be available for developers to enhance, and make their own cases and they can deploy the platform on any form factor that they want.  Speaking with web developers, game developers and conventional developers they all want to see tools that they can all use and we feel like we made a great choice of those technologies.  Interoperability.  Users can connect through Samba to other Black Lab Linux and other Linux systems, Windows and Macintosh.  Applications written for a desktop PC can run on MC/OS and vice versa.  So while the system is developed for the general public we have also taken developers into account.


Now, some people have asked us.  Whats the cost?  We have played with pricing and worked with Zotac and others on the price.  The Black Lab Media System with keyboard and adapters will cost $400.00, which we feel is pretty reasonable for a system of this class.  The system boards will be $200.00 and of course if you want the OS only on a USB key, the cost is $25.00 USD.  Pre-orders will be taken starting today, with delivery and general availability starting on the 25th of March 2014.  The software will be made available today, and the SDK coming in a short time.

Future developments.

Right now, we work as a great web technologies platform.  We are working with partners and others to bring live TV viewing with this system.  Other form factors will be decided on as this product get enhanced and when you, the users tell us what you would like to see.

If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact myself, or Roberto J. Dohnert at or drop in on our forums and Facebook page as well as twitter for updates.

Thank you.

Black Lab Media System