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Electronics & Test

Teardown: Deconstructing Valve's Steam Machine

iFixit.com
12/27/2013  
16 comments
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D. Sherman
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Gold
Sorry if I don't appreciate new journalism
D. Sherman   12/30/2013 1:11:31 PM
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I clicked through half the slide show and gave up. Why can't we have a text summary that provides an overview of what this "steam machine" does? Presumably it's a small computer optimized for games and apparently it runs linux nicely. What are its technical specs (RAM, flash, hard drive, clock(s), core count, etc)? What's it particularly good at? How does it connect/expand? Would it make a good web server? Encryption engine? CAD system? Presumably a mere toy wouldn't be worth an article like this.

The slide show format is an intensely tedious way to "read" an article. I've taken apart (and designed and built) enough electronics that don't get any visceral thrill from removing a screw to see what's inside something. Photographs should be included to illustrate an article. We shouldn't have to deduce the article from looking at photos. This is just lazy "journalism".

Design magazines should be about how to design things, not about how to take apart what someobody else designed. Are so few readers actual creative design engineers these days? Sure, it's fun to see how things work, but these "teardown" articles seem to be all about the mechanical construction, which is of very secondary importance with a sophisticated electronic device.  The fact that the packaging looks cool may be worth a brief passing mention, but not 30% of the article.

Perhaps if I'd clicked all the way to the 40th screen I would have been able to read something about what this computer actually does. But I have work to do.

WB
User Rank
Silver
Re: Intelligent Power ...
WB   12/30/2013 11:34:14 AM
That board has 3 switches and 12 LEDs - I think a small micro is a reasonable approach to handling that...

 

I also noticed that whoever called out the colors on the connectors must be colorblind - every one of them was wrong...

brhans
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Silver
Intelligent Power ...
brhans   12/30/2013 9:08:51 AM
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I do wonder a bit why the power button needs an ARM Cortex-M0 ... Seems like taking the "intelligent power" idea a bit far :P

 

j-allen
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Gold
Steam Machine?
j-allen   12/30/2013 9:06:09 AM
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Gotta admit you sure suckered me.  I thought I was going to see a literal steam machine--a Rankine Cycle engine, perhaps designed to run on biofuel or concentrated solar.  Iam sure the world really needs one more brand of game box to keep our little minds occupied so they don't wander off into solving the serious problems. 


Still, Happy New Year to you all. 

Greg M. Jung
User Rank
Platinum
Cooling System
Greg M. Jung   12/29/2013 4:40:28 PM
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Really liked the heatsink design for the cooling system.  Looks like a significant amount of engineering went into this design.

notarboca
User Rank
Gold
USB OS Recovery
notarboca   12/28/2013 6:16:43 PM
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Very thoughtful, as the slideshow said, and great for people who really like digging into OS.  If something goes wrong, simply boot the USB and you are back to out of box condition.

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