Do you own a PlayStation 2? Do you live in Europe, Africa or the Middle East? Then you can finally purchase the PlayStation 2 Linux Kit, suitable for use with PAL hardware. But only online. For the princely sum of €249 / £155 plus VAT (€292.58 / £182.13), you will receive a 40Gb hard disk drive, a 10/100Mbit network adapter, a USB keyboard and three-button mouse, a monitor cable adapter with two phono audio jacks for stereo speakers and a two-DVD disc set including Linux installation, RTE and hardware manuals. It isn't all fun and it absolutely isn't games, however. The 40Gb hard disk drive is not compatible with PS2 software, and will not work in the same way as the broadband kit will when that becomes available. Although a network adapter is provided, no modem is included so unless you have access to a network and you use suitable connection sharing, you have no real Internet options with the Linux kit. The monitor cable provided is also less than it seems. For a start you need a monitor with sync-on-green capabilities, and worse than that, you can't actually play games through it, because of the way the VGA output works on PlayStation 2. Or doesn't, as it would seem. The package also requires that you own an 8Mb memory card, although that does seem likely, and of course the PlayStation 2 console. Rumours doing the rounds on the web at the moment also suggest that the Linux kit will not function correctly with modified, or 'chipped' PlayStation 2 consoles. It seems that we were a little harsh on Sony about the kit at first, as it turns out that having ordered the kit from the Linuxplay.com website, you can turn to the excellent and comprehensive official FAQ, on the official website. Which is official, contradicting what we said before. Although Sony seems reluctant to put any marketing weight behind the product, and although it doesn't seem that this "niche product" will ever appear on retailers' shelves, those behind the Linux kit within Sony have contacted us outside the traditional boundaries of PR back-and-forth, and we hope to actually get to play with a kit shortly. If it's as good as they are enthusiastic about it, then it will be difficult not to recommend. Needless to say, we would be very interested to hear from people who have the kit. Sony claims that the Linux kit will be on display at selected exhibitions and conferences, and that the PS2 Linux community website is the place to go for information on those. Related Feature - SCE to release Linux kit in Europe
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