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Digital Brilliance Spotlight

Digital Brilliance is being inspired by people with exciting new ideas for products and applications that illuminate the imagination through the fusion of advanced technologies and intelligent design. Here we highlight the stories and achievements of these Digital Brilliance pioneers.


The Wind in Your Hair, the Sun at Your Back and the Wide, Open Road...

Vespa riders have had a long and historic love affair with their vehicles. Vespa enthusiasts for more than half a century have taken their wasp-shaped scooters on the road en-masse for sightseeing excursions, sharing their passion and love of the Vespa. The Italians even have a word for it, vespaizzari, which means to get somewhere on a Vespa.

Today, the tradition of the Vespa clubs is alive and well thanks in part to a 21st century update from the VIA EPIA Mini-ITX and Luca Barzelogna, the president of the Italian Vespaonline Association, who has equipped his vintage Vespa scooter with the VIA EPIA MII12000 mainboard, transforming his scooter into the ultimate VESPA-PUTER.

The small form factor and extensive connectivity of the VIA EPIA MII12000 make it ideal for use on a moving scooter. Its slim design allowed Luca to integrate the mini mainboard along with dual hard drives on the step board, reducing the amount of space taken up by the system. Because it's wirelessly connected, the VESPA-PUTER can function as a GPS navigational system as well as provide access to the Internet to locate the nearest gas station or motel wherever he happens to be.

Luca fitted an 8" touch screen monitor and a USB web cam on the handlebar, allowing him to upload photos to his ftp server in Italy, providing his friends back home with a first hand view of his trip. For areas too remote to access wireless networks, Luca has enabled the system to use a satellite phone.

Through Luca's imagination and the versatility of the VIA EPIA Mini-ITX, the VESPA-PUTER opens up a whole new avenue for mobile applications. Small and rugged enough to be used on a motorbike and wirelessly enabled to be connected from virtually anywhere, the VESPA-PUTER has the ability to dramatically change our concept of the road trip. Paper maps and 25 cent postcards have now become things of the past, thanks to the digital brilliance of Luca Barzelogna and VIA EPIA Mini-ITX!

The Italian Vespaonline Association was founded in 1997 as a way for Italian Vespa lovers to meet over the Internet. Since then, they have taken their Vespas on over 15 different sightseeing tours, or "Raids" throughout Italy. The next rally takes the concept a big step further in distance and endurance: the Raid of the Desert.

VIA is proud to sponsor the October "Raid of the Desert " across the American Southwest, where 24 members from the Vespaonline Association will travel through California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah, a trip of over 3,500 miles.

From the Mojave Desert to the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park, Luca is taking his VESPA-PUTER through some of the most inhospitable and inaccessible terrains of the world. During their trip, VIA plans on hosting live images from the event on our website, as well as commentary from the members along the way. So, stay tuned in October and see VIA EPIA Mini-ITX conquer the desert!

Update:
And they're off!! The Raid of the Desert is underway. Take a look at some pictures and commentary uploaded from the VESPA-PUTER as the Italian Vespaonline Association make their way through the American Southwest at VIAArena.com.

For the complete schedule of events for the Vespa Raid of the Deserts, please contact Colin Brix


Resources

VIA Technology Forum 2004
For more information about VTF2004 click here.
Vespa Online - www.vespaonline.com
VIA EPIA MII series mini-ITX mainboards

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