My Time with SteamOS & an Xi3

Being at a large university such as RIT and being a members of organizations like Computer Science House (of which I am an alumni) and the FOSSBOX, many exciting opportunities are given to me. Today I had one of those opportunities. Through the connections of the FOSSBOX, I was lucky enough to try out SteamOS on what many consider to be the first SteamBox. The download took a surprising amount of time, being only a 2.5 GB download, and needing a 4GB USB stick seemed like a lot. I have a small knowledge of booting other OSes onto machines, mostly vanilla flavors of Fedora or Ubuntu and cannot remember the files for them being this large. The Xi3 itself is laughably tiny, making me wonder if this is really a computer or a souped up raspberry pi with extra RAM or something. After spending many boot attempts to get the Xi3 to launch its BIOS menu, all of which failed, I realized that the SteamOS does not use BIOS, but UEFI. Luckily the Xi3 I was given came with no paperwork about what was in the machine (I only found out it had a 64GB SSD from its startup sequence) so I had no idea about whether it used BIOS or UEFI. I only found out from the Xi3 not reading the SteamOS, which only works with UEFI, a newer form of BIOS. Searching the internet I found a BIOS version of SteamOS and burned it to a disk on another machine, and borrowed an exetrnal disk drive to launch the OS. I was then met with a error message stating that the Xi3 cannot read the data on the disc drive. This was the end of my experience with the Xi3 and SteamOS; providing paperwork about the Xi3 would have been helpful, and would have saved a lot of time trying to get the UEFI SteamOS to boot. I have no idea what was in the Xi3 or how well it runs, but it is really tiny so I hope it can run appilcations well.