Most existing computer vision systems run on Unix workstations. Good references on Unix are easy to find.
The Linux operating system ( a Northern California mirror, a Southern California mirror, Georgia Tech's Mirror) is rapidly becoming popular among computer scientists. Linux is a small version of unix which runs on DOS hardware: 386, 486, and Pentium processors. The book by Welsh and Kaufman is a good basic reference. The book by Beck et al. is useful if you are curious about kernel details.
Installing Linux on laptop computers involves some additional problems. General information about Linux on laptops can be found on the Laptop Home Page . We are running Linux on an HP Omnibook. Our current information about this machine is on our Omnibook page.
Our camera hardware page contains useful references on linux drivers for framegrabber and digital camera hardware.
Useful suppliers of software: