Super-cool, Expensive netbook running…linux

This means something.  A uber-cool netbook aimed at the overcompensated.  At it runs SuSE Linux.  As covered at the New York Times:

Dell Laptop Aims to Impress Impression Makers

By Ashlee Vance

Your pay grade is just that high. It says, “I’m better than this clunky laptop docking station. I’m better than sticking a power cord into my computer. And I’m better than waiting for Windows to check my e-mail.

The software fires up the moment you open the laptop and connects right to a wireless network without Windows.

(Under the hood, it’s Linux running on top of an ARM chip on a mini-motherboard that provides this quick access feature. You’re basically talking about most of the components needed to run an iPhone being hitched to a large battery. So, the computer can run in instant-on mode for days.)

Some users Dell surveyed spent 70 percent of their time working in the instant-on mode. Microsoft is sure to take note of that figure. Windows has turned into a clunky cup holder.

[Oh, and note MSWindows won’t run on ARM chip architecture–there ain’t no plan b, Linux (R) is plan a…]

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Super-cool, Expensive netbook running…linux

Silly Ballmer….(updated)

Apparently Microsoft’s strategy to return to their former profitability after their last horrendous results will be–are you ready for this– to increase the price of computers. No, I really am not making this up!

But I shouldn’t really have been surprised by this turn of events, here’s what I said back on March 29 in my post about the Windows adverts:

“In anycase, Microsoft has been too clever by half, as the saying goes. This is same race to the bottom that ends with a $199 netbook running either linux, or a version of windows that is priced so low there’s not much profit there.” *

Steve Ballmer could have just read my blog, and not paid all of his marketing whiz kids anything.

Continue reading “Silly Ballmer….(updated)”

Silly Ballmer….(updated)

How much sugar…

Here’s a site if you want to stay healthy:

Hat Tip: Infoaesthetics

Sugar Stacks: How Much Sugar is in your Food?

Sugar Stacks [sugarstacks.com] is a simple website focused on representing the relative sugar contents of popular food products by stacking the relevant amount of sugar cubes next to them. “The whole point of this site is to dramatically illustrate how much sugar you are consuming when you put that junk into your mouth.”

How much sugar…

A great distro, just in time for Christmas

From Distrowatch, here is the announcement of a new version of ASP Linux.  This is one of the best and most polished distros around, with a very nice consistent feel to it, and especially good is the integration of multimedia codecs, and proprietary drivers.  Everything just works. I like the experience of installing, and popping in an encrypted DVDD and just seeing it all work with no messing around with downloading of additional codecs, etc., etc.  Unfortunately, the website is in Russian, but you can just download the .iso from the link, and the install can be in almost any language, even English.

Sooner or later one of the hardware manufacturers will realize that this is exactly what they need, an OS that just works, even better than MACS used to, and start using it in their offerings.  Anybody listening at Dell? probably not  How about at Lenovo? Maybe… How about at Imformatica Positivo? Now remember we are in a downturn, too:

ASPLinux, a Russian company developing Linux solution and providing a variety of Linux services, has announced the release of ASPLinux 14, code name “Cobalt”. The latest version of this Fedora-based distribution promises to expand the functionality of Linux as an operating system with new services, such as Linux telephony, support for webcams, full support for sleep and stand-by modes on laptops, automatic network setup, and easy configuration of GPRS, CDMA and VPN services. The product uses Linux kernel 2.6.26 and glibc 2.8, and ships with X.Org server 1.5, GNOME 2.22, KDE 4.1, OpenOffice.org 3.0, Firefox 3.0 and other popular open source applications. It also includes several non-free device drivers, including ATI and NVIDIA graphics drivers, and non-free software, such as Adobe Flash player and Opera. For further information please see the ASPLinux product page (in Russian). The installation DVD is available for download from here: ASPLinux-14-i386-DVD.iso (3,994MB, MD5, torrent).

A great distro, just in time for Christmas

A cool device from H-P

Another device that’s similar to the ASUS eeepc: It’s small, light weight and is available with Linux pre-installed:

HP releases its first Linux-powered laptop
Apr. 09, 2008

At the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit at the University of Texas Supercomputing Center April 8, Hewlett-Packard announced the release of its first Linux-powered computer to be sold in the United States, the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC running Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 Service Pack 1.

HP was expected to offer a Linux desktop, and now it has finally done so. It’s not, however, the Linux desktop that many users expected. Instead of being a general-purpose consumer system or business PC, the Mini-Note is meant for the education market.

Chris Sieger, director of IT Services for Alexandria City Public Schools in Virginia, said in a statement, “HP listened to our needs and now is delivering a product designed by education for education.”

So now Dell and Lenovo are probably the two largest hold-outs from the UMPC market. But, the Dell machine has been leaked, and I doubt Lenovo will hold out for long. Why would they?

And, in a related development, a report that talks about why light devices optimized for Web 2.0 run Linux, not Vista. It seems Microsoft did not anticipate Web 2.0 when they designed Vista:

Continue reading “A cool device from H-P”

A cool device from H-P

Design pays

Or A Tale of Two Houses

Here’s an example of poor design not paying and following that, an example of good design paying off.

The projects are in many ways opposites of each other: one is large (over sized, really at five bedrooms, four bathrooms) and the other is small (just one bedroom, one bath), one is cheaply built, the other has been built to last a long time. One is built in the suburbs, another built in the city. One is built to a certain standard and would look the same in Seattle or in Florida, the other is connected to its community is very particularized to its environment. One is an energy hog and one is sustainable. One is (probably) not designed by an Architect, the other is designed by a very capable one. Those sets of factors are connected.

Moral of the story: Hire an Architect! [In the interests of full disclosure, I’ll note that–yes, you guessed it–I am an Architect!]

Continue reading “Design pays”

Design pays