A screenshot of my Zonbu desktop

July 29, 2007

I thought it might be time for some eye-candy.

Here is a screenshot of my Zonbu desktop (taken with the handy screenshot tool they included).

I’ve got the IM client running, connected to MSN Messneger, Skype, Rhapsody playing via the web (is there any woman with a more beautiful voice right now than Colbie Caillat?) as well as Firefox with about six tabs open.

I’m running 1280×1024, and I’ve downsized my fonts and panel as well as added the mixer control to my taskbar.

The wallpaper is one of the stock photos that come with the Zonbu, and I think you’ll agree, it’s a beautiful option.

-Mr. Zonbu

Zonbu Desktop 1 - AMD Duron 1.1GHz test system

PS – What is with the “drag and drop” functionality resulting in “copy” instead of “move”? That’s confusing, coming from windows, and is going to result in extra copies of files all over the place. Shouldn’t a file I drag and drop on a folder, move in to that folder?


The Zonbu desktop experience gets an A, but some more polish won’t hurt.

July 29, 2007

Let me preface this entry by giving credit where credit is due:

The Zonbu desktop experience is exceptional out of the box. Over the last three years I’ve tried literally hundreds of different attempts at Linux desktops for “average” users. While some are very good, none are as tightly integrated and smoothly functioning, especially out of the box, as the Zonbu desktop experience.

In it’s current state (and I’m using a developer build that I downloaded) I would give it an A.

A detailed review, screenshots and other observations will be forthcoming once the actual hardware arrives.

Congratulations to everyone who has worked on and contributed to the project, it’s no small feat. There is more than can be done however…

Read the rest of this entry »

Zonbu power consumption on an AMD Duron 1.1 GHz machine?

July 29, 2007

[This item was updated on Monday, July 30, to reflect a problem with the measurements. Measurements are now correct for the Duron power consumption (91W) ]

Well this is curious. I’ve got the Zonbu desktop running on one of the old test machines I have laying around. I put 512Mb of RAM in it and it has a 1.1Ghz processor, only mildly slower than the 1.2 GHz in the actual Zonbu box.

I am running from a 40GB hard disk and there is an optical drive in the machine, as well as a dedicated video card and an extra expansion card I’m not using at the moment. I mention all this because I’ve got my Kill-a-watt connected to measure the power consumption. With all that hardware, I’m only using a steady 91W while I surf the web and write this. I’ve got Skype running as well. [I’m going to pull the expansion card later and re-test to see if we save anything.]

So while is not the 15W the Zonbu claims, its surprisingly little power draw given all the equipment. If I ran from flash, used on-board video and took out the expansion and video cards, I have a feeling I could shave another 5-8W off my total. Whereas my “regular” desktop PC was sucking back 140-160w performing similar tasks.

It’s all got me thinking, are we using “SUV-like” PC’s? Sucking huge amounts of power all day long when 80% of the time we hardly need any at all to accomplish our normal tasks? It sure does look that way…

Desktop performance is very smooth.

I continue to be impressed. I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on the actual hardware.

-Mr. Zonbu

A developer/contributor/test LiveCD/LiveDVD for Zonbu is needed

July 29, 2007

After a few days of attempting to get a test system running on hardware and virtual machine setups that I have access to, I’m come to the inescapable conclusion that a LiveCD/LiveDVD (with full driver support) of the Zonbu desktop is sorely needed.

To really kick things off and tap the momentum and enthusiasm for the product/service, it needs to be dead simple for people to dabble in it. Amazingly, as great as the desktop experience is once you get it working, it was pure classic Linux pain to get there without the hardware. Of course, this is why you would buy the box from Zonbu. However, you don’t want to shut out the curious on the way to their purchase.

I’m not surprised about how hard it has been, I talked about this in an earlier post when I said I thought Gentoo was going to create barriers in this area. So far its proven to be true. Hopefully the Zonbu team will fill this hole quickly so the tools are easier to access. It’s all about letting the community contribute in this we 2.0 world…

-Mr. Zonbu