Another Zonbu screenshot – Firefox, Video, Rhapsody

July 30, 2007

Due to popular demand, here is another screenshot of me working on my Zonbu desktop.

You can see what the Rhapsody service looks like in Firefox. I’m playing an album, the IM client is running and I played a little sample video clip at the same time, just to make the screen shot interesting for you.

Everything “just works” for the most part. It’s been two days now and I continue to have northing but praise for what the company has achieved, across the board.

The kinds of things I’ve been riding them about here in the blog things that will help get them from 90% to 100% of my ideal, not any material failings on their part. If I find any of those, I’ll tell you about them to.

Right now though, I have to say – give the Zonbu a try if you’re curious at all. You won’t be disappointed, it is exactly what it claims to be.

-Mr. Zonbu

Zonbu desktop showing Rhapsody and video playback

PS – A note about Rhapsody and CPU load, it looks like Rhapsody uses around 20-24% of the CPU load, according to the system tray applet. A sacrifice I will gladly make. The Zonbu team have definitely done a lot of tuning to make the system run so smoothly, while doing so much on such modest hardware. My kind of people.


Firefox strangeness…

July 30, 2007

I’ve noticed something that may be a bug. If it’s not a bug it is a material difference from how Firefox on windows handles the privacy options.

I like Firefox to dump my cache, browsing history, passwords etc. when I shut down. Its a performance , as well as, a privacy thing. On windows, I have it set so that when I close Firefox it prompts me to confirm that it should clear these items.

I set the same option on Firefox on the Zonbu, but I’ve noticed something. It seems to prompt me to clear those items when I -start- Firefox, which is odd and not what I want or what I’ve seen before. It’s also largely useless from a privacy perspective.

The first time I noticed it I thought it might have been because FF crashed previously. But I just rebooted the box, and started FF and it prompted me. I closed FF after a while and restarted it normally and it prompted me again. Definitely something funny going on there.

Is anyone else seeing this happen?

-Mr. Zonbu

A note on Zonbu and VMWare

July 30, 2007

Originally I was going to post some detailed instructions on how to get the Zonbu Free Edition going under VMWare. I was also going to do docs on how to install it on a dedicated PC (although this involves kernel recompilation).

Instead, I’ve decided to leave that to the Zonbu team, but I will say the current documentation is far too sparse. It’s only fair to say here I think the Zonbu website is generally excellent as far as information goes (as well as layout and visual appeal). However, the developer/community part of it is still quite sparse.

It would be much easier if they just made a virtual machine available for download and playback with VMPlayer. Just a thought, while they decide what direction to take on a potential LiveCD.

There seems to be a lot of interest out there in the Linux community to try out the Zonbu software stack, it would be a shame to miss an opportunity to sell the story because there isn’t a super-easy way to try it without buying the hardware.

Of course you could always try it vicariously by continuing to read my blog…

-Mr. Zonbu

Partner and bundling strategies for Zonbu – Part 1

July 30, 2007

Can the Zonbu succeed without some strong partners? Partners who can bundle the Zonbu in with the other key components necessary to make it viable for the end user?

I don’t think they can, but I do think they have a lot to offer a number of groups.

Let’s take a look at one of the options…

Read the rest of this entry »

Irony – I can’t play a Zonbu promo video on my Zonbu?!

July 30, 2007

[EDIT – 16:40 Eastern, July 30, 2007 – Looks like the video has been removed. I suspect they’ll link it back in once they figure out the problem. Since I had the same problem on windows I’m sure its either the server that is hosting it or something missing in the Firefox configuration. What a great test of Zonbu’s response time, I’d say they are listening so let’s see what happens.]

I was looking at the reviews page of the Zonbu website this morning, as their intrepid marketing people keep slipping more stuff in to the middle of the page instead of posting it at the top or bottom so you have to pay attention.

While there, I noticed they had posted a new video of their CEO talking about the Zonbu. The video is in French but my comprehension isn’t terrible so I thought I’d take a look…

Lo and behold, after clicking on the video I was told I needed a plug-in to play it. I tried the FF “install plug-in” option and it failed. I think I saw that it as an .m4v file. This would be the first video clip I haven’t been able to play. Heck I spent a half an hour watching quicktime video trailers at last night.

Now I realize the offending video appears to be hosted on someone’s blog and they are just linking to it, but it is kind of ironic I can’t play a promo video about their product, from their product – n’est pas?

-Mr. Zonbu

PS- Come to think of it, doesn’t that seem to suggest that their web master isn’t checking the website functionality on a Zonbu? Not to be a jerk, but I’m thinking they should drink their own kool-aid.

PPS – I just tried it on my Vista laptop at work, and the video doesn’t play either, nor can FF find a plug-in. But then again, HP isn’t linking to the video on their website…