Is gOS VS. Zonbu just like Betamax Vs. VHS? gOS selling out at Walmart..

November 30, 2007

Walmart LogoOver at The Inquirer they are reporting that the sub-$200 gOS Linux PC from Everex is selling out at Walmart stores nation wide (that is, if your nation is the USA).

They point to its reasonable specification, Ubuntu (nee Debian) base and its attractive Enlightenment based desktop as the reasons. And of course, that amazing price.

How did this happen? How did Everex/gOS get the slip on Zonbu, when gOS is an inferior (albeit promising) desktop experience for new users? Is this Betamax versus VHS all over again? I’m afraid that it may be.

I have a hunch how it happened and I’ll share it with you here…

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Zonbu laptop has arrived, expect a shoot-out soon with ASUS 3e PC

November 29, 2007

Zonbu LaptopThe folks at Zonbu have very kindly sent me an evaluation unit of their new Everex/Zonbu laptop, it arrived today via FedEx.

Due to various work related challenges I’ve not even had a chance to unbox it yet, but probably will tomorrow or this weekend and I’ll be posting a full report here.

On a related note, I have an ASUS 3e PC enroute to me as well so I can compare the two devices, and benchmark them against one of the affordable Acer laptops I mentioned in an earlier post (albeit my test unit will come with an Intel instead of AMD processor) as I have a few of those on the way as well.

I’m really excited about the Zonbu transition to a laptop form factor, I think the “all in one” aspect makes it particularly appealing to end users, as they don’t need to add anything except a broadband connection. That also makes it appealing to me as an executive for a broadband company. These are huge steps for desktop linux, and the Zonbu “zero maintenance” model.

If you missed the news, you can read more about the Zonbu laptop specifications here: http://www.zonbu.com/device/notebook.htm

-Mr. Zonbu


Tom’s Hardware reviews the ASUS 3e PC

November 19, 2007

Tom's Guide LogoThe team over at Tom’s Hardware (an excellent site for the geekier among you) have posted a brief review of the ASUS Eee laptop. A laptop, incidentally, that has been garnering rave reviews for it’s Debian (surprise!) based Linux desktop.

I suspect it would be equally, if not more, compelling with the Zonbu OS installed. At least for the mainstream users.  They liked the unit and said it held a lotof promise, but for its relatively small keyboard:

One big advantage of the is being able to connect standard peripherals. Either Linux or Windows XP is a far more capable operating system than any of the alternatives, but the limited storage means you can’t install as many applications as you might want. Performance isn’t the limitation you might expect, but the cramped keyboard may prove the real stumbling block.

You can read the full review here: http://www.tomsguide.com/us/2007/11/19/a_linux_ultra_portable_laptop/

-Mr. Zonbu


American Enviromentalism – Keep the Hummer, double the power and fuel economy

November 19, 2007

HummerZonbu’s chairman and CEO are both French transplants to America. They bring with them a somewhat continental outlook and, dare I suggest, sensibility. But is this approach compatible with the prevailing American psyche?

In America it’s bigger, better, faster, stronger. Green often doesn’t play well with the BBFS approach.

A recent cover story in Fast Company magazine featured a mechanic from Kansas who has been hot-rodding diesel and bio-diesel drivetrains and dropping them in large American SUVs and classic land yachts like 60’s Lincolns and Chevy Impalas, doubling horsepower and fuel economy. In fact, the Governator recently had one of his vehicles delivered to Kansas for some eco-magination. What does this have to do with the Zonbu? Lots…

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What applications do home users really use?

November 19, 2007

Vista ScreenshotI read an interesting post and comments over at Download Squad recently. It was entitled “What programs do you load after a fresh windows install?” and it outlines many great programs to improve your desktop experience. Most I had heard of, a few new gems I hadn’t.

Two things struck me. One, now that I use my Zonbu as my principle home desktop, I don’t load things. I don’t worry about things. They’re just there. I don’t re-install windows. In fact, I just bought a brand new fancy-pants quad core PC, almost exclusively for gaming. I haven’t hardly loaded a thing on it except Call of Duty 4 and Test Drive Unlimited. I do all my nuts-and-bolts stuff on the Zonbu.

And secondly, as you look down the list of apps that the authors and subsequent comments suggest, the vast majority are freeware and/or open source. In fact, most of them are available on Linux (with the exception of the spyware and anti-virus tools).

What that left me with was the distinct impression that the operating system itself is largely going away and applications are going cross platform…

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Zonbu gets the details – print to PDF included. Nice.

November 19, 2007

Acrobat Reader LogoI was trying to book a flight today with some old British Airways points, but to travel entirely on American Airlines. The process proved to be a bit more complex than I would have liked (I’m not sure the British entirely get e-commerce yet… do you really need eight screens to book a flight?). I arrived at the end of the process with the standard screen showing my itinerary. A pretty typical home user transaction on their PC. Only I wasn’t on my PC, as usual, I was on my Zonbu.

I realized at that last screen, that because I was on my Zonbu, I wouldn’t be able to make a PDF of the file. Since it wasn’t my usual AA website where I can look things up afterwards, and because I just spent over 100K airmiles on tickets for myself, Mrs. Zonbu and Babino Zonbu (does that make him a BlackBerry?), I wanted a PDF of the receipt.

I made a mental note to make the suggestion to the Zonbu folks to include a Print-to-PDF function in the future. Then, on a whim, I hit CTRL-P just in case…

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Ready, Fire, Aim! gOS is in -ALPHA- but available in Walmart?

November 15, 2007

gOS logoI dropped in over at the official gOS site to see if there were any updates. Boy were there ever.

On the download page is the following:

We’re still in alpha stage…

At our current state, we are just encouraging interested developers to download, play with, and help improve the gOS. For our general audience, we encourage trying a gOS product that gOS has already been qualified on.

Er, that’s putting it mildly…

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Zonbu officially out of beta with new release

November 15, 2007

Zonbu logoThe team at Zonbu have been hard at work and the Zonbu is officially out of beta, just in time for the critical shopping season. Congratulations to the Zonbu team.

This is good news as they are facing challenges from the gOS $198 Walmart PC and the ASUS 3eee PC (one of which I expect to order today to take a close look at). That being said, from everything I’ve seen and read, the Zonbu product is still six to twelve months ahead of these products in maturity and polish. However, as we know from the betamax/VHS days, being best doesn’t always mean being first. Now Zonbu needs to execute on their sales and marketing strategy in a competitive market…

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The Zonbu Laptop for $480 – free shipping

November 14, 2007

Acer LaptopHow is that for a headline?

Over at Buy.com you can get a lovely little Acer laptop, complete with a wide screen display, a DVD burner, 1 Gig of system memory, WiFi and some other goodies, all for $479 + Free Shipping.

This hardware, with the Zonbu OS, would be ideal for my mother or for a LOT of people. I think the Zonbu OS stack is really well done, with only a few rough edges left to polish. I’m not so convinced about the hardware choices…

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Zonbu & Foxmarks – some things just make sense…

November 8, 2007

FoxMarks screenshotThanks to reader Bob from the UK for pointing out the excellent FoxMarks plug-in/service. It just makes sense.

FoxMarks lets you synch your Firefox bookmarks with a central server and keep various machines (office/home, PC/Laptop/Zonbu) in synch. It also means if any one of them goes walkabout on you you don’t loose your bookmarks.

Quite frankly, this is the kind of functionality I would expect for my Zonbu bookmarks already, given the online storage/cachefs approach Zonbu takes. But hey, you can’t have everything.

In the mean time, hot rod your Zonbu with FoxMarks.

-Mr. Zonbu