Big wheels keep on turning: 5 Reasons not the fear a $200 Linux PC

January 24, 2008

News.com LogoNews.com has a good post on the emergence of ultra low cost, Linux based, PCs.

They say:

Linux is not just for computer whizzes.

In fact, buying Linux and learning how to use it are easier than ever, thanks to the open-source operating system’s expanding presence in affordable computers and mainstream retail outlets.

Really what we’re seeing is the emergence of Firefox as a platform/OS, rather than Linux. To be honest, the principle use of these machines is as low cost web devices.  The Zonbu suddenly has A LOT of company, and only a small number of things to set it apart.

Now if it had stellar video performance and Rhapsody support, they would have some bragging rights, but as it stands, the shelves are getting awfully crowded.  Which is unfortunate, I think Zonbu has a lot of subtle things going for it, but it is going to get lost in the crowd without some real innovative partnerships and applications.

More here: http://www.news.com/Five-reasons-not-to-fear-a-200-Linux-PC/2100-1044_3-6227419.html?tag=nefd.top

-Mr. Zonbu

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The 22-year-old behind gOS

January 21, 2008

My apologies, I’m quite busy at work and can’t post as frequently at the moment.  On the upside I’m neck deep in some very interesting IPTV stuff.

I did come across an interesting article on the 22-year-old behind the gOS distribution that is shipping on PCs at a competing price point with the Zonbu that I wanted to share:

http://blogs.computerworld.com/the_22_year_old_behind_everex_cloudbooks_linux_os 

I’m also really looking forward to the next Zonbu release, which I understand from company comments in their forum is expected in mid-February.  Here is hoping that web cam support is finally working.

-Mr. Zonbu


S3 storage catches on, ZManda launches support for S3

January 14, 2008

Zonbu is really on to something organizing transparent online storage in partnership with the Amazon S3 storage cloud.  They aren’t the only ones doing it however.

While not nearly as slick as the transparent integration that the Zonbu OS offers, ZManda, a commercial service, is now offering corporate users the ability to backup to S3, in addition to tape and optical media.

Will it be much longer before someone does a tool for Ubuntu and other popular distributions that allows the end user to create folders and entire backups directly to S3 from the desktop?

You can read more over at DownloadSquad.com: http://www.downloadsquad.com/2008/01/11/zmanda-offers-backup-to-amazons-s3/

Or on the ZManda website: http://www.zmanda.com/

-Mr. Zonbu


Gentoo project in disarray?

January 14, 2008

Gentoo LogoThis commentary from the latest Distrowatch Weekly Newsletter over at Distrowatch.com seems to suggest the Gentoo project remains mired in disarray:

Gentoo Linux made the headlines last week and once again it was for the wrong reasons. It appears that the Gentoo Foundation’s charter as a non-profit organisation was revoked several weeks ago, when it was discovered that all except two trustees had resigned or were unreachable: “There has not been any public explanation from the Foundation’s trustees as to why this was allowed to happen, or what steps are being taken, if any, to fix this. This is very bad for the morale of the Gentoo community.” The founder of Gentoo also offers a solution – his return as President of Gentoo Foundation: “If I return as President, I will preserve the not-for-profit aspect of Gentoo. Beyond this, you can expect everything to be very, very different than how things are today.” The response by the Gentoo community was mixed – some launched a petition supporting the return of Robbins as the project’s benevolent dictator, but others seem to be against the idea. Whatever your opinion, one thing is clear: a radical solution is needed to take Gentoo Linux out of the current quagmire. Failing that, the latest news item on the Gentoo Linux home page — announcing the October 15 weekly newsletter — could be the project’s very last news release.

Regular readers will we well aware that I think there is significant business risk in continuing with a Gentoo base for Zonbu, so I won’t add anything new here, other than to say it doesn’t look good for Gentoo.

Distrowatch Weekly Newsletter here: http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20080114

-Mr. Zonbu


gOS Cloudbook and other Everex CES announcements

January 9, 2008

Over at CNET’s CES Coverage area they have a bief update on the Everex Cloudboox running gOS. Take a look here:

http://ces.cnet.com/8301-13855_1-9846075-67.html?tag=head

On the hardware side, the $199 gPC is getting updated with new plastics. It will be joined by a slick mini PC at $499 and a $399 notebook with a 15.4″ screen, the gBook. All of the gOS machines are powered by Via chips, except the mini, which gets a dual-core Pentium (not Core 2 Duo).

The real news, though, is the Everex CloudBook, a 2-pound ultra-small laptop with a 7″ screen, 30GB hard drive, a Webcam, and good connectivity (WiFi, 3 USB ports, 4-in-1 card reader). It “out-specs” the Asus ePC, according to Everex, and will sell for $399 when it shows up at WalMart on January 20th.

-Mr. Zonbu


Rhapsody – Get your head around the model

January 8, 2008

Sansa RhapsodyI was reading Esquire the other day, great magazine by the way. Occasionally a bit pretentious but really excellent non-fiction and fiction articles every month. Its the kind of magazine that makes you think.

What jumped out at me was that their resident gadget author, film director Barry Sonnenfeld, had some very kind words for the Rhapsody subscription service I’ve been singing the praises of (and saying should be bundled with the Zonbu). I’ll let you read for yourself:

Rhapsody Sansa e280R

Lyle Lovett and Toots and the Maytals recently released new albums, and Sweetie and I downloaded them from the Rhapsody Internet-music-subscription service (rhapsody.com). Since I liked them both, I transferred them to the incredibly small Sansa e280R MP3 player ($150). So long as I keep up my $15-a-month subscription, I can download any of the four million songs on Rhapsody without ever buying one. I thought it would be stupid to rent songs instead of owning them, but in reality, I’m listening to all sorts of great stuff that I never would have purchased from iTunes.

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EEE Officially Skype 2.0 with webcam support, works great

January 7, 2008

Video Conf ImageThis weekend I decided to do a package update on my EEE PC. I’ve resisted adding non-official repositories and generally doing geeky things to it as I wanted to compare the typical end user experience with that of the Zonbu.

To date, I’ve been a bit underwhelmed with the lack of updates. Firefox is still 2.0.0.7 and various other apps are older as well. The update function in the “basic” interface is a bit confusing and didn’t seem to be working consistently for me, but I soldiered on.

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