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


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


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.

Read the rest of this entry »


Philips launches embedded Rhapsody radios

January 7, 2008
Philips Streamium

The Rhapsody “all you can eat” subscription music service keeps going from strength to strength.

At CES this week Real Networks announced a partnership with Philips that will see the service emebedded in a number of new Internet enabled radio systems.

This is a bold move and it means you no longer need a PC active on your network in order to access your Rhapsody account. I’m seriously thinking about buying one, as I hate having to power my PC to enjoy my music via Rhapsody on my Roku Soundbridge. Dollar for dollar this may be the best option.

Read the rest of this entry »


Just what is product management?

January 4, 2008

Dilbert and friendsNow may be a good time to talk about software product management.

You can read the Wikipedia answer to the title question “Just what is product management?” here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_management

Or I can take a stab at it.

Product management is the discipline primarily responsible for the defining and managing the roadmap of a product. Product managers marry the vision of the product to the needs of the end users in a practical, usable and profitable way. That means they have to balance end user feedback and requests with engineering realities, marketing budgets, sales demands and so on.

It’s the ultimate crossfire job…

Read the rest of this entry »


Wow… $380 Laptops… This just keeps getting better

January 3, 2008

Well this is an even better deal than the Zonbook pricing if you don’t take the subscription.

If this was available for $279 when you took two years of Zonbu magic, I’d probably buy another one.

If you’ve been following along, you already know that I beleive Zonbu needs to mainstream their hardware. Its looking more and more like that wouldn’t be difficult at all either…

The deal hounds over at http://www.DealNews.com just posted this one:

Read the rest of this entry »


Econonmist: Ubuntu driving force behind Linux in 2008

December 29, 2007

CNet logoOver at CNET.com they have an interesting piece on an article in the Economist that largely credits the anticipated increased rise in Linux adoption in 2008 to the work done by Canonical on Ubuntu and its acceptance on the desktop.

From the CNet post:

That’s largely the doing of Gutsy Gibbon, the code-name for the Ubuntu 7.10 from Canonical….Ubuntu (and its siblings Kubuntu, Edubuntu and Xubuntu) has smoothed most of Linux’s geeky edges while polishing it for the desktop.

Read the rest of this entry »


EEE PC and Hotcakes, Aisle 3

December 26, 2007

I just saw this and wanted to pass it along. I’d love to know how it compares to the unit sales of the Zonbu product to date.

Of course, the Zonbu hardware means getting people to accept a fundamentally different approach with a monthly fee, which is always a challenge.  And, to be honest, after playing with my Eee for a week it is really a very different product, but still something that can threaten Zonbu sales…

Taipei (Taiwan) – Asustek has managed to take their Eee little PC and turn it into big sales numbers. In the first quarter of sales, the Eee PC shipped 350,000 units, which is 50,000 more than industry experts’ predictions. The Eee PC will be available at Best Buy in U.S. in 2008, and also in Japan at the same time. They are also available for online sales right now.”

More here: http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/35385/122/

I said it before, I’ll say it again.  I’d be benchmarking seriously against this device, the gOS PC, and the N8x0 series tablets as well as an Acer entry level laptop.  Those are the products that can will  are stealing sales from Zonbu.

-Mr. Zonbu