[SATLUG] $200 Laptops Break a Business Model

Alan Lesmerises alesmerises at satx.rr.com
Mon Jan 26 22:21:01 CST 2009

Here's another one that's similar to the slightly larger units I saw (CD 
drive sized):


Hopefully this link will work.  If not, go to http://www.thebookpc.com/ 
and look for "Mini PC Systems".

Al Lesmerises

Alan Lesmerises wrote:
> No -- actually, it was sort-off like this one 
> (http://www.picotux.com/).  It's 19x19x36 mm (3/4 x 3/4 x 1 1/2) as 
> shown, but the one I saw had a little housing on it, so it would have 
> been a little bigger.
> Al Lesmerises
> Charles Hogan wrote:
>> Is this the one you are talking about:
>> http://www.hemmy.net/2006/05/02/space-cube-smallest-pc/
>> Alan Lesmerises wrote:
>>> Since everyone else has been commenting on the service and not 
>>> really addressing one of your main questions below ;), I'll chime in 
>>> here.
>>> I recall a few e-mails being passed around the group (I think it was 
>>> last year or maybe 2007) about very small computers along with a 
>>> link of one someone had found and wanted opinions.  That prompted me 
>>> to do a little looking around and I came across an ultra micro 
>>> computer that looked to be barely big enough to plug in an RJ-45 
>>> jack at one end, and maybe about 2 to 2 1/2 inches long.  I don't 
>>> recall if it had a USB port (I think it might have), but I can't 
>>> believe it would draw more than a couple of Watts given it's size.  
>>> It supposedly ran a stripped-down version of Linux from a 
>>> solid-state data storage chip, if I remember right.  Unfortunately, 
>>> I don't seem to have kept a bookmark to where I found it, but I 
>>> _can_ say it's out there.
>>> Also, I came across some other very small computers that were just 
>>> big enough to house a CD/DVD drive with a fairly full complement of 
>>> I/O ports (ps2 for mouse & keyboard, DIN-15 for video, USB, etc.).  
>>> I would expect the power requirements to be pretty low here as well.
>>> Al Lesmerises
>>> Borries Demeler wrote:
>>>> Just wanted to share a couple of items with this group:
>>>> 1st item:
>>>> I recently ordered a MagicJack - anyone knows about this? For $39.95 +
>>>> s/h you get a little usb plugin device that at the other end allows 
>>>> you to
>>>> plug in your home phone. If you run Windows or Mac OSX and have 
>>>> broadband,
>>>> this allows you to make/get unlimited calling in the US, Canada and
>>>> Puerto Rico.  There is a $19.95 yearly charge for this service (first
>>>> year is included in the $39.95). It includes voicemail, a local 
>>>> number,
>>>> and caller ID. I run the software on an XP image running under 
>>>> VMWare on
>>>> my linux laptop. If you set up your network correctly, it works great,
>>>> sound quality is very good, even on international calls (for which you
>>>> have to pay, but only very little). You can also use a headset 
>>>> instead of the
>>>> phone. They are working on a Linux driver, but no ETA yet. The 
>>>> concept and
>>>> cost is the best VOIP solution I have found, so now I want to get 
>>>> rid of
>>>> my landline and replace it with this MJ device. I did have several 
>>>> startup
>>>> difficulties, which were all resolved with the help of their online 
>>>> chat
>>>> help, but it was tedious and time consuming. The problem was the 
>>>> original
>>>> number didn't work for incoming calls, they changed my number, now 
>>>> it works
>>>> great. One word of caution: They chat help is pretty incompetent, 
>>>> until you
>>>> get elevated high enough in their hirarchy.
>>>> 2nd item:
>>>> So, now I am thinking about getting a very low power consuming laptop
>>>> that I can leave on all the time without a big draw of electricity. It
>>>> only needs to run the MJ device. I was looking at the 8.9" intel Atom
>>>> netbooks, and also was wondering if there is something very low power
>>>> consuming but also very cheap, that may even come without a screen and
>>>> runs off of a CF card that I could preload with WinXP until they come
>>>> out with the Linux driver, so I don't need to have VMWare running 
>>>> all the
>>>> time. My current Linux system is a Inspiron 9400 power hog with 
>>>> lots of
>>>> memory, big screen and big harddrive, so I don't want to let it run 
>>>> 24/7.
>>>> I'm hoping I can get something for less than $200 that draws maybe 
>>>> 8-10
>>>> watts max.  Any suggestions?
>>>> 3rd item:
>>>> here is an interesting article in today's NYTimes:
>>>> $200 Laptops Break a Business Model
>>>> As consumers are finding ways to buy computers at a lower cost, 
>>>> high-margin businesses are hurting.
>>>> http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/26/technology/26spend.html?th&emc=th
>>>> Some excerpts:
>>>>    "...So who's up, who's down and who's out this time around? 
>>>> Microsoft's
>>>>    valuable Windows franchise appears vulnerable after two decades of
>>>>    dominance. Revenue for the company's Windows operating system 
>>>> fell for
>>>>    the first time in history in the last quarter of 2008. The 
>>>> popularity
>>>>    of Linux, a free operating system installed on many netbooks 
>>>> instead
>>>>    of Windows, forced Microsoft to lower the prices on its operating
>>>>    system to compete."
>>>>    "...The makers of open-source software also continue to benefit 
>>>> from
>>>>    the growing appeal of their often cheap, if not free, products. Sun
>>>>    Microsystems distributes 65,000 downloads a day of its MySQL
>>>>    database, which has turned into the favored business software of
>>>>    new companies. The job search engine Indeed.com shows a thriving 
>>>> job
>>>>    market for MySQL and Linux developers..."
>>>> So maybe us Linux geeks and programmers are recession proof this 
>>>> time around?
>>>> Let's hope so...
>>>> -Borries

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