[SATLUG] $200 Laptops Break a Business Model
jclements at grandecom.net
Wed Jan 28 19:52:08 CST 2009
This possibly is the Gumstix, on www.gumstix.com, reportedly runs Linux
and available in various versions, including wireless.
Haven't used one, but fascinated, long time lurker.
On Mon, 2009-01-26 at 20:36 -0600, 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
> > By BRAD STONE and ASHLEE VANCE
> > 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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