Elonex £99 Eee PC rival ‘to arrive in June’

The Linux-based ‘network appliance’ market continues to grow. The Register is reporting that

Elonex has rolled out its sub-£100 Linux-based laptop, the One, but it looks like it’s going to prove harder get hold of than Asus Eee PC has been.

Elonex today unveiled black, pink, green, white and silver Ones to whet buyers’ appetites. However, it admitted that the initial batch with comprise just 200,000 machines, none of which will go out to punters until June…

Wal-Mart customers not interested in Linux PCs

From Technology Review

NEW YORK (AP) — Computers that run the Linux operating system instead of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows didn’t attract enough attention from Wal-Mart customers, and the chain has stopped selling them in stores, a spokeswoman said Monday.

”This really wasn’t what our customers were looking for,” said Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokeswoman Melissa O’Brien.

To test demand for systems with the open-source operating system, Wal-Mart stocked the $199 ”Green gPC,” made by Everex of Taiwan, in about 600 stores starting late in October.

Walmart.com, the chain’s e-commerce site, had sold Linux-based computers before and will continue selling the gPC.

This was the first time they appeared on retail shelves…

ASUS (contd)

The little ASUS sub-notebook continues to amaze me. Tonight I just plugged my 3G HSDPA modem into one of the USB ports. The machine instantly detected the model and I just followed the instructions in the Network dialog box and, bingo! — I was on the Net. This is the way Linux machines ought to be. In fact, it was easier to set up for the modem than was the MacBook Pro.

HP is planning a Linux sub-notebook

According to the Register,

HP’s going after the Eee PC with a compact laptop that sports an 8.9in display and more connectivity options than the elfin Asus machine currently offers.

So says Engadget, which has posted some pics and a very basic spec….

It’s interesting to see what ASUS started. Also interesting to find that you can’t buy an ASUS machine anywhere in the UK just now — they’re selling like the Nintendo Wii.

If HP is really entering this market, that’s good news because (a) the company makes nice kit, and (b) it further increases the penetration of Linux in new markets.

The green machine that made Intel see red

This morning’s Observer column

An interesting package arrived in my household the other day: a small bright green-and-white laptop with a built-in carrying handle. It looks as if it has been designed by Fisher-Price, an impression reinforced by two little ‘ears’ which, when unclipped, double as wi-fi antennae. The 7.5in screen rotates and folds back on itself to form a kind of tablet, rather like those pricey Toshiba laptops only Microsoft salespeople can afford…

Vista: the torture begins

This morning’s Observer column

Next Thursday, 30 November, is the feast day of St Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland. Pity he’s not also the patron saint of computer users, because soon they are going to need all the divine help they can get.

How come? Well, 30 November is also the day that Microsoft releases Vista, the new version of Windows, to its corporate customers. Because companies don’t squeal, we may expect the occasion to pass off reasonably peacefully. The screaming proper will only start on 30 January next year, when the system is released to consumers.

Vista, you see, is a new kind of beast. It’s not enough just to install it on your computer; you must also ‘activate’ it…

Clinton goes Open Source?

Steve Bell’s cartoon in the Guardian of September 28. Note top right-hand corner. What can this mean?

Later… Mystery solved. James M, from whom nothing is hidden, writes:

In his speech to the Labour Party BrownNoseFest [Clinton] introduced the word Ubuntu as expressive the interelationships of people and their circumstances in South Africa. He also mentioned the software connection.

Microsoft to unveil $100 laptop killer?

Hot on the heels of the news that the Indian government has rejected the ‘One Laptop per Child’ idea comes an Engadget story that Microsoft, stung by the OLPC team’s decision to adopt Linux rather than Windows CE, is going to release a ‘foneplus’ — i.e. a mobile phone with port for connecting a TV screen and a keyboard. No pics, and maybe it’s just a rumour, but…

The social life of networks

I was offline yesterday because I was giving the Beishon Memorial Lecture at the OU and needed to focus on important matters like logistics and car parking for guests. The title of the lecture was “The Social Life of Networks” and there’s a pdf here if you’re having trouble sleeping. There will also be a webcast, but it hasn’t emerged from editing yet.

Thanks to James Miller, eagle-eyed as ever, who spotted several typos and a glaring error in a calculation!