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Elonex ONE Subnotebook Shows Right Path For Linux

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the no-fuss-just-tux dept.

Linux Business 177

davidmwilliams writes "Whether it was to your taste or not, there's no denying the ASUS Eee Linux subnotebook was a massive sales success. Demand far exceeded initial production so it's not surprising competitor models are on their way. Just like the Eee, the Elonex achieves cost savings by bundling freely redistributable open source software including, of course, the Linux operating system (specifically, Linos 2.6.21). Those who use the Elonex ONE may well understand it uses something called Linux under the hood, but they don't really have to grasp what this means. They don't have to care that the WiFi hardware was carefully chosen to be one of the exclusive few which has supported Linux drivers. They don't need to tamper with the way their family computer is already set up."

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FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23616469)

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Re:FP (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23618501)

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How to Become a Household Commodity (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23616497)

How to become a household commodity : driver support for all WiFi hardware, not just an "exclusive few".

Windows works just fine, quit trying to be different for the sake of being different.

Re:How to Become a Household Commodity (2, Informative)

CrazedWalrus (901897) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617545)

As opposed to the wide variety of wireless drivers that Windows supports out-of-the-box without manufacturer software?

Hint: MS doesn't write wireless drivers, the manufacturers do. The fact that Linux has native, non-manufacturer drivers at all speaks well for it.

Linux is different for the sake of being better.

I love the smell of troll food in the morning.

Amazing (-1, Offtopic)

smoke (771) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616523)

Imagine a Beowulf Cluster of these...

Year of the Linux Desktop! (2, Interesting)

Leonard Fedorov (1139357) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616533)

"And hence, shall usher in the Year of the Linux Desktop..."

At least, thats what reading between the lines gave me. Your milage may differ.
Its a nice idea, but how many of things have said they've managed to bridge the gap?
I'm not holding my breath.

Re:Year of the Linux Desktop! (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616863)

There is no "gap" between Windows and Linux for general use. Windows has more specialty applications that Linux lacks but that is only because it has been around in desktop use (for most people who use Linux we aren't talking about Linus here....) for longer then Linux has. All Linux is lacking is good support pre-installed by most manufacturers, with the EEE, the XO and now this, it seems like Linux can start being installed on more things. The gap is closing with every new computer maker who installs Linux on new computers.

Re:Year of the Linux Desktop! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23616959)

And when will we have good games developed for Linux as well? Computers are for games and pr0n and Windows quicks Linux ass (no pun intended) on both...

Re:Year of the Linux Desktop! (1)

pdusen (1146399) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617515)

No, Developers kick Linux's ass on both. There's a difference.

Re:Year of the Linux Desktop! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23618519)

Now reread that post.

Re:Year of the Linux Desktop! (2, Insightful)

spitzak (4019) | more than 5 years ago | (#23618997)

Wow! You have demonstrated an unbelievably low level of reading comprehension. Congratulations!

In case you missed it I will quote the second sentence: "Windows has more specialty applications that Linux lacks but that is only because it has been around in desktop use for longer then Linux has." Now you can argue whether that is true or false, but he directly addressed your question.

Re:Year of the Linux Desktop! (2, Interesting)

H3g3m0n (642800) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617423)

Personally I think it is fairly safe to consider this the year of the Linux desktop.

Several million EeePC's where shipped with Linux on them after all, and many other subnote books are planning too.

Then add into account the exponential Ubuntu user growth and the absolute suckage of Vista.

I'm not sure exactly what conditions are needed to be officially branded the year of the Linux desktop. Or are we expecting over %50 usage or some astronomical usage jump from %4 to %12 within months. Some kind of Linux singularity similar in concept to a technological singularity where the computers basically just start to install Linux themselves and it spreads virally?

Then again, perhaps this is just the year of the Linux laptop instead although for many the laptop is their desktop.

Re:Year of the Linux Desktop! (1)

Hieronymus Howard (215725) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617521)

Don't you mean "Year of the Linux Laptop" ;-)

Very interesting (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616545)

I'd like to know what the '300MHz LNX Code 8 Mobile Processor' is. My guess would be a Cortex A8 derivative, but it doesn't specify. I'd be interested to know if the machine can run other operating systems (e.g. OpenBSD). At under £100, it's very tempting to pick one up to play with. 1GB of flash is not very much though, and the only expandability is via USB (no flash cards, unfortunately).

Yeah, that damn CPU- why all the secrecy? (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616927)

Re: the CPU question.... I agree, I was going to say the same thing, but my connection is playing up.

I first heard of the Elonex ONE via Slashdot on a roundup of the Eee PC's rivals. It looked interesting, and I might have considered pre-ordering one, but there was bugger all concrete detail about the CPU.

Looking at the website now, it doesn't seem to give much (if any) more information than what was available back then. It states that they're using an "LNX [Elonex, geddit?!] Code 8 300MHz Mobile Processor", but that's meaningless because it's almost certainly someone else's rebadged CPU (*) So why all the secrecy when it's near launch?

I've heard rumours and suchlike, but nothing concrete, and nothing from the horse's mouth. They won't even state if it's an x86-compatible, or what that 300MHz speed is comparable to in practice. What have they got to hide?

(*) There's *no* way that a company the size of Elonex could- or would- create their own chip to rival those available from the major companies. Even if it was possible, it wouldn't be remotely cost-effective. In fact, IIRC the Elonex ONE is itself essentially a rebadged machine.

fear of lawsuit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23617173)

It is worth noting that an instruction set itself can not be copywriten, but some companies have sued small startups (MIPS technologies and Lexra) to bankruptcy on this issue. I personally think it is a chinese MIPS compatible processor in there, and they don't want to use the trademarked? MIPS title and don't know what else to call it. It would be nice if it was a Cortex A8, which could be overclocked quite well :)

Re:Yeah, that damn CPU- why all the secrecy? (2, Informative)

dominux (731134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617177)

it is a VIA chip. x86 compatible. No, I don't get the code name thing either.

WRONG (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23618967)

It is not Via's.

Name three things that suck about it.

o it's 300 MHz
o it's crap
o it's linux only
o it's designed by a woman*

*or a really, really weird guy (like CmdrTaco)

Re:Yeah, that damn CPU- why all the secrecy? (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 5 years ago | (#23619015)

Probably modified to Elonex' specs.

What market? (5, Interesting)

grizdog (1224414) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616549)

They say they are targeting the education market, "every child should have a laptop", which is great, but isn't there a big market just as a thin interface/word processor? I can think of lots of people who don't play games, and wouldn't need any more than this to satisfy their computing needs, maybe with a bigger monitor at home, maybe not.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the years. It used to be that people who didn't like computers, but had to use them for a few things, avoided Linux like the plague. It may be that these very people are about to embrace it, if it gives them all they want.

Re:What market? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23616781)

Laptops for every child is a novel goal. It's exciting, because it enables them so many things; hacking for instance.

Laptops for thin interface and word processor usage. Boring. An allegedly better way to do something people already do.

Re:What market? (1)

chthon (580889) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617893)

My current combination : evilwm + emacs + org-mode + mit/gnu scheme + clisp + LaTeX + bazaar.

I would really like to have such a small, flat portable. The previous combination now runs fine on a 10 year old 233 PII system with 96 Mb RAM and a 2,5 Gb HDD (software footprint : about 700 Mb).

Re:What market? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23618241)

Yes, there is. That's why the MacBook Air is selling so well, even though it is under powered and over priced. Computers have come to the point where basic needs are covered by the most basic entry level computers. E-mail, web, word processing, maybe a spread sheet here and there... Any computer can do that quite well, and the OS doesn't really matter that much. I haven't heard of someone buying a "fast" computer because it saves files faster, or renders a web page faster, or spell-checks faster than another. All of these have come to the point where a very basic machine will perceptively do just as well as a screamer.

The only difference in the market is that people who buy a MacBook Air (me) want something with style, light weight, and easy to lug around. EeePC users are willing to sacrifice the "style" part in exchange for a cheaper machine. Same target, different budget. So with the MBA school, cost is not a problem, but style is. You don't choose Windows for style. For the other school, style is sacrificed for price. You don't choose Windows when it costs a good portion of the cheap machine you want.

Now that computers are powerful enough that this market segmentation is becoming much clearer, Microsoft will need to either drastically reduce the price to cut-throat levels (meaning it will cut it's own throat, since you can't compete against free), specialize only in high-end application areas and compete against the big boy *NIX vendors exclusively (not very likely), or make a product that is smooth and seamless like MacOS X where cost is much less of an issue (they would have done it if they could). Either way you cut it, MS is in a bad position right now.

When you think about it, individual purchasers are much less likely to care about the OS. My Mom could care less. $300, does Web, E-mail, Chat, Word Processor. $500, does Web, E-mail, Chat, Word Processor. Which do you choose? They both seem to work equally well, and for average Joe, who is in a 5 year upgrade cycle, the learning curve is the same either way you go.

Linos... (2, Insightful)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616567)

Just what exactly is Linos? I tried Google, and it gave me nothing useful. (Photphonics, and Industrial software)

They might get even more publicity and help if they said "It uses Linos, which is based on [insert major distribution]"

Unless its not based on anything, which would be "cool" but not very well thought through, unless they have a huge Help & Support staff/department.

Re:Linos... (2, Informative)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616677)

Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] is your friend. :)

Re:Linos... (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616697)

Yes it is, and thanx... guess we'll have to wait till some people get there hands on one to find out what its capable of.

Although according to that sentence at Wikipedia, its proprietary, so that kinda sucks depending on what the TOS/License allows.

Re:Linos... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23616737)

This will surely make RMS cry.

Re:Linos... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23617217)

What *doesn't* make that fat whiny fucker cry?

Re:Linos... (1, Troll)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617343)

If RMS wants to see more Linux on the market, he's going to have to get used to people trying to make money from it--and for a lot of people, that means working with some form of proprietary license. If he wants to keep "GLP Purity" as a religious devotion, he can be satisfied that Linux will remain a niche product that a lot of businesses will not support.

Don't get me wrong--I like Linux, and I support the GPL. But having market share means making compromises.

Re:Linos... (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617567)

But rms DOESN'T want to see more "linux" on the "market" -- he wants to see more GNU in use. The linux kernel is just a patch-step for him and I think he hates it because its not GNU, its just GPL.

I suspect that he'll get even more incredulous if and when HURD ever gets finished.

Re:Linos... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23617705)

The linux kernel [...] and I think he hates it
Cite evidence or go drown in your own shit.

Re:Linos... (1)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617953)

But rms DOESN'T want to see more "linux" on the "market" -- he wants to see more GNU in use.

*sigh* I know. And I hate to say it, but GNU won't make a big splash on the market even if the Hurd is ever ready for release.

Oh, and as for the troll moderation--sorry I kicked your sacred cow. Sacred cows may make the best hamburger, even if their religious devotees scream the loudest.

Re:Linos... (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#23618139)

If RMS wants to see more Linux on the market, he's going to have to get used to people trying to make money from it--and for a lot of people, that means working with some form of proprietary license.
So, he should look to the success of *BSD in this market as a model to how GNU software should be licensed? </sarcasm>

Re:Linos... (1)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616745)

Actually I'm also hoping that if a slashdotter gets ahold of Linos and finds out more, they'll also update the WP article. (hint, hint)

Re:Linos... (1)

Night64 (1175319) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616719)

Don't you love wikipedia? It was said there that Linos was "a proprietary embedded version of linux"... Proprietary? Version? Oh, ok, it is wikipedia. There, I fixed that for you.

Re:Linos... (3, Informative)

hansraj (458504) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616685)

Wikipedia does have an entry about Linos [wikipedia.org] . Unfortunately the whole article is:

Linos is a proprietary embedded version of Linux used by Aware Electronics in their A-BOOK products[1]. It is also expected to be used in the Elonex ONE.
(Emphasis added)

This doesn't really answer your question and I will add another question to the discussion. Just how come a version of Linux is proprietary? Doesn't proprietary mean that you don't automatically get a license to use and/or distribute the software? This can not be the case with a Linux derivative since GPL v2 (the license of the kernel) allows everyone to use, modify and distribute it.

Re:Linos... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616717)

While the source code for the kernel is GPL, the kernel doesn't do a whole lot on it's own. They could use the Linux kernel and basic xwindows, kde, or xfce, and load it to the brim with other proprietary software.

Re:Linos... (3, Interesting)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616725)

Aslong as the proprietary only applies to distribution, im (somewhat) "ok" with it.

But if we start hearing about lawsuits and crap because some kid modded his Linos so he could do [whatever], this is not going to help "Linux". Because the articles "Bob Smith sentenced to a $1,000 fine for modding his Linos" just makes people scared of touching their OS.

Re:Linos... (1)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 6 years ago | (#23618225)

I've always considered proprietary to mean "specific to a project or company". For example, if you make a game with maps, and you make your own map format instead of using something like tiled or mappy, then that is a proprietary map format. If you design your own scripting language, rather than using python or lua, then that is proprietary. Wesnoth, for example, uses a proprietary format for its maps. Despite being proprietary, it is completely free and open. It's just that no other projects use it.

It's also worthy of note that the Wikipedia article has since been changed, and no longer refers to Linos as proprietary.

it is Xandros (1)

dominux (731134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617137)

not quite sure why it was referred to as Linos, but I think that was an error.

Re:it is Xandros (2)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617751)

[citation needed]

Re:it is Xandros (2, Informative)

dominux (731134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23618107)

the pre-production model that I borrowed for a week, and was shown at the Education show in Birmingham UK had Xandros on it. Sorry, this is original research, I can't cite anything.

Re:it is Xandros (1)

dominux (731134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23618203)

on reflection I can cite myself here [olpcnews.com] where I said inaccurately that it was based on an AMD processor (it is a VIA I think) and I said it was based on Debian, which is half true, it is Xandros which is in turn based on Debian.

Re:it is Xandros (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#23619005)

Not a very good cite, since you're 1) quoting yourself, and 2) you got some of the facts wrong.

Re:Linos... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23617769)

I don't know much about Linux, but it doesn't take much research to find out that Linos is the name of kernel 2.6.21 of a debian version of Linux, which there is plenty of relevant information about if you check the obvious website. Going straight to the relevant location (Linux in this case) often gives you much more than a Google search. Everybody seems to think that Google is the indisputable God of the Internet and that it knows everything. It doesn't. As for Wikipedia, if you want false, rubbish and biased info on something, just use it. An encyclopedia updated by the average Joe? Mmmmh...
elonexone.simbeb@googlemail.com (not an anonymous coward)

Maybe it's time to try Linux... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23616583)

If only I could get half the smile David has in TFA, I guess it's time to try Linux.

How we have moved on (3, Insightful)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616585)

Not very long ago we would have fallen off our chairs in disbelief at the choice in Linux powered laptops coming on to the market. We are now starting to greet them with ''Oh, another one.''.

Unfortunately: this hasn't happened yet (in a big way) in the corporate desktop market. That will happen next year -- as I have been predicting for the last 8 years.

Re:How we have moved on (3, Insightful)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617041)

Unfortunately: this hasn't happened yet (in a big way) in the corporate desktop market. That will happen next year -- as I have been predicting for the last 8 years.

OK. But that's only because the corporate market hasn't cottoned on to the fact that the rest of the world realised long ago that Windows is still not ready for the desktop, while Linux supports much more hardware "out of the box" and never bluescreens. Though I have to admit that those guys at Apple seem to do a reasonably good job of it, since I'm happily using an ageing iBook G4 right now...

Seems to me that the only possible use for a Windows box these days is to play games, which by definition sort of implies that it is (still) not for serious users.

Cue flamethrowers...

Re:How we have moved on (0)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617467)

Mind you, I use Linux. I write OSS code. And I'll still say you're an idiot.

I have not seen a single bluescreen on Windows XP that wasn't related to hardware problems. Those same bluescreens caused kernel panics on Linux.

Linux supports more hardware out of the box, but supports much of it poorly. While you often need drivers on Windows, the drivers tend to be of much higher quality. Don't start whining "well, the hardware guys should open their spec"--that's irrelevant, it's an excuse, and no user gives a shit about excuses.

Windows also has better applications in general--and most of the good OSS stuff has freeware equivalents on Windows, if the stuff isn't directly ported! OpenOffice, The GIMP (oh, wait, we're talking about good applications, my bad)...the list is pretty long. The Linux UI is still bad; even KDE, the best of the lot, has a bunch of sharp edges out there and the difference between Qt and GTK applications is enough to confuse and piss off a lot of people.

Windows is also generally easier to administer. Linux is more powerful, but most folks don't need that power. Even on a desktop system (remember, they're going to have hundreds of these), it's easier for most sysadmins to manage Windows clients, too.

And since Windows comes by default with just about all the computers out there (making its effective cost $0, and don't bother boring anyone with the "Windows tax" blather), nobody has a good reason to switch.

Stop trashing Windows and make Linux better, and you'll see improvements in usage. The corporate market is arguably a lot smarter than you. They know what works well for them. If it didn't work acceptably compared to the alternatives, they'd switch.

Re:How we have moved on (3, Insightful)

njh (24312) | more than 6 years ago | (#23618539)

There is a certain amount of "nobody got fired for buying IBM" in the corporate world which results in inertia.

Elonex ONE (5, Informative)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616593)

Apparently the Elonex ONE is just a rebranded version of this system [blogspot.com] , i.e. a digital photoframe with a keyboard/mouse and wifi grafted on (which is how they manage to keep the cost down).

Re:Elonex ONE (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616639)

Indeed it does, and if I had to choose, I would choose that one, simply for the 800x480 display, which seems to be running at the same aspect ratio, if the Elonex has the same screen running at 640x480, no thanx... and because that article has pictures of it...

Re:Elonex ONE (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616751)

I don't know where TFA got the 640x480 from - the Elonex site says 800x480.

Re:Elonex ONE (1)

dominux (731134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617195)

it does actually have the 800x480 screen. It is quite good, nice and bright, but behind a fairly thick perspex covering so it isn't particularly delicate.

Yep, and see also Aware Electronics page... (1)

Fallen Andy (795676) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617781)

here [aware.com.tw] .A quick look in Wikipedia turned up a blank for the processor module see here [wikipedia.org] . No luck trawling for the ADay-5F module with Google either...

Andy

Re:Yep, and see also Aware Electronics page... (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 6 years ago | (#23618743)

I think it is assume it is similar to this one [aware.com.tw] ,since it is the same company. And since they seem to prefer the older chip designs,300Mhz would make it a P2?

the OS means less these days (1)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616657)

For business and school use, Google Docs, etc are betting o be so good, that the only thing that really matters is having Firefox, and a good WiFi link to the internet.

Expand on that, get your own domain, and Google Apps let you expand on that and manage quite complex projects.

You may still need a Windows machine to use some application specific software, but carrying one of thesse or the Eee really can solve so many of your mibile needs, that like I said, the OS just doesnt matter.

Cheers

Re:the OS means less these days (2, Insightful)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616797)

As long as Excel and Word macros are ubiquitously used and locked tightly (not to mention the piles of features built into both apps), Google Docs will have a very hard time prying open Microsoft Office's dominance. Businesses are so dependent on them, in fact, that it would be much more feasible and secure for them to tunnel VNC/Remote Desktop sessions through SSH or VPN and run software off a central application server.

Of course, the client machine doesn't need to be Windows, so herein is a tremendous opportunity for Linux subnotebooks. Configure the client distro to use as much physical RAM as possible, and let your mobile users run everything inside VNC. No need to download files to the laptop, where you can have data leaks.

Other than a small screen, the fact that you'll still buy a pile of Windows Server and Office CALs, and possibly crummy 'net access, I can't see much to complain about this scenario. I'll leave it up to someone else to set me straight Car Talk style. Here, I'll start it for you: "You knucklehead..."

Re:the OS means less these days (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#23618343)

As long as Excel and Word macros are ubiquitously used and locked tightly (not to mention the piles of features built into both apps), Google Docs will have a very hard time prying open Microsoft Office's dominance. Businesses are so dependent on them, in fact, that it would be much more feasible and secure for them to tunnel VNC/Remote Desktop sessions through SSH or VPN and run software off a central application server.

You mean, all the VBA macros in older versions of MS Office, which will not work in new versions of MS Office, but will in OpenOffice.org?
Just asking, since I heard somewhere that OO.o is the basis for Google Docs...

Re:the OS means less these days (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 5 years ago | (#23618939)

bah, the percentage that actually make use of the majority of the features of the ms office apps are a minority.

some may use a subset, the rest just use them as glorified notepads and calculators. and for those uses the google apps, abiword and gnumeric, openoffice, koffice or any other similar set of apps are just as able to get the job done.

whats more important at that point is file format support.

Point of inflection (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616661)

Catastrophe theory etc.
 

Hideous design anyone? (1)

bgfay (5362) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616683)

Two caveats: one, I have an Eee so I'm biased that way, and two, I have only looked at the Elonex site for about thirty seconds. But that thing is ugly! It looks like it would flop over on its top-heavy back all the time. Why is everything in the screen instead of under the keyboard? Is it to keep the heat off of little boys and girls baby producing parts?

That thing just looks weird.

Re:Hideous design anyone? (2, Interesting)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616841)

How many laptops have you seen rendered useless because the connection between the screen and the rest of the machine snapped? I can guarantee you this one won't be.

Re:Hideous design anyone? (1)

dominux (731134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617223)

it does have a hinge but that is on the keyboard unit, which is basically disposable. Probably costs about 5-10 quid for a replacement keyboard.

Re:Hideous design anyone? (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616969)

Two caveats: one, I have an Eee so I'm biased that way, and two, I have only looked at the Elonex site for about thirty seconds. But that thing is ugly!
Well, yeah, but it's just over half the price of the cheapest Eee PC (in the UK anyway), so it's hardly a fair comparison.

Yeah, I agree that it's not pretty, but for a hundred quid, you really *shouldn't* be expecting MacBook-shaming industrial design prettiness. It's aimed at kids, for ****'s sake!

Re:Hideous design anyone? (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 5 years ago | (#23618991)

and built to survive.

the keyboard is a membrane system thats virtually spill proof. rather then a touch screen it has a oversized nub and two mouse button on the back of the screen, similar to whats found on the keyboard itself.

and while its not shown on any of the elonex images, there is a built in stand at the back to support the extra weight.

yes, this means that the keyboard most likely cant be used while on the go. or even in a lap...

Crippled by 7" 640x480 screen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23616727)

Until they start shipping at least 1024x768 10" screens, this will not truly take off. Wait till next year.

Re:Crippled by 7" 640x480 screen (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617483)

It's 800x480, champ. On a 7" screen, that's not bad. Also take into account how cheap the thing is.

Re:Crippled by 7" 640x480 screen (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23618289)

Until they start shipping at least 1024x768 10" screens, this will not truly take off. Wait till next year.

Next week friend, next week. The anticipation is killing me.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23616747)

They don't need to tamper with the way their family computer is already set up.
You acknowledge that the computer is mine yet you describe my fooling around with it as 'tampering'?

If you feel this way, why bother using FOSS?

Didn't Elonex Go Bust? (2, Interesting)

Temeraire (913731) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616827)

I thought Elonex (i.e. the north London PC makers we once bought from) went bust and were then bought from administration by someone else. Nothing wrong with that, except that New Elonex was reported in the press to be refusing to honour Old Elonex's warranties on the grounds that they were a different legal entity. Nothing illegal in that, but New Elonex's web site gives the impression of business continuity.
    Could we perhaps ask New Elonex to clarify this point? Are they as honourable a business as we would all like to believe? The world is a bit too full of dodgy phoenix companies for my liking.

Re:Didn't Elonex Go Bust? (3, Interesting)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617101)

Well, since they bought the name, they probably want to benefit from the recognition of the old company, so they're not going to play up the fact that they're a legally different entity.

Brands are in truth increasingly meaningless these days. Take Polaroid for example. The original company went bankrupt a few years back, and the current "Polaroid" is a legally separate company that took over their business and the name. With the exception of film cameras (which they continued for a while, but I believe they've stopped doing now), almost all "Polaroid" products are made by third-party companies who've licensed the name and slapped it on some cheapass LCD TVs (or whatever) in an attempt to trade off the reputation of and goodwill towards the original Polaroid.

In other words, "Polaroid" is totally meaningless as a brand (in the traditional sense) nowadays.

What I don't understand is companies taking over names like "Time Computers". For those who don't know, Time are a UK company that's gone bankrupt and had its name bought at least twice, despite having a really manky reputation in all its incarnations. I guess that "brand recognition" has some value, no matter how bad the associations with that brand are.

Re:Didn't Elonex Go Bust? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23618253)

Hmmm. Just been reading their site. Claims that the company was founded in 1986, and that they are responsible for all of their history. To me that contradicts a stance where they refuse to honour old warranties.

I wonder if this sort of thing will be swept up by the new UK consumer protection regulations (statutory instrument 1277), which are meant to outlaw deceptive practices.

Article has errors in it (3, Informative)

rcb1974 (654474) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616849)

From TFA:

"Just like the Eee, the Elonex achieves cost savings by bundling freely redistributable open source software including, of course, the Linux operating system (specifically, Linos 2.6.21)"


Linux is just the kernel, GNU is the operating system.

From TFA:

"Unlike the Eee, however, the native resolution is a more regular (though narrower) 640x480 instead of the bizarre 640x400 ASUS offer."


This is false. I own the Asus Eee PC 701. It has a resolution of 800x480, not "640x400".

From TFA:

"Now, returning to hardware, although I commented on how much the ONE seems reminiscent of the Eee there are some differences. I already mentioned the resolution which while taller is narrower."


Again, this is false.

indeed, lots of errors (1)

dominux (731134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617319)

both the eeePC and Elonex One have 800x480 and you are right about the operating system, I think the Linos thing was an early missprint and it has been repeated and repeated. It is a kernel version number (which means very little to the target audience of the marketing material) the operating system is a custom Xandros, just like the eeePC (although Xandros on eeePC was customised for Asus and Xandros on One was customised for Elonex so don't expect them to be identical).

Re:Article has errors in it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23617699)

From TFA:

"Just like the Eee, the Elonex achieves cost savings by bundling freely redistributable open source software including, of course, the Linux operating system (specifically, Linos 2.6.21)"

Linux is just the kernel, GNU is the operating system.



Xoohh... Go away Professor Stalman!

Re:Article has errors in it (2, Insightful)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617825)

Linux is just the kernel, GNU is the operating system.

GNU is just a bunch of command line utilities. According to the literal meaning, there is no more justification for calling it the "GNU operating system" than the "Linux operating system".

But, as any non-autistic person understands, language isn't limited to literal meanings anyway. Calling it the "Linux operating system" is an example of metonymy and is quite reasonable.

And, as such things go, it will probably still be called Linux long after the Linux kernel has been replaced by something better.

There is nothing in the article which is news (1)

dominux (731134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23618167)

well, nothing that couldn't have been written on March 1st at any rate. In fact I did write an article about the Elonex One, and the OLPC XO and the EeePC on March 1st, [olpcnews.com] I don't know if it is a better article, I am of course not a professional journalist, but I did at least make an effort to check the facts and actually did have a unit to look at. The ITWire article is just poorly regurgitating some publicly available specifications.

You are WRONG!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23618307)

Linux is just the kernel, GNU is the operating system.

Wrong, GNU is not the operating system here. Linux is the operating system, with a set of programs and utilities running on it. Some of these auxiliary programs and utilities do belong to the GNU software collection, it's true, but they are not enough to OPERATE the SYSTEM with, get it?


However, if you want a *true* "GNU operating system" you'll have to use the Hurd. Good luck...

Re:Article has errors in it (1)

iabervon (1971) | more than 6 years ago | (#23618481)

If they're actually using an embedded distribution, it's not too unlikely that it doesn't have the usual GNU software on it at all. They could go with newlib, busybox, and dash, and not include a native build environment, and it would be hard to argue that it's a GNU system at all. GNU stuff in that layer is really nice for interactive use, but if your scripts are all POSIX and you don't expect people to work on the system from inside, you can cut out a huge amount of space that goes to making things that won't matter nice.

A solid company created distro could be the ticket (2, Interesting)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616871)

However, it won't be Elonex. Asus is my personal bet for the one company to take Linux to the true desktop. They have the advantage of being both hardware mfr. and Linux developers, they have great stuff from Apple using them as their vendor.

Linux has needed a single, unified, vision from the beginning to get past all o fthe choice/freedom crap and get on to a unified UI, a solid look and feel, and most importantly ONE of everything that is best in class and 100% working by default. Since the OSS community will never agree to do this, a company is my only hope (as sad as that is). I'm wishing ASUS nothing but luck.

Re:A solid company created distro could be the tic (2, Insightful)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617175)

Linux has needed a single, unified, vision from the beginning to get past all o fthe choice/freedom crap and get on to a unified UI, a solid look and feel, and most importantly ONE of everything that is best in class and 100% working by default. Since the OSS community will never agree to do this, a company is my only hope (as sad as that is). I'm wishing ASUS nothing but luck.

Fair enough, in a way I sort of agree, in the sense that Linux might be seen as a competitor to Windows as a marketable item. However, a strength of Linux (OK, and the BSDs too) is the customisability of the interface(s), since neither Microsoft nor Apple seem to care much about this. By now, the bigger players in the UI scene (i.e Gnome and KDE) have pretty much got their act together, and their products work at least as well as their proprietary counterparts.

The last thing Linux users need is to be squeezed into a proprietary box. We've seen enough of that already.

Re:A solid company created distro could be the tic (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617397)

But at some point customization and freedom have to take a back seat to "good enough." It's fine to then take that solid foundation and open it up for people to tweak, change, build upon, streamline, extend, etc... but let's have that one solid base.

I used to have all the time in the world to tinker and tweak, and then the realization that I end up spending most of my time computing tweaking and tuning and NOT actually doing anything. I've been with Linux for over 12 years now, I wish it success but I think the community is misguided.

Why Linus and others constantly state that chaos is good, yet the kernel is presided over and shaped and guided with one vision and goal... and everything else is supposed to magically align for greatness is beyond me. It needs to be treated as a complete package not just a kernel any more.

Re:A solid company created distro could be the tic (2, Insightful)

budword (680846) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617451)

Linux is not for everyone. If you want EXACTLY one of everything and a lack of choices because you don't want to be confused, perhaps you should stay with windows. There is a market for a fisherprice OS, and it is you. The strength of Linux is Freedom and Choice. Stick with windows, you'll be happier, you want mind the lack of Freedom, or being force fed some corporations idea of what you need on your computer.

Re:A solid company created distro could be the tic (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 5 years ago | (#23618937)

Wow, how terribly insightful. YOU are exactly what is wrong with Linux. *I* don't need a fancy OS. I live and work daily in some of the most cryptic operating systems made. I work in low level, I have contributed more to open source than you could hope to. It is people like you and your mentality that deserve to fail and to flounder on another 12 years treading water rather than pushing ahead.

*I* don't need one of everything, Linux does... and even then just out of the box. No one said there can't be choice and 40 half-assed versions of the same app available... but straight away there should be a decided upon set default system which includes one of each. Why exactly do I need 12 text editors on a default install? Imagine for a minute if Windows shipped with 12 text editors and 6 video players, and on and on as Linux does... it would be ridiculous and a waste of space and resources.

But it's Linux so I should give it a pass lest I be labeled a simpleton. Wake the fuck up.

Re:A solid company created distro could be the tic (3, Insightful)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 5 years ago | (#23618963)

both hardware mfr. and Linux developers
Yes, but their hardware quality, especially in comparaison to Gigabyte (by itself it's fine), has been in a rather harsh decline since the launch of S775/AM2.

Oh, they don't develop anything Linux/GPL IIRC. The linux distro on the eeePC is outsourced to Xandros, a shoddy company that puts my city's already crappy tech sector to shame. They were also one of the companies that signed a deal with MS, another reason to avoid them (Novell's turned out to be not too bad, the ones following it however were a lot worse).

Still, I love the eeePC, because it was the first and the only subnotebook to be under 400$ and released to the "general market", something MSI, Dell, and HP have missed.

Apple using them as their vendor
Apple uses Foxconn parts.

Linux has needed a single, unified, vision from the beginning
I would like to direct you to kernel.org :)

That said, really, there is no need for a unified Linux distro. Almost everything is "unified". The only thing that really differs amongst distro packagers are slight kernel modifications, small lib changes (basically things that would make an Ubuntu binary not run on Debian), and choice of package managers; even then, only two are relevant; .deb and .rpm.

get past all o fthe choice/freedom crap
Why are you using Linux again? Might as well go back to MS/Apple if you have an attitude like that. That's not to say we're all elitists, I even less, but if you don't like the "choice/freedom crap" then you're free to leave you know.

and get on to a unified UI,
Why? I freaking hate EDE. I hate gnustep. I hate FLTK. I love GTK. Why should we have a unified UI? All of the major desktops (Xfce, Gnome, KDE) have unified on a set of desktop standards, namely Tango, so there's nothing really non-"unified". Sure, there's different toolkits, but hey buddy:

http://arstechnica.com/articles/culture/microsoft-learn-from-apple-II.media/vista.png [arstechnica.com] (and they've left out non-MS toolkits too!)
http://bla.st/static/blog/macos_interfaces.gif [bla.st]

Yeah, good job Apple and MS! We should really be "unified" too! That's what people want! As opposed to two major ones, GTK, QT, and one minor one, FLTK!

"Linux" looks rather unified to me. Look at how well GTK and QT can play together. [forwardlateral.com]

a solid look and feel,
Feels solid to me. If you have complaints make 'em verbose & direct so we can fix it.

and most importantly ONE of everything that is best in class and 100% working by default.
Yeah, like things on the OSX and Windows side work 100% amirite or amirite? You don't have to install every effing program you know. You're free to use the apps you like, and I'm sure it's in your distro provider's best intentions to give you the nicest experience they can. Otherwise you've got a bad maintainer and should leave.

Since the OSS community will never agree to do this, a company is my only hope (as sad as that is). I'm wishing ASUS nothing but luck.
Yeah, like Asus does such a good job; have you ever looked at their xandros desktop? Not exactly farts and sunshine there. I especially like that they mixed IceWM and KDE. That's two toolkits that need to be loaded. Good game, guys.

Commoditization of Complements (5, Insightful)

$random_var (919061) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616881)

As Joel wrote [joelonsoftware.com] , a good business strategy is to drive the price of the complements of your product down to commodity levels. Decreasing the cost of operating systems will make laptops more profitable, so a lot of the companies entering the subnotebook field will be stimulating linux (and other open source) development. We've already seen this from VIA; I can't wait to see if some big US brands start openly supporting linux development.

In a tossup between the EeePC and the One (3, Informative)

SurlyToad (932526) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616971)

The Eee wins.

I considered the Elonex One for all of 5 minutes before rejecting it. Ok, I paid twice as much for my Eee, but it doesn't look like an ugly botched abortion with an even more obscure "version" of Linux than Xandros. And the overall spec of the Eee is light years above the One.

I've installed Xampp on the Eee with no problems and it makes a curiously engaging development and demonstration platform. I'd hate to try THAT with the One!

Removable keyboard is nice (3, Interesting)

emj (15659) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617377)

Elonex has a removable keyboard [slashdot.org] , even though the lack of touch screen makes it less usefull. I really want to have one of these with out keyboard, because of the small form factor the keyboard becomes alot more conspicuous.

I've been using small Laptops since 2000 and the keyboard has always been an issue. Sure 90% of the time it doesn't matter, but sometimes it really is helpful to remove the keyboard.

varporware (2, Informative)

emj (15659) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617469)

Though we haven't seen an updated to Elonex shopping page since march...

wrong link (1)

emj (15659) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617503)

removable keyboard [elonexone.co.uk]

Re:In a tossup between the EeePC and the One (1)

Hieronymus Howard (215725) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617543)

The Elonex is aimed mainly at kids and the educational market. It's not really designed for Linux geeks.

Given the success of the Eee, I confidently expect many more small Linux-based sub-notebooks to be launched in the next few months and years.

Re:In a tossup between the EeePC and the One (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23617823)

I've never understood people trying to compare the eee pc to the Elonex one. It's just not relevant. Not the same target public, not the same use, hardware is not even similar, prices are nowhere near comparable. We might just as well compare a Porshe 911 and a Ford Focus...
elonexone.simbeb@gmail.com

Re:In a tossup between the EeePC and the One (1)

lysse (516445) | more than 6 years ago | (#23618039)

If you only have £100 spare, then the ONE wins by default; whilst you could get a "proper", much higher spec'd, second-hand laptop for that money, you'd almost certainly end up lashing out £50 or so on a new battery straight away.

When a 'human' distro will be used? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23617051)

What's up with all of these little-known distros taking up the space? Why don't the put something like Ubuntu/OpenSUSE/Fedora on the thing?

Re:When a 'human' distro will be used? (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617499)

Because those are very large distros, and customizing them is not terribly easy.

Re:When a 'human' distro will be used? (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617771)

Ubuntu JeOS isn't bad for customizing, and neither is Debian Netinst.

Re:When a 'human' distro will be used? (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617641)

Check the wiki.eeeuser.com pages. Lots of folks have run larger (as in disk drive size) distros on their mini laptops. Issue as another poster notes is they aren't optimised and come with too many extra tools and guff. No point installing a thousand apps by default just because you can on a minilaptop which is pushed for space.

you inse8sitive clod! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23617185)

by BSDI Who sell

The eightfold subnotebook (2, Funny)

m0llusk (789903) | more than 5 years ago | (#23618935)

Wisdom
Right display and memory
Right system and applications

Ethical conduct
Right patching
Right networking
Right configuration

Concentration
Right keys and touchpad
Right backups
Right clamshell hibernate
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