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$250 Freescale-Based "Green" "Cloud" Computer

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the fully-buzzword-compliant dept.

Earth 371

An anonymous reader sends word of the CherryPal, a tiny desktop computer that its maker says will consume just 2 watts. It uses a Freescale processor that runs Linux and has no moving parts. The CherryPal has integrated software and an embedded Linux (based on Debian) that has been stripped down to support Open Office, Firefox, iTunes, instant messaging, and multimedia access locally. More applications are available in the cloud, and 50 GB of cloud storage is included. It comes without keyboard or mouse but with ports for VGA, USB, Ethernet, and built-in Wi-Fi. It's claimed that the CherryPal will boot up in 20 seconds from 4 GB of flash. They've buried Linux so that the end user doesn't see it; the entire UI is presented through Firefox. The CherryPal site says: "There's no software or upgrades to install, no risk of viruses, and no operating system to deal with and free 24/7 support."

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371 comments

"green" vs "no upgrades" (5, Insightful)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292495)

so buying a throw-away brick is now considered green?

Re:"green" vs "no upgrades" (1)

smallshot (1202439) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292531)

everyone knows that if you follow one "green" rule, your product is automatically green.

Re:"green" vs "no upgrades" (5, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292551)

so buying a throw-away brick is now considered green?

Yeah, because the parts you replace when upgrading are notoriously biodegradable!

Re:"green" vs "no upgrades" (2, Interesting)

cosinezero (833532) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292965)

Better to throw away a piece than the entire puzzle.

Re:"green" vs "no upgrades" (4, Insightful)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293081)

That analogy means the opposite what you think it does. You really might as well throw away the whole puzzle if you already are missing a piece.

Re:"green" vs "no upgrades" (2, Insightful)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293181)

Better to throw away a piece than the entire pie.

Happy?

Re:"green" vs "no upgrades" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24293383)

CherryPal + pie analogy = hunger

Tastes so good, make a grown man cry.

Re:"green" vs "no upgrades" (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293199)

so ordering the replacement scrabble letter is not as "good" as buying a whole new game sourced from additional dead trees - box, board, complete set of letters and all?

Re:"green" vs "no upgrades" (3, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292567)

And why exactly would you throw it away?

Re:"green" vs "no upgrades" (5, Funny)

ePhil_One (634771) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292635)

And why exactly would you throw it away?

Its just a matter of time until the release the CherryPal2...

Re:"green" vs "no upgrades" (5, Informative)

Bishop Rook (1281208) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292681)

I'd imagine most of the "upgrades" to your computer-using experience are going to be on the server-side, since the computer itself is basically a thin client.

Re:"green" vs "no upgrades" (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24293195)

I'd imagine most of the "upgrades" to your computer-using experience are going to be on the server-side, since the computer itself is basically a thin client.

You must be new to capitalism...

Re:"green" vs "no upgrades" (4, Funny)

Arccot (1115809) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293377)

And why exactly would you throw it away?

Its just a matter of time until the release the CherryPal2...

I'm really, really hoping the next version is the Cherry 2000 [wikipedia.org] instead. I'd buy one of those.

Re:"green" vs "no upgrades" (5, Insightful)

pschmied (5648) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292727)

I've never thrown a PC away. I've been upgrading my trusty Radio Shack TRS-80 CoCo2 all this time. . . component by component. I've even kept the circuit boards.

Seriously, the ecologically worst parts of the computer are the circuit boards and the LCDs if I recall correctly. I don't see how swapping a big-ass motherboard in and out of your relatively benign metal case is that green.

This, on the other hand, is small and does consume very little power. I bet its footprint isn't much bigger than the average video card. If you want to be green it probably means not buying a computer, or making due with old / slow shit.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. IN THAT ORDER! How many geeks here follow the first and most ecologically beneficial part of that triad?

Re:"green" vs "no upgrades" (4, Interesting)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293263)

I didn't go quite that far back... well, maybe I did. My third computer was an IBM XT I bought used in 1987. It was the last whole computer I bought. At one time my "IBM XT" sported a forty meg hard drive, 386 processor, joystick, mouse, and SVGA graphics. Alas, the next upgrade replaced the last remaining origional parts, the case and power supply, as the new motherboard wouldn't fit in the XT case.

I put back together with its original parts, but its monochrome hercules card had died. I left it in the house the bank foreclosed on in 2005, along with a bunch of other computers, all built with spare parts.

I met a rich man once, who told the that the secret to wealth was to never throw anything away! When the great depression hit he'd bought a Model T Ford from a friend as a favor to the friend, who needed fifteen bucks to buy mules and a wagon to move to California. He had no use for it and stored it in his barn.

In 1951 a collector spied it and bought it from the old guy for $100,000. He invested the $100k and will never want for anything again.

I met this gentleman long before the bank took the house, but I had been overcome by insanity; I'd not gotten over my divorce, they were taking my house away, the doctor took me off Paxil and the only thing that kept me from killing myself was knowing what it would do to my children.

As lomg as you never throw its parts away, all computers are green; at least, as green as they ever were. So maybe this "green" computer isn't so green after all; at least, not in the hands of a nerd like me.

Re:"green" vs "no upgrades" (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293295)

"all computers are green; at least, as green as they ever were."

Reminds me of the recent articles about how 'green' the new hybrids really are. Turns out, it's greener to buy a used car, even if it's a guzzler.

Has to be said... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24292505)

So who is going to be the first to pop that cherry?

Sorry, couldn't help it.

iTunes under Linux? (3, Insightful)

mattMad (1271832) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292513)

How? The article is more confusing than informative on this aspect...

Re:iTunes under Linux? (2, Interesting)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292545)

Same thing I was thinking. And I seriously doubt a PC like this would run it with Wine.

Re:iTunes under Linux? (2, Funny)

Billhead (842510) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292639)

Not only that, but Open Office as well!
And no virii! With only 20 per cent of the innards!

Re:iTunes under Linux? (2, Informative)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293075)

I'm all for this new era of ultra-cheap PCs with small flash memory, but for $50 less, I can get a gOS PC [walmart.com]. Also, barring users from accessing the Linux running on the hardware just pisses me off. I read the article on EETimes about this new PC, but I didn't see the value proposition.

Re:iTunes under Linux? (3, Funny)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293025)

Same thing I was thinking. And I seriously doubt a PC like this would run it with Wine.

But I bet it would barf on wine.

Re:iTunes under Linux? (1)

hostyle (773991) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292783)

My guess is a browser with a vnc plugin, that does sound, etc. - vnc connects to their "cloud" server - probably subscription based ala apples MobileMe.

Re:iTunes under Linux? (2, Informative)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293361)

Mouse over the link in the summary. If it says "the register" like this one did, you can be pretty sure that the summary is as informative, if less humorous (oops, sorry, that's "humourous").

I googled and found two other sites with news of this: Wired Blogs [wired.com] and Clean Technica [cleantechnica.com]

On a more green note, the CherryPal is supposed to sell for under $400 (monitor, keyboard, etc. not included). It should hit the market on August 4th, 2008. For that price and low energy use, it will appeal to wallets as well as the environmentally conscious. Though there is some understandable skepticism, I'll praise any manufacturer that lowers the bar on PC environmental impact.

Free-based computing (3, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292571)

Sounds cool.

Re:Free-based computing (2, Funny)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292585)

Bender: well, if jacking on will make total strangers think i'm cool, then ok, I'll do it!

Re:Free-based computing (4, Funny)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293061)

Free-based [wikipedia.org] may sound cool, man. But next thing you know your laying in a pool of your own urine, in a truckstop restroom, somewhere west of Amarillo, Texas.

Whats the point? (1)

colin_faber (1083673) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292581)

So you can build a low power, wall-wart based micro cluster. At the end of the day to reach the same computing power of any low-end cluster, you're going to end up spending many times more on these little devices vs. commodity hardware. Additionally the mini-ITX market isn't huge, so why do we need more players in it? That said, why would anyone buy one of these things for a desktop use when you can pick up the sub-notebook laptops with screen, keyboard, and mouse for roughly the same price?

Re:Whats the point? (1)

Bishop Rook (1281208) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292711)

This isn't meant to be part of a cluster, it's meant to be a low-cost, low-power thin client for desktop productivity and multimedia apps.

Cloud computer? (2)

SiriusStarr (1196697) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292583)

While I grant that it is somewhat difficult to nail down the definition of "cloud computing", what does this have to do with it? I see nothing here about distributed computing and I don't see how this computer could be used for any kind of cloud computing...

Re:Cloud computer? (1)

Bishop Rook (1281208) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292733)

That's if you define "cloud" to be "distributed systems." I think that's a better definition, but they're going with the marketroid definition of "it runs Web applications and uses network storage--and those applications and storage live In The Cloud!"

Re:Cloud computer? (4, Interesting)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292749)

The point of this is that it connects to their cloud. Think of this as an X terminal that connects to a mainframe via the internet. The point isn't to build a cloud out of these things.

Re:Cloud computer? (1)

SiriusStarr (1196697) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292813)

Okay, got it; thanks. Am I the only one who's frustrated over the overuse of this new buzzword? :-/

Central Controled Computer (3, Insightful)

Nymz (905908) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292799)

Having 'someone else' responsible for configuring, upgrading, and maintaining my personal computer would have some nice benefits, but I still prefer the ability to be responsible for myself. I wonder if there's a correlation between this, and political beliefs (free republic government vs central controled regime).

More better circuitry (4, Funny)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292589)

Green Cloud? Can we have a Brown Hornet computer? How about a Black Canary monitor?

The Black Canary can tell us whether we can safely breathe in the Green Cloud.

Re:More better circuitry (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293193)

The Black Canary can tell us whether we can safely breathe in the Green Cloud.

Actually all that the canary can do is tell you that you can safely breath in the cloud. It's when the canary stops telling you that that you need to worry.

Re:More better circuitry (4, Funny)

dsginter (104154) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293223)

From the submission:

It uses a Freescale processor that runs Linux and has no moving parts

The processor has NO MOVING PARTS!!! You bet your sweet bippie that this is more better circuitry. Finally - a solid-state microprocessor!

Digital Cameras? (2, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292623)

If this works with digital cameras and has even basic photo support I may have found a computer for mom. Every time I come home there's a camera that hasn't been offloaded since last time I was home.

Re:Digital Cameras? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292735)

I told my mom to just forgo the whole computer when using her digital camera. Just take the card into the local photo shop, get the pictures printed that you want, and delete everything you don't want. Using a computer just complicates everything. My wife does pretty much the same. Leave everything on the camera until you print it and then delete it. Mind you, she also does daily transfers to the computer so that we can back them up, and upload them to the web, but it's basically a bunch of numbered files in a folder. The whole computer thing is completely unnecessary with digital cameras. Especially considering how many photo editing and touch-up functions you can get in a camera.

Re:Digital Cameras? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293047)

The other route is to just buy several 1GB memory cards. $10 takes a lot of pictures at this point.

the cloud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24292627)

In an effort to combat the usage of the 'cloud' meme by mountebanks and the like, I propose the slashdot tag: wtfisthecloud

Re:the cloud (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292757)

The cloud is that nebulous thing way out there that we can point to and say "See, it looks like a and it's so versatile that it also looks like a !"

You never have to attain the cloud, produce the cloud, or give someone access to the could.

You sell the cloud by pointing and dancing.

Re:the cloud (1)

Poltras (680608) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293153)

much like any other buzzword when it started (.Net anyone, web 2.0, even the internet at its time).

Why not give access to the OS? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292633)

Why wouldn't they give access to the OS instead of running everything through FireFox. If everything ran in Firefox, you could still get a virus through a security hole in Firefox. For the same price you could easily build the identical machine with a real OS. If you only want to view the stuff in the web browser, just flip it to full screen mode.

But it's not that much cheaper ... (4, Insightful)

bestinshow (985111) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292649)

The problem with this device is that it isn't that much cheaper than a full budget PC that will whack this into the ground.

$250 for what is essentially a DTV receiver (my ex had a £25 Sagem Freeview receiver that had an integrated 250MHz PowerPC) with 4GB flash... sure it comes with 50GB of online storage, but they haven't reduced the affordability.

Re:But it's not that much cheaper ... (4, Interesting)

mlts (1038732) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292969)

I agree that it has a nice size.

However, for $50 more at Wal-Mart, I can pick up an el cheapo Compaq sporting basic sound, 512MB of RAM, and a hard disk good enough to put a modern distro of Linux on it and have it work as a decent box. No, it won't boot in 5 seconds, but it will do a lot more for not that much more outlay.

If Cherry Pal could kick the price down to $100 or so, that would be an alternative, but right now, unless one wants a highly portable cheap computer (which for $50-$100 more, an EeePC can do the job with a monitor), this computer has a hard market to crack into.

Re:But it's not that much cheaper ... (3, Informative)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293127)

You should try to compare apples to apples instead of to Cherries. Where can you get a low power x86 for $250-300? Show me a 2W x86 that lets you browse the net, write documents, view porn, etc. The closest thing I can think of is a VIA Artigo and those are more like $500. (after you buy the RAM and HDD/Flash for them)

What's missing: (5, Interesting)

Hoplite3 (671379) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292657)

Strange what small things they left off:
* no microphone jack, so no voip
* no extra usb jack, so no uploading pictures, printing, scanning, using a thumb drive, or loading your ipod

Those things would have hardly added to the size or cost and would greatly increase the usability of this thing.

Oh yeah, it'll be a pain to replace the "all firefox" interface with a more familiar linux desktop as you'll have to do the installation over the wire.

But I think the small size and pared down power are not so bad. It could be cool ... one day.

Re:What's missing: (2, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292901)

* no extra usb jack, so no uploading pictures, printing, scanning, using a thumb drive, or loading your ipod

Or you could spend the extra couple of dollars and buy a decent USB keyboard with a couple of ports built in and use those ports. USB is chainable.

Re:What's missing: (2, Informative)

ksheff (2406) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292989)

I guess they're intending for people to plug their USB mouse into the keyboard or invest in a USB hub and a USB audio device if they want to do all of those things.

Re:What's missing: (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24293101)

USB Hub + USB Microphone. Done.

USB does it all (2, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293135)

With a powered USB hub and a USB sound port, and custom firmware, you should be good to go for VoIP and the rest.

Let's hope they left open some way to flash the kernel.

2 watts? (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292669)

From their (weird) web site [72.51.37.17]:
9vDC 2.5mm 10 watt AC-DC adapter power supply
So the box is not eating 2 watts, but 10, unless you can pump in it 9VDC in a more efficient way.

Re:2 watts? (4, Funny)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292791)

It's ok. The rest of the PC uses magic and fireflies to run. I'd say that's somewhere around 8 watts.

Re:2 watts? (1)

superdave80 (1226592) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292935)

AC-DC adapters usually specify their MAXIMUM power output to the device (watts). That doesn't necessarily mean that the computer will pull 10 watts.

That's a maximum rating on the power supply (4, Informative)

name_already_taken (540581) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292959)

From their (weird) web site [72.51.37.17]: 9vDC 2.5mm 10 watt AC-DC adapter power supply So the box is not eating 2 watts, but 10, unless you can pump in it 9VDC in a more efficient way.

The 10 Watt rating is the maximum output of the the power supply - that means the computer itself has to draw less than 10W. It was probably cheaper to buy an off-the-shelf 10W power supply than have a custom 2W PSU built. It does not mean that the computer itself draws 10W.

iTunes? (5, Funny)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292673)

They have a version of iTunes for a Debian system that never needs to be updated?

I don't even think Apple has that yet!

Re:iTunes? (2, Insightful)

TroubleMagnet (529417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293335)

I'll bet they run iTunes on their server and stream it. You will want to keep your music on the 50GB of network storage anyhow.

Another Stab at Ad-Supported Computing (3, Interesting)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292687)

According to CEO Max Seybold, beginning in the fourth quarter the company will be ready to roll out its real business model. Folks running Ad-Block may want to sit down for this: advertisements will run when the computer is loading an application. Now the company says most applications will load in only a handful of seconds, and Seybold promises never to artificially delay a load for the benefit of ad screen time. But we'd say its a pretty big omission in the literature.

This is especially glaring when the company says its guided by the values: Green, Fair, and Open. Those last two bits mean CherryPal vows to keep things honest and open-source with its customers. Seybold told us that the company will soon be describing in detail how the advertising works.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/21/cherrypal_launches_cherrypal_with_cherrypalcloud_and_cherrypal_etc/ [theregister.co.uk]

While I have no objection to this sort of arrangement, I think a bit more information is forthcoming. Then again, they haven't actually released the device yet, so I'm going to assume that they will make it clear what is going on.

Re:Another Stab at Ad-Supported Computing (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293277)

Nah.... this won't fly. That's just my unsubstantiated opinion - but let's see if I'm right.

For starters, "green" isn't really all that big a selling point/attraction for computer users. It may be a big "buzzword" in the media right now, but buying habits aren't really being driven by it in this sector.

Why? Well, for starters, no matter what the power draw is of a given PC, it draws pretty much nothing when it's powered off (or in a "hibernation" type mode, which is very similar). The typical PC *workstation* customer doesn't need/want to leave their machine on all the time. They just want a fast, enjoyable and reliable machine that boots up quickly whenever they need to use it. Sacrificing processing power for lower power consumption? Really only of interest to the average customer when it directly relates to improved battery life on a portable.

But secondly, anything done on the ad-based model? Comes across as a "toy" and "unprofessional" product from the get-go. Feels like something you should have received FREE, yet the business model can't sustain giving these mini PCs away free....

As soon as I can jam BSD on it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24292691)

It'll make a nice firewall. Otherwise, not so much.

Re:As soon as I can jam BSD on it (1)

LotsOfPhil (982823) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292773)

It'll make a nice firewall. Otherwise, not so much.

It only has one ethernet port.

Re:As soon as I can jam BSD on it (1)

xaositects (786749) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293159)

It only has one ethernet port.

ah, but it does have a usb port into which you could plug a usb network card. i used to have an old laptop with a broken lcd screen that i used as a firewall in this fashion.

OT: Asus B202 (5, Interesting)

drgould (24404) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292697)

Isn't Asus suppose to be releasing their Asus Box B202 [hothardware.com] about now?

  • Intel Atom 1.6GHz processor
  • 1GB or 2GB of memory
  • 80-160GB hard drive
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • SD/MMC/MS memory card reader.
  • $269-$299
  • mid-July release date

What's up with that?

WTF? (4, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292707)

CherryPal!?

Was "My Little Computer" fraught with trademark peril? Or could they not get Hello Kitty to return their calls?

There's a "popping cherry" joke here somewhere, but damned if I can find it.

Oh, wait... *snicker*

Nice try. (4, Funny)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292709)

No way I'm using my work PC to visit cherrypal.com, even if it is tech related and I can get away with it.

Firefox Commandline Plugin? (4, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292765)

They've buried Linux so that the end user doesn't see it; the entire UI is presented through Firefox.

Is there a Javascript interface to Linux that can use the URL line as a commandline to an embedded shell? Something like "javascript: alert(cmd('ls -l ~'))"? Or even better, a javascript option that can direct output to the main Firefox window (tabs for file descriptors). Of course, with security settings to lock untrustworthy javascript (eg. in downloaded HTML pages) in a crippled/chrooted sandbox, but allowing typed commandlines just like in a bash shell.

That way, Firefox can wrap the OS out of sight, except that skilled users could still get to the OS and a commandline. But without a whole extra terminal app, or any other apps for that matter.

Re:Firefox Commandline Plugin? (1)

The Dancing Panda (1321121) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293021)

I don't see why you couldn't just SSH into it, though I guess we're assuming you don't have another computer?

Re:Firefox Commandline Plugin? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293349)

Well, if it needs another computer, then it's just the same problem on the other computer. And the problem of needing another computer.

And really, what I'm looking for is just using Firefox as a commandline shell. Not so much because there's no other app, but because I'd like to integrate the shell into the Firefox app's process space. Commandline integration to the OS and to the other pages in the browser would be a great environment. Give Firefox an emacs plugin running the Perl debugger as its interpreter, and I'm in hyperheaven.

Re:Firefox Commandline Plugin? (1)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293203)

They could easily do that with a small webserver component. Most firewalls do so and I bet it's the same here, it works. You wouldn't have to worry as much about client-side security either, the server only binds to ::1.

I assume by "iTunes" they mean... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292781)

I assume by "iTunes" they mean "music player".

I didn't know iTunes had been kleenexed.

Looks fishy to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24292797)

I will believe it works when I see it shipping. Right now they are taking money for vaporware with no demo versions out there for anyone to test. It looks rather fishy to me. Having no sound is going to rather limit things for a lot of people too.

Get Moose and Squirrel!

New Perimeter Device? (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292819)

As long as I can admin it like a Debian distro, I'll take two. They aren't going to get rich at $250 ea., but if their landed cost is below $80 they will be in good shape as long as they have the capital to build some volume.

I run a now-discontinued nslu2 as a home network hub, arm-powered and ***plenty*** fast. http://www.cyrius.com/debian/nslu2/ [cyrius.com]

The only time I've noticed any slow-down issues was when cups was generating certs for itself. Which is to be expected. It serves the printer, scanner, very advanced firewall, trustworthy dhcp serving, webdav file share, the list goes on... This box has VGA out, so I can make it a mythtv head.

The cost is $249 (0, Redundant)

Amisinthe (1308593) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292843)

You don't find out until you click purchase (twice I think). Not exactly as cheap as I was expecting.

Re:The cost is $249 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24293027)

Standards on slashdot seem to be decreasing these days. If you're too lazy to RTFA, at least RTFT, or at least RTFFWT (read the fine first word of the title). $250 Freescale-based "green" "cloud" computer

Allow me to suggest an alternative (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24292893)

without all the "cloud" mumbo jumbo. http://www.fit-pc.com./ [www.fit-pc.com]

Re:Allow me to suggest an alternative (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293063)

Thanks for the fit-PC link. It looks to be like the ultimate firewall box, with two independent 10/100 ports out.

This is something what the Cherry Pal people should have done -- make their box with multiple interfaces, and perhaps an ExpressCard jack for more expansion. Then, I know people would buy the box just to have a solid, customizable firewall, and perhaps be used as a NAS head if someone wanted to plug in an eSATA card and an external drive. Adding wireless would be a plus too.

Interesting, but questions arise... (3, Insightful)

EriktheGreen (660160) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292911)

Questions:
  1. Is the $250 the real price, or a loss leader?
  2. Put another way, can the company make money selling just the hardware, or do they make money by selling "cloud" services that people may not want?
  3. Will the device be open enough to be hackable, or will it go the way of i-opener, punishing those who open the hood?
  4. Will the company likewise open the "cloud" for development? Can ordinary non-corporate hacker types write and sell software for it?
  5. Is the company hoping to sell the devices, lock in users to their cloud long term, and control the market that way, ala Microsoft?

Erik

"Cloud" (2, Interesting)

tgd (2822) | more than 5 years ago | (#24292993)

Put the word "cloud" in your business plan and the VCs will definitely listen to you these days.

I won't say its a bubble, but its definitely the hot trend of the last few months. A ton of companies have been funded this year dealing with "cloud computing" and we'll be seeing a lot of product and marketing announcements over the next 12 months about it... and most of them will make no sense (like this...)

(And yes, I talk regularly to VCs...)

iTunes Runs from the Cloud, like a Rainbow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24293053)

I think there need to be a few more brains turned on at work. iTunes will be running from their Cloud system and FireFox will be just another remote interface. I foresee problems.

DragonJujo

Nice PC for the car (1)

RandoX (828285) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293133)

I've always wanted to hook a PC to a 8" USB Touchscreen and use it as a multimedia center for the car. Audio, navigation, video (when appropriate), maybe even wifi here and there...

Slap a 16-32 gig thumb drive for media storage, and it sounds perfect.

Here's a similar small PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24293189)

Here's another small computer that I have been keeping my eye on, the Zonbu Mini:

http://www.zonbu.com/shop/product.php?productid=28&cat=2&page=1

It consumes 10 watts, runs Linux, implements a "cloud assisted" OS, has 6 USB jacks, built-in WiFi and more.

Cool.. Or not? (1)

Apoorv Khatreja (1263418) | more than 5 years ago | (#24293339)

The concept sounds really interesting, but isn't it overpriced at $250? The Asus Eee PC was priced around $250 if I remember correctly. Why would anyone want to lose control over their system and pay more for it?
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