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Modded UX490 UMPC Shows Off Years of Community Development

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the soldered-on-a-new-warranty-too dept.

Handhelds 75

An anonymous reader writes "The community at www.MicroPCTalk.com have spent the last few years devising all sorts of mods and tweaks for the Sony VAIO UX-series UMPC. Now they've thrown nearly all of their major breakthroughs into one machine. Using the latest UX model (UX490) as the base, the original SSD has been swapped for a speedy 128GB SSD, the CPU has been unsoldered from the mobo and replaced with a Core 2 Duo U7700 (making this probably the smallest computer to use said CPU). The original EDGE module has been removed, and carefully put in its place is an E169 Huawei terminal which provides up to 7.2mbps 3G (HSDPA), voice and texting. On top of this, the unit quad-boots Mac OS X, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP (and the Huawei terminal works under Mac OS X as well)."

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75 comments

Quad-boots, huh? (0)

immaterial (1520413) | more than 4 years ago | (#30199760)

Don't you mean Quint-boots? I mean, surely you could boot both Mac OS X 10.5 and Mac OS X 10.6 on there, right? (Rolleyes)

Re:Quad-boots, huh? (-1, Offtopic)

humphrm (18130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30199804)

Who did what to who now?

Re:Quad-boots, huh? (1, Flamebait)

mad_minstrel (943049) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200164)

And no Linux? For shame!

Re:Quad-boots, huh? (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200764)

And no Linux? For shame!

I too don't really see the point of all those versions of Windows plus Mac OS and no Linux. Maybe a very dedicated Windows user could have a use for XP on top of 7 since some stuff might run on one and not the other (isn't there a XP mode in 7 though ?), but adding Vista is just weird.

Also, I notice that 3.11, 95, 98, NT 3.51, Win2K and OS/2 are missing too (to say nothing of BeOS, BSD and Hurd). It's obvious to me that this is still work in progress.
Maybe you can boot them on flash cards.

The 7-vista-XP point (2, Interesting)

J_Omega (709711) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201158)

The point behind installing all of those OSes is to see if it can. Seriously.

If a system can run those, well then running linux is a non-issue.
(since it runs on just about any hardware.)

Re:Quad-boots, huh? (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201272)

Flash cards help with memory.

Re:Quad-boots, huh? (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201582)

They probably figured you could shell out in OSX and that would be good enough. Plus, how hard would it be to add another boot option?

Re:Quad-boots, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30200708)

I mean, surely you could boot both Mac OS X 10.5 and Mac OS X 10.6 on there, right? (Rolleyes)

Actually, that's not necessarily a given. There are some machines out there that can run 10.5 with no problems but that can't run 10.6. This is even before the whole Atom-disabling thing. It's mostly due to certain incompatible ATI video cards.

I'm not familiar with it... (-1, Offtopic)

Yuioup (452151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30199766)

"Sony VAIO UX-series UMPC"

A Sony VAIO whatnow?

Just because you can (1)

counterplex (765033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30199772)

doesn't necessarily mean you should. This might just be a case of that. What's the usability of OSX on this? For that matter what about the resource hungry Vista and 7? XP was probably as far as it needed to go. That and perhaps Linux.

A: Because it breaks the flow of a message (4, Funny)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30199790)

Q: Why is starting a comment in the Subject: line incredibly irritating?

Because (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30199840)

you can.

Re:Because (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30199920)

you're a nigger.

A: In the first place, Why? (1)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200042)

Q: Did the chicken cross the road?

Why (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200084)

A: It isn't. But every post shouldn't require a title.

yes, so to hell with clearness, I've a field (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30200384)

and I damn well use it!

hint: leave it as it is, if you don't know how to fill it.
hint of the hint: you should fill it with the subject of the post.
hint of the hinted hint: ask Postel about subject usage.

ROFLCOPTER (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30200214)

A: Because DNS-and-BIND is a dumb fuck faggot nigger jew. :)

A: Top-posting (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200484)

Q: What's it similar to?

It's only (2, Funny)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200838)

Q: Why is starting a comment in the Subject: line incredibly irritating?

alittle irritating.

Re:A: Because it breaks the flow of a message (-1, Offtopic)

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Re:A: Because it breaks the flow of a message (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205238)

What's irritating is, they actually force you to come up with a subject line to post a message. There should be a default subject line that is either relevant to the subject of the story or says something like [No Subject].

Re:Just because you can (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203112)

the article says that they replaced the core solo cpu with a 1.4GHz core2 duo. MACOSx should run fine on there.

Re:Just because you can (1)

Darkerx (1685350) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222930)

OsX works perfectly on it, as it's only a fraction slower than the Mac Air... :) (It has a 1438mhz CORE2DUO) Oh... it boots windows 7 in 15 seconds, and aero works without a glitch...

Hooray for standardized hardware (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30199774)

There's no magic here. It's all the same old standardized PC hardware.

What would be surprising is if they couldn't replace the CPU and peripherals. Or if they did so on a non-Intel platform.

Re:Hooray for standardized hardware (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30199806)

Actually the U series cpus are BGA. IE they would've needed to hot-air solder them down. Ever since atom and the whole 'lowest wattage possible' the day of the socket is swiftly approaching an end :(

Re:Hooray for standardized hardware (1)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200096)

Actually the U series cpus are BGA. IE they would've needed to hot-air solder them down. Ever since atom and the whole 'lowest wattage possible' the day of the socket is swiftly approaching an end :(

Does a socket require more power?

Re:Hooray for standardized hardware (3, Interesting)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200522)

(This is just a somewhat educated guess, any EEs reading this: Please correct me)

A soldered BGA contact point will probably have a greater contact area with better signal quality. Since all of that signalling is done digitally, they can lower the voltage potential between their ones and zeros to the lowest point where they can still reliably be distinguished, and that point ought to be lower with a neatly soldered BGA chip than a socket with it's tiny contact points. Also, including the socket generates cost for the socket, additional CPU packaging and wastes very precious space. Lastly, keeping the cooling system yet upgrading the CPU isn't a smart move if you're not *really* sure your cooling equipment is up to the job. Thus an enthusiast thing.

Re:Hooray for standardized hardware (1)

dozer (30790) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202388)

A socket adds a significant amount of parasitic capacitance and inductance. At high frequencies, this can cost quite a bit of power. You're right about it also contributing to space and cooling issues.

BGA has among the lowest parasitics of all IC packages so it's not surprising to see it everywhere nowadays. Except for how hard it is to desolder, it is an awesome way connect ICs to PCBs.

Contact area (wire size) doesn't really matter... Your connection needs to be big enough to handle the worst case power and no bigger -- any extra metal is just wasted (to a point, but let's not get pathological discussing running 1 GHz signals down 0 gauge wire). The path of the signal tends to be much more important than the wire size.

Re:Hooray for standardized hardware (1)

RattFink (93631) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202600)

While it's true that a socket is going to introduce, the bane of high speed designers, both capactiance, inductance a good socket can add no more of it then one or two PCB vias. In the end the most important thing is PCB design. Practically you probably aren't going to see much play with voltage on a socket vs BGA.

Cooling, space and cost are still very valid points.

Re:Hooray for standardized hardware (1)

gerryn (1416389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30199812)

I'm looking forward to your own modified VAIO! =)

Re:Hooray for standardized hardware (4, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30199814)

I put a Type-R sticker and spoiler on it. I get a 5hp and 38hp boosts respectively from those little additions.

Re:Hooray for standardized hardware (1)

gerryn (1416389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30199852)

Sounds like standard "hardware" to me :)

Re:Hooray for standardized hardware (1)

Darkerx (1685350) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215104)

Of course it is... :) The point is to have it in 524gr... and having it been made by 'amateurs' who did the smallest core2duo in the world...

Re:Hooray for standardized hardware (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202926)

I put a Type-R sticker and spoiler on it. I get a 5hp and 38hp boosts respectively from those little additions.

Should have gone with the +10 armor upgrade instead. By preventing 15 dmg per hit, it's superior after the third attack in each combat.

Yes, but.... (4, Funny)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30199798)

...does it run 3 versions of windows for no reason?

Re:Yes, but.... (1)

drbinofski (1650115) | more than 4 years ago | (#30199984)

...does it run 3 versions of windows for no reason?

But seriously for a second. Why run 3 versions of Windows?! So yes you *can* - the ostensible reason for doing anything 'adventurous' like climbing a mountain - ''cos it's there like'; but running three versions of windows is hardly adventurous is it? Answers on a post-card puhleeze. Apologies for the hideous punctuation in that last uber-sentence :/

Re:Yes, but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30200108)

" On top of this, the unit quad-boots Mac OS X, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP (and the Huawei terminal works under Mac OS X as well)."

the bigger question is: yeah, but does it run linux. XD

Re:Yes, but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30200482)

Of course... there is a sub-forum dedicated to it : P

http://www.micropctalk.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=23

Re:Yes, but.... (1)

Darkerx (1685350) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222960)

When will there be a sub-sub-sub-forum dedicated to you? (oh... maybe you are less interesting than a 500gr device...pity...)

Re:Yes, but.... (3, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200268)

I only see two version of Windows installed.

Incidently, there are only three Star Wars movies, two Terminator movies, and what the hell does "Back to the Future" mean?

Re:Yes, but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30200712)

> Incidently, there are only three Star Wars movies, two Terminator movies, and what the hell does "Back to the Future" mean?

"Great Scott!"

Re:Yes, but.... (1)

NightFears (869799) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202108)

I only see two version of Windows installed.

Hmm, then how come I see four Windows versions on that list?
The newest one goes first. Not that I see much difference between it and the second, to be honest. And the third. Each time I think that Microsoft is as glamorous as it gets, but NO - here goes the next shiny surprise! It even reminds me that company - err... you know, the dorks who sold mice with a single mouse button.

Re:Yes, but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30204084)

Your comment reminds me of Picard: "there are FOUR LIGHTS!"

Re:Yes, but.... (1)

socceroos (1374367) | more than 4 years ago | (#30208590)

You forgot, there is only one Matrix movie too.

Re:Yes, but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30207152)

The only reason is to be able to compare/review this hardware with the different windozes easily...and I had many useless licenses to waste...

What? (-1, Offtopic)

mapinguari (110030) | more than 4 years ago | (#30199830)

No Linux?

Re:What? (1)

kenji.toyama (1682248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30199892)

Almost anything that Windows can boot on, Linux should as well. If not, then NetBSD should....

Re:What? (1)

Starlon (1492461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30199912)

What, and add 5+ more boot options? :) Fedora, Ubuntu, SUSE, Mandriva, Gentoo... I could go on... [linux.com]

Re:What? (2, Interesting)

atilla filiz (1402809) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200258)

For 5+ boot options, they should be aware of extenden partitions, and the OSes that can boot from them. Apparently, these guys didn't bother.

Gave one of these to my Mom (1)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 4 years ago | (#30199832)

...for her birthday. She needed a space heater and also had some problems with needing to use the internet anywhere in the house.

link dead? (1)

kenji.toyama (1682248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30199856)

As of Nov 23rd, 18:05 AEST, the link you have provided is dead.

Re:link dead? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30199872)

Fastest. Slashdot. Ever.

Re:link dead? (4, Funny)

greensoap (566467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30199924)

Apparently they were using a Modded UX49 for the web server...

Re:link dead? (1)

cfriedt (1189527) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200090)

Their server is definitely under some heavy load. I've been loading the page slowly for the last 10 minutes.

Re:link dead? (1)

bain_online (580036) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200624)

hmm i wonder what in the world would cause that? may be its time to have a word [wikipedia.org] for it as well.

Not impressed. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30199888)

So lets see, they spent $2500 for the base computer, and probably another $500 for extra parts. All this for basically a netbook. Good job umpc portal, and why would you bother hosting your website on a umpc? (slashdotted already) :/

Re:Not impressed. (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200462)

Aren't modern high-end smart phones basically the ultra mobile PCs of today?

And does it run Android?

Re:Not impressed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30207414)

57k at crystalmark, 15s to boot W7... the world fastest netbook.... not made by asus/sony/apple/etc.
524gr/1.1lbs.... the world most little core2duo...

Or you could... (-1, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30199930)

...just buy a computer, that has the features that you want in the first place! ^^

I mean it’s all nice, and “because I can”y, but I stopped getting the point at a certain level of modding.

It’s like: Hey, let’s not buy a Ferrari, but a Tata Nano, and then replace all the Tata parts one by one by Ferrari parts, until it’s basically a Ferrari with Tata looks, that can’t beat a real Ferrari but costed more. ^^
I mean, the reason why you wanted to do this aside (as I understand the “the journey is the reward” and “because I can” well), but wouldn’t it be smarter and cheaper to buy a Ferrari and then wrap it in a Tata body and interior? :)

Re:Or you could... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30200120)

The problem is... they don't make anything like this, so someone had to go and have it done on their own, and they are super happy with the results.

it begs the question :-) (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30200150)

but...

does it run linux?

Modding Old Hardware (3, Funny)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200358)

In a parallel universe, there's a bunch of space aliens laughing about the mods they made to an old satellite they found drifting in deep space.

Re:Modding Old Hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30200448)

...pfft... sounds like a Star Trek episode.

Re:Modding Old Hardware (1)

Ozlanthos (1172125) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200458)

I could swear I've seen that exact scenario in a Star Trek movie.....

-Oz

Re:Modding Old Hardware (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200666)

So when they come we can immediately arrest them under the DMCA?

huh, bug deal? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200604)

maybe there is something awesome about this i'm not getting? it's commodity hardware thats been tweaked a bit, nothing that should take "years"

Re:huh, bug deal? (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 4 years ago | (#30200824)

maybe there is something awesome about this i'm not getting? it's commodity hardware thats been tweaked a bit, nothing that should take "years"

Obviously it took years (and how many wrecked machines?) to get the BGA CPU unsoldered and resoldered.

(But, seriously, the good news is the 128Gb PATA SSD, I've been waiting for that baby for my VAIO TX3).

Re:huh, bug deal? (1)

Darkerx (1685350) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222982)

We waited a lot for: 1- 128gbssd without jmicron controller, 2- put 2gb of ram in it... but the motherboard can't match any relevant chips on this planet...

The really sad part... (2, Insightful)

Civil_Disobedient (261825) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201110)

You know, the really sad part about all of this is that Sony could have easily done this themselves. They've got all the fab plants and production facilities at their disposal. All it would have required was a simple "YES" from above and they could have been making money hand/fist.

How much? (1)

$1uck (710826) | more than 4 years ago | (#30201264)

So... after all the modding is said and done, how much does this cost? (not to someone buying the finished product, but just how much do all the parts here cost).

Re:How much? (2, Insightful)

garynuman (1666499) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202432)

there is this neat place on the interwebs called newegg, i bet if you look there, using the information from the story, you could probably answer it yourself.... just a suggestion...

Re:How much? (1)

Darkerx (1685350) | more than 4 years ago | (#30223016)

You don't have to use a 490, any UX with 1gb ram will do=500$ on ebay+ 400$128gbssd+ 130$cpu+ 120$ wifi and vodafone k3520 (to get the modem components within). Then do it yourself, or pay Anh at www.micropctalk.com to do it for you (much easier)

Some words from the owner... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30205162)

Hi, I'm the owner of this device...

We made this world fastest netbook, or world most little laptop, to show it was possible. Sony discontinued this product line, so it was a fun challenge to go beyond their design and improve it by ourselves. Then it's now the smallest core2duo in the world, it boots W7 in 15 seconds, does 57k at cmark2004, it now has 3.5g/7,2mbps instead of edge (with also cellphone/voice feature), and is also the smallest mac with touchscreen and 3g and voice-call features.

Sony and Apple didn't do it...we did... if it can only tickle their pride a little and make them think about doing this kind of stuff themselves...

Got the point? (1)

Darkerx (1685350) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222866)

I read mostly out of topic posts on these forums... I should precise the point of creating this device: 1- It's the most powerful computer you can have at your belt (57k at crystalmark...) 2- It's the only 'mac' of this size with wifi N working+3.5g+voice+touchscreen 3- It hasn't been made by Sony/Apple... but by a single man... what are their 'engineers' doing? 4- It weighs 524gr/1.1lbs! 5- If only it should 'tickle' those 'innovative' corps to release 'innovative products'..... we wouldn't have to do it ourselves...
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