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100% Free Software Compatible PC Launches

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the of-by-and-for dept.

GNU is Not Unix 458

crimperman writes "The Open-PC project has announced that its first PC will be available at the end of February for €359. They claim the mini-ITX desktop machine is energy efficient, consumer ready, easy to upgrade, and — significantly — uses only hardware that has free software drivers available. As you'd expect, it comes with GNU/Linux which is running KDE (a €10 donation to the KDE project in included in the price). Interestingly all the key decisions on design, pricing etc. have been made by the community via online polls. The spec of the machine is pretty reasonable for the price: Atom 1.6GHz dual-core processor, 3GB RAM, 160GB HDD, Intel 950 graphics."

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458 comments

Mac (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828212)

The prices approach the price of Apple hardware. I'd rather get a Mac and run Linux on an open source VM.

Mac — and skip the VM (4, Interesting)

mattdm (1931) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828312)

Or run Linux natively. I have a slightly dated 24" iMac with an ATI Radeon GPU. I ran OS X for a few days and then got frustrated with the limited and over-intrusive UI, and with the tediousness of dealing with the various software ports projects. (The latter aren't awful, and I don't mean to disparage the people working on this, but it's nothing like just having yum or apt-get already there and just waiting to install thousands of excellent free packages.)

So I installed rEFIt [sourceforge.net] , and shrunk OS X down to a tiny partition I never boot into. Instead, I run Fedora 12 [fedoraproject.org] with all open source / free software drivers, including sound and 3D-accelerated video. (I think maybe the webcam doesn't work, but I don't really care.) Definitely the nicest Linux workstation I've ever had.

Re:Mac — and skip the VM (1)

JKDguy82 (692274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828488)

Assuming you have one, does the multi-touch trackpad in your setup work?

Re:Mac — and skip the VM (2, Informative)

myz24 (256948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828624)

He said iMac, not Macbook. AFAIK, you can get the trackpad to work under Ubuntu but it takes additional work after install.

MOD ME DOWN, WASTE A MOD POINT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828842)

Adolf Hitler, the Fuhrer himself, burst into my room one eve and whisked me away on a dream vacation to the Bahamas! We toured the isles together arm-in-arm, and made love on the sandy beaches and in the clear, blue ocean. I fell in love with Hitler that weekend. Unfortunately when it was over, he disappeared, but I know that one day, mein Liebe will return and take me away to his castle in the clouds.

Re:Mac (5, Interesting)

_merlin (160982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828342)

Let's compare:

Mac Mini: 549 Euro
OpenPC: 359 Euro

Mac Mini: 2GB RAM
OpenPC: 3GB RAM

Mac Mini: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M
OpenPC: Intel GMA950

Mac Mini: Core 2 Duo 2.26 GHz
OpenPC: Atom N330 1.6GHz

Mac Mini: 160 GB HDD
OpenPC: 160 GB HDD

So for 190 Euro more, you get OS X, a much faster, 64-bit, virtualisation-capable CPU, and a real GPU with dual display support, but lose 1GB RAM. I see no mention of I/O on the OpenPC, either - the Mac Mini has USB ports for days and FireWire 800.

Re:Mac (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828380)

the Mac Mini has USB ports for days

Does this mean that they don't work at night?

Re:Mac (4, Funny)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828764)

They're solar-powered. This is a green computer, after all. Also, those aren't cooling fans in the case, they're wind turbines.

Re:Mac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828436)

There are USB ports in the picture even, open your eyes. I don't even know of a miniITX board that doesn't have at least some form of I/O.

Re:Mac (1)

_merlin (160982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828666)

How many USB ports does it have? Do they support the high-power charging extensions? Does it have FireWire, and if so, what speed? Does it have S/P-DIFF optical audio I/O? I'm not questioning whether it has any I/O at all - I want to know what I/O it has. The specs page is very light on detail.

Re:Mac (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828860)

I know it's not something that you point-and-drool Mac fanatics would usually do, but try reading the technical documentation [open-pc.com] .

From the specs chart, it says:

1 x PS/2 mouse port
1 x PS/2 keyboard port
1 x parallel port (ECP/EPP support)
1 x serial port
1 x VGA port
4 x Ready-to-Use(sic) USB 2.0 ports
1 x RJ-45 LAN port
HD Audio Jack (line in/front speaker/microphone)

After looking over all of the specs for this thing, it's definitely overpriced because it has a weak CPU, too little memory, lacks expansion capability (only a single PCI slot), has Intel integrated graphics and it's ugly as hell. For the same cost as that thing, I could build a pretty high powered gaming-class PC that would still work with Linux.

Re:Mac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828460)

Actually it's 190 Euro which exchanges for ~270 US dollars.

Re:Mac (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828766)

I don't know about you but 5 usb ports does not a day make. I got 6 on my machine and still use a hub.

Re:Mac (3, Insightful)

chgros (690878) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828864)

All this for a mere 50% more! A bargain!

Brown wins in Massachusetts! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828410)

LOL. How's that for a mandate? Obama, the most liberal state in the union just gave you the finger. You're officially a lame duck President now.

Re:Brown wins in Massachusetts! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828578)

Does this mean that McCain is president of MA?

Re:Brown wins in Massachusetts! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828786)

Sorry, but McCain quit. Defaults to Palin.

Re:Mac (0)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828758)

It has a bit more power than the mac mini which starts at $599 us. It has 1 gig more ram than the mac mini and glancing over it comparable specs elsewhere. Upping the mac to 4 gigs and a larger harddrive you put the price at 799.

Re:Mac (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828794)

But it's an atom, it's horribly underpowered.

Re:Mac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828806)

How does a dual core Atom machine have more power than a Core 2 Duo ???

Re:Mac (4, Informative)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828830)

How can you say the Open PC has more power than the Mac Mini? That Mac's 2.26ghz Core Duo runs rings around the Open PC's 1.6ghz Atom, and its graphics card beats it out too.

950 video at that price why not ion or a real desk (2, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828238)

950 video at that price why not ion or a real desktop cpu?

Re:950 video at that price why not ion or a real d (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828302)

If you want green, this PC uses under 10 watts [treehugger.com] . I will never want Intel graphics, even if it means not having open source drivers.

Re:950 video at that price why not ion or a real d (0, Flamebait)

Montezumaa (1674080) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828554)

The people who run treehugger.com are total nut jobs. Usually, a decent nut job outfit will make you click a page or two to discover that, but treehugger.com lets it be know right from the start. Take away the name of the site itself and the asshatery and d-bagginess of the site shines through quite well.

Ok, back to clubbing baby seals and dropped nuclear weapons on forest-covered areas.

Re:950 video at that price why not ion or a real d (4, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828392)

Came here to hear somebody moan about the graphics and am leaving satisfied.

Re:950 video at that price why not ion or a real d (1)

fibrewire (1132953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828510)

Well if satisified because of Intel graphics, then stay tuned!

GMA 950 is really PowerVR! And i'm not a man, i'm really a horse!

Re:950 video at that price why not ion or a real d (4, Funny)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828774)

Man, if you're satisfied by people moaning on Slashdot, you must be one happy camper.

Re:950 video at that price why not ion or a real d (3, Informative)

Siridar (85255) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828414)

the nvidia ion? the one with closed-source drivers? ...hmm...

Re:950 video at that price why not ion or a real d (0, Flamebait)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828592)

950 video at that price why not ion

No free software drivers for Ion.

Re:950 video at that price why not ion or a real d (2, Interesting)

izomiac (815208) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828620)

I have to wonder why the 950 rather than something a little newer... My laptop's a year old and has a 4500 MHD, which was equivalent to a low end nVidia or ATI card from a year prior, and can do h264 hardware decoding.

Pricey (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828264)

I wanted to buy a Free PC, but I couldn't afford it.

Re:Pricey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828640)

You can't afford €359?

Re:Pricey - no, it's VERY PRICEY (5, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828724)

It *is* pricey.

I can get an AMD Athlon X2 Dual-core 2ghz laptop with 4 gigs of ram, a 250 gig hd, AND built-in display, mouse pad, keyboard, hdmi, 4 usb, 8x dvd, gigabit ethernet, b/g/n wireless, webcam, mic, speakers, UPS good for several hours (it IS a laptop), card reader, etc., for less.

And that includes the Microsoft tax (Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit).

Shouldn't a box that isn't a laptop, has lower specs, no battery, no display, less ram, smaller disk capacity on a cheaper hard drive, no webcam, no M$TAX, etc., be CHEAPER?

Nobody's going to buy one of these.

Re:Pricey - no, it's VERY PRICEY (4, Funny)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828822)

It'll be cheaper in the long run, since it barely draws power. I mean, sure, it may take it 4 minutes to launch a browser that would take a normal PC 2 seconds to launch, but you can spend that time thinking of how *green* you're being and how free and liberated your computer is while it breaks a sweat just from booting. You can also take a nap while you tell Gimp to adjust the contrast of a 2-megapixel photo, or spend quality time with your loved ones if you ever try to run Eclipse.

This computer is good for your life. Don't be so obsessed with stats.

But (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828272)

But does it run Lin... oh... wait... nevermind.

Re:But (4, Insightful)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828810)

But does it have a Free BIOS? or use LinuxBios?

The lock on the desktop market is the private little BIOS monopoly Microsoft keeps in business. That lets them tweak every individual computer model "just a little bit" so the standard APIs like power management don't quite work perfectly.

Failed slashvertisment (3, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828284)

I can go to Walmart and get a better machine with Windows already on it for half the price.

For the second time I ask, who do I have to suck off to get my shitty product slashvertised?

Re:Failed slashvertisment (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828314)

kdawson

Re:Failed slashvertisment (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828326)

I can go to Walmart and get a better machine with Windows already on it for half the price.

For the second time I ask, who do I have to suck off to get my shitty product slashvertised?

You need to hack Roland Piquapaille's old accounts and submit your slashvertisements as him. You can be damn sure that Slashdot's "editors" will have forgotten he passed away.

Re:Failed slashvertisment (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828378)

I spent around $350 building my current desktop system from individual components. It's much better than the system listed, and uses less power.

Re:Failed slashvertisment (1)

smoothnorman (1670542) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828508)

I spent around $350 building my current desktop system from individual components. It's much better than the system listed, and uses less power.

It would be most edifying if you listed the exact parts and if you're entirely happy with them (thankee)

Re:Failed slashvertisment (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828390)

You care to provide a link? I get:
We're sorry we found 0 matches on Walmart.com for "mini-ITX".

Re:Failed slashvertisment (1, Funny)

RMS Eats Toejam (1693864) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828394)

You ignorant fool.... don't you understand that when you purchase a machine with Windows installed you are giving your money to a bloodthirsty, criminal organization bent on enslaving the entire world via proprietary software? Maybe you don't care about true freedom the way Richard Stallman does, but this machine is designed to provide just that. Proprietary software is like pedophilia, sodomy, card counting, or dog fighting. It's sick, immoral, and it harms society as a whole. If you want to enjoy using a computer with a clean conscience, this "Open PC" is the only way to go.

Re:Failed slashvertisment (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828428)

It's called sarcasm, you stupid mods.

Re:Failed slashvertisment (1, Funny)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828836)

See what happened here? You said "stupid mods" and you were modded "Redundant"! Get it??

Re:Failed slashvertisment (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828538)

RMS doesn't have a problem with pedophilia. 05 June 2006 (Dutch paedophiles form political party) Dutch pedophiles have formed a political party to campaign for legalization. I am skeptical of the claim that voluntarily pedophilia harms children. The arguments that it causes harm seem to be based on cases which aren't voluntary, which are then stretched by parents who are horrified by the idea that their little baby is maturing.

Re:Failed slashvertisment (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828584)

He's absolutely right.

Re:Failed slashvertisment (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828876)

I also agree.

Posting anonymously for obvious reasons.

Re:Failed slashvertisment (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828544)

Card counting is NOT sick or immoral and it sure as hell doesn't hurt society -- for that matter it's also NOT illegal.

pedophilia, sodomy, card counting, or dog fighting (0, Offtopic)

pem (1013437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828582)

I thought I saw a couple of mean dogs in the background fighting next to a slimy-looking, cowering puppy, in that dogs playing poker [umn.edu] picture, but it was kinda hard to tell because the room isn't all that well illuminated.

Thanks for the confirmation.

Re:Failed slashvertisment (4, Funny)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828784)

Proprietary software is like pedophilia, sodomy, card counting, or dog fighting. It's sick, immoral, and it harms society as a whole.

But all that stuff ... pedophilia, sodomy, card counting ... can still do this with Open PC, right?

Re:Failed slashvertisment (1, Troll)

javilon (99157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828434)

Yes, but it wont be certified to run Linux. If you are happy with that, more power to you, but I expect my hardware to work with Linux and to be able to read all code that run on my machine. This product makes it very easy.

By the way, prize is 359 Euro. I haven't seen any computer with 3G ram for 175 Euro, much less with Windows. Could you give me a pointer to the products you have in mind?

Re:Failed slashvertisment (2, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828622)

Certified to run Linux? What the heck does that mean? Is there an "Official" Linux certifying body?

Re:Failed slashvertisment (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828632)

I haven't seen any computer with 3G ram for 175 Euro, much less with Windows.

Then you've apparently not looked very hard.

Could you give me a pointer to the products you have in mind?

Sure [dell.com] . It's more powerful than this "Open-PC" and costs equivalent to 175 Euro.

Re:Failed slashvertisment (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828644)

Oops I misread you saying 2Gig. Either way what I linked is still has a better video card and processor and has a larger hard drive and for only 28 more Euro you can bump it up to 3 gigs of RAM. And it's still almost 159 Euro less.

Re:Failed slashvertisment (2, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828468)

Not their fault... the online poll [open-pc.com] set the price at $300 - $400

The under-spec'ed processor and GPU for that price, however IS their fault. And "easily upgradable" doesn't excuse it much. What may excuse it is low volume, requiring them to use lower spec'ed components than Apple to meet their price goal.

The online poll results put them in a tough place: "A Netbook form factor PC, in $300 - $400 range". A tower form factor would have allowed less-expensive options (though at higher power consumption, most likely).

Anyways, more is important than just the specs... it's the fact they only use open, documented hardware.

And this [open-pc.com] is redeeming:

The project was initiated in response to the lack of quality in the Free Software-based hardware solutions currently on the market. As many reviewers and end-users have stated, the pre-installed software used by hardware vendors generated a bad image for Free Software with potentially interested end-users. Much of the software was buggy and not widely tested and device drivers were often unstable, non-free or not available at all.

In other words... a high-quality component choice for non-technically savvy users who want Linux pre-installed?

I suppose high-quality is relative. They would seem to be claiming the point of the project is to provide a higher quality experience than other pre-installed Linux solutions.

Re:Failed slashvertisment (1)

bds1986 (1268378) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828492)

I'm not sure about the machines at Walmart, but this one apparently comes with free phone and email support. Depending on how long that support is for, and what it covers, that may explain some of the difference in price. The rest may be due to the fact that these machines will not sell in anywhere near the volume that Walmart can move.

Re:Failed slashvertisment (4, Insightful)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828730)

It's funny how Walmart is equated to the devil and the destoryer of mom & pop stores yet whenever an open system or system with linux pre-installed comes out, everyone runs to point that Walmart has cheaper computers and parts. And And Dell is the computer equivelant of Wallmart (except they are better able to outsource their problems since it they are not a brick and mortar store

Why? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828300)

That's about $500 dollars, which is $50 more than I paid for a 16" Asus laptop for my wife for Christmas. Pretty much the same hardware too, other than her laptop came 1 gb more ram, a core2duo processor and a screen. It even uses the same chipset... The laptop came with windows 7 also so you can dualboot whatever flavor of linux you want.

BIOS (3, Insightful)

enter to exit (1049190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828308)

How about the BIOS? That's never considered software by the FOSS crowd for some reason.

Re:BIOS (3, Informative)

mattdm (1931) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828352)

Sure it is. There's even projects to do it. For example, OpenBIOS [openfirmware.info] .

Re:BIOS (1)

l2718 (514756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828398)

Free BIOSe projects exist but I don't think they are ready for production use.

PC's are so last 30 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828320)

Sure, Microsoft will continue to rake in a fortune selling Windows and Office, but no one really cares about them anymore. It's like IBM still makes excellent money selling mainframes.

Time to move on.

A match made in Heaven. (0, Troll)

RMS Eats Toejam (1693864) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828328)

Well.... it's ugly, underpowered, and it runs Linux... but this will go perfect with my Openmoko phone!

Adavance Cleanse (-1, Offtopic)

hancynoye (1725188) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828338)

nice post this is, and thanks for shearing a nice and informative post, Adavance Cleanse [articlesbase.com]

Euro, not Dollar. (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828354)

You can build the same specs for less than the same number of dollars. Why would I buy this thing? It sounds like the asinine "Vision computer" ads with their "Full Gig RAM".

what other company offers a standard warranty three years on parts and labor? [...] that's a computer with an intel atom processor full gig of ram and 100...Gig hard drive. dvd. rom. seventeen inch monitor. For 499

It's like they got William Shatner's brother to do the radio commercial.

you are kidding right? (1, Flamebait)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828400)

the dell studio hybrid [dell.com] is $200 less, has a 2.1GHz core duo processor, and includes MS windows. i am sure there are other examples. really folks if anything this is an anti-linux desktop advertisement.

Re:you are kidding right? (1, Funny)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828750)

You misunderstand: Linux doesn't need a fast CPU or graphics acceleration to be awesome. That's the point they're making here.

Re:you are kidding right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828840)

And that's why they are charging more for the slower CPU and non accel graphics! They want to give us the oportunity to say HA! LINUX DOESN'T NEED ALL THOSE CHEAPER, BETTER PROCESSORS AND GPUS! Why pay less for that hardware when you don't need it eh?

Is it? is that why????? :-(

Benefits of Full-Spec Hardware? (5, Insightful)

starseeker (141897) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828426)

Of course if you look at this from a strict price/performance standpoint, it's not going to win - the point is solid support of the hardware is possible with fully open source code. How does this play out? Hard to say. I'd like to see a review geared to evaluation of points such as stability, responsiveness, usability of major open source programs (Blender, anyone?) and how/whether a fully open driver stack impacts that experience.

Apple wins in the market because they create a smooth, integrated experience that has view technical "gotchas" waiting to pounce on the consumer. The point of projects such as this (IMHO anyway) is to try to achieve something similar with open source - a hardware/software stack that can be tuned for a performance that, while perhaps not the fastest possible, is "smooth".

Realistically, how much horsepower is actually needed for anything not involving heavy duty graphics or video editing? Wouldn't it perhaps be worth trading off a bit of the "latest and greatest" hardware performance for something that was quality components, solid support and would run reliably for a long time? I know I'd be interested.

It'll be interesting to see if they can find a way to illustrate the benefits of such an experience, even if they can create it - and whether the open source audience will be sufficiently impressed to buy it or not. I know that if my machine were to croak tomorrow, I would at least be curious - a Walmart PC or Dell might have better specs for a cheaper price but I'd be scared of component quality and assembly QC - that's one reason folks still build their own boxes, after all. My current machine was assembled from parts years ago, and has been quite reliable (as well as fast enough) through years of building Gentoo updates and other fairly intense desktop tasks - that's what I want for my next machine, because this month's hardware will be slow next month anyway and I want my $$ to last. Is this it? Who knows, but I'd be curious to see what a real in-depth review has to say.

Re:Benefits of Full-Spec Hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828562)

Running Blender with an Atom processor? You must be joking.

Re:Benefits of Full-Spec Hardware? (2, Funny)

jackchance (947926) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828878)

>Realistically, how much horsepower is actually needed for anything not involving heavy duty graphics or video editing?

Have you ever played a flash game?

Why? (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828440)

I really don't see the point of this. Perhaps back in 1998 when it took a lot of effort to get Linux up and running this might have a market, today, I can buy almost any laptop/desktop and install Ubuntu on it with little to no problems. Why should I have to pay $400+ more for a computer that gets me less? For $600 I can get a Core i7 gamer rig and not a crappy "nettop". For $150? I'd buy it in a heartbeat. For $250, I might consider it. For more than the price of a Mac Mini? No way.

Re:Why? (1)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828802)

For $150? I'd buy it in a heartbeat. For $250, I might consider it. For more than the price of a Mac Mini? No way.

A Mac Mini costs at least $599, according to Apple's webstore (not including educational discounts). This open-pc.com computer is being advertised at €359 which is approximately $509 as I type this.

When you buy a Mac Mini you're buying a non-free OS and hardware you might not be able to fully operate with free software drivers. The open-pc.com machine is being advertised as a machine that runs on "100% free software and drivers".

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828882)

I kept saying the same thing until trying to get Suspend to Ram and Hibernate working on 3 desktops (2 Dells, 1 HP) and 2 laptops (1 Dell, 1 Lenovo) this past week. I was able to get Suspend to Ram working on 3 of the machines, but trying to suspend 2 or 3 times without rebooting would cause an unexpected shut down.

"Google searching" the problem with the keywords Ubuntu and suspend shows how horrible suspend/hibernate support is on Linux. The first link that pops up is a request to fix the bug in Ubuntu.

Finally! (1)

Daveez (1069866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828450)

This is great! May not be the end all be all of machines but it is a beginning.

$500 (Monitor Sold Separately) (3, Funny)

coolmoose25 (1057210) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828474)

Wow! A $500 Atom based desktop (monitor sold separately)... For reference, bought a $219 Acer netbook, with Windows and a smallish display (hey, it's a netbook). Now that only came with 1 gig of ram, but for $30 I can swap that to 2 gig. Fails worse that Coakley in MA!!!

Microsoft builds Linux powered OpenPC (1, Flamebait)

fibrewire (1132953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828482)

500 USD - Is that a $300 linux distribution? Does anyone have information on this?

My dual core Acer REVO with 2GB and 320GB HD with wireless keyboard and mouse - not to mention Nvidia ION graphics was $300 brand new on ebay, and i hooked it to my 52" TV for free with the HDMI out. It came with FreeDOS, which is just some non-gui linux, but throw on Ubuntu / Vista / and OSX for the $200 i saved.

"I saved a ton of money on my car insurance by dropping it" ®

Re:Microsoft builds Linux powered OpenPC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828498)

Uhhhh, FreeDOS, NON-GUI LINUX?

Wow dude, just wow.

I'm not certain which of the three is most disparaged there, DOS, Linux, or your knowledge of either.

Re:Microsoft builds Linux powered OpenPC (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828656)

Don't feed the trolls.

Re:Microsoft builds Linux powered OpenPC (4, Informative)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828556)

No, the extra $300 is what you pay for ordering all those parts and preparing an assembly line to make computers but in quantities of less than millions. Certain costs are largely the same whether you're making five hundred computers or five million computers, so they cost more on a per unit basis when you're in the former category rather than the latter. Other costs scale, but not linearly. You can't make a computer with all the same parts as that Acer for the same price unless you're making and selling as many computers as Acer.

Re:Microsoft builds Linux powered OpenPC (3, Informative)

PaintyThePirate (682047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828796)

I agreed with you until I saw what the PC actually was. That is, built entirely from off the shelf components. You can buy the Mini-ITX motherboard they use that with comes with a 1.6Ghz Atom for £64.60 on Amazon.co.uk. The case, power supply, and RAM are all quite ordinary. You can in fact build this exact computer for at least £100 less on your own.

I would have been more impressed if they pulled an OLPC and used a FOSS BIOS and designed a motherboard.

Nice idea, and... (5, Interesting)

zogger (617870) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828500)

Nice idea, and I keep wondering why Ubuntu doesn't do this, in an "it's up to you" option deal how to go about things. Normal distro, then take your chances on whatever hardware you got, or, something they can make money at, a set of a small variety of competitively priced machines-netbook, notebook, desktop, server- that they sell, that their main devs, for at least the long term releases, do absolute testing on so that everything "just works" 100% guaranteed, along with recommended peripherals.

  Sort of like the apple model of matched software and hardware, *but* with the distinction of no hissy fits from the company about using other hardware, either. Buy their gear, with their software preinstalled, you get priority warranty and useability support. Buy or build your idea/choice of hardware, you get such support as exists today, which is hit or miss, go lurk on the forum if you have any problems.

Better be CoreBoot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828526)

It's not 100% free unless the BIOS is Free. ..and if it's not 100%, its not even a novelty, just an expensive lightweight.

Open Spec vs. Open Source Hardware (3, Interesting)

starseeker (141897) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828530)

This raises an interesting question - whether a PC like this, which purports to use hardware that is fully documented, is sufficiently "free" for every possible scenario. A "more free" approach would be to use "open source hardware" (insofar as is legally possible, I believe things like GPS hardware have disclosure limits imposed by the legal system). By "open source", I'm referring to hardware that includes not only API documentation but hardware descriptions usable for chip production - things like OpenSparc and the OpenGraphics card. I doubt there are enough such pieces to form a fully functional PC (particularly when it comes to things like monitors) but for the sake of argument let's assume there are.

In theory, of course, the fewer restrictions on any IP related to making the computer work the better, but in practice modern PC hardware is not something that can be realistically produced (at least today) by any hobbyist. The physical hardware also doesn't benefit from the "cheap copy" properties of software, so the in-depth knowledge of how to make the hardware is hard to apply even when present. Also, such designs are (to my knowledge without exception, at least in the PC hardware arena) well behind the maximally performing hardware developed in non-open contexts. So the price to pay for full hardware knowledge is quite steep in terms of performance. The only real end-user applicable argument is that full hardware knowledge means the potential for better software support.

So a question for those in the open hardware community - is there potential for driver development using information of the kind available from OpenSparc and OpenGraphics to develop better performing drivers than can be achieved with the information (say) considered sufficient to permit inclusion of hardware in a product like the one in this article? If not, are there any other benefits (aside from the admittedly non-trivial one of being able to learn anything you want to about your computer) to an "open source" hardware platform?

Any hope for a US distributor? (1)

smoothnorman (1670542) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828546)

(what should be done when the subject-line says it all? the posting software won't allow us either a blank subject-line or blank body. fair enough, i suppose, but what if one's thought is no more than a subject-line in length? well i suppose one could just prattle on about something unrelated, or post one's favorite recipe... Oatmeal-Molasses Chews 1 C butter, softened 1 tsp baking soda 1.5 C brown sugar, packed 1 tsp baking powder 2 large eggs 3 tsp cinnamon 0.5 C molasses 1 tsp allspice 3 tsp vanilla 1 tsp cloves 3 C rolled oats 1 tsp nutmeg 1.5 C white flour 1.25 C raisins 1 C wheat flour 0.75 C walnuts, chopped Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in eggs, molasses and vanilla; add oats. Mix flours and spices in another bowl, then add raisins and nuts, to coat with flour. Add this to sugar mixture. Bake at 375oF 12 minutes, makes about 3 dozen but that seems entirely silly

Reasonable price???????? (1)

m509272 (1286764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828574)

I guess I'll be the 100th person or so to say that $500 for hardware of this level is a total ripoff. The only thing causing this to cost more than about $175 is the 3GB of memory as machines at that price point have 1GB and a $20 optical drive. Price should be no more than $225.

"Energy efficient"? (0)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828596)

From the specs:

250watt power supply

I was hoping for something energy efficient like the summary claimed.

Re:"Energy efficient"? (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828732)

It efficiently removes dangerous electrical energy from your outlet.

Re:"Energy efficient"? (1)

polymeris (902231) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828790)

I have heard that is more efficient to run a large psu at lower loads than a small psu at maximum load. I don't know if it is true, though...

No wireless, of course (1, Insightful)

RedBear (207369) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828630)

No wireless chipset, of course. Because after 15 years of WiFi being in common usage worldwide, there still isn't a single chipset available with full support for 100% free software. That's just sad.

Anybody who buys this instead of a Mac mini, which does include 802.11b/g/n, gigabit Ethernet, DVD burner and better graphics for virtually the same price, is a fool.

Re:No wireless, of course (5, Informative)

bfree (113420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828704)

No wireless chipset, of course. Because after 15 years of WiFi being in common usage worldwide, there still isn't a single chipset available with full support for 100% free software.

Except for all the atheros cards supported by ath5k and ath9k in the Linux kernel, or the bcm cards supported by openfwwf (though I prefer the atheros stuff as it's manufacturer not only helps out but even released their own code for reference). There may be others.

Re:No wireless, of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828720)

200+ dollar difference != virtually the same price.

Anybody who buys a Mac Mini instead of a Windows PC with superior specs and feature set for a lower price is a fool.

The price is reasonable (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828680)

When you take into account how much it much have cost them in slashvertising.

Lol town!

BIOS anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828702)

When I saw the blurb, I thought to myself that the BIOS would be the fancy the 'coreboot/LinuxBIOS' stuff. Can't see any mention of it on the Open-PC project website.

Disclaimer: I don't know anything about BIOS other then there is an opensource project about it.

You Idiots Don't Get It (1, Troll)

mpapet (761907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828800)

1. Most of you conveniently forget that this project is *very* low volume. The price has to be higher.

2. Most of you also conveniently forget the importance of totally GPL-friendly hardware when it comes time to open your wallet.

A friendly reminder that the Trusted Computing Group can lock the user out of their hardware. Now. This is not vaporware. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trusted_Computing_Group [wikipedia.org]

Freedom has a price, and it's costs more than a similarly spec'd Dell/Walmart special.

Re:You Idiots Don't Get It (0, Troll)

DogDude (805747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828874)

"A friendly reminder that the Trusted Computing Group can lock the user out of their hardware."

Much more likely scenario: The sun gives you cancer. You'd better stay inside.

Oh, and FYI: freedom isn't something you buy with a credit card.

Schmuck.

Oh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828828)

Is GNU/Linux anything like normal Linux?

But in all seriousness, this is a good thing, and the more we encourage hardware vendors to open source their drivers, the better. Closed source drivers lead to nothing but buggy legacy drivers the IT community gets to make work 10 years down the road when the machine meant to last 3 years is forced to last 23.

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