×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Project To Build Dual-Booting Linux, Android Tablet For $100

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the because-hey-why-not dept.

Android 114

SternisheFan sends this quote from Ars: "It likely won’t be as sleek or fast as a Nexus 7 or Nexus 10, but a new tablet running both Android and Linux is in the works for open source enthusiasts and lovers of low-budget devices. PengPod tablets, made by a company called Peacock Imports, will dual-boot Android 4.0 and a version of Linux with the KDE Plasma Active interface for touch screens. But in order to reserve a tablet for yourself, you'll have to contribute to the company's crowdfunding project on Indiegogo and hope enough money is raised to begin production. 'Our goal is to build a powerful, True Linux Tablet, one free of Google and Android's restrictions, at a reasonable price,' the PengPod IndieGogo page says. 'If you're a Linux fanatic you probably ended up getting an Android phone. Hey, it's Linux right? It'll be open, run all the programs I'm familiar with and let me hack around and have some fun right? Too often, this is not so. That is why we set out to find a way to run real Linux and all the software you really want.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

114 comments

They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (-1, Troll)

bogaboga (793279) | about a year and a half ago | (#41948949)

You might not want to hear this but KDE is a memory hog [opensuse.org] in general. This project, like many other Linux based ones, will suck big-time and ultimately fail depending on who you talk to.

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41948985)

That linked thread illustrates why I can't stomach Linux forums. The guy is trying to explain to him that its ok for it to use 2x the memory, thats what Linux does (implying LOLOLOL Windows newb). Gag me to death please.

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41949031)

Yes. Threads like that are why I switched to OS X. The people on the forum are trying to use the classic Linux excuses and make the user feel stupid and blame him for Linux shortcomings. KDE using over a gig of RAM is insane to me. Remember when Linux was supposed to be lightweight and flexible? Yeah, it probably never was but it definitely isn't now. I used to really believe in Free Software but it has totally failed to make a useful and helpful computer for professionals and casual users. What good having "software freedom" if the software is total shit? Sure, in the server (after having IBM, Redhat and Novell poured cash into it) it's quite decent but the desktop is just a failure and despite Google's best efforts Android ain't all that either.

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41949099)

OSX forums are just as bad. Hell I think all forums are full of twats trying to prove their self worth. OSX forums its more along the lines of 'you wanna do something different? IDIOT. apple didnt design it that way'. -- happy OSX and linux user.

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (3, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949249)

The people on the forum are trying to use the classic Linux excuses and make the user feel stupid and blame him for Linux shortcomings.

No, the people in this forum are using a classic FUD technique of finding one nasty datum and pretending it's the whole world.

They're also lying about KDE, and being deceptive about the DE which will be used on this tablet. If you're genuinely interested in the system and have read past the mess of disinformation and proprietary propaganda that is today's Slashdot, go to the KDE Plasma-active [plasma-active.org] site and test it yourself for free.

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (2)

mrvan (973822) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949727)

Linux is absolutely lightweight and flexible, it's just that KDE and gnome seem to be making a mess of things lately in a stupid attempt to keep up with the Joneses.

I use xubuntu+xmonad and it is blazingly fast and flexible on 4+ year old hardware. I tried using Gnome and KDE but I feel they get in my way more than helping me do my stuff, but I am completely happy with my current setup.

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year and a half ago | (#41951835)

unity sucks.

gnome-shell for all its flaws, runs, two monitors at 1440x900 at desktop idle, a whopping 220 MB of RAM.

while playing WoW in wine on one monitor, yakking away on xchat on another, while having firefox open to watch stupid youtube videos and engage in "polite discussion" on /., with a zillion instances of gedit, terminal, and firefox pages, tunes blaring out of 5.1 surround system with rythm box, trying to code while looking up syntax, my system uses, get this:

just under 2 GB of ram.(so says gnome-system-utiliy I feel like a total idiot for spurging on 16GB of ram.

I have no swap enabled, and I feel quite comfortable with /tmp mounted in RAM based tmpfs, and never ever ever came close to running out of memory. ever...

So, Gnome and KDE might be memory hogs, but thats only relivant to gnu/linux. They are both still far more lightweight than either windows 7 or OSX.

no swap (1)

higuita (129722) | about a year and a half ago | (#41955303)

You know that you should have ALWAYS some swap enabled... even if its just 100MB (1GB should be better). The linux kernel have some entries that fail if there no swap enabled, even if you have free memory and no need for swap, that might create weird problems.

Also, swap is good for big apps like chrome, firefox, java, etc, where the apps requests several GB of RAM, but will just use a small part of that. Without swap you will lose all that unused RAM, with swap that unused RAM is mapped to the swap (without any IO or delay, so its a win-win)

Also, tmpfs can be mapped to the swap if you would ever need to free RAM (i know, you believe that you will never need this, but just in case...)

So please, add some swap! :)

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41949089)

It is true that the "It's the linux way" guy is appalling. But if you read the thread carefully, you will see that he gave the correct answer right in the first reply: Disable the Akonadi insanity.

BTW: I generally find MacOS X and Windows users even more intolerant. Every time I tell a Mac user that the Mac desktop is unusable for me they get downright aggressive in a way that I don't find with Linux users. Likewise I've been called "Dinosaur" by our Windows administrator for using command line interfaces.

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949235)

If he doesn't use PowerShell, he can't be much of an admin...

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41949783)

I don't know how you define "much of an admin", but the guy certainly gets paid for administering the Windows networks (yes, plural) of a company with more than 1000 employees. Needless to say, catching him on the phone is "difficult".

The awk-ward response (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#41953939)

There's also cygwin and a pile of other scripting environments that work on MS Windows.

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (5, Informative)

JazzVoid (1235278) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949007)

KDE4 runs just fine with 512MB RAM and modern Android devices have even more. If you'll read the thread you've linked, you'll see that it's an openSuSE issue which has a lot of pre-enabled KDE components that are not needed on a tabled (like semantic desktop).

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41949009)

They lost me on dual-_boot_... that's so 2005 for me at least, after that it's been the year of the linux desktop. If there's a boot involved it's one device and one OS for me please.

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949247)

Actually... yeah - why should you need to dual-boot when Linux Desktop and Android both use the Linux kernel?

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41949289)

Android lacks the GNU libc and toolchain tho, could affect things.

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (1)

tloh (451585) | about a year and a half ago | (#41952575)

Intriguing. Are you suggesting the tablet as a coding/development tool for programmers? Might be a nice on-the-go coding gadget, but I wouldn't want to compile anything but the simplest programs on such a dainty thing. Perhaps a more practical role as a development TARGET (or prototyping tool ala Arduino) for app builders fully supported by everything open source currently has to offer? I can see how that would appeal to mobile app developers who know their way around a compiler. But the benefits of access to GNU libc and a complete toolchain for the majority of non-coders eludes me at the moment. Maybe slashdot is the wrong place to ask, but how big of a niche is that relative to the tablet market as a whole? I would venture a guess that they'll probably appeal to as many as there existed Linux users back in the mid-late nineties when it was a fledgling thing most people didn't know about. My coding skills have rusted beyond salvage, so the critical justification for me would be: what need does Android currently NOT offer in app space that can be had in a roll-your-own Linux? The article mentioned KDE, but that hardly seems appropriate for a tablet at the moment. Maybe further down the line when that Plasma thing has matured and gained traction. Better suggestions anyone?

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (2)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949017)

According to various tests on recent distributions (use your Google-fu to find them, it's not difficult), the memory use of KDE is not great, but not nearly as bad as Gnome 3 or Unity. However, it would seem that xfce or LXDE would be better choices for low memory devices.

In general memory required for Ubuntu 12.04 and 12.10 goes: Ubuntu (unity) > Kubuntu (KDE) > Xubuntu (xfce) > Lubuntu (LXDE). Similarly, memory required for the different desktop environments on Fedora 17 is: Gnome 3 > KDE > xfce > LXDE. That's without the akonadi stuff which was affecting the KDE example you linked to.

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41949053)

So your utterly retarded "argument" is, that Hitler did not murder a lot of people, because Stalin murdered a lot more?!?

I have to ask you this: Are you insane?? Seriously: Do you live in a padded rubber room and drool all over yourself?

Because only a completely and utterly insane person would make a non-argument as stupid as this! Simple stupidity doesn't cut it. You gotta be insane for that level of FAIL.

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (3, Informative)

chmod a+x mojo (965286) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949161)

the only problem with XFCE4 / LXDE is that they are not designed with touch input in mind. KDE4's Plasma Active is designed for smaller screens and touch input, and generally the smaller screen devices it is designed to run on don't have quite as much RAM so a lot of the more memory intensive eye candy and other goofy crap is turned off by default while retaining the KDE power utilities - Konq / Dolphin spank the pants off Thunar / LxFM in terms of features. Thunar still hasn't gotten the "Open Terminal here" working to actually open the terminal in the directory it was selected from as of the last time I tried it ( ~2-3 months ago) it opens the terminal in your home dir.

 

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41949323)

the only problem with XFCE4 / LXDE is that they are not designed with touch input in mind

You missidentified the problem. XFCE4 is designed for desktop use so that is a feature, the problem is caused by one "size fits all" beeing a horrible idea.

A few examples as to why "on size fits all" is inherently crazy:

- cars: very few people drive an 18 wheeler, very few truckers would be happy about driving a smart.
- clothes: nobody is going to wear suit and tie when they are swimming/jogging
- spoons: large variety of spoons and I'm quite sure there is not a single one I would use to both eat soup and as a teaspoon.
- etc. etc.

Why to people think that software is different in that regard? I thought the "it's different on a PC" exuse of patents is seen as silly.

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41951391)

I declare the Black Model T is all anybody will need!

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (1)

KingRatMass (1448233) | about a year and a half ago | (#41952229)

So typical from the spoon and fork crowd. the Spork has all your needs covered, no need to utilize two separate eating utensils.

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41952247)

Just when will this FUD end?! Oi!
Plasma Active is not Plasma Desktop a.k.a. KDE4 Desktop shell. They share code but they are two different projects so it's not one size fit all, it's the exact opposite where there's one framework with multiple but independant graphical shell implementations.

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41951037)

Thunar opens the right dir in my installation. But open terminal is not always in the contextual menu.

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (1)

anotherzeb (837807) | about a year and a half ago | (#41951293)

I'd be wanting to run Enlightenment on this kind of thing

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41951865)

Hell yeah. That's what I run on my Fujitsu U820 -- best combination so far of touch and desktop WM without compromising either side. (People who haven't used it lately, try it before you make assumptions.)

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41952227)

Xfce or LXDE on a touchscreen without mouse or keyboard - yeah right. Also the device ought to have decentish resolution which given the size would mean that it has high DPI and that again requires a DE that actually can handle it.
tl;dr KDE is the only DE that actually meets the criteria for a modern portable device - high DPI and touch friendly. Well, and probably/hopefully E17, too.

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41949037)

They lost me when they mentioned "tablet".
It's either Linux, or it is a "tablet". Those two are mutually exclusive, since Linux is a computer operating system, and a "tablet" is not a computer, but an appliance, made by retards, for retards. And there is already a rape child of Linux and "tablets". It's called "Android", and it's exactly the complete shit you expect from a retard UI experience. No need to add insult to injury, and rape Linux a second time, by putting it on the most pointless e-penis since the SUV.

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (3, Interesting)

progician (2451300) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949165)

I always thought the same. Switching between OSes should be more simple, it just need a better boot management: How about a function built in both OS, that saves the memory just like as it was hibernate and switch by memory content? A modern firmware/BIOS should offer this possibility.

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (3, Informative)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949135)

Comparing the desktop KDE with the meant-for-tablets plasma active is not exactly fair. Can't assure for KDE plasma active (not tried it yet), but pure linux running tablet interfaces (maemo, meego, webos) in the past had good user experience (at least for me), specially with up to date hardware. And you don't have so far away the rest that comes with linux, from the system or shell to compiling or adapting for it things for other devices or environments, or, well, have plenty of user interfaces to play with if you don't like one in particular (even Sugar could be a valid one)

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41949139)

It isn't that bad, christ.

I ran KDE whatever version it was back on a 660Mhz Toshiba Satellite pro off a disc for 7 months on 1gig memory and NO hard drive until I saved up to buy a new hard drive.

Yes, it isn't the best choice for a portable, I will give you that though.

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41949355)

I have run KDE on openSUSE with 256MB of RAM, KDE is far from a memory hog.

They lost me when they mentioned making a tablet! (2)

mellon (7048) | about a year and a half ago | (#41950205)

This is putting the cart before the horse. Make something that runs well on _existing_ tablets. _Then_ talk about building a special tablet to run it on. There are a lot of fine candidates out there—there's no reason to waste effort building another one that will deliver half the performance at the same price. A Nexus 7 or a Nexus 10 would be a great platform for prototyping this.

Having said that, I completely agree with your point about KDE. In addition to being a memory hog, it's hopelessly complicated and presents an impossible learning curve to anyone who just wants to figure out why dumped core. It might as well be closed source, for all the good that having the source does.

Re:They lost me when they mentioned making a table (1)

centuren (106470) | about a year and a half ago | (#41952617)

This is putting the cart before the horse. Make something that runs well on _existing_ tablets. _Then_ talk about building a special tablet to run it on. There are a lot of fine candidates out there—there's no reason to waste effort building another one that will deliver half the performance at the same price. A Nexus 7 or a Nexus 10 would be a great platform for prototyping this.

I can't imagine that this isn't being done, at least internally. Can't we already go buy a Nexus 10 (or similar) and dual-boot Android and Linux w/Plasma-Active ourselves? Isn't the price the point of the project?

Re:They lost me when they mentioned making a table (1)

centuren (106470) | about a year and a half ago | (#41952639)

This is putting the cart before the horse. Make something that runs well on _existing_ tablets. _Then_ talk about building a special tablet to run it on. There are a lot of fine candidates out there—there's no reason to waste effort building another one that will deliver half the performance at the same price. A Nexus 7 or a Nexus 10 would be a great platform for prototyping this.

I can't imagine that this isn't being done, at least internally. Can't we already go buy a Nexus 10 (or similar) and dual-boot Android and Linux w/Plasma-Active ourselves? Isn't the price the point of the project?

Actually, taking a second look at the specs in the article, I'm surprised anyone is behind this. The "vertical" resolutions are 480 pixels (7") and 600 pixels (10"). That is ridiculous. With the Nexus line so competitively priced, who would ever touch one of these?

Re:They lost me when they mentioned making a table (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#41953961)

Make something that runs well on _existing_ tablets

That's where people ran into the brick wall of trade secrets in the graphics hardware and no way to make something run well without painstakingly reverse engineering the things. Starting with documented hardware that does the job makes sense in that context.

Re:They lost me when they mentioned KDE... (3, Informative)

Teun (17872) | about a year and a half ago | (#41950483)

First it's you making a wholly disingenuous remark about the memory use of a KDE desktop and then some dim moderator with an agenda sees it as insightful, what has come of this place?

I'm right now on an HP-mini running KDE-Plasma on 2 Gb of RAM with 6 tabs open in Firefox and looking at the system monitor less than 400 Mb of RAM is in use.
When on a bare desktop with a couple of widgets running it's below 300 Mb, and yes that's of course without the indexing service running.
Would you take the tablet version of KDE you'd get even better results.

Stop trolling in a place with Real Users.

Sorry to say that but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41948963)

Chances are this will lead to a crappy tablet, if there's no $BIG_COMPANY adoption, if it leads to a tablet at all ...

Is this news for nerds? Is this even news? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41948973)

'Our goal is to build a powerful, True Linux Tablet, one free of Google and Android's restrictions, at a reasonable price,

Yeah, that onerous Apache license that stop you from doing.. uh.. what exactly?

Well, I mean at least hardware-wise they're free of the "restricted" $200 7" tablet that is instantly unlockable so you can put whatever you want on it, including Ubuntu [ubuntu.com]...

Um, wat? How are Google's Nexus tablets "restricted"?

The folks behind PengPod are off to a slow start, with $769...

Wow, I could buy 7.69 of the non-available 1024x600 tablets with that!

Hopefully not just a repackaged Maylong 150.... (2)

Ch_Omega (532549) | about a year and a half ago | (#41948977)

For $100, i really hope its not based on the Maylong 150 [arstechnica.com]....

Re:Hopefully not just a repackaged Maylong 150.... (5, Informative)

drachensun (2766139) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949313)

For $100, i really hope its not based on the Maylong 150 [arstechnica.com]....

Its not, the maylong had a via 8650 processor with no coprocessing and a 400 mhz main processor, overclocked to the 533, 600 or even 800 claimed by sellers. The PengPods all have A10 1-1.2 GHZ processors with a 4 core mali coprocessor and the cedarx video coprocessor. Typically the system gets unstable after 1.2 Ghz but it can be taken up to 1.5, we are hoping the improvements in the boot software will eventually make that possible. Note that not all the source is available for the video processors but there has been a lot of work to make the closed libraries work well. Full disclosure: Im part of the project.

Re:Hopefully not just a repackaged Maylong 150.... (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949499)

I submitted this story in the hope that you guys might get some valueable advice and ideas of what can and what wont work. They're a pretty smart bunch here. Good luck to you guys. SF... :-)

Re:Hopefully not just a repackaged Maylong 150.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41950163)

That was funny review. I had this very same tablet some time ago (don't ask why) and it was worst piece of electronics i have seen for years. There was one good thing however, you could boot from SD-card without any hacking. There was some Ubuntu image for it or something.

Battery lasted around 30 minutes on full charge.

We don't need another tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41948987)

Maybe someone would work on a better OS for better, existing hardware instead of building another (and admittedly, clunky) tablet for dual booting.

"free of Google and Android's restrictions" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41948999)

Ummmmm.... what?

Isn't that the whole point of Android? Free from restriction? Customizable? Hackable? Open?

Just go get a Nexus tablet. I love mine.

No! (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949001)

As a true Linux enthusiast I ended up with a Nokia N900, Please, anybody who has one and doesn't like it, offer to sell it soon. My understanding is the formerly great hardware manufacturer is facing severe financial hardship due to bad management decisions concerncing software. I've not seen anything even approaching it since it's introduction. I'd say less than a quarter even offer a hardware keyboard anymore.

Re:No! (1)

grumling (94709) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949387)

Exactly. Why not take all this effort to crowdsource when they could just throw their backing to Jolla's MeeGo project [wikipedia.org] or Ubuntu tablet edition? I mean, more power to them, but I don't think re-inventing the wheel again is going to be all that productive.

Re:No! (1)

Teun (17872) | about a year and a half ago | (#41950671)

As an n900 owner I couldn't agree more.

The Maego family of GUI's are quite mature and far more standards compliant than Android, just imagine one could run Thunderbird on a Nexus 7!
This is why I'm interested in an MS Surface tablet, running some form of KDE on it must be really nice.
I have Kubuntu running on a 23" HP Touch and it works well, it's just a little clunky to use it as a tablet :)

MS surface (1)

higuita (129722) | about a year and a half ago | (#41955353)

Remember that all windows 8 ARM based devices are REQUIRED to lock the boot to signed binaries... on the X86 is "just" recommended.
I dont know if the FSF/redhat/ubuntu boot loader can work on ARM (as usually the boot is limited by the cpu and firmware)... it might be a while until you can run other OS on MS surface.

Re:No! (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41950845)

The n900 was a fantastic device. Problem is not many people bought it or were interested in what it could do. It was basically an ultra-compact linux box with a great camera and screen that happened to make phone calls. It was a product for a niche market. MeeGo for the n9 and n950 made up for those shortcomings and was worlds better for a phone and the device got fantastic reviews but by that time it was too late to save Nokia.

You best get used to it: if you want a table that runs linux proper, get yourself a nexus device. Canonical even has a one click installer for nexus 7. Given how good google is with making their devices open, I would expect support on other devices soon.

Why not being realistic?? (1)

Kkloe (2751395) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949019)

Could they not set the price to same price as other tablets and in that way actually be able to build a good tablet otherwise I would say Curiosity could smell the fail all the way from Mars.

Re:Why not being realistic?? (2)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about a year and a half ago | (#41952775)

It is right in the ballpark. Similarly specced Android tablets sell for around $80-$120 at 7" (although they tend to have 1024x600 screens). You can get a single core tablet at 800x480 for a bit over $50.

It is worth supporting these sorts of projects if only to keep development going for tablet interfaces with Linux - or more specifically the applications that run on it. Android is fine in its own right, but what we need is an infrastructure that assumes that apps will be open source and free. For that, we need a repository that does not charge developers for hosting the apps - just like on Linux now.

Touch Interface (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41949063)

Cool but have anyone tried to work with KDE/GNOME/LightWave with FINGERS? I mean god this interface is made for pixel precision device (like a fucking mouse) not manly fingers on 7" screen.

Re:Touch Interface (1)

Narishma (822073) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949933)

They aren't using the desktop version of KDE. They're using KDE Plasma Active, which is KDE's touch-oriented interface.

Why dual boot when you can... (4, Interesting)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949083)

Why dual boot when you can run both simultaneously since both run on the same Linux kernel? Kind of how Windows 8 runs both WinRT apps(for tablet use) and desktop apps simultaneously. Best of both worlds, use the Android apps when you want to use a tablet, and then switch to KDE apps for real work, all without messy rebooting.

Re:Why dual boot when you can... (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949269)

Exactly. Anyone who says "both linux and android" has no clear idea of the concept.

OSF zealots correcting things to "GNU/Linux" and "Android/Linux" arriving in 3.....2....1.....

Re:Why dual boot when you can... (2)

tloh (451585) | about a year and a half ago | (#41952455)

I imagine the distinction might intended to be

1) Google's customized and restricted user experience via the necessity of developing apps conforming to their development parameters.

vs

2) A truly RMS-type FOSS alternative that gives anyone with the knowledge and experience to hack code and build a tablet with just what they want.

Re:Why dual boot when you can... (1)

amorsen (7485) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949533)

Has there been any attempts at doing this? Adding the whole Android app ecosystem to more traditional Linux would be fantastic.

You can run the SDK Android emulator, but that is not really a solution.

Re:Why dual boot when you can... (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#41955431)

It would seem possible, technically.

I remember an article a while back about bedrock linux, which was designed to make multiple distros run side by side on the same kernel.

You can certainly run normal Linux in a chroot on Android. It would be much better the other way around where the computer is controlled by a proper OS but you can access android if you need.

Too late... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41949101)

I despair to see many of my IT colleagues, formerly Linux nuts who would happily spend a week debugging a wireless driver, drifting into Apple's curated world.

Usually it starts with a Macbook because, you know, it looks fantastic and it's UNIX. And that usually leads to a Time Capsule. Then comes then iPad.

By this point they've sold all their non-Apple gear and are evangilising the World of Curated Computing. Apparently it Just Works ( standing in line at Apple Care is apparently part of this ).

They'll just sneer at a Linux tablet. Open-ness is dying :-(

Re:Too late... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41950387)

I despair to see many of my IT colleagues, formerly Linux nuts who would happily spend a week debugging a wireless driver, drifting into Apple's curated world. ... Open-ness is dying :-(

Has it occurred to you that it's dying BECAUSE you have to "spend a week debugging a wireless driver"?

If open software would compete on features and ease of use, it would be used. If it is much harder to use, people won't bother. It's that simple.

You want it to succeed? Work on making it competitive.

TGTBT (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949113)

Too Good To Be True. It used to be that an inventor gets a patent then approaches a company to market the product. When did it change to crowdfunding (whatever the hell that is - sounds like tincup begging to me) with a promise of no return beyond being first in line for a product that right now only exists as a sequence of numbers on a spinning disk? Excuse me if I come off as arrogantly skeptical, but that's what life has taught me - if you leave yourself open to be shat on, then you will be shat on.

Re:TGTBT (2)

grumling (94709) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949407)

Crowdsourcing is the combination of your uncle borrowing money from your dad for his latest "hair-brained scheme" and a chain letter.

Re:TGTBT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41952281)

hare-brained

Not very impressive (2)

p0p0 (1841106) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949129)

I have an Ainol (*snicker*) NOVO7 Elf II which I paid $120 for (on sale from $140, and free Fed-Ex 3 day shipping). It has 1GB DDR3 RAM, 16GB internal memory, G-Sensor, good display, 5-6 hour battery, and a Dual-Core 1.5GHz ARM processor.
It runs Android 4.1 and I can run Ubunu 12.10 from the sdcard with almost everything except the touchscreen because of no drivers for that, or the Mali-400 GPU.

What they seem to planning here doesn't seem to be all that impressive considering my chinese brand tablet can do all that. Truth be told it may not be open-source like they want, but the kernel sources for Ubuntu are obviously available, and the company has released the Android kernel they use.

Ainol is also one of those companies that churn out tons of Android tablets, and they seem to be doing fine. A sub $100 tablet doesn't seem like such an achievement.

Basically, I don't see what the appeal of this project is aside from mabe extended support, but even my device has a good community behind is releasing custom ROM's and constantly keeping it up-to-date and applying fixes from the hardware manufacturers.

Re:Not very impressive (1)

dballanc (100332) | about a year and a half ago | (#41952017)

I also have an Elf II (nice tablet for the $), but I think you hit on the major point. It can run Ubuntu 12.10 (great!) without the touchscreen (wtf). Having a device with well supported hardware would be very useful. Especially as the hardware gets older and moves from primary tablet to laying around and gathering dust. If we had full support for the hardware it opens up those older tablets to all kinds of interesting uses / repurposing.

  As it is we get stuff that may run linux in a half-assed fashion. Everything works but touch. Everything works but wifi. Everything works but hardware accelerated video. There always seems to be a "but" in there with most tablets that puts it back on the shelf gathering dust. So much useful hardware is abandoned just because we don't have decent driver support for a critical component. I for one would be willing to pay extra to have open drivers, or atleast a company that would work with the community in that regard.

Ainol has been much better with updates/fixes than I expected from an iexpensive tablet, but rather than release a JB update for the Elf II they just renamed the Elf II to Crystal (with a slightly better screen) and started selling a new version with JB keeping the Elf on ICS. There are 3rd party JB roms available, but even those are based upon a lucky leaked rom from Ainol. There is just no profit incentive for these companies to do it themeselves, so maybe a kickstarter based collaboration is the only way we'll ever see it.

All that said, I don't know what these guys are thinking targetting low end hardware like the a8 based A10 and 800x480 resolution for linux geeks. That's just plain silly considering an a8 based A10 costs about $7 and a dual core amlogic A9 like the Elf2 uses costs about $13 and offers a huge boost in performance.

I agree with the goal but will not buy one (1)

Coeurderoy (717228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949233)

First a Tablet can be a "computer" but for most people it is a conduit to consuming stuff, preferably after having checked out their brain to the hat rack....

Now when a Tablet is used as an "adjunct" computer, it does make sense to have an open source OS running on it.
But the error in the pengPod strategy is that having the cheapest tablet possible actually is a guaranty of disappointment, I own a similarly priced 7ins Arnova tablet, it is "perfect" to look at a video on a long flight or train commute, it is acceptable as an ebook, and it gives a great testing platform for our games (as if it works on this, it'll work on about anything....)
I'm a "happy consumer" and double so because it was really cheap....
But if I ever buy a table to actually get some work done (for which I would need Linux) I would want at least something like a Samsung Galaxy Note 10 or an Archos x10 or an Asus Transformers (all three provide some efficient mode of data ENTRY, so they expect you to do more than cklikety clak more sugar for the brain please....)

Anybody building a Linux terminal should either focus on "really cheap stuff to do some automatisation" (because we are a little to lazy to use systems that are "real close to the iron", and prefer an embedded linux to some single process pic environement).
Or look at what Linux users actually buy!, it is not the "cheapest PC possible" but something that is rather powerful, except that we tend to keep them longer so sometimes they look crappy (like the toshiba netbook I'm using right not :-)), but in most cases we can free as in freedom, and not free as in crappy ...

So I'll probably end up buying the first tablet that is able to convincingly run ubuntu (or another linux) and offer a decent keyboard, hopefully it'll have something like the "note" pen also, and it should not be too heavy....

But I will not try to use Linux on a machine that I know will be disapointing....

"Real" Linux (5, Insightful)

grumpy_old_grandpa (2634187) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949281)

Some people get very confused about the kernel vs. user space applications. RMS said it best:

“Android is very different from the GNU/Linux operating system because it contains very little of GNU. Indeed, just about the only component in common between Android and GNU/Linux is Linux, the kernel. People who erroneously think “Linux” refers to the entire GNU/Linux combination get tied in knots by these facts, and make paradoxical statements such as “Android contains Linux, but it isn’t Linux”. If we avoid starting from the confusion, the situation is simple: Android contains Linux, but not GNU; thus, Android and GNU/Linux are mostly different.“

Re:"Real" Linux (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#41950157)

lol RMS is finally getting vindication for his GNU/Linux pedantism.

Re:"Real" Linux (1)

Teun (17872) | about a year and a half ago | (#41950731)

So he wasn't so pedantic after all.

Re:"Real" Linux (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#41950939)

So he wasn't so pedantic after all.

Yeah, RMS' problem isn't being wrong, he usually isn't wrong. His problem is that he's not very diplomatic when he's right.

Redundant Much? (1)

Slyfox696 (2432554) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949297)

So the project aims to create a tablet that will let you run Linux...or another, and more polished, version of Linux?

If it's just about having a more free platform than Android, why bother taking up storage space by putting Android on there? Maybe I'm missing something, but this seems like a waste of time and money.

You Get What You Pay For (2)

slacka (713188) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949301)

I live in Shenzhen, and here in China you can pick up these Allwiner based tablets for about $100-$125 USD. My buddy couldn't resist a bargain and bought one a few weeks ago. I was surprised how well it worked out of the box. Decent performance browsing heavy pages, and the all the 3D games I could throw at it ran smoothly. That Allwiner blows the Rasberry’s CPU out of the water.

Initially, I was tempted to get one. Then I started noticing the problems. The accelerometer hadn't been properly calibrated or mounted at the factory, meaning some racing games you have to hold the device at a 20 degree angle to drive straight. When the battery started getting low, I plugged it in to its proprietary charger only to find out the touch screen doesn't work when charging.

Then about a week later my buddy said the screen popped out after he left it charging overnight. Turns out the battery had swollen up. All these issue point to shoddy cheap components and lack of testing and QC. With only $100 to spend, suggest a used Kindle or Nexus 7.

Re:You Get What You Pay For (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41949579)

Gee why is this exactly the same post word for word as one in the ars technica article?

Re:You Get What You Pay For (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41949733)

I noticed that too weird

Re:You Get What You Pay For (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41949959)

Similar experience here. I've got Ainol NOVO8 Advanced ~ $140, second hand, 4-5 month old. Touch screen (capacitive) acts very weird whenIi plug the charger. Tablet can not be charged when it's powered off. It turns on automatically when charger is pluged. There are two Li-poly cells - 3.7V, 1900mAh each. And they are NOT charged separately but instead in series. Microphone and microphone hole does not match, so all you can get is very bad sound recording. Camera have fixed focus but, didn't expected otherwise thou. So this low price does not come from just YAY 100% CHINA BRAND.

Re:You Get What You Pay For (1)

fm6 (162816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41952747)

Yeah, I bought a cheap non-name Chinese Android tablet too. There are small outfits importing them to the U.S. As in your case, the build quality sucked, Plus the screen wasn't a touch screen! (You had to use a stylus.) Many video apps didn't work, including Netflix. And the glass broke real easy.

I think it's safe to say that $200 is the current lower bound for a 7" tablet that isn't crap.

EOMA-68 or go home. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41949321)

In a couple years, when I get tired of whatever low-end SoC they can get in their $100 tablet, there'll be a couple new generation of SoCs, and either a low-end from the newest generation or a mid-range from the older generation will easily double the performance for the same price.

If the tablet uses EOMA-68 CPU cards, I'll just be able to buy a new CPU card and upgrade the tablet. And then I can put the old CPU card in something else (maybe a plugserver or such). If not, I'll have to buy a whole new tablet, and in that case, why wouldn't I just spend $200 no on one that's twice as fast?

EOMA-68 [elinux.org] or go home.

Re:EOMA-68 or go home. (1)

Narishma (822073) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949981)

There's been talk of that EOMA thing at least since the Raspberry Pi was announced, and it was presented as an alternative to it. Now the Raspberry Pi has gone and sold more than half a million units and there's still no sign of EOMA ever coming out.

Re:EOMA-68 or go home. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41952423)

There's been talk of that EOMA thing at least since the Raspberry Pi was announced, and it was presented as an alternative to it.

Presented by boneheaded idiots as an alternative to r.pi, yes. (No offense to you -- if all you see is the blurbs that hit /., clearly written by people who just don't "get" the idea of EOMA family of standards, that's the conclusion you get.) It's really something quite different -- Raspberry Pi is a single, non-upgradeable dev board, differing in no major respects from any other dev board (beagle-board, gumstix, you name it) except that they figured how to market a dev-board as a computing appliance, and thus get the volume needed to get low prices (well, volume and using a sufficiently crappy SoC). The Raspberry Pi doesn't have some huge interoperability matrix to deal with, and there's only one piece to design -- by the same token, it's not making any massive changes to the market, just one more widget that some people die.

EOMA-68, on the other hand, is an interchangeability standard, and it targets everything from dumb TV/monitors, to phablets, to set-top boxes, to laptop / desktop computers (of the low-performance ARM/Atom/etc. variety, aka netbook / nettop). This means there's a lot of work on making sure the interface itself is sane for all those applications (since once the first hardware hits the market, there's no takebacks without destroying the whole point of a standard), and then there's developing at least one reference implementation CPU card, and at least a full developers I/O board (has typical suite of GPIO/I2C peripherals, and breaks out all signals to headers), plus some practical user-facing device (likely a netbook or tablet). That should take longer than the R-Pi, and there's less people working on it to boot.

But it's worth a lot more, because once it takes off, it makes life better for everyone
* SoC manufacturers don't have to support a hundred shops trying to implement a laptop/tablet/foo with their SoC, they just (themselves or with one partner) produce a single EOMA-68 card, and recommend all their small customers (and most of the large ones) simply use that.
* All the hundreds of small shops in China making one or a few products no longer have to choose between a complete mainboard redesign every six months, or shipping hopelessly obsolete SoCs for a couple years -- they design once, and upgrade to new SoCs by just buying a lot of CPU cards with the new SoC. And if they change screen size/resolution or such, again, that schedule's completely isolated from the SoC schedule -- they can implement that the month before or the month after they change SoCs, with no penalty of redesigning the board twice. (And if it takes them a bit to finish, and they're later to market than planned, this way they're not forced to ship last-generation SoC, so they actually have a chance recover costs instead of going belly-up.)
* It makes life better for consumers -- you can now pop the brain out of your desktop, take it down to the shop and have it replaced instead of lugging the whole machine in. (Of course we can do this now, but Aunt Tilly is ((or ought to be)) afraid of frying her RAM with ESD.) And you can cascade used CPUs down -- maybe when you upgrade your workhorse netbook, you switch the old card into your home router or NASlet, give it some more horsepower and RAM -- or swap one brain (with intact personality) between a 5" phablet body for carrying in your pocket, a 10" transformer-style tablet/netbook for couch surfing at home, and even a desktop shell for working at your desktop -- all your apps, settings, and a certain subset of data can travel on the CPU card (it's got a microSD), with massive files (DVDrips, etc.) remaining on local storage in each device.
* Finally, it's better for hackers/tinkerers/entrepreneurs -- stuff like OpenPandora or AlwaysInnovating just got a tiny bit larger and a whole lot easier/cheaper -- plus it never becomes obsoleted by software's habit of bloating to keep up with Moore's Law, since you can just slot a new CPU card that will run the new software.

With so much benefit all round, all it needs is a little bootstrapping so it's in the market, and people/companies will get on board or get left behind. At this point, I don't see how any project like this one, if they take a long hard look at the current state of EOMA-68, and what difference it makes both to their project and to the EOMA-68 world-domination bootstrap effort, by jumping onboard and leveraging somebody else's work on the CPU card, can avoid the conclusion that it's symbiotic or "win-win" to jump on board. Six months ago -- they'd have been putting in more work than the direct benefit, so it depends on their commitment... to "make a cheap tablet with open software" or "to make the most open cheap tablet possible"? But where EOMA-68 is now makes it a no-brainer.

Now the Raspberry Pi has gone and sold more than half a million units and there's still no sign of EOMA ever coming out.

Look, you're probably not following it, so it's completely understandable that you haven't seen any sign of it coming out. But there's absolutely progress -- the standard is basically finalized (last change, ~1 month ago, was adding USB3 support; now we're going to hardware, so that's it...), the first batch of 10 prototype (Rev. 0) CPU cards (these use the Allwinner A10) are etched, and last I heard queued to be populated as soon as the mini-HDMI connectors arrive. Rev. 1 CPU cards will follow within a couple months. I/O boards are a bit further out than the A10 Rev.0 CPU card, but you're welcome to look in on the collaborative design effort going on in the arm-netbook [phcomp.co.uk] mailing list for an STM32F-based reference implementation suited to netbooks and tablets -- there's definitely progress being made there, plus there's at least one college planning to develop a device (a laptop/netbook, IIRC) as a design project. It's to the point where anyone wanting to make a really open hardware project can take some of the effort/cost they save on the A10 CPU card that's almost done, put that towards finishing the collaborative I/O board design, and use that for less than designing their own monolithic mainboard.

Re:EOMA-68 or go home. (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about a year and a half ago | (#41950679)

One of the things that caused the Easter Island civilisation to collapse is because they had some new standard for Moai where you could just put on a new top bit instead of buying a whole new Moai every two years.

The result? Cannibalism, civilisation collapse and the eventual extinction of humans on the island.

This proves that you should chuck out your old laptops, phones and tablets every two years and buy a new ones. Unless you want to be EATEN ALIVE by a STARVING, ZOMBIE LIKE MOB.

Re:EOMA-68 or go home. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41952519)

In a couple years, when I get tired of whatever low-end SoC they can get in their $100 tablet, there'll be a couple new generation of SoCs, and either a low-end from the newest generation or a mid-range from the older generation will easily double the performance for the same price.

OK, so I looked at the price list, and I gotta retract this... Turns out they don't really use a low-end SoC, they use the quite respectable A10 (same, incidentally, as the first EOMA-68 card). And that works out for them because, as usual for slashdot, the headline is a fucking lie; the 7" 800x480 tablet has a teaser price of $99 for the first 25 units, but is really $120, and the 10" 1024x600 is $185.

Still, the point stands -- why design the device for obsolescence, when there's a better, more open way?

This is not the droid you are looking for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41949465)

When we are salivating for quad-core 2560x1200 coming out with a crap chinese knockoff and trying to flog it as something.. well anything really is bound to fail. We know what we want and until 'we' become a market that the majors feel like monetising we will have to do without or hack whats there.

What I want to know is how (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41949601)

they plan on not being sued out of existence for patent violations by Apple, Samsung, Motorola, HTC etc. not to mention the patent trolls.

Patents? (1)

sbrown7792 (2027476) | about a year and a half ago | (#41949903)

There was literally just a story [slashdot.org] on why we wouldn't be seeing this type of thing... I'm all for this, but I can see this getting sued into oblivion :(

KDE for Android (2)

paugq (443696) | about a year and a half ago | (#41950789)

Trying to port Linux to Android tablets is a dead end. They will get Mer, OpenWrt, etc running on ONE tablet a year. If at all.

The alternative is to consider Android as a different Unix platform, with its limitations, and port KDE, Gnome, etc to Android. More details here:

http://www.elpauer.org/?p=1191 [elpauer.org]

That path would reach potentially every Android tablet (and phone!). Easy? No. Doable? Sure thing.

It runs Linux, *and* Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41951461)

... for double the Linuxy fun! Where can I get one?

SmartQ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41951965)

So you are recreating the SmartQMid?

Kickstarter is not a Store (1)

fm6 (162816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41952701)

OK, they're not using Kickstarter. But the fact remains that the crowdfunding mechanism is a stupid way to buy stuff. If you think the project is unbearably kewl, by all means donate some money. But if you think "buy it in advance so we can get the money to develop it" is a reasonable way to buy stuff, I have a Nigerian prince who wants to talk to you.

What is the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41953469)

If the Linux they were shipping was "Real Linux for Desktops"(tm), then it wouldn't be appropriate for tablet use.
It's not, though, it's KDE Plasma. Thus, it is appropriate for tablet use, but basically has no applications. Unless you want to use Desktop apps like OpenOffice somehow. Those will be big and slow and heavy compared to Android or iOS apps. I just don't see the point here. Android (at least on Nexus) devices is not that "closed", etc.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...