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OQO Ultra-Portable Impresses At CES

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the oh-the-anticipation dept.

Portables 268

carpoolio writes "One of the most-talked about gadgets at CES last week was the OQO ultra personal computer (uPC). TechTV gave it a Best Mobile Device award, and deservedly so. It's a fully functional PC that fits in your pocket. Running on a 1 GHz Transmeta Crusoe processor, the uPC packs a 20 GB hard drive, 256 MB of RAM, and has a color screen that slides up to reveal the keyboard. The price? Sub-$2,000. Photos available on OQO's Web site. Similar devices have come and gone in recent years, but this one really looks nice." OQO seems to be slowly migrating from vaporware to a release date - a CNET News article notes that "OQO said Thursday that it will begin selling the device in the second half of 2004."

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268 comments

Hmm... (4, Funny)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956603)

We must have skipped vPC (very personal computer) and hPC (hyper personal computer). I'd still be interested in a sPC (semi-personal computer). Just don't show me the aPC (anti-personal computer).

Re:Hmm... (5, Funny)

dustmote (572761) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956631)

Better than an anti-personnel computer. "Destroy all humans! Destroy all humans!" :)

Portable Dong (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956606)

It fits in mah POCKET!
rororor

this FIRST POST is impressive too (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956608)

isn't it?

The website is slashdotted... (2, Informative)

subk (551165) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956633)

...And only two or three replies. This has got to be some kind of record.

Re:The website is slashdotted... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956690)

...And only two or three replies. This has got to be some kind of record.


You must be new here.

Re:The website is slashdotted... (1)

subk (551165) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956720)

Notice that I said "two or three" because I am _not_ new here..

Re:The website is slashdotted... (2, Funny)

mrwonton (456172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956793)

Perhaps the real problem is you're too old. Thanks to the wonderful (semi)-new subscription system, pages can be slashdotted by the priveledged "few" before we the peasants have our turn.

Re:The website is slashdotted... (1)

subk (551165) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956814)

I'm 20 years old and I'm not paying for my news, damnit!

Re:The website is slashdotted... (1)

mrwonton (456172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956845)

You don't have to pay for it, just look at all the intelligent commentary you get on each topic for free!

I for one welcome our new pay-to-be-the-first-to-slashdot overloards!

Is that an OQO in your pocket? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956634)

Oh, yes, it is. Nevermind.

That's weird (3, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956638)

Is that an RS-232 port I see on the side? If it is, why? Is there something wrong with just providing a few USB ports?

Re:That's weird (4, Insightful)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956709)

RS-232 is an extremely useful interface. If I had to choose a port to jettison from PC laptops, the parallel port would be my first preference. I don't understand why this huge and useless connector is still included on most PC laptops.

Re:That's weird (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956904)

I don't understand why this huge and useless connector is still included on most PC laptops.

I also prefer RS232, as it is more universal than parallel port. But I can confirm that PLIP (max 50kb/sec on my 75Mhz laptop) is faster than SLIP (max 10 kb/sec). Maybe they want to allow us faster network connection? ;->

Re:That's weird (2, Interesting)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956945)

"I don't understand why this huge and useless connector is still included on most PC laptops."

There are lots of printers and dongles still out there. You just know the one guy who can't run his old copy of 3D Studio MAX is going to be a whiner.

Re:That's weird (4, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956716)

> Is that an RS-232 port I see on the side? If it is, why? Is there something wrong with just providing a few USB ports?

Data acquisition and sensing is one of the Really Cool Applications for an ultraportable. It's a hell of a lot easier for Joe Labgeek to h4x0r something together that talks RS-232 than USB. I'm glad there's at least one "legacy" port.

Re:That's weird (2, Insightful)

kruczkowski (160872) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956722)

GPS and Routers/switches.

Go on groupstudy.com and see how people complain about the new laptops that don't have a serial port.

Re:That's weird (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956765)

GPS and Routers/switches.

Go on groupstudy.com and see how people complain about the new laptops that don't have a serial port.


When they instead should be complaining that GPS and router manufacturers continue to be too lazy to support modern interfaces. I'm lucky to have access to a friend's PC to update my GPS -- my own machine is legacy-free, and the Garmin GPS I have is one of the few boat-anchors holding me back from no longer needing a serial port.

Re:That's weird (1)

JVert (578547) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956741)

its not 232, usb doesnt do vga out very well, so i'll give you one more guess of what it might be.

Re:That's weird (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956795)

No, it's too wide to be a VGA out. I think the VGA out is the port next to it. (If you look at Photo 5, you'll see a long bar connector and then a short stubby connector.) Unfortunately, the site is well Slashdotted, so I can't check out the specs.

Re:That's weird (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956841)

Okay, I managed to grab a Google Cache [216.239.41.104] of the specs. No mention of RS232, but lots of mention of FireWire. Still, I have FireWire on my Mac and the port looks all wrong. It's too bad that photo is so low-res or I might actually be able to make it out.

Re:That's weird (1)

hitchhikerjim (152744) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956823)

I would LOVE to have one of these that I could carry in my pocket into data centers and hook to console ports (aka serial ports) on machines in my racks.

Yes, serial is useful... thought there's no reason not to do it with a dongle like Apple does with lots of their larger ports (likve video) on laptops.

Sexy... (2, Funny)

ActionPlant (721843) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956643)

Oh yeah. I'd definitely hit it.

Damon,

Um... (2, Funny)

dewie (685736) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956672)

I didn't get to see all the photos before it got slashdotted, but I don't think it accepts that kind of input...

Re:Um... (1)

ActionPlant (721843) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956831)

You're right. I didn't mean to objectify it. This is a computer, and deserves the same respect that is the right of every computer regardless of speed, platform or form factor.

Damon,

Re:Um... (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956973)

"I didn't get to see all the photos before it got slashdotted, but I don't think it accepts that kind of input..."

In his case, it might.

Re:Sexy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956791)

You know, based on its size, I think you'd be more likely to felch it.

Linking to pictures on Slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956646)

is just cruel

Upgrade. (5, Interesting)

Humba (112745) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956649)

This is sooo much better than my OQO 1.0
OQO 1.0 [archive.org]



The only real change I noticed from the original spec was a 20Gb HD, vs 10Gb in the first.

--H

Re:Upgrade. (0)

smr2x (266420) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956662)

I'm always up for new toys..

Blinking lights and little screens just turn me right on!

Damn you.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956949)

now you've slashdotted archive.org!!

Not Much Impressed (1)

News for nerds (448130) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956657)

It shifted its target from lightweight users to enterprise users. It's friggin more expensive than cheapo PDA but has not enough juice in it.

Nice but.. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956663)

..The keyboard looks awkward. With the device set up the way it is, there doesn't seem to be muc provision for placing it on a desk to enter data quickly (well, more quick than dual thumb tapping)

Re:Nice but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956912)

you connect an external keyboard, mouse and monitor.

Sorry, you missed the boat. (0, Troll)

Seth Finklestein (582901) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956666)

I remember hearing about OQO a long time ago; I was even invited to an early meeting where the prototype was shown. (It looked just like the "machine" they keep trotting out for press photos.)

If they introduced this three years ago, it might have sold. Now, there's the Cappuccino PC [cappuccinopc.com] , which has been through several revisions since its introduction. Likewise, I can build a Mini-ITX [mini-itx.com] PC for a fraction of the price of this new OQO. Furthermore, I can run any OS I want; this OQO can only run Windows XP. Yuck.

I'm afraid that I can't endorse the OQO. Sorry, guys. Next time don't produce so much vapour.

Sincerely,
Seth Finklestein
Miniature Computer Expert

Windows Only? (2, Insightful)

ThisIsAnExampleAccou (718430) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956667)

From the C|Net article:

The machines run Microsoft's Windows XP operating system and all the software that goes with it

I know this is pretty much a /. cliche, but I think that it is actually warranted in this case - can you run Linux on it?

I can think of several functional uses that a PC of this size could fulfil running Linux.

Re:Windows Only? (0, Troll)

Seth Finklestein (582901) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956700)

No, you cannot run Linux on it. There is all sorts of dedicated hardware inside the OQO that is not available to the general public (e.g. you). It would take months if not years to reverse-engineer all the hardware; and then you would get sued under the DCMA.

I'd recommend a nice Mini-ITX PC [mini-itx.com] . You get to build it yourself, and you can run whatever you want with it.

Sincerely,
Seth Finklestein
Pundit

Re:Windows Only? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7957021)

"...I can think of several functional uses that a PC of this size could fulfil running Linux."
Er, what would those be, exactly? I see usefulness of a small PC for embedding, but what's accomplished by the small display and keyboard? For the same money one could buy a good laptop with better capability and far greater usability, and it certainly doesn't fit the bill (in either size or cost) for a PDA. So what apps fall in that middle ground? Not trolling, I just really don't see the usefulness of this thing...

Photos in /. articles (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956683)

I'd say out of every 10 articles posted on slashdot that I am able to view maybe 1/2 of those articles while the rest just suffer from the /. effect. I feel bad for the websites and no I am not paying money just to see the article early before the site gets dropped to it's knees.

Is this the ex-Microsoft dude's device? (1)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956692)

A while ago (I have no idea) there was some story about some ex-Microsoft founder (don't know which) who was going to make a device just like this.

I couldn't get to the site to see who runs the company.

Is this that device?

should use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956697)

some kind of a Beowulf cluster of those things to run their website stead a single one :-)

RE: Major problem. (2, Insightful)

fshalor (133678) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956717)

The darn thing runs windows!. Oh.. Nm. All the other specs sound like my ibook. Needs more ram though.

I don't think this'll be fun to type on, though I'd say it would be much better than the PDA's of today. Looks well constructed from the pictures.

I'll wait for the solid state CF 2.0 GB internal drive. I've had it with HD's in portable devices. I love my iPod, but I've had so many HD's fail on me that I'm sick of replacing them.

Obviously (2, Funny)

Quixadhal (45024) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956718)

their web site is running on one of these things... probably in someone's pocket (ow!).

Re:Obviously (1)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956825)

slashdotting someones pocket? too many request to get in their pants? are those some open ports in your pocket or are you just...

/em gives up and goes home.

Re:Obviously (1)

Theolojin (102108) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956836)

their web site is running on one of these things... probably in someone's pocket(ow!).

actually, it is running on a beowolf cluster of these...

ba-dum ching.

Re:Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956932)

If they were here in Philly, the Slashdotting may have turned it into a half-decent hand warmer.

How big was the Newton? (1)

SiliconEntity (448450) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956724)

Let's see, 4.9 inches wide, 3.4 high, 0.9 deep, weighing 13 ounces... how does this compare in size with the Newton?

I don't know about putting it in your pocket... maybe if you're wearing a suit or jacket you could load up an outer pocket with one.

Imagine a.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956729)

...Beowolf cluster of these could fit in a pair of painter's pants or bib overalls.

uPC at PocketThings (5, Informative)

romper (47937) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956734)

Here [pocketthings.com] is another site which shows the uPC -- with pics.

Soon to be Slashdotted too, I'm sure. :)

Server is running on one of these... (1)

ironwill96 (736883) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956739)

Due to the ultra small size, they probably werent able to include enough cooling to stop spontaneous combustion from high-res pictures loading on thousands of /. user's computers.

Vaporware (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956745)

It's vaporware. Oqo has announced previous versions of this product several times, none have ever made it to market. I'd love to have one of them, and many people have been waiting for it, but at this point I'm not holding my breath. I'll believe it when I see it.

It made /. in 2002 for best vaporware:
http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/ 12/22/022821 7&mode=thread&tid=126

Slashdot should not be promoting hype from any vendor that has a history like OQO until it's actually released.

Re:Vaporware (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956901)

That explains the OQO Duke Nukem: Forever bundle.

beowulf cluster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956756)

Just imagine a beowulf cluster of these.
OR
In Soviet Russia we make computer better by largeness.
OR
SCO filed paperwork to stop production because they own the rights.
OR
Apple Powerbook engineers? It will be too expensive and too slow.
OR /. already? Is their web site running on one of these boxes?

Didn't win Best of show (2, Informative)

mallocme (740799) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956762)

Actually this didn't win best of show from techtv. The Denon/Mediabolic networked PVR won that award, this won in its category (mobile computing) http://www.techtv.com/news/ces2004/story/0,24195,3 591383,00.html ------ Got Wang? http://www.battlewang.com

I checked this out a couple days ago... (4, Interesting)

BFedRec (257522) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956770)

It does look sleek and sexy, but not the most practical. It fills in where a power user needs a PDA, and it seems to have the function built in to become a desktop. But the problem is that it's filling a pretty small niche of people who want more than a PDA but less than a laptop. It's not practical to use this as you primary work travel PC as the keyboard is a thumb-board and isn't good for quick entry. It is an ultimate PDA... but you've got to be a pretty high-roller to spend two grand on your glorified PDA.
Sadly it's probably a niche market item. I hope they find a way to make those innovations really work with a practical product, but I fear they'll be innovating in the field but not financially leading it. I'd love to try one out but don't see it as a practical addition to my tech tool belt.

CharlesP

Re:I checked this out a couple days ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956847)

I haven't been to the web site for the new pics, but originally these were to be used with all kinds of docking stations: laptop dock, desktop dock, pda dock, etc. Is this still the case?
It wasn't meant to be an over-powered PDA, it was meant to fit something new. Think of carrying this home instead of a full laptop. All you need is a small dock at work and at home. Plus, you can use it on the go to boot!

Re:I checked this out a couple days ago... (4, Insightful)

Neon Spiral Injector (21234) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956895)

I guess I am a niche buyer. But this is exactly what I'm looking for. Laptops are too big, PDAs don't have enough power (and also can't run x86 code).

I'd take one and two docking stations (one for home and one for work), but it has to run Linux.

Re:I checked this out a couple days ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7957014)

after you "checked it out", did you even think about it? the input isn't a problem; you connect external input devices. put a full sized keyboard and mouse on your desk at work. if you want a portable full sized keyboard, get one of the foldout ones for use with pdas. the external monitor is helpful too.

this device would be ideal if it came to market. it's not a "niche" device as you've kindly told everyone. it's perfect. most people don't need anywhere near the power that their midtower machines offer, just enough for mail+web+docu. just unplug this thing, put it in your pocket and go home/out/travel.

i guess the same was said about pdas, but this device is a real "server"; i.e. usb controller (not client), firewiree controller, video, enet, etc., etc.. it's the pda that's the niche product. most people want a computer, not a pda. they _settle_ for a pda.

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956771)

Does it play ogg? Shouldn't something called oqo play ogg? Seems natural to me.

Picture links and slashdot.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956777)

What a waste of time! 5 posts and slashdotted already....

How to destroy your webserver (0, Redundant)

Undaar (210056) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956787)

Here are some simple steps to destroy your webserver:

1. Decide on an electronics device (computer, camera, etc)
2. Make device chosen in step 1 *really* small, but just as powerful as full sized device.
3. Put info about device on webserver you wish to destroy.
4. Post link to info on Slashdot.
5. ...
6. Profit! No! Slashdot!

Whoopee! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956790)

The machines run Microsoft's Windows XP operating system and all the software that goes with it

Sweet! I can run notepad! Paint! IE! Windows Media Player! What a steal~! I'm going to go out and buy one right now!! </sarcasm>

Maybe they meant "software that runs on Windows XP" but honestly, there isn't a whole lot that comes with Windows XP.

Re:Whoopee! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956955)

"The machines run Microsoft's Windows XP operating system and all the software that goes with it Sweet! I can run notepad! Paint! IE! Windows Media Player! What a steal~! I'm going to go out and buy one right now!! Maybe they meant "software that runs on Windows XP" but honestly, there isn't a whole lot that comes with Windows XP."

I think the parent doesn't know whether he's coming or going.

Its nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956808)

I used this at CES and all I can say is wow! The keyboard was suprisingly very easy to use with just thumbs. If they can bring the price down a little this will sell very well. M$ is pushing it hard (it was at their booth). I can think of a thousand uses. The dock and cord options make this a great portable.

customized nano-itx? (2, Interesting)

keot (667523) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956815)

the specification seems similar to a nano-itx board, although the dimensions (145 x 86 x 23 mm) seem a tad too small. instead of modding a mini-server into a cdrom drive, you could mod one of these boards into a floppy drive. add a microdrive and the ports you'd need and you'd be well on your way.

/.'ed (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956818)

Must be using one as their web server.

OT: sco (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956821)

litigous bastards [sco.com]

if you understand "miserable failure", you'll understand the above.

iPod killer (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956846)

No need for an iPod when you can carry around a whole computer.

Just image... (2, Interesting)

nadamsieee (708934) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956859)

Just image a large warehouse filled with racks upon racks of these things running as an OpenMosix [sourceforge.net] cluster... Super (space efficient) computing at its best. ;)

Hello Slashdot! MIRROR (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956867)

Hi Guys!

So sorry for the server downtime (!) This project, as you know, is still in development, so we haven't had the need ('til now!) for a proper server!
We're cooking along though, and should have units ready to roll in a few short months!

In the meantime, I've set up a mirror, with the new images, and new details:
MIRROR [jokeland.com]

I've also added our CES audio demo to our voicemail system (at least *that* can't be slashdotted! [grin]) 516-922-9463

Enjoy!
Jack E. - OQO Development

So tired of waiting. (4, Insightful)

Hexydes (705837) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956940)

The said this thing would be out in late 2002, early 2003, late 2003, early 2004, and now late 2004. Who cares? They said the price was going to be $800. Then $1,000. Now $2,000. Who cares?

Neat idea, but the company really sucks at delivering. At least update your webpage. They are only 3 months away from not updating it in 2 years. That's just pathetic. They need to invest in some more resources and a PR team.

But can it run Linux, does it support Ogg? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956943)

Please, please tell me all..

Toshiba e805 + presentation pack (1)

Fubar411 (562908) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956947)

Add a 1GB CF card and you have all that plus a few hundred dollars to buy a bag of chips.

Uses? (4, Interesting)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 10 years ago | (#7956964)

Really, what are the uses of these kinds of tiny devices? Heck, for PDAs as well. They're nice toys but they lack power, easy of use and most importantly, a good use. I've only encountered a FEW situations that made me think "Yes, a PDA would be a good tool for this job." and that mostly involves truck drivers and route planners. For the rest I can't seem to find a use for these things. And I'm supposed to seel em for crying out loud.

As I see it, TINY computers ( PDAs and these toys alike ) are like solutions waiting for a problem.

How big is this thing? (1)

telstar (236404) | more than 10 years ago | (#7957016)

I need a picture with a quarter in it so I can tell how small this thing is.
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