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Element Computer: ION Linux on Linux Hardware

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the good-idea dept.

Linux Business 274

JigSaw writes "Well known Lycoris person Jason Spisak left the company to join Element Computer, a new hardware company which now strives to offer the Apple experience on PCs: they sell Linux-certified modern hardware with their own flavor of Debian, ION Linux. ION is a desktop distro and it is developed specifically to work perfectly with the accompanied hardware. Other highlights include usage support (as opposed to installation-only support other distros provide) and system upgrades specific to the exact hardware the user runs. The KDE-based distro will only sell with their hardware as Mike Hjorleifsson says in his interview." (The company was previously mentioned on Slashdot.)

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274 comments

EMERGENCY (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856435)

weird al's parents dead from stupidity, news at 11.

Re:EMERGENCY (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856455)

:cry:

Re:EMERGENCY (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856813)

On April 9, my mom and dad, Nick and Mary Yankovic, passed away in their home in Fallbrook, California. It was the result of a terrible accident - that morning they had started a fire in the fireplace with the flue closed, and were asphyxiated by carbon monoxide poisoning.
Suzanne called me that afternoon on the bus to give me the news, so that I would hear about it before the wire services picked it up.

Needless to say, I feel pretty much the way you would expect me to feel - shocked and devastated beyond words. I loved my parents so much, and this all still seems like a horrible nightmare that I can't wake up from.

I want to thank my family, friends and fans for the incredible outpouring of love and support that they've shown me. It's wonderful to know that there are so many people around the world who truly loved my parents, and also nice to know that I am not alone in my grief.

I take some small measure of comfort in knowing that they died peacefully, and that they never had to suffer through the pain and loneliness of living without each other. I'm also grateful that they both lived long enough to see me happily married to Suzanne, and particularly happy that they got to meet our beautiful baby daughter Nina. She filled their lives with so much joy this last year. Nina may be too young to remember playing with her grandparents when she gets older, but don't worry, we'll have some great videotape to show her.

Many people have wondered what's going to happen with the tour. I briefly considered canceling some shows, but I ultimately decided that it would be better for me personally to continue working. Plus, I've heard from so many people over the years that my music has cheered them up in times of tragedy... well, I thought maybe my music would help me too.

So far, it has. Going up on stage in front of thousands of supportive fans is a cathartic and somewhat therapeutic experience for me right now. I don't know if I can say that the concerts really take my mind off of the tragedy, but at least they give me a break from sobbing all the time.

Anyway, I have decided not to cancel any shows - the tour will continue as planned. However, I have decided to put a moratorium on all interviews and meet-and-greets for the time being - I just feel like I need some time alone right now.

The funeral will be a very small, intimate service with only the immediate family attending, so please, I ask that you respect our privacy. Just knowing that your thoughts are with us at this time is more than enough, but if you care to contribute anything, in lieu of flowers, Suzanne and I suggest a donation to the Natural Resources Defense Council in my parents' name.

One thing I would like to ask everybody to do, though... please, go out and get carbon monoxide detectors for yourself and your loved ones. If my parents had had one in their home, there's a very good chance that they would still be with us today.

In fairness to the memory of my mother, I should point out some errors that appeared in the press. Although she was starting to have a problem with short-term memory loss (she was taking medication for it), my mother was never diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

As long as I'm pointing out errors that the press has made, it was my Aunt Dot who found my parents when she was bringing them lunch that day, as she routinely did (and not a group of relatives concerned that they "hadn't heard from them in a while" - the family was close and caring and saw each other several times a day). Also, my aunts and uncles all live in separate houses (not together, as some articles implied), and for what it's worth, I am not represented by the William Morris Agency either.

I don't know how much else I can say about my parents that I haven't already said in interviews over the years. Although I always found it a little uncomfortable, my dad talked a lot about death. He mentioned a few times that he was planning to go on a diet so that his "casket would be easier to carry." I guess that's where I got my sick sense of humor from. And he was always talking about how much he was looking forward to seeing his old army buddies again (in the next life). I sure hope they're having a great reunion right now.

As unthinkable as this tragedy is to me, I just know that my mom and dad were very much at peace with the world and with their lives. And I guess I can take a small amount of comfort in that too.

Thank you all again for your overwhelming kindness and support. It means more to me than you can ever know.

Love,
Al

Re:EMERGENCY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856884)

fuck you, ya spineless troll!
next time i'll suffocate YOU with carbon monoxide

In weird als parents house (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856943)

In weird als parents house carbon monoxide suffocates YOU!

Finally... (1)

Decameron81 (628548) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856436)

...2004 is the year of Linux!!!

What a match! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856452)

The cheapness of Apple hardware with the expense of a Linux distribution license!

Re:What a match! (2, Insightful)

useosx (693652) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856944)

I don't understand why people are comparing this to Apple.

I mean, isn't this what Dell, HP, etc do? Each machine that these companies sell have their slightly modified version of Windows (mostly drivers and stuff) so that you don't need configure Windows to run on the machine.

So, yeah, you could run vanilla windows on an HP machine, but you'd have to install some drivers. Similarly, you could install Debian on a Element Computer box, but you'd have to install some drivers.

This could work if the price is right (4, Insightful)

christopher240240 (633932) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856453)

If they follow apple's lead on hw/sw integration and keep the prices reasonable, this could be a very nice way to show Linux as a user-friendly option.

Re:This could work if the price is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856506)

I just went there and maxed out the hardware on their desktop system, and it was smokin' righteous at only $4,700.
About the only better thing you could get with a G5 is one of those ludicrous big flat panels...

Re:This could work if the price is right (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856518)

Then again, you gots ta ask, who needs 21 inches of emacs, anyway...

Re:This could work if the price is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856648)

Yeah, because people have been clamoring for hardware lock-in when running Linux. That's why all the x86 PCs that are already compatible with nearly any distro aren't being used for Linux.

Dumbest. Idea. Ever.

Besides, every time I post about hardware problems I have, I'm told it's PEBKAC, and that everything works perfectly on Linux. Is that suddenly not the case?

Re:This could work if the price is right (0)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856673)

If they follow apple's lead on hw/sw integration and keep the prices reasonable, this could be a very nice way to show Linux as a user-friendly option.

From the article:

We "allow", but don't support DIY apt-get functionality, apt is configured to pull from our selected sources, not the standard Debian apt repositories. An experienced user can easily add standard Debian repositories and install packages themselves, though our tracking system will pick it up and those self-tested, self-installed packages will not be supported by the std warranty/support.

So they're "bringing the Apple experience" by only letting you install the software they want you to. Doesn't that seem a little draconian? That's like if Microsoft changed Windows so you couldn't install Mozilla, or Apple only let you install products via their "software update" functionality. That's just not user friendly.

User friendly is coming up with an application packaging method that doesn't suck. Apple did it with .APP, why is it so hard for Linux vendors to understand? Even some Linux users are trying to replicate Apple's success with the Zero Install project.

Re:This could work if the price is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856704)

Um , NO, read your own quote smart guy, it says that those packages will be unsupported, not void your support, there is a huge difference.

Re:This could work if the price is right (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856739)

Um , NO, read your own quote smart guy, it says that those packages will be unsupported, not void your support, there is a huge difference.

As I said, draconian. Voiding a warranty over "unapproved" software is tantamount to not replacing a broken CD player because the last disk it played was published by a non-RIAA label. In other words, it defeats the point of the device.

If all I wanted was the programs provided by the company I bought it from, I'd buy a pocket organizer or an Audrey.

Re:This could work if the price is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856806)

it's not like you call microsoft when AOL breaks. You call America Online. Or when photoshop breaks you call Adobe, it wouldn't make sense to call Microsoft, nor would it make sense to call Element when fluxbox breaks. Email fluxbox, get it?

Re:This could work if the price is right (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856831)

it's not like you call microsoft when AOL breaks. You call America Online. Or when photoshop breaks you call Adobe, it wouldn't make sense to call Microsoft, nor would it make sense to call Element when fluxbox breaks. Email fluxbox, get it?

And it's not like Microsoft won't help you fix a video driver or startup problem if you install AOL. According the article, ION will.

Get it?

Re:This could work if the price is right (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856844)

Ok, never mind. I admit it, I flubbed. He was saying that only the DIY software is not supported. The OS still is. Mentioning the warranty was what threw me. It made it sound like they simply wouldn't support your system any more.

Re:This could work if the price is right (1)

ceswiedler (165311) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856820)

Limiting the hardware and the software is the only way they can provide real support. The combinations of hardware, software, and configurations which people label as "Linux" are staggering.

Obviously this isn't for anyone who is already comfortable running Linux distros. If you can do that successfully, would you really need support? When was the last time you contacted a company for software support?

Clearly this isn't for you (or me). That doesn't make it useless.

Re:This could work if the price is right (1)

Geek of Tech (678002) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856830)

I thought what it meant was that if your special compiled GIMP V55 Bazillion in installed on this system, then fine. Just don't ask them to fix it if that program doesn't quite work right. Okay. Fine. That's standard. You support what you produce. Anything more is... good... but... odd.....

Re:This could work if the price is right (2, Insightful)

Spoing (152917) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856842)

  1. So they're "bringing the Apple experience" by only letting you install the software they want you to. Doesn't that seem a little draconian? That's like if Microsoft changed Windows so you couldn't install Mozilla, or Apple only let you install products via their "software update" functionality. That's just not user friendly.

Does Dell, Toshiba, IBM, HP/Compaq, or Microsoft support software they don't ship?

You can install anything you want...they just do not support that additional software.

Over 800 packages are installed on my system, most from my distribution but some are not. A few select programs aren't even installed as packages, and I've done some customization of the kernel I'm running. Where should the line be drawn for support in my case?

As I see it, if they offer support beyond making sure the hardware functions with the supporting software they provide, that's a bonus.

If the USB ports don't work, and I'm using software and hardware they support, I expect them to figure it out. If I change things, the responsibility becomes mine. Anything else is someone else's job...not Element's.

Re:This could work if the price is right (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856857)

I got it [slashdot.org] . Must be getting too late for me. :-/

Re:This could work if the price is right (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856923)

Does Apple support anything like apt-get? Do they even *offer* anything like it?

Apple experience? (4, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856457)

which now strives to offer the Apple experience on PCs

They sell PCs with single-button mice, without floppy drives, at 3 times the price?

Ha!!! (1)

sethadam1 (530629) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856472)

You're almost definitely going to be modded "flamebait" or "troll," but if I had mod points today, you'd get a big fat "+1 Funny" from me.

Cheers!

Re:Apple experience? (2, Insightful)

ljavelin (41345) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856543)

I still don't get the floppy drive complaints.

Floppys suck - obsolete capacity, obsolete reliability.

I've thrown all of my floppy disks away. None of my home-built machines have a floppy drive. I haven't bought software on floppy in about 8 years.

If I need to boot from another device, I'll boot via CD-ROM. If I need to move a small file: email. If I need to store a lot of files: CD-RW.

Next thing you'll be telling me is that you want dual floppy drives, one 3.5" and one 5.25".

No.. (1)

gmby (205626) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856653)

Next thing you'll be telling me is that you want dual floppy drives, one 3.5" and one 5.25".

I want tripple floppy drives!
3.5"
5.25"
and 8"

And yes i still have new 8" floppy disc to backup my CBM computers.

Re:Apple experience? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856669)

I use them. They're great for moving small files around where email is not an option. easily rewriteable, and I can use them almost anyplace...except your house.

Ever try to email a document to Kinkos? Since I am looking for work, I keep a floppy with my resume on it where ever I go.

I also use them as boot disks when working on older computers.

There also more durable then CD's. I can frop a floppy, and not worry about scratches.

The floppy will go away, just need a few more years.

Re:Apple experience? (2, Interesting)

RefriedBean (615424) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856757)

What about USB keychains?

I never go anywhere without them. They are faster, more reliable, and have higher storage capacity.

They aren't expensive either..

Their life expectancies are also waay higher than floppies. Oh, and lets not forget that they don't get corrupted every time your two year old puts a fridge magnet close to it.

And it's also dead easy to boot from them on today's machines..

Really, floppies should've died a long time ago.

Thanks apple!

Re:Apple experience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856772)

Floppies more durable than CDs?

The original demonstration of the Compact Disk involved the guy from Phillips dropping a CD on the ground, stamping on it, and then playing it.

Try that with a floppy!.

Re:Apple experience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856737)

I think I'd rather have knobs on my monitor so when I BSOD ( black screen of death ) I can at least try to adjust the brightness or do something instead of hold key combos and hoping it will fix the problem.

Re:Apple experience? (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856616)

I know you're trying to be funny, but I have a hard time picturing any Linux distribution as being similar to "the Apple experience". Modern Linux Desktops are getting close [slashdot.org] to a Windows/Unix fusion experience, but they seem to be completely lacking in the areas of:

* Ease of software installation
* Ease of dependency management
* Information consolidation (e.g. iTunes, Sherlock)
* Advanced rendering APIs (Quartz PDF renderer)
* Filesystem integration (double click on a DMG or ISO and it's automatically mounted)
* Filesystem features (move a program on a Mac, and the OS can still open files associated with it.)

Now I understand that these are not easy features to implement. They may not even be what the ION developers want in their system. But if that's the case, they shouldn't be extolling their systems as "like the Mac experience".

Re:Apple experience? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856855)

Ease of installation and dependencies?

Wow, you must have never heard of debian and apt-get!

Filesystem integration?

Kde and gnome can be configured to do automounting (heck with the proper not-hard-to-find app, windows does this)!

Information Consolidation?
Move them to the appropriate directories yourself (not hard)

And as for providing an 'Apple Expirience' I've heard from resellers and pissed off users NO THANKS!

Re:Apple experience? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856903)

Ease of installation and dependencies?

Wow, you must have never heard of debian and apt-get!


You'll have to explain to me how that's easier than dragging the application out of the DMG file into the Applications folder.

Filesystem integration?

Kde and gnome can be configured to do automounting (heck with the proper not-hard-to-find app, windows does this)!


* AKAImBatman double-clicks on ISO file on KDE desktop.

"Select a program from the list below"


Sorry, Apple's still got it.


Information Consolidation?
Move them to the appropriate directories yourself (not hard)


Huh? I'm supposed to move EBay, Airline tickets, Music Stores, AND my MP3 files to a directory? Wow. That's one cool filesystem you've got there.

And as for providing an 'Apple Expirience' I've heard from resellers and pissed off users NO THANKS!

Seeing as you're posting as Anonymous Cow Orker, you'll have to forgive me if I find you lacking in the credibility department.

GPL? (-1)

ADOT Troll (687975) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856869)

Actually, you have it backwards. This is exactly what the GPL was designed for. This company has snazzy new hardware. Since the company can customize an OS around GNU/Linux, they are saved the millions of dollars requisite to develop a proprietary OS. Now you can buy the base model for $799, instead of $2799. Nevermind that then vendors and OSS projects would have to work on porting their products to the new OS (not likely in many cases) in the case of a new proprietary OS.

It's better for them as a company because they are quicker to market and can make their products more economical. It's better for the users because thay can use a well established, rock solid stable OS with thousands of already available applications.

So what if you can only get the hardware from them? As long as they comply with the GPL (or the licesnse for any app they modify), it's all good.

Sad news ... Stephen King dead at 57 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856462)


I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Re:Sad news ... Stephen King dead at 57 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856473)

Too bad this story started appearing 2 years ago. He's now 59.

Re:Sad news ... Stephen King dead at 57 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856536)

Aw, man, this is a classic slashdot troll.
Makes me want to get the Led out, it's so classic.

Re:Sad news ... Stephen King dead at 57 (0, Offtopic)

absurdist (758409) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856759)

You do know he killed John Lennon, right?

Any ideas? (3, Interesting)

metalhed77 (250273) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856463)

The distribution is Debian based, and built on top of another outstanding distribution which we are not a liberty to name just yet.


Anyone have any i deas what distro this is most likely based on?

Re:Any ideas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856505)

Tinfoil Hat Linux [shmoo.com]

Re:Any ideas? (1)

christurkel (520220) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856557)

Lindows. It has a special apt-repository and everything.

Re:Any ideas? (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856848)

Actually Lindows had some kind of sticker for Lindows accredited hardware... much like the "Designed for Windows XP" stickers you see on most OEM computers.

I went to a trade show where Lindows made an appearance. In their display PC line up, amongst the hand-built beige boxes, they had a laptop there which was obviously designed with Windows in mind (It had two Windows keys), but they went and stickered over the Windows sticker with the Lindows one!

"I can't believe it's not Windows!"

On another note, I just found out that Lindows has it's own Knoppix now. "Lindows Smile"!

Re:Any ideas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856775)

BSD.

Re:Any ideas? (0)

coder101 (679406) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856819)

My guess would be SUSE, since they are KDE based...

Secret developers (5, Funny)

winkydink (650484) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856464)

We don't publicly state who and where our developers are for obvious reasons.

Ummm... you don't have any?

Re:Secret developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856500)

Haha - mod up parent! Funny!

Re:Secret developers (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856603)

Of course we have developers. It is just that they are all hot Linux babes and we would like to avoid the extreme amounts of sexual harassment that would occur if slashdoters found out where these women worked.

Re:Secret developers (4, Funny)

r_j_prahad (309298) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856613)

We don't publicly state who and where our developers are for obvious reasons.

They're SCO employees?

Re:Secret developers (3, Insightful)

Vaevictis666 (680137) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856754)

Sure they do. But they're all in India. :(

Re:Secret developers (3, Interesting)

iplayfast (166447) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856934)

Probably because they don't want developers to be inundated with calls from hardware vender's saying pick me pick me.

(PS. I love KDE, it spellchecks this form as I type. Who says Linux isn't innovative).

GPL? (-1, Troll)

capz loc (752940) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856465)

How do GPL distribution rules work when the software is designed to only run on a very specific hardware? Sure, they could still release source code, but it wouldn't be of very much use to anyone. Unless outside hackers could make the distro run universally with some limitations.

I don't like that a company is using Linux in a way that (seemingly) intentionally keeps its software from being of use to anyone who doesn't buy their product. It seems to go around the purpose of GNU and OSS.

Re:GPL? (1)

in7ane (678796) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856521)

Sorry, but that is ridiculous, by the same argument you could say that the GPL code in tivo is misused. Nowhere does the GPL say anything about the hardware the code you modify has to run on, as long as you make it available.

Taken generally the argument makes even less sense - then no GPL code should be hardware specific at all - since who decides what the 'generic' hardware is?

Re:GPL? (3, Insightful)

Decameron81 (628548) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856550)

I think you got it wrong. Their purpose is not to make their OS work only on certain hardware, but to make it work flawlessly on such hardware. I doubt they will take the hassle to remove all the code that makes the OS run with other hardware.

And btw, the purpose of the GPL is not to restrict what one can do with the source. It is all about sharing your improvements and not getting monetary compensation from it, since the original authors gave it to you for free. A sort of chain reaction.

I can see nothing bad with selling Linux related services.

Diego Rey

Re:GPL? (5, Insightful)

El Cubano (631386) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856564)

I don't like that a company is using Linux in a way that (seemingly) intentionally keeps its software from being of use to anyone who doesn't buy their product. It seems to go around the purpose of GNU and OSS.

Actually, you have it backwards. This is exactly what the GPL was designed for. This company has snazzy new hardware. Since the company can customize an OS around GNU/Linux, they are saved the millions of dollars requisite to develop a proprietary OS. Now you can buy the base model for $799, instead of $2799. Nevermind that then vendors and OSS projects would have to work on porting their products to the new OS (not likely in many cases) in the case of a new proprietary OS.

It's better for them as a company because they are quicker to market and can make their products more economical. It's better for the users because thay can use a well established, rock solid stable OS with thousands of already available applications.

So what if you can only get the hardware from them? As long as they comply with the GPL (or the licesnse for any app they modify), it's all good.

Linux with usage support? (5, Funny)

rdsmith4 (767227) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856466)

And it ships on hardware?!? A novel concept! This will be THE breakthrough! 2004 is indeed the Year of the Penguin!

Oh wait, you have to pay for it.

Damn.

Great (3, Insightful)

JoeShmoe950 (605274) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856469)

This is perfect. Linux does have other problems, I must admit. But, hardware was a huge one. For example, the first time I installed debian, it took me forever to figure out how to get X how to use anything but VGA. Once I figured out my way around linux, it became easy, but it still took my a while to figure out how to install my graphic's card driver and such. Having default hardware, where they know what drivers to use, etc. will take a lot of scare and hastle away from the user. For example, if Debian new that every user used an NVidia GeForce, they'd probably bundle the GeForce driver as default. Standard hardware will solve many headaches. All the power to them!

Re:Great (1)

Ravadill (589248) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856560)

Debian ect. don't bundle the Nvidia/ATi driver already because it's not opensource, and distros want to stick 100% opensource!11 on their product can't if there's a binary driver included. Seems a bit stupid to me, I personally couldn't care less if a distro was only 99% opensource as long as I had the best hardware drivers (closed or otherwise) bundled with it.

The "Apple experience"? (0, Troll)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856470)

I thought the Apple experience was related to having a solid, well-functioning OS and a very friendly user interface.

Little did I know that it was actually about having hardware limitations put upon me.

Learn something new everyday!

Re:The "Apple experience"? (5, Insightful)

00420 (706558) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856511)

The hardware limitations are part of the reason Apple offers such a solid, well-functioning OS.

Re:The "Apple experience"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856572)

The stability of Linux puts lie to that claim.

Re:The "Apple experience"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856668)

That's damned funny. The stupidity of that statement demonstrates that while Linux is creeping ever closer to the quality user experience that OSX users enjoy the real story is in how it's advocates are leaps and bounds ahead of it in their own quest to match, and then surpass if possible, the arrogance of the average Mac user.

Bravo!

Re:The "Apple experience"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856794)

No, it doesn't. It is quite possible that they are stable for different reasons.

Lesson Learned! (3, Funny)

women (768472) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856483)

I'm glad that Element Computer decided to name their distro ION as opposed to the more logical but lawsuit prone Macinux.

Re:Lesson Learned! (1)

Game Genie (656324) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856706)

Hmm...
Linux + Windows = Lindows
Linux + Mac = Lac ??

-

Re:Lesson Learned! (1)

Achoi77 (669484) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856915)

It could have been worse.

It could have been Minix. ;-)

Apple experience ... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856486)

Apple experience

Definition : When an airhead comes into contact with over-priced hardware.

Not really possible with X86 hardware (1, Insightful)

Steepe (114037) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856487)

Yea, so they sell linux to work with hardware they choose. Might work if KDE was the bells and whistles pretty desktop that OSX is, but its not.

Linux folks for the most part want to upgrade their hardware, with what they want. No cheapo onboard soundcards and vid cards, etc.

It MIGHT nitch in web/email only systems, but how many of those can you sell to grandma when wally world sells HP's for $499 or less.

I love any idea that promotes linux, but I just don't see this working anywhere.

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856655)

Wally world was mentioned. Need I say more?

Hold up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856489)

I hope the machines they sell hold up better than their web server is right now

But ... (2, Interesting)

Snoopy77 (229731) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856491)

the problem with Macs was that while they performed better on the whole, they were more expensive.

ION Linux may guarentee that the software and hardware will play together nicely but you've gotta pay for it. I've never had a problem getting Linux (RedHat, Debian, Gentoo) to work well on standard Dell machines or on machines I've built from various parts.

Nice idea but prebuilt Linux machines don't have a big market and I don't see that ION Linux is going to change this.

Re:But ... (1)

Spoing (152917) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856932)

  1. Nice idea but prebuilt Linux machines don't have a big market and I don't see that ION Linux is going to change this.

I've built all of my desktop x86 systems, and tweak just about everything. I have installed a few different distributions on my Dell lattitude CPx.

As the Dell laptop is getting long in the tooth, I've considered getting a new laptop, and to be honest my ranking is currently;

    1. Blank laptop (but based on the same hardware as one of the current Dell models)
    2. A name-brand laptop, likely not a Dell (and wipe out Windows)
    3. Have someone else do #1 (Element) or #2 (EmperorLinux) for me.

So, if even I am seriously considering buying from them someone who doesn't like to tweak things as much is that much more likely.

Kind of Pricey (4, Interesting)

hng_rval (631871) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856516)

Is it just me, or do these computers cost more than an equivalent Dell model?

Why not buy a Dell, format with Linux, good to go.

I guess they install Linux for free, and provide you with some sort of support, but if you really need that why not just use Windows?

Or, install Debian - it's getting easier every day.

Re:Kind of Pricey (3, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856681)

"Why not buy a Dell, format with Linux, good to go."

Well if you want to download several install CDs, try to hunt down drivers, and edit a bunch of .CONF files, yeah you could do that.

Re:Kind of Pricey (2, Insightful)

Takara (711260) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856935)

Well if you want to download several install CDs, try to hunt down drivers, and edit a bunch of .CONF files, yeah you could do that.

You mean like everyone else does? Interesting concept.

Re:Kind of Pricey (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856941)

"You mean like everyone else does? Interesting concept."

You'll notice that 'everyone' isn't a whole hell of a lot of people.

I-Dash? (3, Interesting)

ponds (728911) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856527)

With Mandrake and Lindow's recent troubles, you'd think they would check that the name isn't already taken.

I just hope the distro ends up changing its name and not My favorite Window Manager [modeemi.fi]

mandatory comment (1)

dpeltzm1 (706854) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856530)

hopefully their own hardware isnt running the site gonna be tough to sell that molten pile of goo! (after only one comment no less ;/)

Makes sense... (1)

BobWeiner (83404) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856563)

...for those that want to try out something besides Windows, but are otherwise afraid of getting their hands dirty with the technical details of Linux. If they pull this off, their products could be the Linux solution for the every-day person who just 'wants it to work' out of the box.

If 2004 is the year of Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856566)

Then one idea would be to get rid of the ridiculously stupid penguin mascot Tux. It implies to people that Linux is a 'toy' operating system rather than the real thing.

BTW don't take this as a troll, it's a serious suggestion.

Re:If 2004 is the year of Linux (0, Troll)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856591)

I agree, tux is gay, hopefully these guys aren't zealot enough to have like a big airbrushed tux on the side of the case or something like that.

That'd be a one-way ticket to receivership.

Re:If 2004 is the year of Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856637)

Ahahaha thinking about that just made me crack up. That would be gay.. very gay.

good idea (0)

dns_server (696283) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856614)

I think this is a good idea of selling linux. customising the os by adding custom packages and certifiying that it will work on the hardware. as long as the costs are competetive it should be a good buy.

Un-fricken-believable (5, Interesting)

MicroBerto (91055) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856617)

Wow. I was just thinking to myself, "You know what, Mike? We need MORE LINUX DISTRIBUTIONS!"

Not only that, but we need distributions that only work_on/come_with certain hardware. So now I go from 2% market share to 0.0002% marketshare!

Have these guys ever taken Marketing 101, or ANY type of business course? What kind of business plan is this, and who honestly expects it to sell?

Let me give you one obvious hint - steal business ideas that are GOOD, not those that have been holding Apple back for the past 15+ years.

Re:Un-fricken-believable (2, Insightful)

xtal (49134) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856801)

not those that have been holding Apple back for the past 15+ years.

No, I think that should be read as business plans that do not make you (You) a customer. Apple has carved out a very profitable niche doing what other people won't. I wasn't part of apple's audience for a long time - didn't have the money for it to be an option. Now that I have the money I don't have the time to deal with linux. I'll gladly fork out (aparently a lot, too) so that my computer just works when I turn it on.

I think this is what Redhat should have done - picked open source for the gems, made it bulletproof, picked out some hardware and ran with it. They didn't - and nobody has. I thought about doing what these guys are doing, and I think they'll get themselves a very successful niche if the whole package is an attractive by.

Don't take me for a zealot - I use openbsd, linux, windows, solaris, and OSX in addition to QNX on a near daily basis. Apple hit themselves a nice little (multi billion $) niche.

That is not a failed business model. If you want to see failed business models, go here [sun.com] . Apple is eating THEIR lunch. Mmm, tasty.

Re:Un-fricken-believable (2, Insightful)

MicroBerto (91055) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856904)

Apple thrives on an extremely loyal customer base that took years to build. Where is that customer base going to come from for ION?

I personally have no problem running too much hardware on linux anyway. I think the open-source community is taking quite a nice chunk out of that, and things improve with each new kernel release.

I just don't see a need for this distribution, especially when Mandrake is running fine on my hardware (which isn't all mainstream either) and I can just throw Mandrake 5 bones when I can't afford much else.

Wow. (2, Funny)

juuri (7678) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856890)

Wow. I was just thinking to myself, "You know what, Mike? We need MORE LINUX DISTRIBUTIONS!"

I know most sports stars refer to themselves in the third person, but you actually think to yourself in the third person? Do you also answer your own rhetorical questions?

I think they're running a 386 server (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856663)

Um how fast did THAT get slashdotted!!! Wow. Get a real server man!

Somebody should tell him... (3, Funny)

spoonboy42 (146048) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856680)

This is all well and good, except for the tablet model (Helium). Doesn't he know that it's extremely difficult to IONize Helium?

Re:Somebody should tell him... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856787)

Doesn't he know that it's extremely difficult to IONize Helium?

yes... just like his marketing

Re:Somebody should tell him... (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856827)

Holy Batman!

Dude, you are my new Geek God.

Just dunno... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8856685)

Is it me or has /. become a circle jerk?

{.. hey... keep your hands to yourself!..}

buy Windows XP?? (1, Insightful)

uv_light (750273) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856687)

In the page that "Interview with Element Computer Regarding ION Linux" it slap a big advertisment on the left titled "Buy Microsoft Windows XP".

I don't know which one is worse, Micorsoft Windows or ION Linux that limit your computer. this is just sad.

That might work when... (1, Troll)

wvitXpert (769356) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856742)

they can offer a sleek eye candy interface (sorry KDE isn't there yet) and, most importantly, allow programs to be installed by dragging a folder (like in Mac OS) instead of the dependency hell that is Linux as we know it today.

My mac experience (1)

Moonpie Madness (764217) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856808)

all i do is rip out my scroll wheel and two of my mouse buttons and now I've got my own mac experience!!! plus, I play that slidey puzzle game!!! seriously, there's got to be enough creativity to make your own style

Don't forget.... (4, Funny)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856845)

...you also have to throw away all of your games and junk half of your software. Then go to the ATM, withdraw about $1,000, and promptly rip it up.

There, Apple experience complete.

Server meltdown..... (2, Interesting)

gnuman99 (746007) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856865)

Indeed, they do appear to be running a desktop only version of a web server,

While trying to retrieve the URL: http://elementcomputer.com/

The following error was encountered:

* Connection Failed

The system returned:

(111) Connection refused

Down for the count. (3, Insightful)

pararox (706523) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856867)

It appears that Element's servers have been reduced to mere elements, which is a shame as I think this is a worthy idea, and I'd love to get a glimpse at their site.

I see it's been said (derisively) that this is no new idea. While no one will content the accuracy of that statement, this is a new approach to offering a cohesive and well planned Linux box.

And that's a GOOD thing. How many times have we read the trolls complaining to the heavens how Linux would surely find better success if only it didn't take those extra few minutes to research your new hardware; if only it was better integrated, on both the hardware and the software level.

It appears we're all going to see if those complaints were truly the thing holding Linux back. As a former Mac user, who has been converted to Linux on account of my ability to pick it apart at the deepest or most shallow levels, the only thing I do truly miss was the slick unity Apple provided for it's consumers. Let's see if these guys can do the same.

I certainly won't wait with baited breath, but this is a cool and worthy idea. Good luck guys/gals.

Sounds like a reasonable approach... (4, Interesting)

isaac (2852) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856913)

I think the general idea of shipping machines with an operating system and, indeed, applications that are tuned to the specific hardware of the machine is a sound one.

I've installed more operating systems in the last 20 years than I can count. My main home system is a Fujitsu P2040 laptop that currently dual-boots Win2k and Mandrake 9.2, and I've probably spent 60-80 hours installing and tweaking and tuning both of these operating systems just to get everything working to my liking in both operating systems - all the hardware buttons (even the "email" button and notification light), cd-burning, region-free DVD playback, trackpoint sensitivity & z-axis support, 3d acceleration (albeit pathetic on this Mach64-based Rage Mobility) under linux, cygwin in win2k, Crusoe-tuned power management and monitoring, remapped keyboard (caps=ctrl, winkeys useful), separate partitions for my data and OS (and a swap partition used by both operating systems). I can recover this clean, custom load of either OS with bootable CD sets I made. I replaced the fujitsu logo on the top of the lid with a metal plate I screen printed with tiny C version of DeCSS (efdtt.c, props to Charles Hannum and Phil Carmody). It's a great little computer and works a treat - but I'll probably sell it soon because I've come to prefer my girlfriend's G3 ibook. It's got that UNIX-fresh flavor I crave right out of the box, and doesn't come loaded from the factory with bullshit like a PC, and it took all of 5 minutes to configure to my liking when I installed Panther on it.

A company that can deliver a no-bullshit PC running linux with Apple-grade hardware/software integration might get my business. I'm not convinced that Element is that company, but we'll see.

-Isaac

Really Cool (3, Insightful)

misleb (129952) | more than 10 years ago | (#8856929)

Usually my first criteria when choosing new hardware is "How well does it run Linux?" This may sound like a loss of freedom/choice, but when you get down to it, PC hardware doesn't vary THAT MUCH in features and speed. It is a comodity. There is enough hardware out there that finding good hardware that also happens to be well supported in Linux isn't very difficult. But you still need to look. Not only do they pick well supported hardware for you, but they support it and tailor the the OS to work with it... and it is based on Debian! Go Element! Not that I would personally buy the systems, but I would definitly recommend it to anyone thinking about getting a new computer and running Linux.

It is good to see a company doing the work for people who want to run Linux... without worries of hardware support. Not only is it good for users, but it is good for general hardware support in Linux. The more vendors see people (or resellers) making their purchasing decisions based on how good the Linux drivers are for their hardware, the better the drivers will get.

-matthew

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