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Linux And Unix Devices Popular On Amazon's 'Best of '07' List

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the penguins-out-and-about dept.

Businesses 106

christian.einfeldt writes "Computers and handheld devices running default GNU Linux or Unix OSes have swept Amazon's 'best of' list for 2007, according BusinessWire.com for 28 December 2007. Best selling computer? The Nokia Internet Tablet PC, running Linux. Best reviewed computer? The Apple MacBook Pro notebook PC. Most wished for computer? Asus Eee 4G-Galaxy 7-inch PC mobile Internet device, which comes with Xandros Linux pre-installed. And last, but not least, the most frequently gifted computer: The Apple MacBook notebook PC."

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Im Linux (4, Funny)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851080)

Linux is cute.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aufL76bXLAg

Want to Act a Fool? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21851090)

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In addition to all manner of debauchery we offer Nature Walks, fishing, coal mining, and a variety of shopping. Also waterskiing and crafts. Hookers, free whiskey shots*, and complimentary arc welding of your broken metal objects. All our reservation software is fully Open Source compliant and endorsed by Richard M Stallman and Eric S Raymond. Rest assured that we do not deal with the devlish Microsoft, so they will not be able to track your movements and the like, and their niggardly software will never crash our extensive free WIFI network**.

Please visit Drunkard Town [myminicity.com] today!

* after enrollment in the Free Whiskey shot club, nominal fee required
** after enrollment in the Free WIFI club, nominal free required. All WIFI hardware and software provided by the Apple Corporation and requires Apple brand hardware for connection.

n810 is amazing (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851108)

I got one a couple of weeks ago and I am more than happy with it.
However it is not a slick device like an iphone.

Does anyone have any information about a Windows based development toolchain?
Currently I am starting with Python+gtk but on the device I am finding performance limited (even compared to the old pocket pc .net code which I thought crawled along). It appears as though its main problem is refreshing the 800*480 screen quickly.

ouch! (1)

DingerX (847589) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851214)

yeah, updating that screen with any speed is the achilles heel of the n8x0. These things are super-cool though, and turn out to be more useful than I thought.
 
They also seem to spread virally. I know of 2 people who bought n800s after seeing mine, and they aren't IT professionals either.

Re:ouch! (2, Informative)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851370)

From what I know the screen can be updated reasonably quickly (because movies can play smoothly) but from what I can also gather is that this only occurs once the device clocks itself to 400mhz and talks directly to the lower graphics driver.

I am not afraid of direct hardware knocking but think I need to get lower than python+gtk to get there.

http://maemo.org/development/documentation/how-tos/4-x/maemo_architecture.html#SWDecomposition [maemo.org]

Re:ouch! (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851946)

After posting this I went away and did some more searching.
I discovered a great thread about video playback between the author of mplayer and a guy inside nokia.

Its a must read for anyone interested in the inner workings of the nokia devices.

Re:n810 is amazing (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21851262)

Does anyone have any information about a Windows based development toolchain?
I've not looked into it myself, but the standard approach is to run the linux-based SDK using VMWare.

http://www.forum.nokia.com/main/platforms/maemo/index.html#sdks_and_tools [nokia.com]

Check out http://maemo.org/ [maemo.org] and http://www.internettablettalk.com/ [internettablettalk.com] if you haven't already.

Re:n810 is amazing (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851562)

I had an n800 for awhile, but was forced to return it after getting very spotty wifi connections with it. Seemed like half the time I would get this "link local" problem that is mentioned here:
http://www.internettablettalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8689
I always got this at work. I really wanted to be able to use it as a portable skype phone, as I have skype out and in. But the connection issues really got me... I don't have an n810 yet, but I'm hoping it doesn't have this problem.

Asus Eee very popular in Australia (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851110)

It sold out in Myer stores (the only retailer) within a couple of days of the initial release. I read reports of schools buying them by the dozen and families buying one for each member of the family.

The last I heard they were getting more in just before Christmas but a lot of those had been pre-sold in December. I don't think Linux is a negative for the people who buy this product. They like the fact that it has open office out of the box, which is a bigger money saver than the OS.

Asus Eee to equal Mac sales in 2008 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21851282)

Asus is now planning to build 5 million Eee PCs in 2008. That is equal to Apple's Mac production.

Together with Linux server sales, this will push the Linux X86 market share far above that of Apple.

Re:Asus Eee to equal Mac sales in 2008 (3, Informative)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851564)

Unfortunately, everyone I know who has bought one (around five people) has installed XP on it. I'd guess lots of others are doing the same.

Re:Asus Eee to equal Mac sales in 2008 (3, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851794)

Unfortunately, everyone I know who has bought one (around five people) has installed XP on it. I'd guess lots of others are doing the same.

Have a look at the post count on eeeuser [eeeuser.com] . Posts about windows installs are significant but not overwhelming.

Re:Asus Eee to equal Mac sales in 2008 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21851838)

Fortunately, everyone I know who has bought one (around seven people) has left the default OS on there. I guess they either are happy with it or don't have the technical know-how to install Windows XP.

Re:Asus Eee to equal Mac sales in 2008 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21851938)

I too couldn't wait to get back to antivirus popups, manually update each program or clicking on popups to update later.

Oh wait, the masochists' forum is on the other windows. Errr...

Re:Asus Eee to equal Mac sales in 2008 (1)

AJWM (19027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852078)

Shrug. That probably doesn't begin to balance the number of sold-with-Windows computers (or for that matter, Macs) that have had Linux installed on them.

Re:Asus Eee to equal Mac sales in 2008 (1)

xra (1021817) | more than 6 years ago | (#21853904)

And it appears they will be coming pre-installed with a Microsoft OS soon.. http://eeepc.asus.com/global/news10192007.htm [asus.com]

Re:Asus Eee to equal Mac sales in 2008 (1)

rjames13 (1178191) | more than 6 years ago | (#21854530)

Where did they buy their legal copy of XP for the EEE from? I thought Microsoft wasn't selling it at retail any more. I know I can still get it OEM but most people don't have the connections for that nor do they have the resources to install XP onto a machine without a DVD/CD-ROM drive.

Re:Asus Eee to equal Mac sales in 2008 (1)

slyn (1111419) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852610)

I hate to break it to you (i'd love to see linux hit the mainstream too), but Apple sales are probably going to be at or near 2 million Mac's a quarter [arstechnica.com] next year, putting their total sales at maybe 7-8 million.

That being said, I got an EEE PC for my father, and he (and my sister, surprisingly to me) love it. He spent something like 2 or 3 hours playing with it christmas night after we got back from all the festivities. I was glad he enjoyed it because I was worried at first it's small size would be hard for him, but it seems to be perfect. The fact that it's linux doesn't bother him at all either, as he already knows how to use firefox, and most of the reasons he wanted something like the EEE was to be able to look up things on the internet when out and about. Overall it was a great success, and I would recommend it to (most) anyone as a gift.

Re:Asus Eee very popular in Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21851534)

I hope Asus continue to push with newer better models, or they'll be another Commodore. Problem is they're almost totally in the hands of the chip[set] and panel makers, but they can get a place first in line on volume if they use the momentum and really ramp up.

Not that I'm pro-Asus or anything, it's just a cute little linux machine, and competitors like VIA might come in with cheap windows-stuff instead while Asus sit around waiting for the latest and greatest from Intel. I'd rather see linux win early than having to compete with loads of bit-more-expensive-but-selling-on-name Vista boxes.

Re:Asus Eee very popular in Australia (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852092)

I'm not too worried about this. As the Core 2 Duo vs (what is AMD pushing these days?) and the gaming console wars have taught me, when it comes to consumer products the loyalty isn't that great, the better product usually wins. Of course how you and I define better and how the average consumer defines better might be totally different. Sort of like the PS3 is WAY technically superior to the Wii, but the Wii is kicking its ass in sales. *shrug*

Re:Asus Eee very popular in Australia (1)

rjames13 (1178191) | more than 6 years ago | (#21854546)

(what is AMD pushing these days?)

Phenom low end CPU's quad core, Spider platform to run Phenom on and quad core Opterons.

Re:Asus Eee very popular in Australia (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21851760)

It's the ideal combination of small, light, affordable, silent. Finally we have a true 'notebook' computer, not the luggable laptops that people are used to.

Having linux makes it very easy to use (much better than the iBook). No wonder it's sold out everywhere. Everyone who sees the device instantly wants one.

Especially after they learn it's half the cost of a 'big white iBox'

filtered view (1)

daniel23 (605413) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851114)


reading the list myself I think it needs some filtered perception to summarize it like it was done for this entry. This is /. after all and I'm not new here and in soviet russia the news invent you...

Demand for Small Tablet PC's (1)

catchblue22 (1004569) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851120)

From this, it seems like there is a growing demand for small scale tablet PC's, like Nokia's model. I wonder how Apple's new oft-rumored ultra-portable will do in this market.

I doubt Vista can thrive on such devices in the near future, because it is such a resource hog, and will thus tend to drain small batteries too quickly. Flexible Unix OS's seem more suitable for these devices. Windows mobile is simply horrendous, and I doubt Microsoft is quick footed enough to adapt its newer generation OS's in time. These small computers are an interesting trend that could perhaps change the playing field for computers.

Re:Demand for Small Tablet PC's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21851224)

I doubt Vista can thrive on such devices in the near future, because it is such a resource hog

yet my laptop runs longer with Windows than with Linux, thanks to Linux not doing power saving right.

Re:Demand for Small Tablet PC's (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852228)

Windows mobile is also a completely different beast to desktop windows...
Linux on the N810 is however normal linux, and pretty much anything you can compile on desktop linux can be recompiled to run on the N810.
The fact that most apps come with source code just makes the process simpler.

Re:Demand for Small Tablet PC's (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#21860076)

Flexible Unix OS's seem more suitable for these devices.

For that to happen, we need much better continuous-recognition handwriting software, and quick. I've attempted to run Linux on my Thinkpad x60 Tablet PC, but the stylus is all but useless because there is no decent software that takes advantage of it.

EEEPC... (3, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851150)

Currently, the first review of the EEE PC [amazon.com] is from someone who installed windows XP on it. (A great little Windows computer!!).

Re:EEEPC... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851340)

Poor sod. Windows on an Eee PC must really suck. Mine works great with the default Debian Etch. I just made a few small tweaks to IceWM and also fixed KDE so it can run as well. At the moment, the Eeep is hooked to my HiFi playing music streamed from my server in the basement.

Re:EEEPC... (2, Interesting)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851458)

half a gig of ram is easilly enough for XP to run pretty smoothly provided it is not loaded down with crap. The CPU is slow by todays standards but not that slow by the standards of when XP came out.

The impression I get is that the big name linux desktops (kde and gnome) are just as bloated if not more so than XP.

Re:EEEPC... (1)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851962)

The impression I get is that the big name linux desktops (kde and gnome) are just as bloated if not more so than XP.

Except nobody's forced to use a "big name linux desktop", and in this case they're not, so that doesn't really matter.

Using Windows on a device like that just doesn't make sense. Linux can be trimmed down *way* more than Windows when you know exactly what kind of machine it'll be running on.

Re:EEEPC... (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#21856660)

Using Windows on a device like that just doesn't make sense.
I strongly disagree with you there. Having your normal software on a machine that is almost getting down into the large PDA size range (amazon say 2lbs which is less than a kilo) is IMO worth a lot. Wine is still far from perfect and running a full VM on a machine with theese specs is likely a bad idea.

I very much doubt XP will be unacceptably slow on this thing (unless you load it down with crap like norton) it's CPU is THREE TIMES microsofts reccomended minimum and it's ram is FOUR TIMES microsofts reccomendation. Disk space could be an issue but a large SD card should fix that for the most part if you are disciplined about keeping as little as possible on c: .

Except nobody's forced to use a "big name linux desktop", and in this case they're not, so that doesn't really matter.
Last time I tried ICEWM (which is what they are using here) I found it very unfriendly, no desktop icons, no integrated filebrowser, a difficult to edit menu and so on. I haven't tried the middleweight desktops like XFCE though.

The asus eeepc site doesn't seem to have much information on the software load, do you have any good links?

Re:EEEPC... (1)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21857038)

I've run Gnome on various distributions on my home computer for the past couple of years. My computer is now aging, but it's still less painful to use than a WinXP machine on any hardware. From what I can tell, the problem is more to do with how Windows handles memory, and it's propensity to use the page file even when there is plenty of free ram.

With 1GB ram on my desktop, I never touch the page file. Back when I had WinXP on it, it had 200+MB on the page file even though it had over 700MB free ram.

So, the DEs may be just as bloated as WinXP's desktop environment (though how would you verify that?), but the rest of the system isn't, and that makes all the difference.

Re:EEEPC... (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852188)

I wonder if that was a fully licenced copy of XP ?
If not, then I guess that shows who is more guilty of IP "theft" then. The ones who pay for an OS are more likely to "steal" software than the ones who don't pay for the OS.

Re:EEEPC... (1)

jimdread (1089853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21853694)

I wonder if that was a fully licenced copy of XP ? If not, then I guess that shows who is more guilty of IP "theft" then. The ones who pay for an OS are more likely to "steal" software than the ones who don't pay for the OS.
Errr... are you saying that if that person is using a Windows XP that isn't fully licensed, that they "stole" Windows, and are therefore less likely to steal software? But if they bought a retail version of XP for the EEEPC, then they are more likely to steal software? I think you should try rephrasing your comment. It doesn't make much sense like that.

Statistics and Lies (0)

bananaendian (928499) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851156)

Not true. Macs only stand out in Amazon statistics cause Apple has only two models of laptops, the Macbook and Pro, where as there are dozens of PC manufacturers with sometimes hundreds of different models, all listed separately on Amazon. So sales figures for Apple's ones inevitably end up looking better than for any single PC laptop.

... and I'm writing this on a Macbook, so there!

Mod parent down, -1 bullshit (4, Informative)

Winckle (870180) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851246)

Apple have 3 models of Macbook, and 3 of Pro, each of which have a separate amazon listing.

Re:Mod parent down, -1 bullshit (4, Funny)

Winckle (870180) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851318)

He lies, I point out the lie, and I get modded down, he gets modded up. Wtf.

Re:Mod parent up, +5 insightfull. (0, Offtopic)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851336)

You put a -1 in the title, it confuses moderators~
Plus MS pays people to troll.

Re:Mod parent up, +5 insightfull. (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851396)

Plus MS pays people to troll.

Let me call you out for a second: do you have proof of this?

Re:Mod parent up, +5 insightfull. (1)

grrrgrrr (945173) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851662)

Even if there is no prove which is really to much to ask and unreasonable for a slashdot commend , it is very believable. Just take a look at the acer laptop for bloggers scandal, The people ready scandal and the wikipedia scandal Microsoft was involved in. and than I do not even speak of the ooxml payoffs.

Re:Mod parent up, +5 insightfull. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21852354)

I really hope your native language isn't English.

Putting aside your questionable writing ability (which is surprisingly difficult!), I'd like to point out that there is no proof MS was involved in any of the "scandals" you listed (just because slashdot and the register carry the "story" doesn't make is true). In fact I think the idea that MS pays people to post on slashdot is ludicrous. Lots of people just like to troll and/or play devil's advocate. Given the anti-MS nature of slashdot, making pro-MS posts is just how these people get their kicks.

Re:Mod parent up, +5 insightfull. (1)

CommunistHamster (949406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851922)

Let me tell you this: they don't pay us very much.

Re:Mod parent up, +5 insightfull. (1)

gr8scot (1172435) | more than 6 years ago | (#21856380)

Plus MS pays people to troll.

Let me call you out for a second: do you have proof of this?

I really doubt that he was entirely serious, but I've wondered more than once whether Microsoft does that, when I read in MS vs. Linux flame wars that Linux is "too difficult," there are "no drivers," it's "not mature enough," and other comments that just look like somebody hired a hobo to login at a public library and talk some trash, guided only by a handful of vague outlines of counterattacks to a list of most-common criticisms. In fact, Microsoft doesn't officially pay people to troll, or even to defend the brand in Internet forums AFAIK, but those whose commissions depend on selling an operating system that really does not operate very well have a built-in incentive to troll; the money Microsoft pays them to sell Microsoft. So, what he told you in jest was true, from a certain point of view.
 

Re:Mod parent up, +5 insightfull. (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851566)

Plus MS pays people to troll
... on their macbooks!

Re:Mod parent down, -1 bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21855640)

Nonetheless, his point remains correct. Other manufacturers frequently have dozens of separate models while Apple only has, as you correctly stated, six different models of portable computers.

Re:Mod parent down, -1 bullshit (1)

tknd (979052) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852126)

Apple have 3 models of Macbook, and 3 of Pro, each of which have a separate amazon listing.

The only word he chose incorrectly was "model" but I think he meant "line". So a product line of macbooks. A product line of macbook pros.

And his point still remains. There is only one manufacturer for Apple while there are multiple manufacturers of PCs (Toshiba, Sony, HP, Lenovo). If each of these manufacturers only had two models of notebooks each, they would still have more models than Apple (4 * 2 = 8). But they probably don't, they probably have just as many as Apple does (6 each).

Re:Statistics and Lies (2, Informative)

kupekhaize (220804) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851432)

The poster below is correct; Apple has several models of both computers:

13" 2.0 Ghz White Macbook
13" 2.2 Ghz White Macbook
13" 2.2 Ghz Black Macbook

15" 2.2 Ghz Macbook Pro
15" 2.4 Ghz Macbook Pro
17" 2.4 Ghz Macbook Pro

Each one has a separate marketing part number and get recorded separately during sales. The thing to keep in mind is that there are still probably a lot less models available then Dell or Acer or Hp machines, and so the numbers are still likely to be artificially inflated but not as much as the OP indicates.

Swept != Won most of. (4, Informative)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851170)

Do all of these run Linux or Unix:
  • Apple 4 GB iPod nano (3rd Generation)
  • Nintendo Wii
  • Suunto T6 Wristop personal trainer with heart rate monitor
  • Accutire MS-4350B programmable digital tire gauge
  • Garmin nüvi 350 3.5-inch portable GPS navigator
  • Actron PocketScan diagnostic code reader
  • Jakks EyeClops Bionic Eye
  • Canon PowerShot A570IS 7.1MP digital camera


If you take the definition of "electronics" to be anything that has a microprocessor, ram, program storage, and I/O, then all of these would be "electronics", but I don't think any of them run Linux. I might be wrong, and some of them might run Linux, but I am sure that at least one of them doesn't.

If the Canon A570IS ran a GPLd OS, that would be awesome to modify that so that I can do things that Canon hadn't thought of or doesn't want users to be able to do, like time-lapse, recording RAW, changing the menu system, etc...

Yes, there are a lot of devices running Linux or Unix on the Amazon "Best-Of" list, but it isn't a sweep unless you mean "computers", but even then the line gets fuzzy.

Re:Swept != Won most of. (1)

downix (84795) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851560)

Well, it wasn't OSS, it was "Linux and UNIX". Of this list here:

# Apple 4 GB iPod nano (3rd Generation)

Very stripped down OSX, hence a UNIX

# Nintendo Wii

Unconfirmed which OS it runs, but a persistant rumor remains that it is Linux based.

# Suunto T6 Wristop personal trainer with heart rate monitor

Likely TRON or similar embedded OS.

# Accutire MS-4350B programmable digital tire gauge

If you need an OS for a tire gauge you're doing something wrong.

# Garmin nüvi 350 3.5-inch portable GPS navigator

Proprietory OS, as all things Garmin

# Actron PocketScan diagnostic code reader

A simple code reader. Not much of an OS necessary, the Commodore 64 had more of an OS.

# Jakks EyeClops Bionic Eye

Same as above.

# Canon PowerShot A570IS 7.1MP digital camera

Canon uses their own proprietory system.

Re:Swept != Won most of. (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851634)

# Apple 4 GB iPod nano (3rd Generation)
Very stripped down OSX, hence a UNIX


Actually the iPods run a "commercial microkernel embedded operating system," made by PortalPlayer [wikipedia.org] . From Wikipedia/iPod [wikipedia.org]

I agree with you on the rest.

I didn't look too hard at the smaller items, but I would still consider them "electronics," just not "computers." As you said there isn't much of an OS on those, and definitely nothing the size of even a stripped down version of Linux.

Re:Swept != Won most of. (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851652)

Didn't the earlier iPods also run something by a company called Pixo? I seem to recall that. Perhaps the very latest iPods run some kind of stripped-down OS X.

Also, the Wii does NOT run on Linux.

Re:Swept != Won most of. (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852160)

The iPhone and the iPod touch are (stripped) OS-X based. The others are not.

Re:Swept != Won most of. (1)

Darby (84953) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852208)

Perhaps the very latest iPods run some kind of stripped-down OS X.

Here's what the iPhone runs:

# uname -a
Darwin Darby's iPhone 9.0.0d1 Darwin Kernel Version 9.0.0d1: Fri Jun 22 00:38:56 PDT 2007; root:xnu-933.0.1.178.obj~1/RELEASE_ARM_S5L8900XRB iPhone1,1 Darwin

The iPod touch runs the same, and I don't have a clue what other iPods run.

Re:Swept != Won most of. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21855230)

# Nintendo Wii

Unconfirmed which OS it runs, but a persistant rumor remains that it is Linux based.


If it were running Linux it would be the single largest and most high profile GPL violation by anyone to date. It is almost certainly (To 9 9's certainty) not running Linux.

Re:Swept != Won most of. (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#21855564)

Unconfirmed which OS it runs, but a persistant rumor remains that it is Linux based.

No, there was a hoax, a long time ago, about the Wii running some kind of Linux kernel, but it was debunked at the time by the hoax's author.

The Wii does not run Linux. If it did, either my Wii's manual would have a copy of the GPL in it, or Maddog would have sent in the lawyers by now.

Alternative firmware gives you RAW support (1)

dracvl (541254) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852220)

If the Canon A570IS ran a GPLd OS, that would be awesome to modify that so that I can do things that Canon hadn't thought of or doesn't want users to be able to do, like time-lapse, recording RAW, changing the menu system, etc...

Not GPL, but the CHDK alternative firmware [wikia.com] (for the A570 and most other mid/high-end "prosumer" Canon cameras such as the S3) that enable RAW mode and other enhancements for these cameras.

Re:Swept != Won most of. (1)

cylcyl (144755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21854910)

It doesn't really matter whether it won the categories you listed. The focus is on linux as consumer OS instead of embedded OS, where the OS is distinctly recognizable branded component of the product.

All the ones you've listed have embedded OS/firmware. C'mon, the eyeclops? Tire gauge? Why not just add the Harry Potter book to your list and complain that linux did not sweep all categories unless it was embedded there too.

Re:Swept != Won most of. (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21856536)

Yes, I agree that Linux or Unix swept the computer operating systems on that list, in that all of the computers on those lists run either Linux or Unix.

From the summary:

Computers and handheld devices running default GNU Linux or Unix OSes have swept Amazon's 'best of' list for 2007...

How is the Garmin Nuvi not a "handheld device"?
Or the Canon A570IS?

That is my point, those are handheld devices that don't run linux.

If the author had said instead "Computers running default GNU Linux or Unix OSes have swept Amazon's 'best of' list for 2007..." I would have no argument, but he tried to be too general, and isn't correct in that case.

Re:Swept != Won most of. (1)

cylcyl (144755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21857756)

I contend that Harry Potter is also a handheld device. I distinctly recall holding it in my hands to read and turned the pages by hand.

Linux won all categories where devices ran consumer OS's. Firmware/embedded is not the same.

Yes (1)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21857084)

Posted this comment from my tire gauge.

At last, and end to "Year of the Linux Desktop" (4, Insightful)

rbrander (73222) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851200)

Now, the "Linux Desktop" fantasists can finally let it go. There will be no "year of the Linux desktop", just as there will be no "year of the Linux mainframe".

Like the $1,000,000 "mainframe", the DEC $100,000 "minicomputer", and the Sun $10,000 Unix "workstation", each major generation had its most-popular software environment, the one with highest network effects.

Pushing for a change in the desktop from Windows to Mac or Linux is, in 10 years, going to seem like striving to continue the VMS vs Unix wars on the VAX platform.

What 2008, 2009, and 2010 are going to be are the "years where appliances took over half the desktop functions" - you still want a big monitor and ergo keyboard to Photoshop, do development of web pages and code, and so on. But people sitting right at their desktop will whip out their paperback-sized appliance to do E-mail and chat, because that's where their communication apps live.

And, yes, those new appliances will mostly run Linux. What else?

All the hot new developers and innovative companies are not going to hogtie themselves to proprietary platforms like Windows and Mac; they've tossed themselves out of the running by their lack of freedom. They can put out their own product entries, sure -- but as Bill Joy said, most of the smart people in the world don't work for you.

Re:At last, and end to "Year of the Linux Desktop" (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851252)

And, yes, those new appliances will mostly run Linux. What else?

The funny bit is that even the openmoko makes it a pain to run a different OS. On a PC you just set the BIOS to boot from an external device and off you go. On all handheld devices you have to take a punt on re-flashing the bootstrap in eprom. Get it wrong and the device is bricked.

I don't see why these devices should not support pc-like behaviour.

Re:At last, and end to "Year of the Linux Desktop" (1)

xdotx (966421) | more than 6 years ago | (#21853948)

I don't see why these devices should not support pc-like behaviour.
Because they are not designed with that functionality in mind. Modern handhelds are designed for relatively short term, specific use. Also, unlike a pc, these devices are marketed with software-based features. It simply wouldn't be worth the effort on the designer's part to make something as esoteric as switching the OS easy. Much less can I imagine someone wanting to attempt to boot from an external devices - you're talking about a handheld after all.

Re:At last, and end to "Year of the Linux Desktop" (2, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851406)

>And, yes, those new appliances will mostly run Linux. What else?

Oh i dont know everything else in the mobile world? If linux on the desktop is dead, and it surely is compared to the predictions Ive read here and elsewhere, then linux on the mobile is even more dead. Windows mobile, blackberry os, osx, android, etc. Companies dont want to hand out their code and they have enough resources to build their own OSs. FOSS isnt as attractive as you think it is for these financial behemoths. THey can easily roll their own and have every incentive to do so.

Re:At last, and end to "Year of the Linux Desktop" (4, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851444)

linux on the mobile is even more dead. Windows mobile, blackberry os, osx, android

Android is Linux. OSX is BSD. Apple hardware is locked down, not the OS.

Re:At last, and end to "Year of the Linux Desktop" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21852202)

OSX is BSD

So? All the interesting parts (like CoreAnimation, which everyone is scrambling to imitate) are closed.

Re:At last, and end to "Year of the Linux Desktop" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21852552)

> Android is Linux. OSX is BSD. Apple hardware is locked down, not the OS.

Then why can't I run the OS on a PC?

Re:At last, and end to "Year of the Linux Desktop" (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 6 years ago | (#21853144)

> Android is Linux. OSX is BSD. Apple hardware is locked down, not the OS.

Then why can't I run the OS on a PC?

You can.

Re:At last, and end to "Year of the Linux Desktop" (1)

raddan (519638) | more than 6 years ago | (#21853250)

Actually, you've got that backward. Apple's operating system is far more locked down than their hardware. Their current batch of computers are essentially generic x86 machines with EFI. Nothing really special there. And even in their PowerPC days, those machines were wonderfully hackable. Open Firmware, which was a Sun innovation and which was borrowed by Apple, allowed for all kinds of cool tricks. Most of the PowerPC hardware was still generic PC stuff; some of it required special firmware if it needed to be accessible before the OS was available, but still, nothing special. I am typing this on a G4 that I bought in 1999-- and it looks and performs nothing like it once did (Lian-Li case, RAID 0, processor upgrade, Radeon 9800 Pro, DVD+-RW, etc). The front panel switches and "sleep" LED took a little bit of soldering to get going, but it was pretty simple stuff.

By contrast, Apple's OS is a freaking nightmare sometimes. Take their version of Samba. You think it works like vanilla Samba, don't you? You'd be wrong. I've taken a working smb.conf from a Linux box and dropped it into 10.4, and it simply wouldn't work as expected. Why? Apple replaced winbind with their proprietary AD plugin. Want documentation on how this thing really works? Good luck. Leopard is even worse here-- try dropping an smb.conf in and it will be immediately overwritten, regardless of whether you've locked the file or not. There are many, many other examples. Don't get me wrong-- I like the OS. But getting my favorite UNIX things to run on it is often an exercise in patience.

If you want to see a closed piece of hardware, take a look at a VAXstation. There's an odd machine.

How is this insightful? (1)

Rob Simpson (533360) | more than 6 years ago | (#21853518)

Which mobile sold the most units? The one running this [maemo.org] .

Re:At last, and end to "Year of the Linux Desktop" (1)

Hymer (856453) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852014)

"year of the Linux mainframe"
Someone obviously forgot to tell it to the leading mainframe manufacturer in the world... IBM happily sells and supports Linux on their mainframes.
The fact that something has happened will first be obvious in the future, in 50 years time or so someone will identify which year was "the year of Linux on desktop", which year was "the year of Linux on the mainframe" and which year was "the year of Microsofts death sentence".
Appliances do already mostly run Linux... and has done it for 5 years or so, even very high-end appliances (fx. SAN FC-switches from leading manufacturers). Now Cisco is talking about "a UNIX like OS to replace IOS"... I wonder what that could be: Linux or xBSD ?

Re:At last, and end to "Year of the Linux Desktop" (2, Interesting)

wytcld (179112) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852144)

Yup. And even for the long-time Linux desktop user, the Eee is seductively useful. I've no use for full-sized laptops, which are big and heavy enough that I still end up sitting as if at a desktop. The Eee, by contrast, handles like a paperback book, which allows getting much more comfortable - a comfort that for many uses makes up for the loss of a large desktop screen. I'd been using a Zaurus clamshell (pocket sized) for a couple of years for note taking and remote sysadmin in a pinch. But it wasn't quite enough for full use. The Eee, though, has a screen just large enough (with very good color and brightness) and a keyboard that, while small, a well-over-6-foot guy like finds just fine for touch typing. Plus, when you want to use standard *nix utilities, the Linux versions (most Debian stuff installs fine on this) are far better featured than those that come with OS X. This is a brilliant product, and would be at twice the price.

Re:At last, and end to "Year of the Linux Desktop" (1)

rbrander (73222) | more than 6 years ago | (#21854420)

Oh, I know that Linux does run on mainframes (and digital picture frames and supercomputers, and...) but I don't think it ever came within two country miles of dominating over installs of VM and MVS.

The "Year of the Linux Desktop" generally referred, IMHO, to Linux attaining if not dominance (yeah, right) then a respectable enough market share to be in the news, like Mac. For which 10% is minimal and 20% better.

As to mobiles having many non-Linux OS's, true enough, and my apologies for not writing "mostly Linux or BSD, what else?". I think a lot of those proprietary little gadget OSs are in some part BSD code that can be so used.

And whatever they are, it points to an appliance market that won't have a dominant (near) monopolist for the main platform...but across the industry basic knowledge of Linux and/or BSD is crucial to getting a job with anybody...or getting the most out of your product as a consumer.

A matter of time (5, Interesting)

bmartin (1181965) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851260)

It's simply a matter of time before Unix-based operating systems become the de-facto standard in portable electronics. Companies may be able to leverage their skills in their native markets (i.e., MS on the PC), but the portability of Linux makes it a no-brainer for royalty-free devices. FOSS's agnostic approach to interfacing with other technologies makes it ideal in attaining the interoperability desired by consumers. Let's share our good ideas so that others may benefit from them.

I, for one, welcome our new agnostic overlords.

Unable to adapt in two ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21852832)

Microsoft has responded to the popularity of small devices by releasing versions of Windows designed for embedded systems. But devices are getting smaller. It's not just the difficulty of porting Windows to smaller devices: Microsoft's licensing model is also not portable to really tiny machines. There's always going to be a device that's too small for Windows because Windows is too expensive to be economical. Why pay a software tax when free software does everything you want?

Around here (0, Troll)

IdeaMan (216340) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851302)

i think something like this [amazon.com] would be more appropriate.

What? No Vista? (3, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851316)

Amazing. There is not a single mention of MS Vista anywhere on those Amazon lists.

Re:What? No Vista? (1)

LinuxGeek (6139) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852080)

You just have to look in the right places. I imagine the top of the wish list at bondage.com is a Vista laptop with 512MB of ram. The sadomasicists must be eager to buy themselves this beautifully painful gift.

How about the OLPC? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21851328)

As far as I can tell, the olpc blows the Nokia internet tablet pc out of the water.

The trouble with Amazon is that it will naturally focus on stuff you can buy. Here is Groklaw's review of the olpc. http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20071223132431291 [groklaw.net]

My gripe with the Nokia is battery life. My wife's Blackberry goes for days without charging. It has a keyboard (sort of). The Nokia is reported as getting only a couple of hours under heavy use.

Apparently the buy one, give one, program for the olpc is available until the end of the year. I'm sorely tempted. Of course it runs linux and even its bios is open source. The only thing holding me back is two kids in university. AARGH!

Re:How about the OLPC? (1)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852266)

Did you not see the Asus Eee on the list?

Re:How about the OLPC? (1)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852404)

The trouble with Amazon is that it will naturally focus on stuff you can buy.

If wouldn't be very useful if it focused on stuff you couldn't buy.

Re:How about the OLPC? (2, Insightful)

Bloater (12932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852662)

> As far as I can tell, the olpc blows the Nokia internet tablet pc out of the water.

But it doesn't blow the Nokia IT out of my pocket where it very neatly fits.

love my Nokia N800!!! w00t! (2, Informative)

bball99 (232214) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851574)

- interesting device using Deb-like app management... found some Fink scripts on board after installing ssh...

- what's not to like?

FM receiver built in w/automagic polling of station lists based on zipcode!
web cam/camera built in
video playback (nearly any codec - dunno about QT though)
mp3 playback
pdf, MS .doc, text reading
web browsing
touch screen
two SDHC slots
USB (albeit non-powered)
bluetooth keyboard support (nearly any model AFAIK - i'm getting an Apple!)
GPS support for external BT GPS units
Skype (don't use it)
IM support (all, AFAIK)
games

- unfortunately, Nokia better get its defecation in configuration on its repositories and software management... at the time of this writing, some twit has horked app install off one of the companies software repositories through a typo in DNS ('repostry' vs 'repository')... i'd be dealing some serious whoopa55 if i were a PHB! :-)

Re:love my Nokia N800!!! w00t! (1)

xiaomai (904921) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851648)

I'm typing this on my N800 right now and can confirm that this is the raddest device ever. The gecko based browser makes for the most complete browsing experience i've seen on a portable device (including the iphone).

Re:love my Nokia N800!!! w00t! (1)

DirtyHerring (635192) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851720)

> video playback (nearly any codec - dunno about QT though)

Does it play Theora?

Re:love my Nokia N800!!! w00t! (1)

Airw0lf (795770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852984)

It should play Theora because you can install mplayer for it...

Re:love my Nokia N800!!! w00t! (1)

tlacuache (768218) | more than 6 years ago | (#21854064)

I'll second (or third or whatever) that. I just got this for Christmas, and this thing is awesome. I've got all my network utils (OpenSSH, vnc viewer, rdesktop, nmap, tcpdump, dsniff, ping, traceroute, wget, etc.), an ebook reader (FBReader, excellent), multimedia capabilities (800x480 resolution). I'm transcoding [maemo.org] some movies to copy to my SDHC card as we speak and just found some scripts [maemopeople.org] to transcode video on-the-fly and stream it from my desktop PC. Abso-friggin-lutely the coolest thing I've ever had.

Re:love my Nokia N800!!! w00t! (1)

dfj225 (587560) | more than 6 years ago | (#21854448)

++ for the Nokia N800. I'm enjoying mine as well. But you are right, the state of the Nokia and Maemo repositories is a sad one. It's too bad that releasing an OS update brought everything down to its knees. The disregard for the infrastructure takes away from the device as a whole and makes it seem rather unprofessional. Hopefully this will be resolved soon after people have some time to sort out the mess that occurred over the past few weeks.

Giving vs. gifting (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21851830)

Re: "...the most frequently gifted computer: The Apple MacBook notebook PC."

Is it just me, or is the use of "to gift" a recent development of holiday commercialization? I could swear I never heard that as a kid; now everything is about "gifting" rather than "giving". I suppose "giving in the spirit of Christmas" is too non-specific: it could mean giving to charity, or giving one's time at a senior center. No, it has to be "gifting", because that can mean only one thing: a piece of merchandise that one must purchase. It's hard to find an ad with the word "giving" anymore.

Re:Giving vs. gifting (1)

Mix+Master+Nixon (1018716) | more than 6 years ago | (#21854428)

People who use "gift" as a verb need to be force-fed their own warm, still-bleeding testicles and/or ovaries. It's not a verb. "Give" is the verb. This shit is just stupid.

Do consumers know? (2, Interesting)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851954)

Those devices may run unix or Linux, but how many people even know that? Wouldn't a typical consumer see that a device does what they want and looks good without regard to the OS? I doubt that many Nokia owners know their tablet runs Linux.

Re:Do consumers know? (3, Insightful)

dfj225 (587560) | more than 6 years ago | (#21854436)

What you said about typical consumers is probably true, but is that a bad thing? Personally, I think its a great achievement that you can hand a device to someone and it doesn't matter that its running linux. All that matters is that it is intuitive and useful in their hands.

The geeks get a device with open software that they are free to modify, and normal users get something that is easy to use and enables them to access the internet and information in a new and convenient way. I don't see any losers here, except Microsoft, and since I am not a shareholder, this doesn't bother me one bit :)

Re:Do consumers know? (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 6 years ago | (#21854620)

It isn't a bad thing that Linux is popular, it just seems like people are celebrating its popularity for a reason that doesn't exist. It seems like it isn't much more popular than before, just running more things than before. It would be fine to celebrate if those devices were popular because they ran Linux, but running Linux is just a footnote that few seem to appreciate.

Re:Do consumers know? (1)

dfj225 (587560) | more than 6 years ago | (#21854648)

I think you are right when you say that these devices aren't popular *because* they run linux. For what its worth, I don't think the iPhone is popular because it runs OS X. For all users care, it could be Windows on there as long as it provided the same interface.

It seems that it's enough to celebrate that many large companies have found linux to be the right solution for their mass market, consumer oriented devices. This seems to be a win for the linux community. After all, a few years ago it was very rare to see linux installed by the manufacturer on consumer oriented devices.

Re:Do consumers know? (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 6 years ago | (#21857786)

Good point.

And the best reviewed operating system was... (1)

Cannelloni (969195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851992)

...Mac OS X. Three Apple products at the top of the list. Not bad!

linux and hdtv (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21853004)

I couldn't be happier with linux running my hdtv receiver/analog-to-digital converter box from (the now defunct) us digital. I wonder how many consumers are running linux without even knowing it.

BTW, free over-the-air digital television rocks!

http://williambryson.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

The OS was vital to the success (1)

frankjg2 (1125175) | more than 6 years ago | (#21857402)

Choosing Xandros was the closer for success. Anyone using the Xandros version of Linux has a truly transparent OS without and special Linus knowledge. As it has been pointed out most users are concerned with what the product will do without having a advanced knowledge of how it does it.
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