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Promised NSW Laptops: Linux in the wings? 30 November, 2008

Posted by aronzak in Linux, Netbooks, Open Office, Windows.
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In the 2007 Australian Federal Election, the incoming Labor leader, now Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, promised federal spending on the state’s education systems, particularly to increace access to computers, calling it an ‘education revolution’. Reading the Sydney Morning Herald this morning, it turns out that the New South Wales (NSW) Government will spend money by buying netbooks, probably 10″ models, for secondary school students.

A prize phrases in the article is

“NSW stands ready to deliver teenager-friendly, custom-built laptops to the nation,”

What does the phrase ‘teenager friendly’ mean? It is likely to refer to the design, being lightweight and portable. But when I read it, it just sounded like the OS. There’s another interesting phrase here:

These custom-made laptops are … powerful enough to support all the IT needs of our high school students.

Just what are the IT needs of the high school students? Facebook? MySpae? But I digress… If you consider the needs of a student to be working on documents in an office suite, then Linux should be fine. In fact Linux may be an advantage, given that it will be harder for students to install games. Unfortunately, OpenOffice is not percieved to be fully compatible yet. Students typing out a document in OO then wanting to work on in on their school computer, that has MS office, there will be problems. Will there be pring servers set up to work?

So, I think that Linux is a good posibility, but the education department probably isn’t that smart. They don’t understand Linux, and that’s a problem. If they go Linux, MS will probably come along and lobby. Nothing is beneath them. When I first heard this issue discussed, over a year ago, the only $500 netbook was the Linux EEE. Now there are plenty of XP models for less.

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ARM ready to move into the netbook market 25 October, 2008

Posted by aronzak in Netbooks.
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Currently ARM, a processor manufacturer makes chips only for phones, PDAs and the like. Currently,  only Intel and VIA chips (the Atom and C7-M) have been used much, with low uptake of AMD’s Geode and the Longsoon.

The ARM Cortex A9The ARM Cortex A9

Recently, AMD have started to move into computing markets with Dell releasing “Blacktop” a blackberry like splashtop interface that specially boots using a low power ARM processor. Next, it seems like ARM may move into the netbook market with low power processors, the Cortex A8 and Cortex A9. I’d be in favour of more competition. It seemed that the launch of the Atom coincided with increaced interest in producing good quality machines that could do more than email.

Dell takes Ubuntu seriously 14 October, 2008

Posted by aronzak in Dell, Linux, Netbooks, Ubuntu.
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The VAR guy has an article showing an advertisement for the Dell inspiron mini 9 featuring Ubuntu, with no mention of a Windows model. Well done Dell. But I was more surprised when I saw this page.

Ubuntu is not hidden. In fact, it says ‘Ubuntu’ 4 times, and gives an opetion to build each of the XP machines with Ubuntu. Dell must be confident.

Walmart: I don’t get it. 9 August, 2008

Posted by aronzak in Cloud Computing, Netbooks.
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I had a look at the Everex Cloudbook on Walmart. I don’t really get how you would go about buying one. I’m jealous of all of you in the US that can buy Linux PCs, including a whole lot of cute netbooks.