Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Daily Archives / Friday, April 8, 2011

  • Apr 08 / 2011
  • 64

The Battle for the Last Desktop

Yesterday, as my wife was rushing out for an appointment, she called to me and demanded I “fix her PC”. Readers may remember that I had liberated her machine from XP after it had ground to a halt for the umpteenth time. She could not open an old document that was last modified years ago by that other OS and Office. could not open the file even though it had previously. It turns out some regression has infected on Debian GNU/Linux.

Installed LibreOffice and everything worked again… Libreoffice is in testing for Debian’s next release.

Now, if only she would use the thing as a word-processor and not a type-writer. Today she had engaged “overstrike” and was fighting with “left-justify”. Sigh…

  • Apr 08 / 2011
  • 21

That Other OS Re-re-reboots, Again

Patch Tuesday has plenty of overtime and re-re-reboots in order. Every version of that other OS and Office needs work and there are plenty of critical vulnerabilities to go around.

“Upcoming features will include a critical SMB Browser bug that affects all versions of Windows. Security vulnerability scanning firm Qualys warns that all supported versions of Office and Windows will both need updating, a task that is likely to result in plenty of overtime for sysadmins.”e

Why is this OS still around? Who needs this aggravation? There is a better way to do IT: Debian GNU/Linux.

Debian GNU/Linux is not perfect but it is a lot less work to keep it running. In the five years I have been using it I have only had much angst three times: a flub of openSSH, lots of display problems in the display on the beta of Squeeze and just yesterday, my wife found would not open files from Office that it previously had opened. Libre Office fixed that and a problem every couple of years compared to a monthly curse is heavenly.

  • Apr 08 / 2011
  • 4

M$ Also Ran

When a horse ends up after third place, it’s called an “also ran”. That’s what Gartner predicts for smart phones. Android/Linux is expected to become a monopoly by 2012 with that other OS reaching perhaps 20% by 2015. This includes nearly 50% per annum increase in production of smart phones and Apple not cutting prices.

see Gartner

In 2011 they predict more smart phones than other personal computers will ship. This is truly the commoditization of IT with complete systems dropping below $300 while having great performance.

  • Apr 08 / 2011
  • 4

ARM: Good and Getting Better

We have all seen demonstrations of the Tegra 2 ARM CPU from Nvidia. If there was any doubt about the performance of these chips, read on:
“In the fourth quarter of 2011, Nvidia is set to launch its 40nm Tegra 3 processor (Kal-El), featuring a quad-core design and will be five times faster than Tegra 2. The quad-core processor will be manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) with actual products to be released as early as December.

After Tegra 3, Nvidia is set to launch more ARM-based processors including Wayne, Logan and Stark throughout 2014.”

Where is all that power going? Into smart phones? I think they have a larger vision. 5 times the power of Tegra 2 is well beyond most needs in personal computing and will definitely give x86 competition. With Android/Linux and GNU/Linux able to run on these and “7″ not, Wintel itself will have to compete on price/performance.

see Nvidia

  • Apr 08 / 2011
  • 1

Acer’s Chairman Speaks

After disappointing results, Acer’s chairman and CEO JT Wang spoke about the outlook and strategy:

  • profit margin currently is less than 2%,
  • plans to spend more and to hire for R&D,
  • “a revolution is already in progress in the IT industry and Acer’s change in strategy is a must and the revolution will not only appear in the smartphone and the tablet PC industries”,
  • “Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system for 2012 will add support for ARM-based system-on-chip (SoC) platforms, and the software giant’s new move will completely change notebook and netbook’s designs in the future as future notebooks and netbooks will also feature instant boot capability, and Acer must catch up with all these opportunities”,
  • Acer, Apple and others cannot meet demand for tablets… , and
  • “tablet PCs will have a certain level of impact on traditional notebooks and netbooks, but the devices will not be able to kill either one of them. Although the traditional notebook and netbook industries are not seeing growth as strong as the 20-30% in the previous years, they will still have single-digit growth in the future, with the netbooks still having a chance to ship 30 million units every year, Wang added”

On the hardware side, this shows that ARM will have continued success and on the software side, Linux is no longer chasing the pack but in the lead. The whole world of IT is going flat out to produce tablets in 2011 and Wintel is not in the game. This means Linux can expand into a vacuum created by Apple and move strongly into the more mature markets as well. There is a lot of upside for Linux in the next few years.