Chromebooks And Other GNU/Linux Thin Clients Thrive

“Built for the rigors of the fast-paced medical environment, Samsung’s Chromebook 2 lineup offers a choice of processors—the Intel Celeron or the energy-efficient Exynos 5 Octa—and up to 4GB of RAM for speed and performance. The devices can last a full hospital shift, with up to 9 hours of battery life, and every laptop in the series features a metal-reinforced chassis to withstand the wear and tear of daily use, as well as falls and drops.
 
Last summer, Chapters Health System, a provider of post-acute, palliative, and hospice care to patients in West Central Florida, began looking for a solution that would give its cadre of nurses and clinicians in the field more secure and affordable access to records and electronic charts as they make their rounds to hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and private homes.
 
Chapters Health System’s IT leaders began the process democratically, by polling 139 caregivers on their preferences for devices and applications. The results came back strongly in favor of Chromebooks for form factor, battery life, ease of use, speed, and performance of virtualized applications such as Microsoft Outlook and clinical applications, as well as Web-based apps.
 
Chromebooks beat out not only traditional laptops, but also Windows thin-client devices and the Apple iPad tablet. Ninety-two out of 139 caregivers who participated in the study voted the Chromebook as their favorite device for work.”
 
SeeChromebooks in Healthcare: Good for Patients and for Bottom Lines
As I’ve pointed out repeatedly thin clients work for almost anyone not generating huge quantities of multi-media stuff locally. Schools, banks, clerks, medical staff… They all have one thing in common. Most of their data is best kept on a server somewhere so why not their applications as well? Whether the applications are web applications or something GUI that could be provided by a desktop, it can also be provided by a rather thin client device, even a Raspberry Pi, it turns out.

Amazing. Just a few years ago I was called a nut-case or tyrant because I recommended thin clients and now the grand-daddy of thin clients on That Other OS is recommending thin clients on GNU/Linux, and schools, governments and health-care are adopting them too. We’ve gone from accepting gross inefficiency and duplication to admiring efficiency and minimalism. Further, That Other OS and Intel need not apply… Are we there yet?

Not quite. There are still a few hills to climb and bends in the road but eventually the huge installed base of the Wintel cash cow will be whittled down to size. */Linux now has lots of OEMs, developers, retailers and salesmen, enough to matter, a lot. Chuckle. I’m enjoying the reemergence of competition in the market for IT. It’s refreshing and much more efficient. I like that. I too will probably replace my ageing server, Beast, and my thin clients with ARMed small cheap computers that will consume a similar amount of power as a good hard drive and cost about the same.

On a side note, one of the issues with my system and the ARMed motherboards is that they are limited to 2-4gB RAM. Beast should have 8-16gB… Another issue is that FireFox has problems sharing the load amongst CPUs, so one process hogs the CPU on which FF is running and everything can grind to a halt. This is an ancient bug in FF. There is finally an effort to fix that. The Electrolysis project is ongoing. The “ShaderToy” site does not lock up other tabs on Chrome browsers… Perhaps I will have to go back to Chrome browser in order to use these ARMed clusters effectively or wait until they have more RAM, a lot more. I can also pin TLW’s FF process and mine to different CPUs using TaskSet. With a cluster, I could easily put the two processes on different motherboards but it would be better still to use all available cores rather than just one core on each motherboard.

I’m optimistic all these problems will be fixed in the coming year.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.

This entry was posted in Linux in Education, technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to Chromebooks And Other GNU/Linux Thin Clients Thrive

  1. DrLoser says:

    I don’t think that’s, literally, consecutive days on the calendar but Christmas days over twelve years by which time the divorce happened, I guess, or someone kicked the bucket.

    Considering that the Orthodox Christmas is quite literally on the Twelfth Day, and that the set of those days have an ordinality of which Pascal can only dream of, I would contest your proposition.

    Nice joke though. Assuming it was a joke.

  2. DrLoser wrote, “There are twelve days of the bloody thing, may I remind you.”

    I don’t think that’s, literally, consecutive days on the calendar but Christmas days over twelve years by which time the divorce happened, I guess, or someone kicked the bucket.

  3. DrLoser says:

    And yet, Christmas is not yet over. (There are twelve days of the bloody thing, may I remind you.)

    In which spirit I will once again remind you, Robert, of the Kangaroo. A lovely little piece of kit with a neat docking interface. Possibly even the ability to solder on a couple more gig or so of RAM … all at the bargain price of $99.

    Keyboard an extra cost. But you’ve probably got one or two lying around unused in the loft. Might need an RS-232 to USB converter, but those are going cheap, too.

    I’m pretty sure you can pave over the Win 10 nonsense. The only issue I can see is that it runs a little hot.

    Shouldn’t be a problem for one of your Frontier Engineer expertise, I think.

  4. DrLoser says:

    Darn this lack of an RTF edit box. I’m not going to use it as an excuse. I’m absolutely convinced that no such thing exists on either WordPress or any Linux derivative thereof.

    When I said Crumbit, I was obviously referring to the estimable Crudbox-i.

    I am sincerely embarrassed by any confusion I may have caused.

  5. DrLoser says:

    That’s Rule #1 in the troll’s guidebook.

    Actually I am well aware of the fact that, since its first inception, Microsoft’s Surface has charged extra for a keyboard. (Two, in fact: the floppy one and the real one.) As the resident troll, Robert, I did you and your minion Dog-Brain the courtesy of assuming that we all knew this fairly obvious fact. What with it being common knowledge for the last four years or more.

    Still, it’s a little embarrassing that the vaunted Chromebook is just playing catch-up here, isn’t it? Rather than giving free-loaders like yourselves the keyboard either for free or at a large discount. I don’t think you can call $149 “a large discount,” can you? I mean, you could buy an Ara X5 for the price of that keyboard. And, should you be willing to Open Your Wallet For Freedom (not you, Robert. It isn’t Michaelmas yet. Sit down and take your meds; I’m sorry to cause you palpitations), you could even spend $30 more for a Crumbit!. (Without the remote control, obviously. That would be $10 more.)

    Well, let’s have bygones be bygones.

    How many Christmas stockings did you grace with that $499 Google Pixel C, Robert?

    Surely, at least the Little Woman?

  6. dougman wrote, “you make a big stink … but fail to understand”.

    That’s Rule #1 in the troll’s guidebook. “Don’t feed the trolls” is one of the best recipes for countering trolls. It turns “the big stink” into a rant and ignores the rest, which makes for a better day. It’s Christmas. Let’s all have better day(s). On the good news front, the murdering bastards are getting their butts kicked in Ramadi and the Iraqi army has returned to the field, the UN finally has Syria/Iraq on the radar, and the search for MH-370 should pick up with the return of summer weather. There is hope that 2016 will be a better year than 2015. I plan to plant another 100 trees in my yard and implement a backup electrical power generator.

  7. DrLoser says:

    Well, fair enough. Apparently you can buy the keyboard that goes with it for only $149 more.

    Flawless Victory!

  8. DrLoser says:

    Since Dougie is such a very trustworthy man, incidentally, I was indeed compelled to ,a href=”http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/tablets/google-pixel-c-1310691/review”>check out the new Google Pixel C.

    $499 for that?

    Not coming to a home in either Winnipeg or Northern Maryland near you, I think.

  9. DrLoser says:

    If a mugger pulls out a hand-gun … If a corporation does the same thing … it’s a crime against humanity. Then, there’s the EULA from Hell…

    Well, there are crimes, and then there are crimes. I’ve been ticketed for jay-walking in California, for example. Charlie Manson is in jail right now for fostering a conspiracy that ended up with nine innocent people dead.

    Now, taking a broad view of “crimes against humanity,” both myself and Mr Manson have committed “crimes against humanity.” But oddly enough, not even Charlie boy has ever been accused of crimes against humanity. Crimes, yes. But to extend that to an overwhelming metaphor such as this requires context.

    Nodody except certain people round here consider “crimes against humanity” to apply anywhere outside the realms of, say, the Nuremburg Trials or the ICC. To apply the term anywhere else is basically a futile empty rhetorical gesture.

    Now, I have never accused IBM and DeHoMag of “crimes against humanity.” Evidently I am a more reasonable man than you, Robert.

    But, as reminded by your kind cite of an earlier discussion concerning tossing terms like “tyrant” around, I think it’s fair to say that IBM, via DeHoMag, were at least knowing accomplices in a “crime against humanity.” Six million Jews, hundreds of thousands of Gypsies, anarchists, Jehovah’s Witnesses (that’s a weird one) … you name it. A genuine crime against humanity.

    Somehow I don’t see how that stack up against charging people $100 for an OS they don’t want.

  10. DrLoser says:

    Well, they did get lucky. XP killed off, otherwise they would be in deep doodoo.

    That wasn’t actually the prediction, Robert. The prediction concerned Vista and 7.

    I quote it because it is possibly the best example I have seen, since the early froth about Year of Linux Desktop, of somebody hopelessly confused between “wanting” to see something happen and “knowing” that something will happen. It was a silly sort of prediction anyway, given that in January 2010 (the start of the year in which the prediction was made), Vista and 7 already totalled some 20% of OS usage.

    And by this month, they total around 45%. I mean, as predictions go, that one was garbage, wasn’t it?

    Five years of huge sales, back when Microsoft was languishing at < $30 per share and needed the revenue from desktop OS.

    And now that Microsoft stock is nearer to $50 … let the new stupid predictions roll in!

    Stupid uninformed predictions seem to be the only thing that FLOSS coat-tailers seem to have going for them, these days.

  11. DrLoser quoth, “Microsoft will be lucky to get the combined market share of Vista and 7 out of single digits.”

    Well, they did get luckyXP killed off, otherwise they would be in deep doodoo. Still, their market share is closer to 60% thann the old days of 95%. If we consider the broader market according to StatCounter, they are down to 50% weekdays and 46% on weekends globally. In emerging markets like India, they are down to 22% on Sundays and only 35% weekdays. They are coming undone as far as client OS goes. Don’t even mention Internet of Things…

  12. DrLoser quoth my words, “M$ has affected more than a billion human beings adversely”.

    If a mugger pulls out a hand-gun and accosts you in an alley offering to sell you a watch for $100 and offering to shoot if you decline, it’s a crime, extortion/fraud/assault/threats, etc.. If a corporation does the same thing holding the world’s IT for ransome, insisting in every way that folks pay for That Other OS whether they want it or not, it’s a crime against humanity. Then, there’s the EULA from Hell… “Hey! You want to use your hardware for which you’ve already paid? Then pay us… Oh! You’ve already paid? Then click here to tell us that it’s OK to take your money and walk all over you…” Sounds like that dark alley to me…

  13. DrLoser says:

    I’d encourage anybody here to read the entire thread.

    One small thing stands out though, if I may. Robert? May I quote your exact words?

    Last I checked, consumers were human and M$ has affected more than a billion human beings adversely. Of course the harm to a consumer of a lack of choice is less than killing them but it’s still a denial of freedom.

    Feel free to admit that the above is by far the most idiotic and despicable thing you have ever said in your entire life, Robert. Or, alternatively, amuse us with yet more splendid indefensible cretinism.

    Happy Yom Teruah, Robert!

  14. DrLoser says:

    Still and all, as your favourite phrase goes, “Nobody owes Microsoft and Intel a living.”

    Rather sadly, 6,000,000 people, who can quite justifiably be described as slaves, “owed DeHoMag and IBM a dying.”

    Merry Christmas, Pog!

  15. DrLoser says:

    [Pog] Here, I’ll help … [offers up another random cite]

    Not very much help at all, Robert. Actually, I preferred your first, wildly inaccurate, cite from 2010, because at least it provided the hilarious prediction from Twitter that:

    Microsoft will be lucky to get the combined market share of Vista and 7 out of single digits.

    Apparently Microsoft “got lucky.”

    I’ve searched the thread on this second cite of yours, Robert, and although there is no mention of “nut-case,” there are indeed four mentions of the word “tyrant.” And all four of them are attached to your name.

    Which means … You Win!

    Except, Oh Dear, two of them are uttered by a Mr Robert Pogson of this Ilk:

    IBM has nothing to do with WWII. They are a global US company doing great things in IT. They did business with Germany before the war just like hundreds of other businesses. They are no more culpable than M$ for supplying tyrants with an OS. You think hit-lists weren’t drawn up using that other OS in Rwanda, Libya, Angola, Cambodia, Russia and other places where tyrants used force to stay in power?

    The other two were used by Chris Weig who directly quoted that precise paragraph.

    And since we’re all heated up about nut-cases and tyrants and DeHoMag and stuff, it’s worth repeating Mr Weig’s subsequent comment, since you have kindly linked to the thread:

    Quite an interesting dilemma, you’re in here, Bob.

    You’re reverse defense strategy now consists of insinuating that Microsoft is just as guilty of crimes which are carried out — indirectly — by using their software.

    There’s only one little problem:

    Microsoft’s software is a commodity sold in retail, IBM’s technology was not!

    Wouldn’t you say that there’s a difference between IBM not only providing but setting up and operating said technology for the Nazis and some store selling Microsoft’s software?

    If you believe that there is, in fact, no difference then you’re out of your mind.

    Mr Weig might say that. I couldn’t possibly comment.

  16. DrLoser says:

    Deaf Spy wrote, “Chromebooks are not thin clients.” is this the same line of thought as “Android is NOT Linux”?

    No, actually. It’s a simple statement of fact. Chromebooks are not thin clients.

    Now, since you ask. One of the things that distinguishes the Android OS from Linux in general is that each and every Android App does its own garbage collection. It’s pretty much the way that Java was, back in 1999 or so, where every single Java thread (we called them CPUs in those days) had to run its own JVM.

    So, actually, no. The Android OS has a Linux core, but it really doesn’t behave like a proper Linux OS at all.

    Not that this matters. Only the insane would claim that something with a 2GHz dual-core CPU is a “thin client.” Funny how all those jibes about “wasted RAM” and “bloatware” and general “resource misuse” are somehow not applicable to Chromebooks, isn’t it?

    Must be Magic Toe-Fungus Nibbling Stuff, or something.

  17. dougman says:

    Deaf Spy wrote, “Chromebooks are not thin clients.” is this the same line of thought as “Android is NOT Linux”?

    Wow, the trolls are seriously becoming desperate here.

    Let’s start with “Chromebooks are not ______________” go ahead and list your travesties.

    Chromebooks are glorified browsers? Glorified so much, that one can use Android apps on them and perform 90+ percent of their functionality sans a Windows computer?

    It seems to me that you are just a weee bit butthurt. It’s ok…just use Linux and things will get better. Oh yes!…forget to mention, Chromebooks are Linux!

  18. DrLoser says:

    Well, it’s only mildly hypocritical to whine about privacy in Windows 10 while pushing Google’s spyware.

    Come now. It’s not as if Chromebooks run on an OS whose source code you cannot download (and examine, modify, etc) and lock you into a proprietary browser for which you are offered no substitute, is it?

    Oh … wait …

  19. Ivan says:

    Well, it’s only mildly hypocritical to whine about privacy in Windows 10 while pushing Google’s spyware.

  20. DrLoser says:

    How the Hell can anyone but M$ fix their software?

    It seems to come quite naturally to the millions of professionals out in the real world who use it, Robert. Perhaps you would have managed to do just as well, if only you weren’t the proud possessor of a woefully closed mind.

    When you cite Oldman or anybody else on the subject of personal accusations, by the way, ordinary politeness suggests that you cite the actual comment — not something that has nothing to do with your claims.

  21. DrLoser says:

    If ChromeBooks were thick clients, they would need monstrous CPUs. That isn’t so.

    I’m not even sure that you know what you mean by that statement, Robert. I certainly don’t.

    The thin clients that we both cut our professional teeth on, 3270s, had cpus and memory resources roughly equivalent to those of today’s Micky Mouse wrist-watches. I don’t remember a precise figure, but it’s fair to guess that they ran the equivalent of a 200KHz cpu — or less.

    Today’s celebrated “thin client,” the Chromebook, has ten thousand times that computing power. Don’t believe me? I took the liberty of looking the things up on the UK equivalent of Walmart, which is Argos. I picked this medium-price example more or less at random. (I didn’t want to pick the cheapest or the most expensive — just a representative one, that happens to have five-star reviews.)

    CPU, Memory and Operating System:
    •Intel Celeron N2840 dual core processor.
    •2.16GHz processor speed.
    •2GB RAM.
    •16GB solid state hard drive.

    As recently as the year 2000, Robert, that there would be “monstrous,” nay, unimaginable power, and would certainly have been most welcome in a “thick client.”

    As you would clearly recognise, were you only to compare it to a server that is near and dear to you … to whit, the Beast.

  22. Deaf Spy says:

    Just a small thing to support my cause:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okk0BGV9oY0

  23. Deaf Spy says:

    Yeah, right:
    boots in seconds, on entry-level hardware,

    So does Windows 10. W10 works on 2GB and any Atom just fine. Nothing to do with thin-clients.
    log-in and session stored on remote server,
    So is with Windows 8 and newer.
    files stored wherever, and
    So is with Windows 8 and newer. Absolutely nothing to do with thin-clients, even on the contrary, as thin-clients are not supposed to have any local storage whatsoever.
    applications run on remote servers.
    A half-valid point. You say it yourself:
    “Yesterday, Google downloaded enough JS to choke her browser. We had to kill it. “
    I give you three guesses why that. Just very good deal of the app logic is implemented in the browser. This directly negates the whole concept of a “thin-client”.

    Robert, Chromebooks are not thin-clients. They are just glorified browsers.

  24. Deaf Spy wrote, “Chromebooks are not thin clients.”

    Yeah, right:

    • boots in seconds, on entry-level hardware,
    • log-in and session stored on remote server,
    • files stored wherever, and
    • applications run on remote servers.

    Just because those remote applications have a boat-load of JS doesn’t make the databases, sessions and a bunch of other stuff local, otherwise Google/Alphabet would not need millions of servers. I and many others run applications locally in cases where responsiveness of the network is insufficient even for ancient thin clients if they have sufficient RAM. If ChromeBooks were thick clients, they would need monstrous CPUs. That isn’t so.

    It is very true that browsers and websites have grown into monstrous things compared to delivering static HTML in the old days. TLW and I definitely find FireFox a pain sometimes. Yesterday, Google downloaded enough JS to choke her browser. We had to kill it. We had to use Chrome Browser just to view an attachment…

  25. Deaf Spy says:

    I would like to point out that Chromebooks are not thin clients.

    Modern web applications, as Google defines, are anything but thin. The browser is no longer a content presenter as it was intended to be on the first place. The browser is now a sophisticated platform, a JS run-time, which executes huge amounts of code on client-side. Asynchronous programming with await-pattern just arrived in JS.

    “Modern” web apps, as Google defines, contain quite a lot of business and functional logic within the JS.

    This, ladies and gentlemen, kids of all ages and Fifi, is a “thickish” client.

  26. DrLoser wrote, “I’ve taken the liberty of preserving your cite here, Robert.”

    Search the comments. You will find at various times my sanity/motives/respect for freedom have been questioned by oldman and several others.

    Here. I’ll help:
    oldman: “An of course instead of fix or reinitializing the windows configurations, you went and on your own initiative performed a forced conversion to Linux. IF course you did your usual IMHO dishonest song and dance about how much better off they would be, and being that they now had old machines “working again” they probably didn’t mind at all.

    That’s simply a lie. I discussed the problem with staff and management and we agreed that migration was the best way forward. Any IT was better than IT that didn’t work for them.

    DrLoser: “proving yourself supremely incompetent to fix the tech that was already in place.”

    How the Hell can anyone but M$ fix their software? How is it my responsibility to make software that grinds to a halt work at all? The EULA prevents any modification. The EULA prevents copying even to copy the hard drive of a working system to a non-working system. That’s the best I could do at the last place I worked because there were no installation media there at all and no backups. Why should anyone have to do that, anyway? I don’t with GNU/Linux. It just keeps working.

  27. dougman says:

    huckster selling cheap broken crap…LOL

    Considering my sole-purpose was fixing broken computers, mainly Windows problems your statement is rather funny.

  28. DrLoser says:

    Amazing. Just a few years ago I was called a nut-case or tyrant because I recommended thin clients …

    I’ve taken the liberty of preserving your cite here, Robert.

    Far be it from me to deny you the pleasure of being either, or both, of a nut-case and tyrant. Those are the choices we all have to make in life, and you’ve obviously made yours.

    However, let’s search for evidence to support your accusation in the following quote from oldman:

    Pog:

    I am always amazed by how little of the last 30 years of computing you seem to have gotten! The personal computer arose a a break away from overloaded limited time sharing systems. Their power was in providing dedicated personal resources that did not have to be shared with anyone else!! One did not have to contend with the machinations of the tenders of these shared systems, who became more worried with how to shove the maximum number of users into a system than in providing a good experience . One did not have to listen to how something was too “costly” to be done.

    I have spend a large pile of money over the past 30 years periodically refreshing my computer hardware. I consider it money well spent as it has guaranteed me the resources that I need when I want them, on no ones schedule but my own.

    Now I know you will tell me that most computer users do not “really need all the power that they have” and would be “better off” giving up their personal computers for the modernized version of the dumb terminal that is the think client. I know many people would would think otherwise and would probably tell you to keep your modernized dumb terminal.

    If you’re going to make something up out of whole cloth, Robert … I suggest you don’t attach a spurious link to the fable in question.

    That, Robert, is Fifi’s business. You don’t do it nearly as well as Fifi does.

  29. DrLoser says:

    Anybody here have useful advice on how to solder an extra 2GB (let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves) of RAM onto a 9.1.1 bus, as per Arm 9 Cortex?

    Obviously it’s possible. Robert says so.

    Dougie? RAM? Or even Fifi?

  30. DrLoser says:

    Anything with Windows is a nightmare and far from being cheaper! People like OLDERDUDE and DRIDIOT are dinosaurs thinking that people must endure thousands of dollars for computers and software these days.

    What’s the matter, Dougie? Afraid of competition based purely on price/performance?

    Why, I seem to recall that this was your mantra not a scant year or so ago, back when you were a huckster selling cheap broken crap to people you could scare into submission, and before you went on “sabbatical.”

    Running a little scared, are we?

  31. dougman says:

    Anything with Windows is a nightmare and far from being cheaper! People like OLDERDUDE and DRIDIOT are dinosaurs thinking that people must endure thousands of dollars for computers and software these days.

    The latest generation isn’t going for that and this is why M$ is making the last version of Windows for free, but let’s not talk about that, let’s discuss the nightmare that anything to do with Windows is a flipping nightmare!

    http://money.cnn.com/2015/08/17/technology/windows-10-privacy/

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2015/12/16/why-microsoft-said-windows-10-upgrades-cannot-be-stopped/

    https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-update/cumulative-update-kb3124200-will-not-install/69318c08-9340-4bb1-b294-4b03a26ad03a?auth=1

  32. Deaf Spy says:

    Well, what do you know… “Wintel”, as in small cheap devices with Atoms and Windows 10 are cheaper than small cheap devices with ARM and Android.

  33. dougman says:

    Again, DrIdiot rather discuss me (not sure why really maybe, perhaps it is fetish idolatry *shrug*) instead of the decline in M$ marketshare and the upswing of the ChromeOS and Android.

  34. DrLoser says:

    Yes, the desktop monopoly is tanking.

    And a very profitable “tanking” it is, too, Robert. Just to compare apples to apples, as it were, I checked RedHat for the same period. Turns out that the price has grown from $70 to $80.

    Eery that. Exactly the same as the MSFT percentage growth, to within about 0.01%. With the proviso that MSFT is far more liquid and far bigger than some pitiful little rip-off company like Red Hat.

    You may be stuck with the Evil Monopoly for quite some time, I am afraid.

  35. DrLoser says:

    Check out the new Google Pixel C.

    Spiffy.

    Do you have one of these, Dougie? Or is it just yet one more example of a worthless piece of dreck that, were you not happily on “sabbatical,” you would otherwise be trying (without much success, apparently) to foist upon the more intellectually challenged denizens of Northern Maryland?

    Links are all very well, Dog-Brain.

    But they mean bugger-all without experience.

  36. DrLoser says:

    Nope. Those memory chips for a 32bit memory. If all the address lines are in use to the CPU…

    Well then, Robert. If that wasn’t a joke, then I encourage you to have at it.

    I wouldn’t advertise the results to the great unwashed here, because quite frankly a success would be worth a Nobel Prize at the best and a multi-million contract with a Fab at the very least.

    Soldering? No, as I say. It is better that I do not know the details of this.

  37. DrLoser wrote, “That was a joke, wasn’t it?”

    Nope. Those memory chips for a 32bit memory. If all the address lines are in use to the CPU…

  38. Dr Loser wrote, “Obviously, all your predictions, based on careful scrutiny of the 10-Qs, are coming true.”

    Yes, the desktop monopoly is tanking.

  39. dougman says:

    KUK

    Re: Point is, I ‘ll believe a Google-sanctioned Desktop/Laptop Android when I see it.

    Check out the new Google Pixel C.

    http://www.androidauthority.com/pixel-c-hands-on-first-look-645665/

  40. DrLoser says:

    You could be right about the Invisible Cost Of Monopoly, though.

    Looking at the year’s chart for MSFT, the stock started at $48 in January and is now $55 or so.

    Obviously, all your predictions, based on careful scrutiny of the 10-Qs, are coming true.

  41. DrLoser says:

    Still, in my ceaseless effort to improve your (and the Little Woman’s) life, I thought I’d help you scour the bottom of the bran-tub, as it were. You don’t really want the most under-powered chip in the Cherry Trail range, do you? That there is just the Evil Monopoly, forcing a Z8300 on Slaves All Over The World!

    No, what you want is a Z8500, and preferably at a price far lower than the Ara X5. (By the way, I apologise for misrepresenting the far more expensive Cubarf as a “Cubit.” Shame, really, because the name would at least indicate the prehistoric tech involved.)

    And at Newegg, I’ve found you just the thing. A Kangaroo!

    Pretty good value at $99, I would say (Windows 10 included for free, but as ever you can always brick it with your choice of GNU/Linux desktop).

    What’s really good about the Kangaroo is that it comes complete with its own docking station, which is actually a neat piece of tech if you ask me. You can set it up at home, attached to the 32″ screen that you specified, plus wired lan, etc … and the Little Woman can un-dock it, slip it into her handbag, and take it to work.

    Sometimes my generosity of spirit even surprises me.

  42. DrLoser says:

    I wonder if I can buy some chips and solder them in…

    Well, at least you haven’t lost your sense of humor.

    That was a joke, wasn’t it?

  43. DrLoser says:

    DrLoser wrote, “you lose the freedom to run Windows”.

    You mean slavery, eh?

    No, I mean freedom, as in freedom of choice. It’s hard to see how only having one alternative (at a base cost of $0) is somehow better than having two alternatives (at a base cost of $0).

    It’s also hard to see how anybody in the industrialised world can be “enslaved” by the purchase of a $150 item. At this cost point, the world “slavery” loses whatever meaning it might have had.

    And I see you can only “defend” one of your three “selling points,” what with “Price” being a non-starter and “Not owing Wintel a living” being equally preposterous. Total estimated gross to be shared between Intel and Microsoft for one of these things? $20. Not much of a living. And pretty much the same amount that the purchaser of an A9 Cortex and a Debian OS would pay.

    Give over, Robert. This is getting pathetic, even by your standards.

  44. olderman says:

    “No, that’s not all that counts. What counts is that consumers have an opportunity to acquire the software they want without acquiring software they don’t.”

    So you really expect ALL OEM’s to sell and support bare metal systems and not give preference to any OS? Dream on Robert Pogson! OEM’s are going to go where the money is, and in the full function desktop computer market, that is selling pre-configured systems that are guaranteed support by the OEM for from 3-5 years (depending on what you PAY for) with the latest version of of the Operating system that sells (i.e. Windows) installed. That is where most vendors are going to stay, whether you like it or not. Because that is what most users like myself are asking for PAYING for, and getting.

    Because we don’t expect something for nothing like you do, cheapskate!

    ” Isn’t the customer always right? Doesn’t the market matter? Nope, not when you are supporting monopoly.”

    Sorry Robert Pogson, there are not enough PAYING customers to make creating and supporting a Linux desktop versions of AutoCad worth the effort. THAT is reality, not your paranoid baloney. We the customers who want windows desktops are right, and we speak with our cash!

    As is your cry of “monopoly” is just so much baloney too. There are plenty of vendors who will sell you bare bones systems. There are even some that will sell you Linux (albeit the commercially supported versions like Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Workstation, or SUSE desktop). And when all else fails, there is always the cheap white box crap that you love to use.

    My new Dell xps 8900 runs windows 10 like a top – no glitches, no problems. ALL my installed and ran without a hitch. Tha famous November upgrade that the blogosphere talked up into a disaster happened to my machine without a hitch. It was like watching paint dry. That because Dell had a vested interest in making sure that it works.

  45. kurkosdr says:

    I do say, that the coming merging of ChromeOS and Android will be the next IT revolution for people. All the Windows XP/Vista/7 hold-outs would easily jump on the amalgamation and roll with it.

    I thought the latest version of the rumor was that ChromeOS is being discontinued, with Android getting multiwindows and a more beefy version of Chrome (aka similar to what the browser in ChromeOS can do).

    Point is, I ‘ll believe a Google-sanctioned Desktop/Laptop Android when I see it.

  46. olderman wrote, “When a computer user is using software that does exactly what they want it to, without compromises as far as they are concerned, and when the price for that software and hardware is right for them, That is all that counts.”

    No, that’s not all that counts. What counts is that consumers have an opportunity to acquire the software they want without acquiring software they don’t. You don’t need to buy a Cadillac to buy Cadillac tires, for instance. Neither should one have to buy M$’s crapware. I was just reading about AutoDesk using GNU/Linux to create their “cloud” infrastructure. They have client applications for iPad and Android/Linux but not GNU/Linux. Doesn’t that seem strange to you? They have a gazillion GitHub repositories promoting use of FLOSS with their products but you can’t use AutoCad with GNU/Linux still, not even their cloudy version. Isn’t the customer always right? Doesn’t the market matter? Nope, not when you are supporting monopoly.

    AutoDesk:” We’re at an interesting point in our corporate history – a majority of our core products were conceived in the desktop software era for designers, architects and other creative professionals. However, as the entire industry is seeing, the shift to Cloud changes a lot of fundamental assumptions, including those of a traditional desktop software company like Autodesk.
     
    We are seeing the potential for new (and existing) customers to adopt Cloud-based systems to enable new levels of collaboration across the imagine, design, and create/fabricate cycle, as well as solve problems (such as city-scale simulations) that traditional desktop software simply can’t handle. We use Linux in our Cloud infrastructure, but also rely on (and create) a lot of open source.”

  47. DrLoser wrote, “you lose the freedom to run Windows”.

    You mean slavery, eh?

    DrLoser also wrote, “you do get 4GB of RAM as opposed to 2GB. That should come in handy”.

    While I would like to stuff in a couple of sticks of 4gB RAM, 4gB will do, especially if TLW and I each have one of our own. I wonder if I can buy some chips and solder them in…

  48. olderman says:

    “They don’t owe Wintel a living”

    More nonsense from an inveterate cheapskate whose major bitch has always seemed to come down to that commercial software producers weren’t interested in selling him software and hardware that lasted a long as HE wanted it to. The world does noyt and has never worked that way Robert Pogson, and no matter how hard you try to go it alone without owing the world a living for your subsistence, the fact remains that you will eventually have to owe someone a living to survive.

    What you don’t get is that When a computer user is using software that does exactly what they want it to, without compromises as far as they are concerned, and when the price for that software and hardware is right for them, That is all that counts. The fact that it may cost over time to keep it maintained and up to date is just the cost having the tools that one needs.

  49. DrLoser says:

    Price

    I just checked the Sterling/Dollar exchange rate, Robert. £102.35 converts to $152.62.

    Your horse in this race is 11% more expensive.

    Freedom

    If you spend that extra 11% on a Cubit, you lose the freedom to run Windows. If you save it on the Ara X5, you get Windows 10 as part of the sticker price and you can pave it over with Debian, if you so wish. As a matter of fact, you have the freedom to run both on the same machine.

    Odd definition of “freedom” you have there. More practically, not one that I think you will find shared by prospective customers of this sort of device.

    They don’t owe Wintel a living

    Which is presumably why the Evil Monopoly is actually forced to offer the Ara X5 at a more than competitive price. Isn’t the Free Market a wonderful thing?

    Still, I suppose one could always buy the Cubit and suffer a 1.2GHz performance, as opposed to a 1.8GHz performance. Oh, and nobody needs a true 1000Mbps LAN connection, either, which is just as well when it comes to the Som i4Pro chip:

    Note that due to internal i.MX6 buses the 1000Mbps interface speed is limited to 470Mbps.

    Still, to be fair, you do get 4GB of RAM as opposed to 2GB. That should come in handy with all the Gnu/Linux bloatware you’d be aiming to load the thing up with.

  50. Deaf Spy wrote, “why would anyone choose it instead of this?”

    • Price
    • Freedom
    • They don’t owe Wintel a living
  51. Deaf Spy says:

    And why would anyone choose it instead of this?

    This wonderful piece can run all the software you know, including goodies like Photoshop.

  52. dougman wrote, “I do say, that the coming merging of ChromeOS and Android will be the next IT revolution for people.”

    A revolution is when folks change from one thing to another quite different. I think that has already happened with the wide availability of small cheap computers and either Android/Linux or Chrome OS GNU/Linux. Combining the two OS can be done on the same revolutionary hardware. I guess it’s a bit like changing horses and uniforms in quick succession.

    On a related note, I’ve spotted the latest version of the Cubox. It has 4X CPU and 4gB RAM with a gB/s NIC and wireless N and eSata and USB and HDMI and a few other things. It can be installed of Android/Linux or GNU/Linux but there are still some hardware problems. I’m sure it will all work out but it is again a new form-factor. Small enough to fit in pocket or purse but cabled. It will allow TLW to go from a 21″monitor to a 32″ HDMI TV and use Android with monitor, keyboard and mouse. For $169 it’s tempting. It would be a huge step up from her VIA thin client with 256 MB RAM and 100mbits/s… I’m sure 2016 will be the year of ARM on our desktops along with */Linux.

  53. dougman says:

    I do say, that the coming merging of ChromeOS and Android will be the next IT revolution for people. All the Windows XP/Vista/7 hold-outs would easily jump on the amalgamation and roll with it.

    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/12/android-on-the-desktop-not-really-good-but-better-than-youd-think/

    http://www.jide.com/en/remixos

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/google-merge-android-chrome-os-by-2017/

    Technically, one can run Android apps on Chrome now via ARCwelder, but some apps are a weee bit dodgy. M$ has nothing to compete with and is known for its continual issues and malware.

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