Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Posts Tagged / netbook

  • Oct 05 / 2013
  • 3

Netbooks Not Dead! They’re Running Android/Linux!

Best seller: “NEW 7 inch mini laptop netbook via 8850 Android 4.1 or CE 7.0 support Flash10.1 DDR2 512MB 4GB HDD WIFI SD CARD”

see Netbooks.

One thing is true about netbooks. They are no longer 10″ and less. They are up to 13 inches and some have 1gB RAM or more. Users apparently don’t care about battery-life as they are willing to accept ~2h… Price? Starts from about $70 up to $300. That best-seller is $73 CAD delivered. There’s even one running GNU/Linux. God bless the Asians. They will make whatever we want.

  • Mar 15 / 2013
  • 8

It’s Not Just Marketing. IT Is Experiencing A Shift To Mobile. Real Mobile.

"Early adopters tend to leave the home laptop in the bag and are abandoning the home office in favor of the lounge room couch or bedroom to do online activities in a more comfortable environment using a tablet or smartphone. This early adopter trend is becoming mainstream consumer behavior. Consequently, technology and service providers are faced with no alternative but to innovate for mobility. If they do nothing, they face a potential train wreck as consumers abandon gadgets, services and applications that do not fully support changing mobile lifestyles."
see Gartner Says Mobility Is Reshaping Consumer Gadget Spending and Behavior

Along with this shift is a total stall in adoption of Wintel. Households with a desktop PC are stuck at 60% as the old machines cling to life but are not replaced. Meanwhile the mobile gadgets have a huge share of households. There is some life in notebooks but they grew just 37% while tablets grew 500%. This year, the contest will be over. Between the tablets and the smartphones, few will have a need for a Wintel PC. ASP has come down 12% for desktops and notebooks in one year. There’s not much room to decline further without M$ taking a big hit. Obviously the high-priced Ultrabooks are not making a dent.

Last evening I tried to do a lot with a smartphone. I had difficulty working a web-application to insert data or to query a database but viewing the data was not a problem even on a tiny screen. I scrolled. I zoomed. … while I sat in a stuffed chair in front of the TV. That took care of that. I can’t read a screen anyway. I needed particular numbers and paragraphs of text. A smartphone works. A tablet works better. A tablet with a keyboard works better than a desktop/notebook PC idling.

This shift is not a blip or something temporary. It is here to stay and it means */Linux finally is taking huge share of client PCs of all kinds. No one can say that FLOSS is not mainstream because there already hundreds of millions of units in place and growing rapidly.

  • Feb 09 / 2013
  • 22

Content-Creation – The Third Option

The last argument of those who cling to the ideal of the Wintel desktop is that gaming office documents content-creation requires Wintel. They deny the current assault by */Linux on ARM or x86/amd64 as incapable of replacing Wintel in any manner. That’s clearly wrong on many fronts.
“Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, pegged 2014 as the year when such devices become reality. "In 2014 there will be broad adoption of new processor technologies from Intel and AMD, for that matter from ARM," said Moorhead of his prediction that chip makers will have silicon by then that not only sips power at tablet-appropriate rates but has the horsepower necessary for content creation. "This is going to happen. And that means there won’t be a robust, premium 10-in. tablet-only market."1
The modern ARM processors2 have greater throughput than the processors Intel was shipping just a few years ago and they were good enough then. Certainly Intel’s latest stuff can do the job but at much greater cost, weight and power-consumption.

Do we need an x86 desktop/notebook to do content-creation? No, if the real world is any judge. Facebook, YouTube and other sites are crammed with stuff generated by millions of smart phones. All kinds of real people are generating still images, audio and video using nothing more than a smart phone3. I know. My “little woman” is one who does. She has a good camera but leaves it at home these days. Would a smart phone be the first choice of a professional? No. Is every user of a PC a professional? Not by a long shot. Only a small percentage of PC-users are professionals. Professionals may use smart phones as necessary.4

Technically, one does not need to choose any particular client machine for content-generation if there is a network-connection to some powerful machine. It is trivial to control the behaviour of some server from an ARMed computer. That’s what thin clients do all the time. That’s what web-browsers do. There are kinds of content-creation that won’t work well that way but even Hollywood makes motion pictures using similar technology, selecting clips with a client machine and sending stuff to a server-farm for rendering. You can see people editing videos with their smart phones.5 Typing and cameras and microphones work with smart phones and tablets very well thanks to the Linux core which knows about such devices. We have had networked operating systems for decades. It’s the third option for content-generation and many millions don’t even care about the technology. It just works.

So, you can use any kind of personal computer for any kind of task if you do it the right way. Wintel certainly is no longer necessary if it ever was. */Linux works for millions. Why not you? There never really was a good reason to exclude other technologies. That was M$’s idea to make them rich6, not you. No doubt the trolls will shout that “Wintel works so why not use it?” but then we would have to look at re-re-reboots, malware, price,… There are plenty of reasons to exclude Wintel from IT.


  • Jan 02 / 2013
  • 22

Amazon Chromebook Is No. 1

Samsung’s Google Chromebook is outselling MacBooks and notebooks with larger screens and larger hard drives. I guess it’s the software people love or the price …

  • Jan 02 / 2009
  • 2

Google Elephant in the Kitchen

The relationship between Google and M$ is very interesting. Google operates in a different universe, one so far, far away from M$ that M$ has not been able to touch it. Google got into business on the web which M$ does not control. With a huge search/ad business, they could be a competitor of M$ but they are not, because M$ started so late. Now, it develops, Google has found a worm-hole back into M$’s universe and is readying an army of developers to flood M$’s universe with Android applications. Android was known to be developed for cell-phones but it has been discovered that Android can be compiled from source to produce a desktop OS.

Wow! A small bit of tweaking allows Android to run on netbooks… Google must be up on SunTzu:

Thus we may know that there are five essentials
for victory:
(1) He will win who knows when to fight and when
not to fight.
(2) He will win who knows how to handle both superior
and inferior forces.
(3) He will win whose army is animated by the same
spirit throughout all its ranks.
(4) He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take
the enemy unprepared.
(5) He will win who has military capacity and is
not interfered with by the sovereign.

Thus, while appearing not to be dangerous or aggressive, Google has set up everything needed to depose M$ on the desktop, a huge army of developers, a platform easily ported to anything, and a revenue-generator. All that remains is the announcement of the battle, or perhaps, the victory.

If we look at netbooks as the battle-ground, and assume the end-user is agnostic (the OS just works), then market share will go as 1/N where M$ counts as one OS in the battle. There are many GNU/Linux choices, all making ground. Android can instantly push into the fray and take a huge portion because there could be a huge financial incentive to the OEMs in a partnership with Google… XP has perhaps 70% of new netbooks today. By next year it could have as little as 20% because it has nothing in particular that the consumer wants in this space. No bloat, please. No phoning home! No DRM! No licence-fee!

Once netbooks are overwhelmed, the notebook and desktop can follow because there is no particular difference that matters to Android/GNU/Linux. This is a one-way worm-hole. Google can attack and M$ has no response. Can they buy Yahoo? Can they build a decent OS for free? No way. Can they pay the whole world to install that other OS? Not for long. The world is too large to buy.

  • Oct 13 / 2008
  • 0

Breakthrough at Dell?

The VarGuy reports:

“First, some details about the advertisement. Many many U.S. newspapers on Sunday, October 12, included a multi-page Dell flier. Among the many products advertised was the Dell Inspiron Mini 9, a low-cost sub-notebook designed for email and Web browsing.

You may recall that the Mini 9 is available with either Ubuntu Linux 8.04 or Microsoft Windows Vista. But this particular advertisement made no mention of the Windows option. Instead, Ubuntu was prominently mentioned and had the spotlight to itself.”

That is a first, Dell pushing GNU/Linux. It’s on a netbook, but it is GNU/Linux. I have been pushing Dell to do that for years but they did not. Who knows why? Perhaps they did not want to offend M$. Perhaps they are motivated to do anything to boost flagging sales. Perhaps they do not want to miss the wave of adoption. HP, now Dell, … Who’s next to start flogging GNU/Linux as a smart system for the desktop?

There’s more news. The website of Dell, which was waist-deep mud if you were in a hurry to find GNU/Linux, now has a link to the Mini-9 on their start page that comes straight to Ubuntu and almost-head-to-head price competition (the featured XP-versions include 4gB more SSDĀ  but you can customize the Ubuntu GNU/Linux version). It’s the same for as Isn’t that cool? The reviews of the product on are mostly about XP and its problems. People feel the need to add gigabytes. The Ubuntu review that I found discusses the features, not the performance. There is no “Dell recommends that other OS”, no separate page in a back room off the alley. It’s right there where you can find it. They do not have bright yellow… So what? I can have something very small and highly portable without the tax. Freedom.

I am preparing to give a presentation at a conference in 2009. This would be a neat device to show off. I should be able to use it as an X-terminal as well. $349 is a little higher than some others but at least the tax is gone.