Look What’s On Amazon.com’s Best Selling List!

That’s right folks. On 2011-7-17 at 0634 Winnipeg time, items 8 and 9 in notebooks ordered by “Bestselling” are “Chromebooks” from Samsung.

Who would think that in this day of hair-driers and Wintel that any other concept would sell? It is a great day in IT. This is more than a month after the first release of the devices. Oops! Just noticed, item 5 is a chromebook from Acer and item 20 is another Samsung chromebook in a different colour.

Chuckle. These gadgets are competing with Macbooks and other expensive brands and doing well.

UPDATE Here’s a review of the Samsung Chromebook by The Register. They are not particularly flattering but do find the system will work for some. Particular wierd: printing via Google’s Cloud Printing and being able to save files locally but not open them… Particularly good features: fast booting, and long lived battery.

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.
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23 Responses to Look What’s On Amazon.com’s Best Selling List!

  1. oiaohm, thanks for the extension. It works in LibreOffice, too. 🙂

  2. oiaohm says:

    oldman “So the closed source driver writers were presented with a choice, use the stable but inadequate ABI for their binary drivers, or use the unstable ABI which required them to open their driver code in order to guarantee that it would work.” Not true.

    NDIS drivers under windows have to obey equal limitations as Unix Driver Model was forcing on hardware makers. Yes your network card drivers. So hardware makers were more than happy to work to those limitations there. Zero hardware makers released drivers for the stable binary abi. I know this because at one time NDISWRAPPER was made work under the Unix Driver Model. Perfectly.

    Issue was closed source drivers were wanting to reach into kernel and directly play with internal kernel locking and other items that in a OS like windows not exposed at all.

    “If microsoft played a game like that you would be howling.”

    This is the issue. The Unix Driver Model was treating hardware driver makers the same as they get treated under Windows. Particular features off limits to them touching. Problem was the driver makers could see the features that were off limit so wanted to get at them. Also could see the speed cost of doing an binary driver ABI not willing to pay it either. Microsoft plays this game of limitations all the time basically just with all the prices hidden in a black box that the driver authors cannot see.

    Basically they wanted their cake and eat it too. You cannot have a stable driver ABI and expose all the core ABI interfaces directly particularly items marked to be deprecated in future versions.

    Funny enough was Linus went back to the hardware makers. The result was the Linux kernel firmware loader system. The idea that closed source drivers disappeared was wrong.

    The firmware loader system allows section of the driver to be closed source and the driver maker to play with deep kernel parts in open source code as much as they like.

    Basically a stable closed source driver ABI is not off the cards. But it requires driver makers to accept the same basic limits of the windows driver ABI will apply.

    Basically oldman to dispute two have to tango. Issue here closed source driver makers are wanting more than they can technically be given. Now if they will accept there is a tech limitation we would have a binary driver abi already. Wrapper performance cost is a technical requirement.

  3. oldman says:

    “Yes part of the Unix Driver Model. The closed source driver makers complained that it was too limited and so decided to use the unstable ABI. It was basically why should we not.”

    So the closed source driver writers were presented with a choice, use the stable but inadequate ABI for their binary drivers, or use the unstable ABI which required them to open their driver code in order to guarantee that it would work.

    Nice.

    If microsoft played a game like that you would be howling.

    At any rate, the results were predictable – a dearth of drivers.

  4. oiaohm says:

    oldman I will give you a simple for online training programs. The most common supported formats are Latex and Scorm. Ok from Latex its a little of a trip for Scorm. Latex to docbook to http://code.google.com/p/docbook2scorm/ Then ask for the 2 versions of scorm. Yes you need to produce both. There are other paths for more advanced scorm.

    All that is really invisible in the document make systems. Problem with the closed source competitors like Flare is most of them are after a second bite out of you for items like madcap mimic that don’t integrate into common learning management systems.

    LaTeX is old standard but from it you can basically go in every direction because it is old standard. Even at times from LaTeX to xml to other processing engines. Yes Madcap Flare is a item I can convert to from my existing LaTeX if it was required. Also I can raid from Flare back to LaTeX with the xml to LaTeX converters out their.

    Of course it never crossed your mind that I used a closed source tool before I moved to LaTeX. Guess what you found. The tool I had used prior to LaTeX and was using LaTeX to patch up its weaknesses all the time. At some point you except the simple fact customer is right they want Scorn and other standard formats so that is what you provide with the least number of steps to get there.

    Flexibility is kinda important as well. When you don’t know what the customer will want from you next having neutral starting location is great.

    This is the problem oldman you are out of your depth. What looks enough features is no where near enough basically. Documentation production someone is always going to ruin your day with some new form of providing the document that is not tool compatible. At least LaTeX makes it simpler to have a new converter added or be able to get to a format a current converter will take.

    Complex documentation production equals dealing with complex and annoyingly incompatible formats so leading to using something that can cope.

    Robert Pogson
    http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/project/calc2latex for those times you need spreed sheets in LaTeX

  5. oldman says:

    “I know flare. I have used Flare. Basically that is the min feature list todo my job. Defently not a case of use MS Office right. ”

    When Have I ever said YOU can use MS office. I said MS office was best of breed and yyou attempted to correct me with what is in the a corner case of its use. Best of breed does not have to be in every corner case. That is why I would if I was in your shoes I would be using flare. The fact that (as predicted) yo do not think it is as good as the crappy Latex solution you are comfortable with is irrelevant. The fact remains that I can plunk my cash down and get a fully commercial product to get the job of producing manuals done. I can use a tool that integrates with the tools (MS office) that people use today, as opposed to having to deal with the the stupidities of an SGML like LaTex.

    I readily accept from what you are fluent in LaTex. I would submit that your judgements are ultimately clouded by that familiarity. You simply will not see any tool that is better, because as far as you are concerned LaTex beats them all.

    Meh. Thats your problem not mine.

  6. oiaohm says:

    oldman “If Linus provided a stable ABI and the community accepted binary only drivers, you would get your driver compatibility.”

    Young and foolish oldman. Linus in the past has provided a stable ABI for drivers infact its was a unified driver binary abi between Linux FreeBSD and solaris. Yet driver makers refused to use it.

    Yes part of the Unix Driver Model. The closed source driver makers complained that it was too limited and so decided to use the unstable ABI. It was basically why should we not.

    So yes Linus has provided them with a stable ABI for kernel mode drivers. They choose not to use it.

    oldman MadCap Flare is close to what I do its the next best option infact. MadCap Flare supports less import sources than Latex systems and does not have the means to give 100 percent dependability to page numbers between different languages. Flare is in the ball park. Also I have more export options.

    I know flare. I have used Flare. Basically that is the min feature list todo my job. Defently not a case of use MS Office right. epub and other ebook formats flare cannot directly do. Flare also not able to generate Unix/Linux Man or info files. Its also not able to generate into a interactive knowledge base systems and training system. Flare ties hands behind back, You said more you are wrong. Flare does less than what I do.

    Not all my LaTeX tools are open source either. So yes I do have commercial support.

  7. Contrarian says:

    Lyndal L Curry is on record as being willing to come in at $149.

  8. The $100 terminal was the box. The Chromebooks have monitor, keyboard and pointing device included at no extra cost. The prices are coming down.

  9. oldman says:

    “I would love to buy my mother a Chromebook, it’s a perfect computer for her, but the price still needs to drop a little.”

    IN the old days one could get a dumb terminal for as little as $100.00. The comebooks, being little better, are overpriced IMHO at any more that that price.

  10. Zombie Chan says:

    The Chromebooks are really nice, but I don’t think the price is worth it. When I see a $200 Chromebook, that one I could see take off better.

    I would love to buy my mother a Chromebook, it’s a perfect computer for her, but the price still needs to drop a little.

  11. oldman says:

    “The problem I have run into with you oldman is lack of acceptance that FOSS on Desktop for particular tasks is the best option because the comerical software has issues doing particular things.”

    Actually, what I do not accept is that I have to go right to FOSS for my solutions.

    Let us just say for the sake of argument that Microsoft office is not optimal for the making of technical manuals. A Little research brings up the name of MadCap software, Specifically their Flare product. Which not only seems to do everything that is needed, but which even seems to do more than LaTex does, AND, it has the support of a commercial vendor behind it. Now I’m sure you will tell me how bad you believe it is, but the fact remains that it is a commercial product with a commercial vendor behind it and a community of users that one can call on. While LaTex is just some archaic community supported tool that you happen to know.

    “Everything you have in power-shell would have to be redone.”

    Yes you would be right if the situation occurred overnight. But we all know that Microsoft is going nowhere quickly. We also know that there is NO vendor other than microsoft that the ISV’s who create desktop software can go to. In the event that the situation would occur, I would have found and mastered the next set of commercial tools. If not my windows legacy tools would join those of my Linux tools, in a virtual machine running under VMWare fusion or on a server somewhere.

    “As a ISV you don’t really want to hear that Linux on desktop in one form or another is coming. It might be android it might be items like chromebooks it might be meego or it might be Ubuntu.”

    When the main desktop ISV’s start producing a Linux version of their offerings , then We’ll talk. Anything before that is balloon gas and wishful thinking.

    “X11 has been one of the biggest issues stuffing the Linux Desktop up. Why has Linux been unable to replace it. Lack of Commercial driver developer support for any of the replacements put up. ”

    If Linus provided a stable ABI and the community accepted binary only drivers, you would get your driver compatibility. Because software needs to be free, you don’t have the drivers. Ultimately its Not my problem – I have a solution that works.

    “Progress of the Linux desktop has been crippled. Working around the limitations X11 has caused stuff to be divided that should not have been.”

    We actually agree on something, Mr. oiaohm. But again, this is not my problem.

  12. oiaohm says:

    Blessing of a network display lost to the lack of standard unicode handling and sane 3d remote handling.

    Lot of the fixes address that remote games/3d issue.

    The curses of X11 removed leads to terminal servers that can do more and work better. Ie rendering 3d server side to a buffer to transmit to a client with current X11 DRI2 design is almost sane.

    But the closed source drivers are DRI1 do you cannot do server side rendering of 3d without jumping threw many strange and risky hoops.

    Yes Limitations of X11 caused by Video card makers is a huge mother of problem.

  13. oiaohm wrote, “Working around the limitations X11 has caused stuff to be divided that should not have been.”

    Working around the blessings of X11 has been one of the good things in my life. A simple networked display is a very valuable feature in schools and offices where lots of thin clients can be served from a few terminal servers or whenever one needs a remote display like a projector or mosaic display. X11 is great for many purposes. It does lack performance for games but that is a tiny niche compared to the hundreds of millions of PCs that could use terminal servers for increased performance of compute/storage-intense features.

  14. oiaohm says:

    oldman Now I see where the different was. Note in future when you are rebuffing stuff please provide the path you took. Just in case its different.

    “Denial that people might actually want to run something better than FOSS.”

    The problem I have run into with you oldman is lack of acceptance that FOSS on Desktop for particular tasks is the best option because the comerical software has issues doing particular things.

    “I can always move over to OS X” Simple point here you cannot do that in under a few hours. Everything you have in power-shell would have to be redone. I can simply move between OS’s when ever I like with a few hours of setup. I can use what ever OS runs the best for the tasks I have to perform.

    Cross platform development gives me advantages particularly in the means to move.

    “Denial that Commercial software produces desktop products that people would rather pay for than use that which is available for free.”

    Problem I have here. Is I know from a few companies that I have assisted with were using MS Office to produce Manuals as final stage instead of using LaTeX based applications or equal final stage. So making live harder for their support staff and clients due to the Manuals not being synced between languages.

    Please note not all the LaTeX based applications I use are FOSS some are paid for Commercial Software because a long time ago lyx had a major issue. lyx before 1.5 could only show one language text at a time totally not suitable for my line of work so I was not using it then. But recent years its become good enough.

    Once demonstrated not one has not altered their production path since it leads to lower costs in translation and better customer support. They companies switched of course.

    “Denial that “Good enough” is a synonym of mediocrity.” This is my problem with the over usage of MS Office. Lot of tasks its only a Good Enough product not the best product.

    So I have accepted the fact that Companies will tolerate mediocrity in documentation production since they tolerate MS Office being used for everything even if it costing them money. Because MS Office is meant to be best of bread from advertising so should be good at everything. If a company will accept mediocrity in one area they will most likely accept it else where. So the fact of the market is mediocrity is tolerated and in fact becomes the defacto standards.

    LibreOffice has areas where it is the best. LaTeX based has areas where it is still the best mostly because they was design from the ground up todo it.

    Basically I see you oldman as the biggest pusher of Good enough. Worse you have blinkers.

    Really chromeos might not be everyone idea of a good platform. But it demos what can truly be done in computer secuirty. The TPM system used by chromeos exists in many computer motherboards sitting their not tapped.

    “Good enough” is a synonym of mediocrity. Is true but the problem here oldman is that Windows itself in particular areas is sometimes not even Good enough.

    Yes Windows secuirty is one of those items that people are putting up with because not really Good enough. So they are having to pay for third party software.

    As a ISV you don’t really want to hear that Linux on desktop in one form or another is coming. It might be android it might be items like chromebooks it might be meego or it might be Ubuntu.

    Linux historically and into the future will alter itself to suite the demands of its developers. Yes I agree that for a long time Linux developers saw the desktop as an area just to muck around in and have fun. Not something to develop seriously because chance of market penetration was basically zero. Currently that is not the case. More and more desktop interface focused and paid for developers are entering the Linux world.

    The balance in the Linux world is shifting.

    The question with chromebooks is how long before someone starts doing versions than can be connected to a private cloud server. Reduced virus risk by the chromebooks design.

    Also chromebooks OS core is very much a standard debian just locked down. Its only a matter of time before businesses start wanting there own private versions of chromebooks.

    “But I will never depend on the community of geeks that continues to screw up the Linux desktop.” oldman I am sorry to say the Linux community is one of the most accepting. The desktop Linux uses currently is the X11 desktop environment that was a complete disaster area before Linux even turned up.

    X11 has been one of the biggest issues stuffing the Linux Desktop up. Why has Linux been unable to replace it. Lack of Commercial driver developer support for any of the replacements put up. Windows users just think if they had to wait 10 years for Commercial driver makers to support the windows after MS changed their video card driver model. This is what Linux has to put up with. When you have this motivation to make a good desktop is limited. Since developers are beating head against brick walls of closed source drivers to get stuff fixed that would be fixed if the drivers were using the modern methods.

    Progress of the Linux desktop has been crippled. Working around the limitations X11 has caused stuff to be divided that should not have been.

  15. Electronics, Computers and Accessories, Best selling gets 1.36million items. The notebooks are a much smaller subset of that. They are there but further down in the list than keyboards and stuff. Laptops shorten the list to 5K items and the chromebooks appear near the top.

  16. It makes sense because a minimal system will be less subject to malware.

  17. oldman says:

    ““oldman”: denial, denial, denial. Just keep piling it on. No matter what the facts are no matter what the reality is. Denial, denial, denial. Denial is your friend. Denial is your comfort in these trying times for your beloved Microsoft. Denial is your defense of last resort.”

    “The numbers are there in plain sight. But for you, you’ll find just what you are looking for because your denial will hide everything else.”

    Actually Mr. Chapman My search was

    Electronics, Computers and accessories, best sellers on Amazon’

    Try it. You will discover tat chromebooks are nowhere to be found, at lease apparently.

    A reasonable search I, think. If anyone cares to explan why asking about “best sellers” doesnt work I am curious.

    While it would appear that I am guilty of premature judgement. Denial however, is NOT my problem.

    What I find interesting is YOUR denial. Denial that people run applications not operating systems. Denial that people might actually want to run something better than FOSS. Denial that Commercial software produces desktop products that people would rather pay for than use that which is available for free. Denial that “Good enough” is a synonym of mediocrity.

    This may surprise you, but in the end, I truly do not care what happens to microsoft. By the time Microsoft is in decline, the ISV’s that I do business with will have moved on to offering their wares on the next big thing, and I will simply move with them. Failing that I can always move over to OS X and apple products and use most if not all of the software that I am productive with now. And I will still continue to use Linux where it makes sense to me, as a server class OS.

    But I will never depend on the community of geeks that continues to screw up the Linux desktop.

  18. Contrarian says:

    Lyndal L Curry said it the best:

    “See all my reviewsThis review is from: Acer AC700-1099 Chromebook (Wi-Fi) (Personal Computers)

    Why would anyone pay the money for this, when you can get a system that weights virtually the same, is the same size, but is a full fledged PC with a dual core AMD Brazos chipset, and a full operating system with 1080p output, for the same price? This doesn’t even make sense unless it sells for somewhere around $149, maybe $199. I personally don’t have one, and never will, when there’s better alternatives, at a better price! This product makes no sense at all, at this price!”

    Time will tell.

  19. I should have provided a link. Here’s a recipe. Select as “department” , Electronics, and search for notebook on Amazon.com. Then choose “Sort by” BestSelling.

    Here’s what I get:
    Best Selling Notebooks

    I get a Chromebook as 4, 8, 9 and 20.

  20. Richard Chapman says:

    “oldman”: denial, denial, denial. Just keep piling it on. No matter what the facts are no matter what the reality is. Denial, denial, denial. Denial is your friend. Denial is your comfort in these trying times for your beloved Microsoft. Denial is your defense of last resort.

    Hey, don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t touch a Chromebook with a 10 foot pole. But apparently some people find them more useful than a standard laptop. The numbers are there in plain sight. But for you, you’ll find just what you are looking for because your denial will hide everything else.

  21. oiaohm says:

    Before buying a chromebook I would recommend reading these. http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/developer-information-for-chrome-os-devices

    Particularly that the developer mode switch on the Samsung is a little suspect to damage. Acer version and the Cr-48 are a little stronger on that all important switch.

    Yes they are down right annoying beasts to play with at times. Secure to a point.

    Also the cloud storage bit is still a nice issue that worries a lot.

  22. oiaohm says:

    oldman I don’t know where you went. I went to Amazon USA and they are there.

    Electronics › Computers & Accessories › Laptops › 4 Stars & Up sort by best selling. And by the time I got there they are 3 and 4. Not that I particular like them.

  23. oldman says:

    Not in the Amazon US or amazon UK it aint Pog. The portable google only dumb terminal that goes by the name chromebook is nowhere to be found.

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