New UMPC runs Linux

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Have A Nice Cup of Tea, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. http://www.paperbackpc.com/44/umpc-runs-linux-apple-possibly-getting-into-the-umpc-game.html

    Oh dear. Bill won't like that. ;o)


    Have A Nice Cup of Tea
     
    Have A Nice Cup of Tea, Mar 19, 2006
    #1
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  2. Have A Nice Cup of Tea

    -=rjh=- Guest

    Frankly, I'm amazed at the hype the backers of UMPC have been able to
    generate.

    It is very similar to an existing product that runs Linux, costs $849
    and has been available for some time. Comparing the features to the UMPC
    initiative - I really cannot see any substantial difference, except that
    the PP has a larger screen and includes a keyboard.

    http://www.pepper.com/products/pepper.html

    It will be good to see the UMPC backers allow other OSes to run on the
    hardware, but unless the price comes down by a huge amount (and one way
    to do this is to use Linux) these devices will be as popular as the
    PepperPad is. Which probably isn't popular at all.

    Given the PP's pricing, I can't see how the UMPC crowd can be talking
    about prices as high as $999 in the sorts of volumes they should be able
    to drive.
     
    -=rjh=-, Mar 19, 2006
    #2
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  3. I agree the UMPC is hoverhyped. Nothing that some (OQO, Sony U series) in
    the market for a few years already can't make. Or nothing a PDA can't do -
    and this on a 3 hour battery life with a horrible price tag (as you pointed
    out).

    Remember the 3COM Audrey? Used to run a Unix version, and it was usable.
    Wrong time to market but very good stuff.

    The Pepperpad however is not a good looking product, the keys provide a
    strange feeling when using and a quite slow - yes I have tried it.

    --

    Mauricio Freitas
    www.geekzone.co.nz, www.geekzone.co.nz/freitasm,
    www.geekzone.co.nz/geekzoneblog.asp
    Microsoft MVP Mobile Devices
     
    Mauricio Freitas [MVP], Mar 19, 2006
    #3
  4. Have A Nice Cup of Tea

    -=rjh=- Guest

    Never saw one here, but I know they are pretty cheap on ebay currently.

    Used to run a Unix version,

    QNX

    and it was usable.
    Was it portable? I had the impression it was more of a semi-fixed
    device, (no battery) sort of like an extra non-PC for the kitchen or
    similar. I guess it would have launched before widespread home
    networking or broadband, which I would have thought a prerequisite for
    these types of devices.
    I see very mixed reviews on Amazon, I guess people have different
    expectations, or don't want to admit that having spent all that money,
    they made a mistake.

    I'd like to try one, but realistically, they are still way too
    expensive. My PDA (T3) does a fair amount of what these UMPC devices
    will do, just probably not everything and not as well. But, PDAs are
    here now, small and cheap enough.

    Maybe MIT's experiences with the $100 laptop will provide a way forward
    in this area, even if it isn't at $100.

    One of the best placed companies to move ahead in this area would have
    to be Palm, especially when they've migrated over to Linux. Just wish
    they'd stop messing around with the Treos and get into some interesting
    products.
     
    -=rjh=-, Mar 19, 2006
    #4
  5. Palm has a problem: they are a small company and can only work on a couple
    of products in a cycle.

    Frankly, these days you will see innovation in hardware and software on
    Windows Mobile-based devices.

    I used to have a collection of Palm devices - with the first Palm (US
    Robotics) through a variety of Palm (both 3COM and Pam) and Handspring
    devices. The Lifedrive is a new fresh breath on this line, but anything
    before it was just stagnant software on a hardware with very slow
    development curve.
     
    Mauricio Freitas [MVP], Mar 19, 2006
    #5
  6. Have A Nice Cup of Tea

    -=rjh=- Guest

    It's worse than that - they've also got a huge hole where their OS
    should be. Linux for Palm based devices is still a way off, and the
    current PalmOS kludge isn't really suited to what devices are evolving into.

    In addition, while being small could be an advantage, Hawkins seems to
    have driven the most innovative devices from Palm with most other
    products being incremental improvements (or otherwise). Don't know how
    many other ideas he has left, as he has a lot of other interests he is
    pursuing.
    I'm not seeing a lot there - it just seems to be higher resolution
    displays, better keyboards, better connectivity; basically, more of the
    same. And very focused on phones also - I think that is a dead end,
    eventually.
    The Lifedrive looked promising, but again, hasn't been updated -
    probably because there isn't an OS worth putting on any new release. As
    pointed out by others, that is the device that is closest to a UMPC, and
    with some development could become a fair competitor in that space.
     
    -=rjh=-, Mar 19, 2006
    #6
  7. I actually like this. I have a couple of Pocket PC Phone Edition devices,
    and with Wi-Fi and cellular data I can be connected almost anytime,
    anywhere - if I want to. With a battery life that is actually longer than
    any UMPC promised so far (3 hour is a joke for a portable computer, right?)

    Back to the UMPC topic, size-wise a Pocket PC is hands down a winner when
    comparing to UMPC. All videos I saw people were walking around with courier
    bags just to carry that thing. A PDA can just be slipped into a pocket...

    --

    Mauricio Freitas
    www.geekzone.co.nz, www.geekzone.co.nz/freitasm,
    www.geekzone.co.nz/geekzoneblog.asp
    Microsoft MVP Mobile Devices
     
    Mauricio Freitas [MVP], Mar 19, 2006
    #7
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