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Archive for the ‘Laptops’ Category

Helping Children, Fighting Greed

In time for the holiday

Many times in the past I’ve covered and explained the real story, which some companies want you never to know about.

Microsoft and the OLPC/XO: Get the Facts

The press is humming about Microsoft’s effort to conquer a project that it used to ridicule, essentially by stripping down an old and insecure version of its software. Here is some things you ought to know in case you believe that Microsoft’s prospects are bright.

It is important to note that this initiative focuses on Microsoft’s Windows
XP, rather than Microsoft’s latest OS, Windows Vista. For companies like
Asus, Linux appears to be a more future-proof option and is much easier to
modify to fit within the constraints of devices with low hardware overhead.

Do the math. Vista doesn’t work for today’s laptop market. XP and Linux do.
It’s really that simple.,1895,2222308,00.asp

Then Microsoft corrupted Nigerian officials with 400 thousand dollars to
install Windows XP on those instead of Mandriva Linux.

If they really believed that Windows was superior to Linux, they wouldn’t
have to bribe people with “marketing help” to get them to choose Windows.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates earlier this year told the Microsoft Government
Leaders Forum, “Geez, get a decent computer where you can actually read the
text and you’re not sitting there cranking the thing while you’re trying to
type” (see Bill Gates Mocks $100 Laptop).

For-profit companies threatened by the projected $100 price tag set off at a
sprint to develop their own dirt-cheap machines, plunging Negroponte into
unexpected competition against well-known brands such as Intel and
Microsoft’s Windows operating system. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN

Enough said. The same goes for Intel, but it’s part of a much broader scale of abuses.

Information Can be Most Vital

A lot of hostility has been directed at an extraordinary project which strives to bring inter-connected laptops to each child in the developing world. Access to information and self expression may even be more important than the immediate need for food and shelter, assuming that you already have them. Watch the following video and decide for yourselves if access to the Internet can actually make a different in exploited and suppressed parts of the world.

Breaking Digital Shackles with Linux OEM Support

2007 will be remembered as the year when large OEMs finally gave up on deals with an exclusive nature. They began offering Linux preinstalled on their PCs. Big names include Epson, H-P, Acer, Dell, Toshiba, Nokia, and Intel.

Here is a nice video showing the unique aspects of this operating system, which does not receive enough exposure in the media.

Remember this: 2007 is the year when many major companies began preinstalling Linux on their UMPCs, tablets, and PCs, not just devices. phones, servers, POSes, thin clients, and supercomputers. Next some someone jokes about “the Year of Linux on the Desktop”, be sure to set him/her straight. Significant progress is being made.

Dell Recalls Millions of Dangerous Laptop Batteries


It has been very hard to ignore pictures of flaming laptops. Problems as such have not only affected Dell, which is now recalling millions of batteries.. If you own a Dell laptop, consider this an important announcement.

Dell Inc.’s record-setting recall of 4.1 million notebook computer batteries raised safety concerns about the power source of countless electronic devices, but experts said the problem appears to stem from flaws in the production of the laptop batteries, not the underlying technology.

Apple has begun similar a initiative, wherein it collects batteries (quick replacements to be shipped). Additionally, in the United States, an agency has begun reviewing all of Sony’s laptop batteries. Dell partly blames Sony for its battery woes. Sony is responsible for one component of the batteries which Dell stocks.

Linux Laptop from a Large Vendor

Red hat
RedHat Linux

HEWLETT Packard are beginning to sell Linux laptops. An article was published today to follow a previous article from September last year, which was also mentioned in this blog.

From the article:

“HP South Africa is to release a range of Linux-based notebooks at the end of February. In an interview with Tectonic HP’s Sean Owen-Jones said the HP 6110 notebooks will sell for R5999-00 and will run the Linspire operating system.”

Ubuntu used to be the prospective choice when this was first announced:

“HP’s Sean Owen-Jones… said the company would shortly be releasing desktop and notebook PCs running Ubuntu Linux. The NX6110 notebook would be available shortly with Ubuntu and a desktop PC would also be available.”

Related item: KDE to Reach Africa

Portable Applications

Shrimp USB drive
One of the most unusual drives

IT is worth bringing to people’s attention a new concept in computing: portable applications. Applications reside on a USB drive and can be run and used anywhere, any time on any modern computer which is capable of a USB boot. Data files can be stored on the device, unlike for example, most Live CD’s. The portable application Web site offers a large variety of programs. Below is the list of portable applications with equivalents on Sourceforge, some of which are under development:

  • For browsing: Firefox
  • For communication: Gaim
  • For Web development/design: NVU
  • As an office productivity tool: and AbiWord
  • For diary/scheduling/PIM: Sunbird
  • As a mail client: Thunderbird

It is not only applications that get mounted onto USB devices nowadays. Entire operating systems, notably Linux distributions, have become portable as well. I once mentioned this as an expectation for he near future in Computers as Relics and Computer Become Host. That’s where I expressed similar ideas that envisioned a USB-based or portable hard-drive-based operating systems. The concepts, which are very reminiscent of a Live CD, were brought to my attention via a reader’s comment.

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