Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
GNU is Not Unix Hardware Linux

100% Free Software Compatible PC Launches 458

Posted by kdawson
from the of-by-and-for dept.
crimperman writes "The Open-PC project has announced that its first PC will be available at the end of February for €359. They claim the mini-ITX desktop machine is energy efficient, consumer ready, easy to upgrade, and — significantly — uses only hardware that has free software drivers available. As you'd expect, it comes with GNU/Linux which is running KDE (a €10 donation to the KDE project in included in the price). Interestingly all the key decisions on design, pricing etc. have been made by the community via online polls. The spec of the machine is pretty reasonable for the price: Atom 1.6GHz dual-core processor, 3GB RAM, 160GB HDD, Intel 950 graphics."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

100% Free Software Compatible PC Launches

Comments Filter:
  • Mac (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @12:06AM (#30828212)

    The prices approach the price of Apple hardware. I'd rather get a Mac and run Linux on an open source VM.

    • by mattdm (1931) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @12:19AM (#30828312) Homepage

      Or run Linux natively. I have a slightly dated 24" iMac with an ATI Radeon GPU. I ran OS X for a few days and then got frustrated with the limited and over-intrusive UI, and with the tediousness of dealing with the various software ports projects. (The latter aren't awful, and I don't mean to disparage the people working on this, but it's nothing like just having yum or apt-get already there and just waiting to install thousands of excellent free packages.)

      So I installed rEFIt [sourceforge.net], and shrunk OS X down to a tiny partition I never boot into. Instead, I run Fedora 12 [fedoraproject.org] with all open source / free software drivers, including sound and 3D-accelerated video. (I think maybe the webcam doesn't work, but I don't really care.) Definitely the nicest Linux workstation I've ever had.

      • Linux Gripes (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Gamer_2k4 (1030634) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @03:49AM (#30829246)

        (I think maybe the webcam doesn't work, but I don't really care.)

        Sorry if this is a little off-topic, but THIS is my biggest problem with both Linux and Linux fanboys (I'm not necessary saying you're the latter; you just caused me to think of it). Core functionality is relatively easy to get, sure, even if it occasionally takes more work than a Windows user like myself is accustomed to. However, it's all the boundary cases that keep Linux from being mainstream: certain drivers not existing, certain hardware not being supported, poor excuses for replacements of legitimate products (OpenOffice versus Microsoft Office, for example), etc.

        I've tried hard for two years to like Linux (I installed Ubuntu on two computers during that time and used it reasonably frequently), and it just never happened. But the absolute worst part of all of this is how Linux users often say that people should switch over to their OS because it's free, there aren't any viruses, and everything works just fine. However, they neglect to mention how much work and inside knowledge is required to make everything work, and when people point out things that just work better on a different OS (or work at all, period), they say "well I don't really care about that, so it doesn't matter." I've got news for all of you: we like our OSes because they're simple and functional, with no headaches involved. Maybe if the Linux community started caring when things didn't work, their OS might actually have a shot at competing with the other two.

        • Re:Linux Gripes (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Belial6 (794905) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @03:56AM (#30829288)

          However, they neglect to mention how much work and inside knowledge is required to make everything work, and when people point out things that just work better on a different OS (or work at all, period), they say "well I don't really care about that, so it doesn't matter."

          So, Linux is exactly the same as Mac and Windows in that respect.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bronney (638318)

          The installation of Windows 7 took me 3 night on 3 work days. The struggle to set the BIOS from APIC to PIC to install, and back to APIC once installed and boots properly. These Shift-F10 crap is "insider" knowledge. However, I didn't need this insider knowledge when installing Ubuntu. It just works. To rephrase, I don't need to dig deeper in Ubuntu than I needed to as Windows.

          Both Windows and Linux (Ubuntu) works just fine for soccer moms, it's the person installing and maintaining it that sees the cr

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Ihmhi (1206036)

            Only on /. would an above comment [slashdot.org] be marked Flamebait (when it is essentially correct with one of the major problems in Linux) and this comment can slide.

            As far as difficulty and problems go, Windows has been at the bottom of the list. Unless the hardware or CD/DVD is damaged it works fine. Windows 7 was the fastest, cleanest install I've ever done on a friend's computer and worked pretty great compared to older Windows OS stock installs.

            I don't have a spare rig to try to learn how to toy around with any of

        • Re:Linux Gripes (Score:5, Informative)

          by kikito (971480) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:36AM (#30829728) Homepage

          I've tried hard for two years to like Linux (I installed Ubuntu on two computers during that time and used it reasonably frequently), and it just never happened.

          I think you should try installing windows more often then. It is not exactly "click-click-done" either. After you install the "Operative System", you have to install all the drivers (IF they exist at all; I remind you that lots of 5-year old hardware actually don't have drivers for Vista). And then compressors. Oh, video decoders. And Office. And an antivirus. And then you have something more or less functional (I'd install a bunch more stuff, like firefox+plugins, CCleaner, decent unfragmenter, im-client, DVD-burning tool, etc).

          Not to mention the update process. Ubuntu wins hands-on on that one to windows.

          Give it to grandma, and in one year and a half, reformat and reinstall.

          (OpenOffice versus Microsoft Office, for example)

          I'll take OpenOffice writer over MS Office Word any day. I'm not a linux fanboy, I use OpenOffice on windows. 35 MB for a 30-pages word document is just not cutting it for me. Excel is better in some parts, and worse in others, than OO's Calc - it's a tie for me. I preffer Powerpoint to its OpenOffice equivalent. And then, drawing tool and equation editors are just plain better in OpenOffice. So it's 1.5 points to MS, versus ~3 points for OO (I'm giving .5 to each the drawing tool and equation editor). I'm talking about MS office 2003 - 2007 interface's just wrong.

          I can't say much about Apple, except that windows at least can run my games.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by QuantumRiff (120817)

          Honestly, I agree with you.. I have been an Ubuntu user, completely wiping away my windows boot partition about 3 years ago. Love it.. Except, I just moved cross country.. Suddenly, I want to use my webcam, to stay in touch with my family. Now that I've had a baby, they REALLY want to use the webcam with me! My whole family uses MSN messenger. I have yet to find a good, reliable, working solution, other than grab my Wife's laptop running Vista and MSN Messenger (yes, i've tried AMSN, and koepete or what

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          I've got news for all of you: we like our OSes because they're simple and functional,

          That's news to me. I kicked Windows at home because I started getting migraines from clenching my jaw too hard every time I worked on my computer for extended periods. I clench my jaw when I get frustrated at things not working. So far, I've learned an important lesson in patience with Ubuntu, but I've yet to get the literal headaches that Microsoft gave me. Incidentally, my Xbox is starting to move towards that jaw clenching experience as well.

    • Re:Mac (Score:5, Interesting)

      by _merlin (160982) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @12:24AM (#30828342) Homepage Journal

      Let's compare:

      Mac Mini: 549 Euro
      OpenPC: 359 Euro

      Mac Mini: 2GB RAM
      OpenPC: 3GB RAM

      Mac Mini: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M
      OpenPC: Intel GMA950

      Mac Mini: Core 2 Duo 2.26 GHz
      OpenPC: Atom N330 1.6GHz

      Mac Mini: 160 GB HDD
      OpenPC: 160 GB HDD

      So for 190 Euro more, you get OS X, a much faster, 64-bit, virtualisation-capable CPU, and a real GPU with dual display support, but lose 1GB RAM. I see no mention of I/O on the OpenPC, either - the Mac Mini has USB ports for days and FireWire 800.

      • Re:Mac (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @12:29AM (#30828380)

        the Mac Mini has USB ports for days

        Does this mean that they don't work at night?

      • by Gerzel (240421) *

        I don't know about you but 5 usb ports does not a day make. I got 6 on my machine and still use a hub.

      • Re:Mac (Score:4, Insightful)

        by chgros (690878) <charles-henri.gr ... otNO@SPAMm4x.org> on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @02:11AM (#30828864) Homepage

        All this for a mere 50% more! A bargain!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by 1s44c (552956)

        So for 190 Euro more, you get OS X, a much faster, 64-bit, virtualisation-capable CPU, and a real GPU with dual display support, but lose 1GB RAM. I see no mention of I/O on the OpenPC, either - the Mac Mini has USB ports for days and FireWire 800.

        Great. But not everyone wants virtualisation, lots of USB connections, or Firewire on every computer they own. Some people want at least one computer just for surfing the web, email, and maybe reading the odd PDF.

        Apple hardware is great and all but why spend extra money for extras you don't want?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Bert64 (520050)

          If saving money is your goal, buy a bunch of obsolete components from ebay and build your own machine using only the parts you want... You could put together a reasonable machine based on tech from a couple of years ago for virtually nothing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by wgoodman (1109297)

        If you go by US prices, 359 Euro = ~$510. The Mac mini is $599. i'd rather pay the extra $90 for the better processor/GPU. A DIY RAM upgrade would only tack on another ~$20 or so.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Basically, you can't go by US prices in Europe. German Apple store sells Mac Mini for 549,00 € or for 749,00 € depending on configuration. So that is the number you should compare 359,00 € for Open PC with.
          So, it is not additional 90$, but 190€. Whether it is reasonable or not is a matter of discussion.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by yacc143 (975862)

        Well, nobody has explained if and how much VAT is included in the 359.

        This would be a critical price factor.

        Because I can find Mac Minis from 444 including 20% VAT, and 359 + 20% VAT would be 430, pretty near, wouldn't you say.

        Furthermore, even if the 359 are including VAT, you can get at this price point a name branded PC with more CPU, more RAM and more HDD easily.

        E.g.: http://geizhals.at/eu/a401398.html [geizhals.at] (339, reasonable quad core CPU, 3GB RAM too, 320GB hdd, optical drive and Windows license)

    • Re:Mac (Score:4, Informative)

      by fuzzix (700457) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @08:03AM (#30830470) Journal

      The prices approach the price of Apple hardware. I'd rather get a Mac and run Linux on an open source VM.

      I'd rather get an ASRock Ion 330 [asrock.com] for over 100 quid less.

      Oh wait... I did!

  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @12:11AM (#30828238)

    950 video at that price why not ion or a real desktop cpu?

    • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @12:31AM (#30828392) Homepage

      Came here to hear somebody moan about the graphics and am leaving satisfied.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Siridar (85255)

      the nvidia ion? the one with closed-source drivers? ...hmm...

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by izomiac (815208)
      I have to wonder why the 950 rather than something a little newer... My laptop's a year old and has a 4500 MHD, which was equivalent to a low end nVidia or ATI card from a year prior, and can do h264 hardware decoding.
  • Pricey (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @12:13AM (#30828264)

    I wanted to buy a Free PC, but I couldn't afford it.

    • Re:Pricey (Score:5, Funny)

      by pyrrhonist (701154) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:46AM (#30829774)
      I just don't want to pay the "KDE tax". I wonder if I could get a refund if I refuse to accept the license.
  • by BitZtream (692029) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @12:16AM (#30828284)

    I can go to Walmart and get a better machine with Windows already on it for half the price.

    For the second time I ask, who do I have to suck off to get my shitty product slashvertised?

  • Why? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @12:18AM (#30828300)

    That's about $500 dollars, which is $50 more than I paid for a 16" Asus laptop for my wife for Christmas. Pretty much the same hardware too, other than her laptop came 1 gb more ram, a core2duo processor and a screen. It even uses the same chipset... The laptop came with windows 7 also so you can dualboot whatever flavor of linux you want.

  • BIOS (Score:2, Insightful)

    How about the BIOS? That's never considered software by the FOSS crowd for some reason.
  • You can build the same specs for less than the same number of dollars. Why would I buy this thing? It sounds like the asinine "Vision computer" ads with their "Full Gig RAM".

    what other company offers a standard warranty three years on parts and labor? [...] that's a computer with an intel atom processor full gig of ram and 100...Gig hard drive. dvd. rom. seventeen inch monitor. For 499

    It's like they got William Shatner's brother to do the radio commercial.

  • by starseeker (141897) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @12:38AM (#30828426) Homepage

    Of course if you look at this from a strict price/performance standpoint, it's not going to win - the point is solid support of the hardware is possible with fully open source code. How does this play out? Hard to say. I'd like to see a review geared to evaluation of points such as stability, responsiveness, usability of major open source programs (Blender, anyone?) and how/whether a fully open driver stack impacts that experience.

    Apple wins in the market because they create a smooth, integrated experience that has view technical "gotchas" waiting to pounce on the consumer. The point of projects such as this (IMHO anyway) is to try to achieve something similar with open source - a hardware/software stack that can be tuned for a performance that, while perhaps not the fastest possible, is "smooth".

    Realistically, how much horsepower is actually needed for anything not involving heavy duty graphics or video editing? Wouldn't it perhaps be worth trading off a bit of the "latest and greatest" hardware performance for something that was quality components, solid support and would run reliably for a long time? I know I'd be interested.

    It'll be interesting to see if they can find a way to illustrate the benefits of such an experience, even if they can create it - and whether the open source audience will be sufficiently impressed to buy it or not. I know that if my machine were to croak tomorrow, I would at least be curious - a Walmart PC or Dell might have better specs for a cheaper price but I'd be scared of component quality and assembly QC - that's one reason folks still build their own boxes, after all. My current machine was assembled from parts years ago, and has been quite reliable (as well as fast enough) through years of building Gentoo updates and other fairly intense desktop tasks - that's what I want for my next machine, because this month's hardware will be slow next month anyway and I want my $$ to last. Is this it? Who knows, but I'd be curious to see what a real in-depth review has to say.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jackchance (947926)

      >Realistically, how much horsepower is actually needed for anything not involving heavy duty graphics or video editing?

      Have you ever played a flash game?

    • by dbIII (701233)
      I don't really understand the concept here.
      There has been plenty of "full-spec hardware" for over a decade.
  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @12:40AM (#30828440)
    I really don't see the point of this. Perhaps back in 1998 when it took a lot of effort to get Linux up and running this might have a market, today, I can buy almost any laptop/desktop and install Ubuntu on it with little to no problems. Why should I have to pay $400+ more for a computer that gets me less? For $600 I can get a Core i7 gamer rig and not a crappy "nettop". For $150? I'd buy it in a heartbeat. For $250, I might consider it. For more than the price of a Mac Mini? No way.
    • by jbn-o (555068)

      For $150? I'd buy it in a heartbeat. For $250, I might consider it. For more than the price of a Mac Mini? No way.

      A Mac Mini costs at least $599, according to Apple's webstore (not including educational discounts). This open-pc.com computer is being advertised at €359 which is approximately $509 as I type this.

      When you buy a Mac Mini you're buying a non-free OS and hardware you might not be able to fully operate with free software drivers. The open-pc.com machine is being advertised as a machine that

    • You're either very lucky or a hardware expert. I've had troubles on all five computers I've installed linux on over the years. My new netbook is a nightmare with the gma 500 graphics driver and sound not even working in ubuntu.
  • by coolmoose25 (1057210) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @12:46AM (#30828474)
    Wow! A $500 Atom based desktop (monitor sold separately)... For reference, bought a $219 Acer netbook, with Windows and a smallish display (hey, it's a netbook). Now that only came with 1 gig of ram, but for $30 I can swap that to 2 gig. Fails worse that Coakley in MA!!!
  • Nice idea, and... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zogger (617870) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @12:49AM (#30828500) Homepage Journal

    Nice idea, and I keep wondering why Ubuntu doesn't do this, in an "it's up to you" option deal how to go about things. Normal distro, then take your chances on whatever hardware you got, or, something they can make money at, a set of a small variety of competitively priced machines-netbook, notebook, desktop, server- that they sell, that their main devs, for at least the long term releases, do absolute testing on so that everything "just works" 100% guaranteed, along with recommended peripherals.

      Sort of like the apple model of matched software and hardware, *but* with the distinction of no hissy fits from the company about using other hardware, either. Buy their gear, with their software preinstalled, you get priority warranty and useability support. Buy or build your idea/choice of hardware, you get such support as exists today, which is hit or miss, go lurk on the forum if you have any problems.

  • by starseeker (141897) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @12:54AM (#30828530) Homepage

    This raises an interesting question - whether a PC like this, which purports to use hardware that is fully documented, is sufficiently "free" for every possible scenario. A "more free" approach would be to use "open source hardware" (insofar as is legally possible, I believe things like GPS hardware have disclosure limits imposed by the legal system). By "open source", I'm referring to hardware that includes not only API documentation but hardware descriptions usable for chip production - things like OpenSparc and the OpenGraphics card. I doubt there are enough such pieces to form a fully functional PC (particularly when it comes to things like monitors) but for the sake of argument let's assume there are.

    In theory, of course, the fewer restrictions on any IP related to making the computer work the better, but in practice modern PC hardware is not something that can be realistically produced (at least today) by any hobbyist. The physical hardware also doesn't benefit from the "cheap copy" properties of software, so the in-depth knowledge of how to make the hardware is hard to apply even when present. Also, such designs are (to my knowledge without exception, at least in the PC hardware arena) well behind the maximally performing hardware developed in non-open contexts. So the price to pay for full hardware knowledge is quite steep in terms of performance. The only real end-user applicable argument is that full hardware knowledge means the potential for better software support.

    So a question for those in the open hardware community - is there potential for driver development using information of the kind available from OpenSparc and OpenGraphics to develop better performing drivers than can be achieved with the information (say) considered sufficient to permit inclusion of hardware in a product like the one in this article? If not, are there any other benefits (aside from the admittedly non-trivial one of being able to learn anything you want to about your computer) to an "open source" hardware platform?

  • by RedBear (207369)

    No wireless chipset, of course. Because after 15 years of WiFi being in common usage worldwide, there still isn't a single chipset available with full support for 100% free software. That's just sad.

    Anybody who buys this instead of a Mac mini, which does include 802.11b/g/n, gigabit Ethernet, DVD burner and better graphics for virtually the same price, is a fool.

    • by bfree (113420) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @01:26AM (#30828704)

      No wireless chipset, of course. Because after 15 years of WiFi being in common usage worldwide, there still isn't a single chipset available with full support for 100% free software.

      Except for all the atheros cards supported by ath5k and ath9k in the Linux kernel, or the bcm cards supported by openfwwf (though I prefer the atheros stuff as it's manufacturer not only helps out but even released their own code for reference). There may be others.

      • Not the firmware (Score:2, Insightful)

        by FranTaylor (164577)

        The firmware for wireless cards is a proprietary binary blob for which the source code is not available.

        This shoots down the "100% Free Software" concept.

  • Better option. (Score:5, Informative)

    by GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) <almafuerteNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @02:19AM (#30828892)

    Motherboard Intel D945GCLF2 with integrated Atom 330 (2 cores, 4 threads) = U$S 103
    HD 160 SATA = U$S 53
    3 GB of RAM (1 x 2 GB, 1 x 1 GB) = U$S 81
    MiniITX Case with 500W PSU = U$S 75
    Sub Total: u$s 312
    - 10% VAT applied in Argentina already in those prices= -32

    Total: u$s 280
    OpenPC: u$s 512

    Even if you add the price of building it, and a reasonable profit, it's still insanely expensive.
    And my hardware choice is actually better, because the motherboard is 100% Intel and not a cheap-ass Asrock.

    By chance, I happen to be running that same hardware configuration I just posted. Here's lspci's output:

    00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 82945G/GZ/P/PL Memory Controller Hub (rev 02)
    00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 82945G/GZ Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 02)
    00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 01)
    00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 01)
    00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 3 (rev 01)
    00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 4 (rev 01)
    00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 01)
    00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 01)
    00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 01)
    00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 01)
    00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 01)
    00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 PCI Bridge (rev e1)
    00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GB/GR (ICH7 Family) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 01)
    00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) IDE Controller (rev 01)
    00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801GB/GR/GH (ICH7 Family) SATA IDE Controller (rev 01)
    00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 01)
    01:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller (rev 02)
    04:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8185 IEEE 802.11a/b/g Wireless LAN Controller (rev 20)

    And extract from cpuinfo (There are actually 2 cores with 2 threads each, which shows up as 4 processors on GNU/Linux)

      vendor_id : GenuineIntel
    cpu family : 6
    model : 28
    model name : Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU 330 @ 1.60GHz
    stepping : 2
    cpu MHz : 1596.098
    cache size : 512 K

    BTW: This hardware is 100% Hackintosh friendly. I am dual booting Ubuntu and OSX on it.

    * Those are prices in Argentina (Yes, electronics here are way more expensive than elsewhere), and they include a 10.5% VAT, so that price would actually be ~280U$S. And the components are better, and still 100% Free. Except off course both this system and their system contains privative hardware design, privative BIOS and firmware, etc. So, not really 100% open.

  • Why support Atoms? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bradbury (33372) <Robert.Bradbury@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @02:20AM (#30828894) Homepage

    Purchasing a non-Windows system on an Atom makes no sense at all. The only current use for an Atom is to run Windows. If you are going to run a non-Windows (free software, open source) system you should be looking at ARM based systems. Part of being an informed consumer is recognizing monopolies (both software and hardware) and making purchasing decisions that do not promote said monopolies. I'll bet any surveys did not include a choice of hardware (and one has to wonder how/why KDE got selected given that there are 3+ other window managers available under Linux -- most of which have a much smaller footprint).

  • Say what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by consonant (896763) <shrikant.nNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @02:24AM (#30828910) Homepage

    Interestingly all the key decisions on design, pricing etc. have been made by the community via online polls.

    So, design by committee is okay when open components are involved?

  • I think the success of this machine will be decided by marketing.

    If the company is aiming at the techy types, this is a big fail. Most of us already know how to build something like this. The only advantage they have is buying power as it applies to component acquisition.

    Now, on the other hand, if they are aiming at Governments/Corporations, such as the ones that are telling their citizens/employees to stop using Microsoft products due to security flaws, then I think they might be in for more then most of y

  • Where is the microcode for the peripherals?

    What about the maintainability of the source? Even free software is "proprietary" if you need a proprietary manual to make heads or tails of the driver code.

    Free Software is a good thing, no doubt, but please don't kid yourself into thinking that there is some extra benefit to a machine where you can download the source code to the OS and the drivers. Your computer is STILL VERY PROPRIETARY and there are lots of things going on in there over which you still have

  • Ok, I guess I can live with Intel graphics (I don't play 3D games neither use fancy desktop effects).

    But for that price...
    Atom processor? I didn't know that using Linux meant you were a masochist.
    Yeah, I know Linux can be quite fast but, honestly, there are much better low-consumption processors there. That's a desktop, not a netbook with battery concerns.
    Even the most hardcore shell-only unix guy loves to issue a "make -j 4" and see all the cores working at full load and, soon after, work do
    • by aXis100 (690904)

      I have several dual core Atoms machines and can recommend them highly enough. One is a linux file/torrent/zoneminder server, one running Windows 2003 as a web/database server, and two more as XBMC media players. Many of them are doing far more intensive tasks than a standard desktop use and they cope well.

      Not sure about system they are using, but as far as RAM goes the Atom motherboards I have are limited to 2GB or 3GB anyway. A bit limited for a server but fine for a desktop.

      I agree though that the HDD

  • While I applaud the decision to focus on hardware which is Open Source friendly, this isn't exactly rocket science. Linux has matured to the point where odds are pretty good that any given system will function "out of the box", without resorting to proprietary drivers.

    Full hardware acceleration on newer GPUs can still be problematic, of course. The Intel 950 -- while it is in fact relatively new -- isn't particularly current in terms of features or performance. So effectively we're still in a situation wher

  • by Bunzinator (1105885) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @03:29AM (#30829158)
    All the good folk who are say they can "get a better machine, for less, and it's even got Windoze installed!" just totally miss the point.

    There are many people out there like me who'd happily pay EXTRA to get a machine that is completely free of Micro$oft or Apple, and doesn't count as a sale for either of them. I will not contribute to either of these organisations in any way.
  • by ZirconCode (1477363) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @03:49AM (#30829248)

    Real Linux Users build their own computers!

    Predicted Reply:
    "We used to compute with 5 ton stones and dead penguins, now get of my lawn!"

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Abstrackt (609015)

      >

      Predicted Reply: "We used to compute with 5 ton stones and dead penguins, now get of my lawn!"

      Luxury! Back in my day we used to use 5 tonne stones! Course back then the metric system wasn't invented yet, which made it pretty awkward since we were all using a measurement nobody had heard of. The important thing was that I had an onion tied to my belt, which was the style at the time...

  • by Ellis D. Tripp (755736) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @09:51AM (#30831086) Homepage

    From the "specifications" page at the link:

    Only components with complete technical specifications, as provided by the manufacturers, were used.

    So where are the schematics, PC board artwork, parts lists, mechanical drawings of the chassis and brackets, etc.?

    Not to mention the fact that the chip designs are copyrighted by Intel...

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson

Working...