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Portables Hardware

VIA Open Platform Mini-Notebook Serves up Linux 111

Vigile writes "VIA is attempting to outdo the ASUS Eee PC with its new OpenBook platform reference design that not only offers up extra features but also supports many more operating system choices as well. The exterior design is pretty damn sexy and is built around (of course) VIA's own CPU and chipset products and can be equipped with WiMAX and/or 3G networking like HSDPA or W-CDMA. What is really impressive is that the device can run versions of Windows Vista or XP, Ubuntu, Suse or gOS." Update: 05/27 13:30 GMT by T : alphadogg adds a bit more information on the "open" part of "Open Platform," writing "The CAD (computer-assisted design) files for the OpenBook reference design can be downloaded for free and made available to anyone under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 license. The terms of this license allow the CAD files to be freely copied, shared and modified."
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VIA Open Platform Mini-Notebook Serves up Linux

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  • by Mr. Droopy Drawers ( 215436 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @08:57AM (#23554721)
    As intriguing as this is, I, for one, would like to see something like the X02 [] foldable notebook in an open format.

    This is the first innovative design that I could actually use in a notebook design. My portable requirements rarely have me typing much. The real estate provided in such a design would make the size very versatile.

    But, make make a version with a processor and memory usable for the western countries.

  • Re:Performance (Score:3, Interesting)

    by __aardcx5948 ( 913248 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @09:19AM (#23554937)
    Because (afaik) Gentoo primarily compiles its packages, and that would take a very long time on this piece of hardware.
  • by mollymoo ( 202721 ) * on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @09:31AM (#23555049) Journal
    Yes, but it uses a buggy binary-blob driver for the Atheros WiFi. I'm always having trouble with it failing to connect when waking from sleep or when turned on and off and I'm far from alone. Given the WiFi uses about 10% of the power on an Eee, not being able to reliably turn it on and off when required is a noticeable extra drain on the battery. I wish they'd dump Atheros and go for a WiFi chipset with a proper open-source driver.
  • by wITTus ( 856003 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @10:46AM (#23556179) Homepage
    Full ACK!
    Have a look at this thread. []
    I'll NEVER NEVER NEVER again buy something from VIA.
    Watch out for mainboards with VIA chipsets!
  • by SaDan ( 81097 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @11:16AM (#23556619) Homepage
    I recently purchased both an Everex gBook VA1500 laptop and an Everex gPC2, both of which use VIA processors and motherboard chipsets with integrated video.

    Wow. I can't believe how bad the OS (gOS) is on either system. The gPC2 isn't as bad as the laptop, but it's still pretty darn bad. I ended up using a PCI video card just so I wouldn't have to deal with the crappy drivers for the integrated graphics for the gPC2.

    The gBook is simply a joke with regards to driver support. I ended using the OpenChrome drivers to get the video to actually display the 1440x900 resolution (VIA binary blobs couldn't even do this!), and now I have to battle the WIFI chipset.

    I have Ubuntu 8.04 LTS running on the gPC2, and put Slackware 12.1 on the gBook because I knew I was going to have to hack the crap out of that kernel and X to get things going.

    I was disappointed in the performance of both systems, and the issues with drivers really made my purchasing experience a poor one. VIA is probably the worst thing that could have happened to Linux from a hardware standpoint, and Everex is not doing their brand name any justice by selling products with such poor software engineering.

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