Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 16th Oct 2007 20:39 UTC, submitted by teigetje
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y Drobe pitches the A9Home against the Koolu Net Appliance. "The A9home has won the hearts of some RISC OS users, but how does it fare in the big bad world of embedded and small-form factor computing? David Llewellyn-Jones pits his Advantage Six A9home against the Koolu Net Appliance to find out."
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What about Zonbu and others?
by Wondercool on Wed 17th Oct 2007 00:47 UTC
Wondercool
Member since:
2005-07-08

Seems like an easy win for Koolu.

I was interested as well in Koolu but was pissed off by the shipping costs (100 USD = 50 percent of the devices price).

So I sent them a mail asking if I could save on shipping.
Koolu sent me a friendly mail back that I could use www.koolu.nl (I live in Europe)

Well, this site has been offline for 2 weeks now.
Not very professional.

But there are a lot more interesting sites not touched by the article (to be honest it A9home sounds vastly overpriced)

Have a look at these:

http://www.zonbu.com/home/index.htm
http://www.fit-pc.com/index.htm
http://www.linutop.com/
http://www.norhtec.com/products/mcjr/index.html

They all have different strongholds but all seem better than A9Home...

For people with a home network, this is the way to go.
Forget Windows Home Server, buy a cheap NAS and a cheap computer like Koolu or Zonbu. It's not much more than Home Edition, but INCLUDING the hardware.

Reply Score: 1

RE: What about Zonbu and others?
by rjek on Wed 17th Oct 2007 11:26 UTC in reply to "What about Zonbu and others?"
rjek Member since:
2007-04-07

The A9Home is expensive for two main reasons, both of which are related: It runs RISC OS, and RISC OS is not cheap. Some would say it's hideously over-priced for what it is. The other reason is the hardware RISC OS requires. The CPU module in the A9Home most likely costs twice that of an AMD Geode - ARMs, and the RAM for them, are not very cheap. Also being assembled and manufactured mostly in the UK doesn't help the price, here.

Reply Score: 1

Zonbu, definitely
by moxfyre on Thu 18th Oct 2007 18:38 UTC
moxfyre
Member since:
2007-10-18

I'd say the Zonbu wins, hands down. The Fit-PC is close.

Here are the advantages for Zonbu:

* more expandibility (CF, IDE, mini-PCI for wireless, 6 USB ports vs. 2, internally accessible RS-232 ports)
* faster processor (VIA 1.2ghz vs. AMD Geode 500mhz)
* more RAM (512mb vs 256)
* S-Video TV-out
* ~12% cheaper ($250 vs. $285)

While the Fit-PC has a few slight advantages:

* two Ethernet adapters vs. one for the Zonbu
* exposed RS-232 serial port
* slightly lower power consumption (5 W vs 10 W typically)
* 40gb HD versus 4gb CompactFlash for Zonbu

I also feel that the Zonbu is nicer-looking than the Fit-PC. The Fit-PC might have an edge if you want to build a custom router... Zonbu seems to win hands down for a living room PC or most other uses.

There's a pretty nice walk-through dissection of the Zonbu internals here, showing all the ports: http://gallery.zonbulive.net/main.php?g2_itemId=62

Reply Score: 1