Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 18th Jul 2008 22:28 UTC, submitted by AdamW
Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris Lately it's hard to avoid the buzz about these small laptops (sorry, I don't participate in the hype of calling them netbooks or whatever) - the small, cheap laptop systems that were popularized by the Asus Eee PC. Just like Xandros with the Eee, Mandriva is providing the operating system for the upcoming GDium system, produced by Emtec. The first GDium will be a netbook with a 10", 1024x600 resolution display and a battery life of four hours, weighing in at 1.1kg. The device is powered by the (for us) exotic Chinese Loongson processor, which is based on a MIPS design. Mandriva is working together closely with the GDium team to provide an optimal software experience. Available from September 2008, with a price expected to be round and about EUR 400.
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Kinda neat
by gfacer on Fri 18th Jul 2008 22:51 UTC
gfacer
Member since:
2005-11-10

I looked at the price and weird processor and my only reaction was a shrug. However, looking at the site and the everything on a USB key philosophy of the device, I could see it (or this approach) going over very well in schools.....if there is a way to back up the USB key anyways.

I am surprised someone else hasn't done that already (or maybe they have?)

Reply Score: 5

RE: Kinda neat
by psychicist on Sat 19th Jul 2008 10:24 UTC in reply to "Kinda neat"
psychicist Member since:
2007-01-27

The price looks a little steep indeed and the processor may seem weird to you but it isn't to me and hasn't been for more than a year. You can expect longer battery life and less heat, two things that are very important in mobile devices.

I'll be looking at this Gdium and try to get one to test my Slackware port, but I wonder if it's possible to use an internal solid state drive if you want to. USB keys can be backed up much easier and it will also be much better to replace the device with another one when it's broken without opening the case.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Kinda neat
by bosco_bearbank on Sat 19th Jul 2008 19:17 UTC in reply to "Kinda neat"
bosco_bearbank Member since:
2005-10-12

WTF?

Dont get me wrong, I like the idea of yet another UMPC, and I like the idea that Mandriva is providing the OS, but can't I already set up a system based on virtually any popular Linux distro such that the user's home directory is on the user's personal USB key and the OS itself is on a write-protected hard drive?

Reply Score: 1

Mandriva already runs on Classmate PC
by amjith on Fri 18th Jul 2008 23:06 UTC
amjith
Member since:
2005-07-08

I think this is a second foray for Mandriva into the low-cost laptop arena. Intel Classmate PC is already using Mandriva for its OS.

BTW, does anybody have a good review of the Classmate PC especially about the ease-of-use of the OS and the selection of software that comes with it?

Edited 2008-07-18 23:09 UTC

Reply Score: 1

vijayd81 Member since:
2008-07-18

These are the 2 reviews that I could find related to Mandriva and Classmate PC:
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070708-abrief-look-at-the-in...
http://www.linux.com/articles/62230

I like the idea of G-Key (extension of Mandriva Flash?). But the price seems to be on the higher end -- 400 Euros (~630$).

Reply Score: 1

satan666 Member since:
2008-04-18

I like the idea of G-Key (extension of Mandriva Flash?). But the price seems to be on the higher end -- 400 Euros (~630$).


If you compare this with the new EeePC 1000 that features a 10 inch screen and costs $700 then it is not that expensive.

Reply Score: 3

Classmate, pricing
by AdamW on Sat 19th Jul 2008 06:42 UTC
AdamW
Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, the Classmate is a different thing really - you can't just go out and buy one, they're only available in large quantities to large-scale buyers. The Gdium is at least partly a consumer market product.

As the story says, pricing isn't finalized and may vary from territory to territory - the U.S. price won't necessarily be the exact equivalent of the European price. But more details on that will come along soon enough I think.

Reply Score: 3

Mips core
by Freebasen on Sat 19th Jul 2008 07:03 UTC
Freebasen
Member since:
2006-01-11

The MIPS cpu interests me on an academic level, but for practical purposes I really don't see this competing with x86 based offerings at that price.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Mips core
by collinm on Sat 19th Jul 2008 14:59 UTC in reply to "Mips core"
collinm Member since:
2005-07-15

why? because you can't put linux on it?

the first eee had not linux and a lot of people bought it

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Mips core
by Dryhte on Sat 19th Jul 2008 15:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Mips core"
Dryhte Member since:
2008-02-05

What bullshit is this?

The first eee had linux, and this new laptop will have linux as well. Please try and read up a bit.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Mips core
by collinm on Sat 19th Jul 2008 16:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Mips core"
collinm Member since:
2005-07-15

must read:

why? because you can't put windows on it?

the first eee had not windows and a lot of people bought it

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Mips core
by Freebasen on Sun 20th Jul 2008 10:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Mips core"
Freebasen Member since:
2006-01-11

Well for starters there are things like native flash support. You won't find that on MIPS yet. You can insert any number of other programs that will not compile for the architecture. Basically the same problems that the PPC linux folks have, just an even more obscure platform on the desktop. I'll give you that a lot of things will work and will work just fine, but tell me what is the benefit of the platform? As it is now I see no compelling reason to buy this over an x86 based offering.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Mips core
by Abigael on Mon 21st Jul 2008 18:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Mips core"
Abigael Member since:
2008-07-21

I'd say speed and lightness => autonomy ?
What about that ? The software has been recompiled

Reply Score: 1

Comfort & Privacy
by jollyx on Sat 19th Jul 2008 08:54 UTC
jollyx
Member since:
2007-03-24

"Each user owns its G-Key and may plug it in any Gdium. The user will then retrieve its personal environment, without leaving any traces on the foreign computer."

Imagine such netbooks in the classrooms or even in the companies! This gives more freedom and flexibility. The computer is there but without the crap leaved from the previous user. For example one educational organization could buy only 100 GDiums and 500 G-keys without the other hardware and in one or two classrooms could give different courses.
Or college boys and girls could share one netbook.
And a very useful application - buy one Gdium and two G-keys, one for you and one for the rest of the family ;)

Reply Score: 3

lol
by mmu_man on Sat 19th Jul 2008 12:57 UTC
mmu_man
Member since:
2006-09-30

> (sorry, I don't participate in the hype of calling them netbooks or whatever)
> ...
> will be a netbook with
rotfl ;)

Besides, netbook is (was?) a Psion machine, actually quite ahead of those things by the time...
http://www.geek.com/geek-review-psion-netbook/
It just didn't have an x86.

Reply Score: 3

RE: lol
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 19th Jul 2008 15:47 UTC in reply to "lol"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Your keen French eye was the first to spot that one, Francois ;) .

Can you actually hear myself sigh? I typed it like that unintentionally, wanted to clear it with backspace, but thought, "ah fcuk it, they won...".

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: lol
by AdamW on Sat 19th Jul 2008 16:33 UTC in reply to "RE: lol"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, you copy / pasted it from me, which makes it slightly less bad. ;)

Reply Score: 3

A question to the thread
by fithisux on Sat 19th Jul 2008 16:47 UTC
fithisux
Member since:
2006-01-22

Do you know if the RAM is upgradeable? If it is the 400Euros are a go for me. Godson runs@64 bit. But is it a mips64 distribution on this thing?

Reply Score: 2

MIPs
by bolomkxxviii on Sat 19th Jul 2008 16:56 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

MIPs has the same problem as ARM. You are tied to repositories hosted by the UMPC manufacturer unless you are very comfortable "rolling your own". Asus had the same problem with the Eee. The customized Xandros OS had special repositories for the Eee pc and it wasn't very extensive. Many linux programs customers wanted were not available. The good news for Eee users is the laptop has an X86 processor. There are many different distos customized for the Eee now. Ubuntu even made a custom distro just for this category. Care to bet how many different distros will be available 9 months from now for a UMPC using a MIPs processor? I won't bet with my hard earned money.

Reply Score: 3

RE: MIPs
by collinm on Sat 19th Jul 2008 17:59 UTC in reply to "MIPs"
collinm Member since:
2005-07-15

mandriva work fine for the eee too....

mandriva will surely say how much time it suppose to support the machine...

anyway, any netbook don't have a very long life... cpu is not powerfull... so after a couple of year some software will work slowy

another compagny use "special" cpu

jisus
http://vanderled.com/onlinestore/product_info.php/cPath/49_48_58/pr...

jisus v2 use a via c7... it's suppose to do some test to see if the via nano could be used

jisus v3 use atom

if the jisus cpu is enougt powerfull and have good automony... that could be a great machine

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: MIPs
by pepa on Mon 21st Jul 2008 09:56 UTC in reply to "RE: MIPs"
pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

But the C7 is an x86, the Loongson is not. After feeling quite restricted on a PPC and having experience with an ARM, I will not go for a MIPS, and certainly not at that price.

Reply Score: 2

RE: MIPs
by chemical_scum on Sat 19th Jul 2008 20:08 UTC in reply to "MIPs"
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

Care to bet how many different distros will be available 9 months from now for a UMPC using a MIPs processor? I won't bet with my hard earned money.


I'll bet there will be a Ubuntu that runs on it in 9 month's time especially as Canonical will want to support this processor to gain a foothold in China.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: MIPs
by bolomkxxviii on Sat 19th Jul 2008 21:17 UTC in reply to "RE: MIPs"
bolomkxxviii Member since:
2006-05-19

I hope you are right. I am just not willing to bet with my money on a UMPC with either a MIPs or ARM processor. Now, something with the form factor of the i-phone, that is a different animal altogether.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: MIPs
by psychicist on Sat 19th Jul 2008 21:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: MIPs"
psychicist Member since:
2007-01-27

You may think x86 is something special. Well, I can tell you it's not. The only reason x86 is so large nowadays is because of Intel, the Microsoft Windows operating system tied to x86 processors (it isn't that prevalent on Itanium either) and the high cost of RISC/UNIX hardware back in the day.

I have almost the same applications running on my Loongson MIPS system as those on my x86, PPC and SPARC systems. The only difference is the closed source GNU/Linux stuff that's tied to x86, which isn't that important for the device to function and can be accommodated for with e.g. a Linux/x86 emulation layer such as provided by QEMU.

I wonder what Mandriva have done in that respect.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: MIPs
by collinm on Sun 20th Jul 2008 09:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: MIPs"
collinm Member since:
2005-07-15

can you post some bench of you machine with Loongson MIPS cpu?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: MIPs
by DigitalAxis on Mon 21st Jul 2008 14:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: MIPs"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

Meanwhile, I'm tempted because all I'm likely to use is Linux, and the MIPS-like CPU would be an exciting novelty for me. Until I needed to run WINE, probably.

Reply Score: 2

Excellent...
by Anonymous Penguin on Sat 19th Jul 2008 22:15 UTC
Anonymous Penguin
Member since:
2005-07-06

Of late Mandriva is an excellent distro: polished, stable, fast...
So it is ideal for small laptops, IMO. Definitely better than Xandros. Of all the ones I have tried it is also the only one which installs a laptop kernel:

http://justingill.com/blog/2008/03/21/update-mandriva-20081rc2/

Reply Score: 2

RE: Excellent...
by AdamW on Sun 20th Jul 2008 05:30 UTC in reply to "Excellent..."
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

Just to catch you early - you may notice 2009 doesn't. That doesn't mean anything's wrong - we just don't have a laptop kernel any more (post-2008.1). There was no longer any need for a separate kernel, as most differences between it and the desktop kernel disappeared, and the one remaining one (USB suspend support) could safely be enabled in the desktop kernel. So, 2009 will have no laptop kernel.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Excellent...
by Anonymous Penguin on Sun 20th Jul 2008 08:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Excellent..."
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

I am sure it will be fine nonetheless.

Reply Score: 2

Pricing update (good one)
by AdamW on Sun 20th Jul 2008 12:43 UTC
AdamW
Member since:
2005-07-06

Update on pricing - I am told I can say that the price is "expected to be _less_ than 400 euros". ;)

Reply Score: 2

MIPS???
by werfu on Mon 21st Jul 2008 13:27 UTC
werfu
Member since:
2005-09-15

Going MIPS in china may be economically correct but in north america, I think it is pure suicide. I'm pretty sure when you look now at all the EeePC sold in north america, a big part of them is running Windows XP. I work in a computer store and I sold two time Linux based EeePC. The two time the client came back with it, wanting us to install XP. This thing, running on a MIPS processor can't run Windows XP. Maybe Windows NT4 which if I remember well got a port. But what is it possible to do with a 10 years+ old OS and no program to run onto it? Like every other here I'm saying that a MIPS processor is a vendor lock-in for the Linux distributions (maybe except in china were its more used).

Reply Score: 1

RE: MIPS???
by madcrow on Mon 21st Jul 2008 14:15 UTC in reply to "MIPS???"
madcrow Member since:
2006-03-13

MIPS seems as good a choice of CPU platform as any. While you may have had a couple of Linux-hating customers who wanted Windows on their eee's, most people just plain don't care. You see, devices like this aren't really laptops in the conventional sense. Rather they are high-end PDAs, much like the old Psion gear or the early laptop-style PDAs from HP. Most people just want a device that they can surf the web, check e-mail and keep their schedule on. The underlying OS isn't important to those people.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: MIPS???
by Bounty on Mon 21st Jul 2008 17:32 UTC in reply to "RE: MIPS???"
Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

devices like this aren't really laptops in the conventional sense. Rather they are high-end PDAs, much like the old Psion gear or the early laptop-style PDAs from HP. Most people just want a device that they can surf the web, check e-mail and keep their schedule on. The underlying OS isn't important to those people.


"Surf the web" implies that this device can run flash and java. Is that the case?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: MIPS???
by Sari on Mon 21st Jul 2008 18:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: MIPS???"
Sari Member since:
2008-07-21

Hi

Writing on behalf of EMTEC / Gdium : we are working on this...

Reply Score: 1

RE: MIPS???
by Soulbender on Tue 22nd Jul 2008 05:01 UTC in reply to "MIPS???"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Maybe they dont care about the north american market?

Reply Score: 2