Linked by h3rman on Thu 21st May 2009 11:01 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Few hardware vendors have not yet launched their own mini laptop (or, "netbook"). Most brands these days produce their own version of the same hardware, with Intel's i386-compatible Atom cpu's and Windows XP installed on a spinning hard drive or sometimes still a solid state disk. Some Linux models are still sold by some vendors, among whom Asus, which more or less started selling in this OLPC-inspired genre of laptops.
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kd85.com
by tunkaflux on Thu 21st May 2009 11:24 UTC
tunkaflux
Member since:
2006-01-25

You can also get this from kd85.com (https://kd85.com/lemote.html) for approx. EUR 310.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Thu 21st May 2009 11:38 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Looking neat, however, it appears that the cost will be around $800 including shipping to New Zealand - it would be nice if there was a New Zealand distributor or at least some form of contact to this organisation so that one can become a distributor/reseller in NZ and the Pacific region (I'd love to do it but there is no way to contact them).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by h3rman on Thu 21st May 2009 11:54 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

I'm sure there ought to be a way to contact them?
http://www.lemote.com/english/contact.html
As far as I understood, the purpose of this laptop and the way it is marketed is to target really the people who know what it's all about. So if that might be you kaiwai, there should be ways, even if formal channels aren't there yet, to get a machine or two to New Zealand at a decent price. :-)
But I couldn't tell, mine came from the Dutch web store I mentioned in the review.
http://www.tekmote.nl/epages/61504599.sf

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by t3RRa on Thu 21st May 2009 12:20 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
t3RRa Member since:
2005-11-22

I thought that it would be ~$900 excl. gst even before delivery fee. Even if its ~$800 inc. gst, I feel the price won't be much competitive given its spec. But after reading this article, the machine looks quite awesome ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Thu 21st May 2009 14:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I thought that it would be ~$900 excl. gst even before delivery fee. Even if its ~$800 inc. gst, I feel the price won't be much competitive given its spec. But after reading this article, the machine looks quite awesome ;)


I did mine based on the Dashboard currency converter at 310 Euro's, there is no VAT because it is being exported to New Zealand. You're right about the competitiveness; I'd expect that if it were bundled with something like a Vodafone or Telecom XT plan it work be value for money for the end user. The problem is that the price isn't really low enough to justify someone sacrificing x86 compatibility; there is only something like a $10 difference (at best) when compared of what Lenovo, Samsung, HP, ASUS and others provide. For it to be competitive it would have to be NZ$500 including GST as it would be so cheap that the lack of x86 compatibility would be worth the sacrifice for saving NZ$300.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by t3RRa on Fri 22nd May 2009 01:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
t3RRa Member since:
2005-11-22

That is right. I think besides x86 compativility, if it could not handle flash and flash movies up to par with windows/mac/linux-on-x86, that would not be for average users anyway so not competitive with that much price. I was thinking that would be really awesome at $300~400 ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Fri 22nd May 2009 02:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

That is right. I think besides x86 compativility, if it could not handle flash and flash movies up to par with windows/mac/linux-on-x86, that would not be for average users anyway so not competitive with that much price. I was thinking that would be really awesome at $300~400 ;)


Correct, pretty much you need the holy trinity of web technologies these days to make a success of it: Flash, Silverlight (in the form of Moonlight - there is a player based on moonlight which allows one to play local WMV and WMA files using the CODECs provided) and Java. Once you get the holy trinity then it is all uphill from there. The problem with Linux on Netbooks is that it has the holy trinity but OEM vendors aren't willing to spend some time and effort to actually integrating a LInux distribution with their hardware so that the whole thing works seamlessly.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by kaiwai
by darknexus on Fri 22nd May 2009 11:06 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by kaiwai"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Interesting you include Silverlight in there. Maybe it's just the corners of the web I typically frequent, but I've not encountered a single site yet that requires Silverlight to play its content.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by kaiwai
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 22nd May 2009 12:27 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by kaiwai"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Interesting you include Silverlight in there. Maybe it's just the corners of the web I typically frequent, but I've not encountered a single site yet that requires Silverlight to play its content.


It's getting used more and more, and from what I've seen so far, its performance is much better than crappy Flash, and it doesn't weigh as heavy on the resources either.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by rayson on Thu 21st May 2009 17:16 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
rayson Member since:
2009-05-21

Looking neat, however, it appears that the cost will be around $800 including shipping to New Zealand.


There is also a Loongson based Nettop that sells for 263 USD.

(1,800 Chinese Yuan Renminbi (CNY) = 263.354 US Dollar)

I think you just want a MIPS processor machine, simply getting the Nettop instead of the Netbook can save you some $$.

Reply Score: 1

netbsd
by broken_symlink on Thu 21st May 2009 12:16 UTC
broken_symlink
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'd buy one if it runs netbsd.

Reply Score: 2

RE: netbsd
by t3RRa on Thu 21st May 2009 12:23 UTC in reply to "netbsd"
t3RRa Member since:
2005-11-22

What happened to the NetBSD's slogan; "Of course it runs NetBSD"? ;) I would definitely like to see it happens too. It should be wonderful for a BSD fanboy like me (and you) ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: netbsd
by h3rman on Thu 21st May 2009 12:49 UTC in reply to "netbsd"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

I'd be sort of shocked if it didn't run NetBSD.
It also seems to run OpenBSD.
But I'd like to figure out more about what all those various MIPS-like ports in the BSD world actually mean.
For instance, NetBSD has quite a few MIPS-ish ports.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: netbsd
by broken_symlink on Thu 21st May 2009 13:08 UTC in reply to "RE: netbsd"
broken_symlink Member since:
2005-07-06

I think it has to do with endianness. I used to run netbsd on a hpcmips and cobalt raq and they were pretty much binary compatible ports, because they both ran in little endian mode. But from as far as I know not every mips system runs little endian. I think some of the SGI systems run big endian.

I think the port of netbsd to the loongson can only help to improve the quality of the other mipsel netbsd ports. For one thing it would give us another system that we could use to run pkgsrc on to compile packages for the other slower systems.

Reply Score: 4

Interesting wireless
by 3rdalbum on Thu 21st May 2009 12:32 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

I find it interesting that the netbook uses a Realtek RTL8187 wireless device. That chipset has had problems in Ubuntu for years, and has been almost useless in the last two Ubuntu releases, unless you use a third-party driver that doesn't support WPA. I think I remember hearing Fedora users complaining about those problems too.

How on earth does Debian, or MIPS, get this chipset working to satisfaction?

Good review, BTW.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Interesting wireless
by h3rman on Thu 21st May 2009 13:53 UTC in reply to "Interesting wireless"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

Good question.. in any case, it does support WPA because that's what I use.
FTR, it's USB connected (inside).

Reply Score: 2

Too expensive
by Knuckles on Thu 21st May 2009 12:51 UTC
Knuckles
Member since:
2005-06-29

It seems like an interesting machine, but I think it is rather expensive, considering that with that pricetag I can get a normal Atom-powered notebook (with windows, unfortunately).

So, as a gimmick, it's ok, but I can't give it more than that.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Too expensive
by spikeb on Thu 21st May 2009 15:01 UTC in reply to "Too expensive"
spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

it isn't a gimmick, it's a niche product.

Reply Score: 2

simply not competitive
by puenktchen on Thu 21st May 2009 13:19 UTC
puenktchen
Member since:
2007-07-27

it is maybe half as fast as the atom-based competitors and that doesn't bring you more battery live. you can't even buy a bigger battery. and it isn't cheaper either. no special design or size. so why should anybody want to buy this thing? only people developing for mips might be interested.

ps: i'd admit that a mips based netbook is cool. but i couldn't find a rational argument why it is cool.

Edited 2009-05-21 13:21 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE: simply not competitive
by h3rman on Thu 21st May 2009 13:37 UTC in reply to "simply not competitive"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09


ps: i'd admit that a mips based netbook is cool. but i couldn't find a rational argument why it is cool.


Is there are rational argument for why *anything* is cool? :-)
I agree that there might be Atom-based laptops for a bit cheaper than this, depending on where you live.
But I think I can give you a couple of reasons for its "coolness".

What's attractive about this machine is the openness of all its hardware and so the freeness of all the software than runs on it (no BIOS, no blobs). And it will be a widely used architecture in China, there's much R&D going into this chip. They're really looking at alternatives for Intel and AMD's i386 empire.
So writing software and living the Debian or BSD MIPS life is interesting. :-) Who knows what kind of machines with this architecture will be available a couple of years down the line; I always thought it was fun to run a free software OS on my (PowerPC) iBook, but it was just too poorly supported due to its closed hardware specs.

And the build quality of this laptop is good, I'd say it's similar to the Lenovo Ideapads, cheaper models by say Acer are not in the same league IMHO. I'd gladly pay a few quid more for a good keyboard.

Reply Score: 3

New Blood
by fretinator on Thu 21st May 2009 14:06 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

I hope many of these non-X86 devices come out - ARM, MIPS, etc. It reminds me of the "good old days" of computing for me - Amiga, Apple, TI99/4A, Commodore, Atari... oh and that IBM one also. I liked the computer wars. It's too boring waiting for the "big 2" to come out with something new.

Also, I hope we can get past applicaions like Flash, etc, that lock us whatever platforms they choose to support. Free as in Freedom software brings back choices to the user, as well as the system creators!

Thanks for the well-done review!

Reply Score: 7

don't hold much hope
by AndrewZ on Thu 21st May 2009 14:50 UTC
AndrewZ
Member since:
2005-11-15

I don't hold much hope for the Loonson-2 MIPS chip outside of China. History has shown that the market forces that drive the X86 platform are powerful. X86 have completely killed off MIPS, and Alpha platforms. PowerPC is no longer a desktop options, SPARCs future has been in question for some time.

The only reason Loonson-2 exists is because it is heavily subsidized by the Chinese government. If and when the government removes or lessens subsides, the chip will be prohibitively expensive.

I seriously doubt that the Loonson-2 R&D can keep up with Intel, AMD, ARM or even Via's Nano. It will be outpaced and outmoded like some East German car competing against a West German BMW.

If the Chinese government had half a brain they would have simply bought a controlling interest in Via, and used the Nano as their platform.

Reply Score: 4

RE: don't hold much hope
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 21st May 2009 15:00 UTC in reply to "don't hold much hope"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You do realise that China is richer than god, right?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: don't hold much hope
by spikeb on Thu 21st May 2009 15:02 UTC in reply to "RE: don't hold much hope"
spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

god doesn't have much money left after the vatican took it all ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: don't hold much hope
by Vinegar Joe on Thu 21st May 2009 15:10 UTC in reply to "don't hold much hope"
Vinegar Joe Member since:
2006-08-16


If the Chinese government had half a brain they would have simply bought a controlling interest in Via, and used the Nano as their platform.


Get real. The Taiwanese government would never allow the PRC to buy control of a Taiwanese company as important as VIA.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: don't hold much hope
by voidlogic on Thu 21st May 2009 20:06 UTC in reply to "RE: don't hold much hope"
voidlogic Member since:
2005-09-03

I agree, and further on that line of reasoning, the company that actually designs and packages the VIA Nano, Centaur Technology (A VIA subsidiary), is located in the US.

Even if Taiwanese government allowed such a purchase, the US government would probably not allow Centaur Technology to be transferred into Chinese hands.

Reply Score: 2

RE: don't hold much hope
by DRIQ on Thu 21st May 2009 19:37 UTC in reply to "don't hold much hope"
DRIQ Member since:
2008-04-28

Have you been living in a cave for the last two years?

I am impressed with the economic achievement, and the technology achievement too.

They have sent men to the space. Making a CPU is not as complex as landing human on the moon.

You sure do not understand the culture. The Chinese always do what the government says. Now they want to make CPU. Trust me, they will get there.

Who wants a MIPS CPU? Again, the Chinese government will make it official. All govt department IT must use Chinese CPU and Open Source software. 1/4 of the world's population is there. Is the market big enough?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: don't hold much hope
by AndrewZ on Fri 22nd May 2009 14:06 UTC in reply to "RE: don't hold much hope"
AndrewZ Member since:
2005-11-15

I have a lot of respect for the Chinese people, and I do not feel that the American culture has any special key to high tech business innovation. But I do believe that each generation of CPU development takes billions of dollars, and requires tight coordination of highly skilled engineers. Creating new generations of CPU on tight deadlines is very difficult. Even AMD has difficulties doing this. With respect to the Chinese engineers creating the Loonson-2, they will have the same difficulties.

If you have any insight into high tech development in China I would very much like to hear from you. China studies are fascinating and China will have a large role in high tech development and will affect all of our lives.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: don't hold much hope
by h3rman on Fri 22nd May 2009 14:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: don't hold much hope"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

There are a number of factors why the pc industry has become so big in the US rather than anywhere else.
The US was simply the number one world power in the time computing technology came up, no other nation ever came close then, including the Soviet Union. It absorbed a lot of intellect from all over the world, as I'm sure most people will see when they hang around in Silicon Valley.
One of the problems China has that prevents it from becoming a similar world power is its economic development model. A simplified explanation, the US used "classical" capitalism to grow - production and consumption go hand in hand.
That was up until about 1971 when the dollar stopped being convertible to gold because of the US' military overstretch which it couldn't afford anymore, so the US decided to just live on paper credit from then on. Meanwhile the bankers/Wall Street have taken control of the nation - it's now merely finance capitalism, a perversion of "free market capitalism".

China in contrast grew by consuming very little, producing a lot, working very hard, and exporting most produce in order to earn foreign currency. That currency (i.e, USD) is worth increasingly little, if not nothing at all. So the RMB is bound to rise in value drastically. (This is inevitable, but the question is what the US will do - military threat and action to keep its hegemony, or an acknowlegdment of the fact that times have changed.)

This Chinese purchasing power can draw a lot of brains and knowledge to China, apart from the brains it already has. But a lot depends on the choices made by the Chinese government. For instance whether they will actually stimulate the internal market, at the moment purchasing power of the average citizen is too low because of the very low wages that make US/European imports cheap.

The US will experience some form of a brain drain itself, because the US economy will shrink in the entire coming decade. Purchasing power is dropping, imports are becoming more expensive, local/state taxes go up all over the country, and there's no foreign investment in the US anymore. A lot of knowledge of things as hi-tech as cpu design will move abroad.

Hey, where did that crystal ball go? ;)


No I don't know much about Chinese cpu design but your question makes me want to know more about it too. Intel/AMD's i386 has never been the only architecture and it's not dominant in all corners of the market. It's not impossible to develop a vibrant non-i386 market for pc's, laptops, servers etc. if pure performance is not a short-term goal, and if there's a powerful state behind this development.
Intel or AMD haven't grown without direct and indirect government subsidies either, by the way.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: don't hold much hope
by twitterfire on Fri 22nd May 2009 16:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: don't hold much hope"
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11

American capitalism it's a sick capitalism. It's just about big banks gaining monopoly and big corporations taking everything. It's all about consumption, consumption being backed by the credits offered by the big banks.

The big banks who lead FED weren't hit by the financial crisis. They are smuggling profits from the actual crisis. It does not worth to mention that all that big banks and corporations are property of some jews.

Just watch the movies Zeitgeist 1 and 2.

The biggest problem of american currency is - what you said - it's not covered by anything. If and when the OPEC countries will decide to sell the oil in euro instead of usd, the us currency and economy will fall.

If and when the Central Bank of China will decide to change it's economies from usd to euro, the us currency and economy will fall.

The us economy it's just an huge golem with rotten feet.

As for the technology in China, they are far beyond EU and US. They have launched their first manned space mission just about 2-3 years ago. Russia has done the same about 40 years ago.

About the MIPS: I think that MIPS (and power pc) it's a better technology than x86. But x86 has far more computing power than any other chip.

Please, excuse me for my bad english.

Reply Score: 2

Battery, nd a few more questions?
by darknexus on Thu 21st May 2009 15:33 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Is that the only battery you can have with this? What's it's capacity? 1.5 hours doesn't sound particularly energy efficient at a glance, though if the battery is a lower capacity that would explain it.
As for me, that would be a deal killer, no questions asked. That isn't nearly enough battery life to qualify as truly portable in my book, and not nearly enough for me.
A question: Does it suspend and resume? Standby or hibernate, and does it work well when suspending and resuming?
All and all, this looks cool but I just can't justify the price for one of these when an x86-based machine that can get about 5x the battery life (Eee pc 1000HE) is significantly cheaper. Me being a geek, I'd love to have one and tinker with it... but it's just too expensive for what it is in my opinion.

Reply Score: 2

h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

The battery life is one and a half hours, it's a light 3-cell battery.
As for suspension/hibernation, unfortunately that's not there (yet?) in Linux on MIPS on this machine at least.
I often take this laptop to the univ. library for hours and I can plug in the power adapter there. I usually don't think about battery life for laptops, so that wasn't much of a deal breaker for me. Especially since battery life tends to deteriorate rather quickly if you really put it to good use. So then you end up with replacement batteries, or extra batteries anyway. So I don't care that much but I can imagine it would be a problem to some people.
I'm still waiting for the solar cell laptop anyway. :-)

Reply Score: 3

gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

The solar laptop:

Possible, but with some drawbacks.

If you take a standard notebook you get 0.08 m^2 of surface area. Using good silicon photovoltaic cells you can get an efficiency of 20%. At 1000 W/m^2 of light power from the sun, this will give you:

1000 W/m^2 * 0.08m^2 *0.2 = 16 W

These 16 W you will get at noon, with the solar panel facing the sun (best case conditions). In the evening, or if the sun does not directly shine on the solar cell, you will get MUCH less power. I don't give it much of a chance at getting 2 W out of that panel in most real-world conditions.
That is where the original XO OLPC used to be.

So it is possible, but don't expect too much from this.

It too is a waste of money, as the same panel put onto a roof has 10 times higher energy output than if attached to your laptop. Also the lifetimes do not match. you will throw away your laptop maybe after 6 years, but the solar panel will last for more than 30 years.

Reply Score: 2

h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

Thanks!
Another problem is be the production cost, i.e. the energy it takes, to make those very solar cells. It's a bit stupid to pretend going all "green" and efficient while all the wasted energy is in those "green" solar cells. But I know very little about that.
It's too bad because batteries have a dirty name and that's not unjustified.
I also liked the idea of the pull-cord generator, which obviously doesn't work with a laptop without a battery, but it would be great to be able to just manually reload the battery anywhere. Although it seems that sort of flopped.
Until energy gets *really* expensive, which in the near future I assume will happen.

Reply Score: 2

ram, battery, price
by collinm on Thu 21st May 2009 16:34 UTC
collinm
Member since:
2005-07-15

can we add more ram?

the autonomy is too low... is there any way to get a better battery?

it's expensive... but freedom have a price...

Reply Score: 2

RE: ram, battery, price
by h3rman on Thu 21st May 2009 19:36 UTC in reply to "ram, battery, price"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

can we add more ram?


I opened up the bottom of the laptop to answer this, both RAM and the hard drive (Fujitsu in my case) are easily accessible. There's one removable 1 GB RAM module (667MHz SDRAM DDR2), so if the motherboard can handle it it can be replaced by 2 GB.
So the good news is that no RAM was soldered to the motherboard.

the autonomy is too low... is there any way to get a better battery?


I couldn't tell, but I'll try to find out since it seems to be a deal breaker for many people here. :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: ram, battery, price
by collinm on Thu 21st May 2009 23:03 UTC in reply to "RE: ram, battery, price"
collinm Member since:
2005-07-15

maybe the motherboard can handle 4G of ram...

somebody know if suspend to ram, suspend to disk work?

intel have done powertop.. maybay could run on this machine if we rebuild it?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: ram, battery, price
by darknexus on Fri 22nd May 2009 00:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ram, battery, price"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

From a previous comment, suspend/resume does not work on this machine yet... which, to me at least, takes away a very useful feature I've come to expect on a laptop of any size.

Reply Score: 2

64-bit netbook
by rayson on Thu 21st May 2009 16:51 UTC
rayson
Member since:
2009-05-21

I believe Loongson based netbooks are the only 64-bit netbooks in the world, Intel's Atom only offers x64 mode for the desktop models (Atom 230 and 330).

Rayson

Reply Score: 1

RE: 64-bit netbook
by darknexus on Thu 21st May 2009 16:59 UTC in reply to "64-bit netbook"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I believe Loongson based netbooks are the only 64-bit netbooks in the world, Intel's Atom only offers x64 mode for the desktop models (Atom 230 and 330).

Rayson


True, but off hand I can't think of any particular reason 64-bit would make a difference in the current generations of Atom netbooks. The RAM is maxed at 2gb, so you don't need the extra availability of RAM that 64-bit offers and, given that 64-bit apps can take more memory than their 32-bit equivalents, it would seem that remaining 32-bit would be optimal for the current Atom netbooks. I'm not sure the extra RAM used would justify the rather small speed increases given the tasks that the Atom netbooks are designed for (web browsing, office tasks, etc). It's not like they're video editing powerhouses.

Not knowing a lot about MIPS, however, the same rules may not apply as with x86_64, and the impact might be much more dramatic on that platform.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: 64-bit netbook
by rayson on Thu 21st May 2009 17:09 UTC in reply to "RE: 64-bit netbook"
rayson Member since:
2009-05-21


True, but off hand I can't think of any particular reason 64-bit would make a difference in the current generations of Atom netbooks. The RAM is maxed at 2gb, so you don't need the extra availability of RAM that 64-bit offers and, given that 64-bit apps can take more memory than their 32-bit equivalents, it would seem that remaining 32-bit would be optimal for the current Atom netbooks.


I develop server applications, and having access to a 64-bit netbook would be nice!!

There are always bugs that assume integers and pointers are of the same size, and it is almost impossible to test for these kinds of bugs on a 32-bit platform. :-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: 64-bit netbook
by darknexus on Thu 21st May 2009 18:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 64-bit netbook"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Well, watch your code so that doesn't happen. ;)
I guess I wasn't thinking about the software development side of things, as that isn't really the market these netbooks are targeted for. You do have a good point. I wonder, how much more energy (if any) does the N230 or N330 produce as opposed to the N270 and N280? Maybe they couldn't get the chipset's energy usage down to acceptable levels... or, of course, perhaps they were just lazy, it wouldn't be the first time.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: 64-bit netbook
by rayson on Thu 21st May 2009 18:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: 64-bit netbook"
rayson Member since:
2009-05-21

Well, watch your code so that doesn't happen. ;)
I guess I wasn't thinking about the software development side of things, as that isn't really the market these netbooks are targeted for. You do have a good point. I wonder, how much more energy (if any) does the N230 or N330 produce as opposed to the N270 and N280? Maybe they couldn't get the chipset's energy usage down to acceptable levels... or, of course, perhaps they were just lazy, it wouldn't be the first time.


Well, I have a EeePC 701SD, and I don't use it as a main development machine.

However, it is just nice to have a machine that can do everything, surfing the web, checking emails, uploading photos (when travelling), looking at the code, and fixing an urgent bug or two when absolutely needed! :-P

Reply Score: 1

I don't like it very much
by twitterfire on Thu 21st May 2009 18:08 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

The CPU is very dated (loongson 2 is 3-4 years old) and is way beyond the computing power of any Intel or Amd CPU.

I don't like the battery life, either.

And I don't see the inability to run popular operating systems and software as a "feature" like Stallman.

If you want to play with these mips toys, why pay 400 euros for a piece of crap when you can buy a mips toy with just 169 $? You can check Alpha 400 which is way cheaper. http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=ALPHA-400&cat=NBB

Reply Score: 1

RE: I don't like it very much
by rayson on Thu 21st May 2009 18:11 UTC in reply to "I don't like it very much"
rayson Member since:
2009-05-21

The CPU is very dated (loongson 2 is 3-4 years old) and is way beyond the computing power of any Intel or Amd CPU.


The Loongson-2 architecture is a few years old, but Loongson-2F is a revision that is around 1 year old.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I don't like it very much
by h3rman on Thu 21st May 2009 19:00 UTC in reply to "I don't like it very much"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

With all due respect, but whatever the limitations might be, it's far from "a piece of crap".
Unlike for instance your linked Alpha 400 laptop the Yeeloong has a decent screen and a good keyboard. It's much faster, has 8x the RAM and a 160 GB hard drive, ships with a fresh kernel, etc.
The feature it has is not the "inability" to run certain software. It's the software makers who decide not to support the given platform. The feature is, 100% open hardware, no blobs.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: I don't like it very much
by twitterfire on Fri 22nd May 2009 12:39 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't like it very much"
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11

With all due respect, but whatever the limitations might be, it's far from "a piece of crap".
Unlike for instance your linked Alpha 400 laptop the Yeeloong has a decent screen and a good keyboard. It's much faster, has 8x the RAM and a 160 GB hard drive, ships with a fresh kernel, etc.
The feature it has is not the "inability" to run certain software. It's the software makers who decide not to support the given platform. The feature is, 100% open hardware, no blobs.


You are right, Yeoloong has a beter screen, better keyboard and more ram and disk space. I just said that the only two good reasons for buying an Yeoloong netbook are:

1. you develop software for mips platform
2. you are a geek and you want to play with a mips toy

I would buy such a netbook for reason number 2. But 400 euro seems too much for what you get. I think 120 euro for alpha netbook is enough for a toy.

If you search alibaba dot com, the largest search site for chinese merchandise, you can find an mips netbook for 720 cny ~ about 75 euro. And the cheapest loongson 2f with 800 Mhz cpu, 512 ram and 4 GB nand flash hdd is 170 usd ~ about 120 euro.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: I don't like it very much
by h3rman on Fri 22nd May 2009 12:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I don't like it very much"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

"With all due respect, but whatever the limitations might be, it's far from "a piece of crap".
Unlike for instance your linked Alpha 400 laptop the Yeeloong has a decent screen and a good keyboard. It's much faster, has 8x the RAM and a 160 GB hard drive, ships with a fresh kernel, etc.
The feature it has is not the "inability" to run certain software. It's the software makers who decide not to support the given platform. The feature is, 100% open hardware, no blobs.


You are right, Yeoloong has a beter screen, better keyboard and more ram and disk space. I just said that the only two good reasons for buying an Yeoloong netbook are:

1. you develop software for mips platform
2. you are a geek and you want to play with a mips toy

I would buy such a netbook for reason number 2. But 400 euro seems too much for what you get. I think 120 euro for alpha netbook is enough for a toy.

If you search alibaba dot com, the largest search site for chinese merchandise, you can find an mips netbook for 720 cny ~ about 75 euro. And the cheapest loongson 2f with 800 Mhz cpu, 512 ram and 4 GB nand flash hdd is 170 usd ~ about 120 euro.
"

Hey that's interesting. :-)
My wife is going to Korea next month, perhaps she could pick up something in Seoul (no guarantees they've got it there, but they do have huge pc-related malls).
There are a lot of comments saying that the price is a bit high, perhaps a justification is if you compare the mass production of say Acer or Asus to the Yeeloong, they simply don't have the numbers to get it done for that cheap.
I also suppose that some of the money made, if any, is being invested in the software development, i.e. the GNU/Linux and BSD ports to MIPS, but I'm not sure.

Reply Score: 2

Doesn't tell the reader anything.
by Mage66 on Thu 21st May 2009 19:34 UTC
Mage66
Member since:
2005-07-11

The paragraph used to introduce the topic on the main page has nothing to do with the text of the article.

It says nothing relevant to the title, and doesn't encapsulate what the article is about.

Perhaps a new first paragraph that properly introduces the rest of the text is in order?

Reply Score: 1

h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

I think you're right.. my mistake.
Let's see if Thom is in a good mood. :-)

Reply Score: 2

No flash?
by turbowei on Thu 21st May 2009 20:52 UTC
turbowei
Member since:
2009-05-21

No flash = say byebye to most of the multimedia contents on web. No youtube, no hulu. If you wanna spend that much money to buy a rock with which you can only read BBC or maybe slashdot, sure...

Reply Score: 0

RE: No flash?
by psychicist on Thu 21st May 2009 21:01 UTC in reply to "No flash?"
psychicist Member since:
2007-01-27

I don't know about an official Flash Player from Adobe yet, although I've heard MIPS Technologies has signed an agreement with them to port their latest player to MIPS. In the meantime Gnash works, I can watch Youtube videos with it, but support for other flash applications is probably less mature.

Reply Score: 2

RE: No flash?
by rayson on Thu 21st May 2009 21:12 UTC in reply to "No flash?"
rayson Member since:
2009-05-21

No flash = say byebye to most of the multimedia contents on web. No youtube, no hulu. If you wanna spend that much money to buy a rock with which you can only read BBC or maybe slashdot, sure...


So all those computers that don't have a Flash player are rocks???

Many people are fine using the opensource implementations of Flash. On the other hand, Mono and Java are supported on Loongson.

I totally disable Flash in Firefox on my Windows machine. I do all my surfing with Firefox, and only use IE to view videos on youtube.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: No flash?
by turbowei on Fri 22nd May 2009 16:21 UTC in reply to "RE: No flash?"
turbowei Member since:
2009-05-21

"No flash = say byebye to most of the multimedia contents on web. No youtube, no hulu. If you wanna spend that much money to buy a rock with which you can only read BBC or maybe slashdot, sure...


So all those computers that don't have a Flash player are rocks???

Many people are fine using the opensource implementations of Flash. On the other hand, Mono and Java are supported on Loongson.

I totally disable Flash in Firefox on my Windows machine. I do all my surfing with Firefox, and only use IE to view videos on youtube.
"

Yes, if you haven't realized that, sux to be you.

You are not seeing the revolution of internet of incorporating much amazing artistry.

Reply Score: 1

RE: No flash?
by darknexus on Thu 21st May 2009 21:23 UTC in reply to "No flash?"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

No Adobe Flash == Awesome! I've had enough of that greedy CPU hog, thank you. Both the open source implementations of Flash (Gnash and Swfdec) work fine with youtube, plus you can use Totem's Youtube plugin if you don't even want to use a web browser and you're using a GNOME environment. As for the other uses for Flash... I admit, I don't use them enough to care all that much, and it's not like you're going to be watching HD flash content on this thing anyway, and you'd probably end up actually using Flash a lot less than you'd initially think.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No flash?
by Howie S on Fri 22nd May 2009 00:54 UTC in reply to "RE: No flash?"
Howie S Member since:
2005-07-14

I'm with you. For all of flash's lackluster performance on Linux, I say let it fall. If in the next 5 years, flash would fall by the wayside, all the better. Maybe then we could have an open streaming standard -- like ogg/theora maybe?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: No flash?
by darknexus on Fri 22nd May 2009 11:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No flash?"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Well, I don't hate Flash itself... just Adobe's unstable, resource hog of a player. If you think it's bad on Linux, try it on OS X and watch your CPU temp skyrocket after about ten minutes of use. Couple this with the fact that Adobe never seems to feel that fixing issues is important. It's too bad Adobe won't open up Flash, and I mean all of Flash not just their Openscreen project. That way there could be better players than Adobes and on more architectures. But, that's about as likely to happen as a universal open streaming format.

Reply Score: 2

Benchmark...
by Marcus10101 on Tue 26th May 2009 21:35 UTC
Marcus10101
Member since:
2009-05-26

Howdy,

An easy benchmark would be to download a vanilla kernel and then time the compiling.

Also, Linux from Scratch uses the time for compiling binutils to help users estimate compliling times for all the stuff the have to compile later. That might be one to try too.

Phoronix has tons, but they might be a bit complicated to do on that laptop.

Have a nice day!

Reply Score: 1