Linked by David Adams on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 03:53 UTC, submitted by fsmag
GNU, GPL, Open Source We are heading towards a world where we no longer own the hardware we buy -- and there is no point in having free software if you can't own your hardware.
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More choice
by Fergy on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 07:13 UTC
Fergy
Member since:
2006-04-10

It seems that almost any small company can call Asia to make them a smartphone/tablet/laptop according to their specifications that can almost rival the best a huge company like Nokia, Samsung and Apple can do. Sure there will be locked down phones but doesn't this developer think there will be brands that keep it totally open so you can put your own OS on it?

Reply Score: 1

RE: More choice
by lemur2 on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 10:50 in reply to "More choice"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

It seems that almost any small company can call Asia to make them a smartphone/tablet/laptop according to their specifications that can almost rival the best a huge company like Nokia, Samsung and Apple can do. Sure there will be locked down phones but doesn't this developer think there will be brands that keep it totally open so you can put your own OS on it?


Here is an example of exactly that (from over a year ago now), which I bought for myself:

http://www.kogan.com.au/shop/kogan-agora-netbook-pro/

Here are a few examples that I haven't bought:
http://www.pioneercomputers.com.au/products/info.asp?c1=183&c2=185&...
http://www.pioneercomputers.com.au/products/info.asp?c1=183&c2=185&...
http://www.pioneercomputers.com.au/products/info.asp?c1=183&c2=185&...

(Please note that although these devices from Pioneer show Windows running, and the specifications say that the device "supports Windows OS", Windows is not actually included. If you go to the "build your own" page you will find that Ubuntu is the only OS available at no extra cost beyond the base price. Any version of Windows would cost extra).

Pioneer and Kogan are small Australian companies who have done exactly as you suggest ... they have arranged with an Asian OEM to make them a smartphone/tablet/laptop according to their specifications. These specifications do not include an OS ... the OS is added later in Australia at the customer's order. It does indeed give the customer more choices.

This then seems to me an eminently satisfactory way to do it. The customer here truly does own the hardware he or she buys, and the customer chooses what software wil be installed on the machine they buy.

Edited 2010-08-02 10:54 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: More choice
by flanque on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 12:03 in reply to "RE: More choice"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

I'll give you the tablets on potential but that netbook seems pretty stock, except you don't pay for Windows by default.

On the tablets though, I'd still put my money down for the iPad if only for the ease of the interface, tight app store integration, branding and of coarse Apple's focus on all customers being happy.

From what I can tell these come with either Linux or Windows and well all I can say about that is - bad idea. The OS needs to be built from the ground up to be for touch tablets and trying to retrofit a desktop OS onto a tablet is doomed.

Do these things even have an app store?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: More choice
by vivainio on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 20:05 in reply to "More choice"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

It seems that almost any small company can call Asia to make them a smartphone/tablet/laptop according to their specifications that can almost rival the best a huge company like Nokia, Samsung and Apple can do. Sure there will be locked down phones but doesn't this developer think there will be brands that keep it totally open so you can put your own OS on it?


Right. Especially if you are not doing a phone but e.g. a WiFi only tablet, it's commodity hardware through and through. You can't go to a website and make an a'la carte component setup yet (like you can with desktop PCs), but that's probably not far off.

Translation: we don't need to be worried even if a few phone companies decide to lock down their gadgets. Free hw is here to stay.

Reply Parent Score: 2