Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 13th Jun 2012 22:21 UTC, submitted by Valhalla
Linux The BBC interviews Torvalds. I like this bit: "For me, Linux on the desktop is where I started, and Linux on the desktop is literally what I still use today primarily - although I obviously do have other Linux devices, including an Android phone - so I'd personally really love for it to take over in that market too. But I guess that in the meantime I can't really complain about the successes in other markets." Linux on the desktop is quite passe. Phones and servers is where it's at.
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Desktop Forever...
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 13th Jun 2012 23:11 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

I'll take the power and flexibility of a desktop machine any day over the multimedia and Web toys they pass off as tablet computers and cell phones these days. Sure, they're both nice for certain things, but not near as much as a general-purpose desktop (or even a decent laptop) system.

I own an Android phone. Okay... it's excellent for making calls (duh, it's a *phone*...), storing contacts (well, actually Google does that on their servers as a service) and quick text messaging, but for Web browsing it's barely passable (size of screen and lack of real keyboard kill it). I guess it can be decent for occasional YouTube viewing. It would be useful for occasional GPS use, if not for one thing: it's buggy as hell and is pretty much guaranteed to crash and reboot the whole phone before it even tells me the first direction.

Still, it can be used to get some minor things done that I otherwise would have to stop at the house to get done on my desktop system, like store my grocery lists, my list of beers to try, and quick checks on the reviews of video games. Ironically... any real work, like typing those lists up, is done on my desktop system and the file is sent over to the phone over a USB connection. The only thing I do on the phone with those files is delete items from the list as I pick them up and save the changes to the file, and even that is mostly a pain in the ass on the phone.

I don't own and never used a tablet computer, but I would expect their larger screens to make some things that are a pain in the ass like Web browsing to be more tolerable, but still, lack of real keyboard still makes them a joke for the most part. They might be a bit better for watching videos on YouTube, but I would think their even larger screen (the advantage here) would work as a disadvantage by sucking even more juice, killing the battery even faster as you do so.

One thing I can say my cell phone is AWESOME for: using it as a portable remote control I can take anywhere around or outside the house to control the playback of my music through Music Player Daemon with an Android MPD client. Both MPDroid and Droid MPD Client are pretty decent. I think a phone would be best here in this case, because you could easily just stick it in your pocket and get it out of your way until you want to change albums and skip songs... a tablet computer wouldn't be so convenient.

Edited 2012-06-13 23:19 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Desktop Forever...
by WereCatf on Wed 13th Jun 2012 23:39 in reply to "Desktop Forever..."
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I'll take the power and flexibility of a desktop machine any day over the multimedia and Web toys they pass off as tablet computers and cell phones these days. Sure, they're both nice for certain things, but not near as much as a general-purpose desktop (or even a decent laptop) system.


Cellphones or tablets aren't even meant to replace desktops and no one is telling you to do so, so I don't quite get why you're telling us this.

As an aside: a cellphone or a tablet *could* replace a desktop or a laptop for many people if there were any actually good docks for them and the device could run full-fledged desktop software when docked. They do not have the processing power to handle video editing or such, but they have more than enough for running various IDEs, photo editors alá GIMP, word processors, etc. etc. Ie. most of the stuff non-IT people need at home and at work. The plus side would be obviously the fact that you'd always have your files with you; no copying back and forth ever again.

I have thought about it quite a lot and I know more-or-less fully what and how I'd want in such a device to be implemented and thus I've sometimes entertained the thought that if I lived in the US I'd set up a Kickstarter - project. All the currently-manufactured big-name efforts fall short and are hampered by proprietary connectors, proprietary software, proprietary mechanisms for exchanging data and proprietary, poorly-designed docks.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Desktop Forever...
by Alfman on Thu 14th Jun 2012 00:08 in reply to "RE: Desktop Forever..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WereCatf,


"I have thought about it quite a lot and I know more-or-less fully what and how I'd want in such a device to be implemented and thus I've sometimes entertained the thought that if I lived in the US I'd set up a Kickstarter - project"

I'm curious, what advantages do you believe you'd have in the US that you don't have elsewhere? US venture capital is nothing like it used to be, alot of it has moved to foreign growing markets.

I'd be interested in collaborating on a software project like this but I think we'd quickly find that we don't have access to the economies of scale or hardware facilities that the big guys have. Consequently our platform would be disadvantaged right from the get go. This says nothing of the fact that in the US we'd be sitting ducks in terms of patent litigation.

I think the most important thing the world could do to promote software innovation is to promote high quality unlocked open hardware on which developers like you and me would be free (and even encouraged) to develop our software on. But...the exact opposite is happening.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Desktop Forever...
by dragos.pop on Thu 14th Jun 2012 08:06 in reply to "RE: Desktop Forever..."
dragos.pop Member since:
2010-01-08


As an aside: a cellphone or a tablet *could* replace a desktop or a laptop for many people if there were any actually good docks for them and the device could run full-fledged desktop software when docked. They do not have the processing power to handle video editing or such, but they have more than enough for running various IDEs, photo editors alá GIMP, word processors, etc. etc. Ie. most of the stuff non-IT people need at home and at work. The plus side would be obviously the fact that you'd always have your files with you; no copying back and forth ever again.


It's a hacky solution but what about an Asus Transformer or Pad Phone with http://linuxonandroid.blogspot.ro/ or http://androlinux.com/android-ubuntu-development/how-to-install-ubu... ?
I don't know how well it works, but sounds interesting...

Also there are some Java IDEs running on android, and at the current Transformer sales, I am sure a lot of interesting software will appear.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Desktop Forever...
by ricegf on Sat 16th Jun 2012 15:27 in reply to "RE: Desktop Forever..."
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Ubuntu for Android? Please?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Desktop Forever...
by zima on Mon 18th Jun 2012 14:50 in reply to "RE: Desktop Forever..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

a tablet *could* replace a desktop or a laptop for many people if there were any actually good docks for them and the device could run full-fledged desktop software when docked. They do not have the processing power to handle video editing or such

There is iMovie for iPad... performance-wise, it's already mostly a matter of tapping into DSPs/GPGPU.

Yeah, that iMovie perhaps is a bit sub-par - but, really, already much better than early NLEs. As a side note: I can imagine touchscreens being actually awesome for video editing, perhaps in conjunction with (wirelessly communicating with? ...people don't seem to like, don't adopt docks) "big screen" - like a TV, but which could even be quite smart, and/or offloading large part of heavyweight processing when required.
Kinda like those projections ended up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcomputer_revolution#The_Home_Comp... - everything just started including its own computer. Now, that can mean something at least on the level of RPi, and in a few years...

Or, I can see MS being well positioned for such "blended" usages - they already have probably the most popular set-top-box, and now they're introducing to it the connectivity with touchscreen devices.

Edited 2012-06-18 14:55 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Desktop Forever...
by Fergy on Thu 14th Jun 2012 05:54 in reply to "Desktop Forever..."
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

but for Web browsing it's barely passable (size of screen and lack of real keyboard kill it). I guess it can be decent for occasional YouTube viewing.

So what other device do you have with you for that purpose then? Most of the time my phone is the only device in reach with an internet connection. And browsing on it is useful even for reading complete articles on anandtech.
So I get that _you_ don't use the functions but the way you state your opinion makes it sound like you mean it as fact.

Reply Parent Score: 2