Category: Hardware

Dual Network Handsets

Indian handset maker Spice Mobile has introduced two new mobiles, both of which can handle dual connections: GSM + CDMA for the D-88, and GSM + GSM for the D-80. It’s not clear if they take two SIMs or handle the second virtually, or even if it’s just an extension of the clunky dual-SIM addons you’ve been able to get for years, but it’s a major step forward either way simply because it comes as part of the package. It’s just a pity they decided to rip off or licence already dated Moto designs and not come up with a new design to go with it.

Spice Mobiles

Of course Nokia, Motorola or any of the other handset makers could have done this years ago, but they like to pick and choose where they innovate, and where they help the networks retain their cosy little cartels.

Open Letter to Acer

Prompted by this idiocy.

From: Adam Beecher
Subject: “no demand for [linux] in the UK”

Dear Acer,

At some point in the next year I will be buying a laptop, and given’s Ubuntu’s progress on the desktop, it’ll likely be preloaded with Linux.

If you don’t have one, I can’t buy one from you. And with your company’s attitude, I might not buy anything from you.

Do yourself a favour, start talking to your customers instead of reporters, and fire your marketers. They haven’t a clue.

Neither do your HR people. Give them Cluetrain. Give everyone Cluetrain.

Adam Beecher

ATI caught in the headlights

You can bet your sweet bippy AMD will be rushing around pulling fat middle manager fingers out of fat middle manager asses in ATI now that Dell has come out and said publicly that it wants to ship ATI systems. Of course my headline is probably a bit overstated, what with Dell’s ongoing relationship with AMD and all, but I’m sure they wouldn’t have allowed Amit Bhutani to embarass their new partner in crime if ATI were actually any way close to rolling out a Linux driver.

ATI and WPA drivers are the last big hurdles facing Linux in the mainstream. It needs to just work, and it nearly does. Which, to a regular joe, is the same as saying that it doesn’t.

Alarm Rings

I’m not sure this’d wake my mot* from the depths, but dammit if it’s not a great idea for Normal People [TM].

Alarm Rings

* I don’t want to say ‘partner’, because, you know, I’m not a langer.

FIC/OpenMoko Neo v1 July 9, v2 October

I’ve been watching this phone like a hawk for some time, because it’s open standards across the board; i.e. both the software and hardware are – generally speaking – open.

This might not solve the horrendous problems mobile power users have to deal with overnight – proprietary connectors, proprietary synchronisation, etc – but in time it might just provoke the Symbians and the Nokias of this world to pull their heads out of their asses and realise that, really, proprietary is a dirty word; and that there’s plenty of money to be made out of compatibility. And, you know, happy customers.

There was always a slight worry that this might be another Optimus Maximus, but it looks now like that might not be the case, as the developers tell us that 400 first generation handsets are ready to ship in China, and another 600 are on the way. The price seems a bit cheeky at $300, and we don’t have much of a spec to go on, but remember this is a SIM-free Linux-based phone. The possibilities are endless.

That’s the first generation phone though, the next generation is slated for October and that currently has a price tag of €450. Ok, it’ll have 802.11b/g WiFi and upgraded hardware, but there’s no mention of a 3G radio – the 1st gen is 2.5G – and again, we still don’t know what the final OS will look like. I’m not sure I’m going to want to lash out that kind of money, after just spending a hefty whack of dosh on a Treo 680.

Hopefully they’ll spot this nasty hole in their spec before the 2nd gen handset is finalised, and I’ll be watching OpenMoko’s YouTube channel for a half-decent video of the handset in the meantime. Hopefully it’ll be pornographic enough for me to be naughty and actually buy one. And hopefully, fingers crossed, it won’t be another Sharp Zaurus.


IBM 704

IBM 704

Shorpy: This network of black magnetic beads, smaller than a postage stamp, is one of a number of input-output “memory” units in the new “704” electronic calculator built by International Business Machines. This particular “memory” unit of the 704 instantaneously strips all information off a slow-moving punch card, stores the data momentarily in the form of magnetic charges, and passes along the individual items, one at a time, to a lightning-fast calculating section, which can handle around 10 million operations an hour, theoretically replacing 3,000 hand-operated adding machines. Orders are in for over thirty 704’s, which I.B.M. will rent at some $20,000 a month each.

€140 Laptop

Asus chair Jonney Shih pulled a Steve Jobs at Computex today, with a Linux-powered solid-state HDD notebook priced at $189 dollars; although we’ll probably get gouged over here at €189. Not pretty and storage is miniscule, but feck, what a price point!

€189 Asus Notebook

Ubuntu on Dell

As Gerry points out, it’s looking very likely that Dell will shortly start selling PC’s with Ubuntu instead of Windows. I’m delighted but suprised, as although Ubuntu is without a shadow of a doubt the most usable Linux distro available today, it’s also the least “connected”. Connected, of course, but not to the level as Red Hat or SuSE, one would have thought.

Whether or which, I look forward to the day when I can take on my first employee and sit them down in front of a fully-supported rig running Ubuntu!

Samsung Upstage

45 seconds in. How cool is that?

Nixie tube take-apart

Nixie tubes, like, totally rock. If you ever want to treat me to something nice, don’t mind the Amazon wishlist, buy me a nice nixie clock!