When Cycle Computing built a 10,000 core Linux super computer in Amazon's Cloud Service, it proved a couple of key cloud principles including scalability and utility (only paying for what you you use).
The first annual openSUSE Community Week starts on Monday. I interviewed Community Manager Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier to find out how the event came together and what he hopes to accomplish with the week long event.
The EE Times reports this week that Dell has come out with hybrid laptop that runs both Windows and Linux. The Linux OS provides a quick boot for checking email and other "light"
computing duties while the Windows side allows "heavier duty" computing
like running Microsoft Office applications.
With the unpopularity of Vista, Microsoft cutting off easy access to XP tomorrow and a projected release date in 2010 for the next Microsoft OS, there is yet another opening for desktop Linux, but we've heard this before. The question is will it be different this time.
Now you may think Free means, well free, but as Stallman says, free is more a state of mind as in free speech, rather than "free beer." He outlines the four tenants of software freedom and goes onto to discuss the differences between "free software" and "open source," a term and movement he sees as a bastardization of the free software movement, and takes a stab at Microsoft and other for-profit software companies.
It makes for fascinating reading and provides a history of free and open source software of which I certainly had little knowledge or understanding. A highly recommended read; this guy is as consistent in his beliefs (in a good way) as anyone you'll come across.
My review of the ultra-small, extremely cheap Zonbu Linux computer was published Friday on CIO.com.
The tiny computer, which is about the size of a pocket paperback comes loaded with Zonbu Linux (based on Gentoo) along with a boat load of open source software all for $99 and a monthly subscription (which buys you online storage space and instant recovery in the event of catastrophic failure).
Even though it is not really being marketed to the enterprise, I write that the computer could appeal to IT pros looking for an inexpensive way to dabble in desktop Linux. For consumers, it offers a low budget, low maintenance computer, which works with surprisingly little fuss. Of course, they will likely have to come up with a bundle to include the keyboard, mouse and monitor to make it a true no-brainer package.
The subscription model is so simple, it makes me wonder why one of the bigger companies hasn't come up with this idea. Microsoft has dabbled online, but so far not with any great success (most likely because it would have too big an impact on its lucrative desktop business). Google is trying to dominate online, but has yet to get into the hardware or OS business (probably because they see little need for an OS with an online model), but the Zonbu is a simple computer design running open source software with automatic backup and remote access to your files from wherever you are. What could be easier?
The Zonbu should be available some time later this summer or early fall. It will be interesting to watch and see how well it does in the marketplace.