Friday, January 04, 2008

First CoolHints and LameAlerts for 2008

First a few more words on the Asus eeePC - the product was very cool as a gift or self-gift for the end of 2007 but you need to think ahead and just accept the reality!

1. The product was initially announced at 199 US$ and it was smart from Asus to use the huge momentum for new year sales and do a decent amount of profit and get a HUGE amount of followers, but in order to keep those going NOW is the right time to start thinking about the 199$ target and implement that in less than 2-3 months! (serious competition IS coming).

2. Having a 63 MHz bus in 2008 is crappy in a 400-500 US$ product, MIGHT be OK in a 199 US$ product ! Either way power-management seems to suck :(

3. To the new eeePC fans - stop whining about bigger batteries - the 5200 mAh is already huge (and rather heavy) and there was an announcement about a 7000+ version - with something rather similar well-engineered models get 8 hours with a full 12'' screen (which is about 3 times bigger - hard to believe until you see it) and real 120 GB HDD !!!

4. A screen at least 10'' is a must for any model over the 199$ mark!

5. Ideally if you think about a model over the 500-600 US$ mark consider at least a 16 GB HDD that is somehow upgradeable. Apologists and morons that somehow believe a (cheap) SD is 'just as good or better' should first compare timings :) Also I don't see any good reason why such a model should have less than 2 GB RAM (OK, one acceptable reason - 'suspend to disk', but 2 GB RAM is still great to have).

6. If you take a look on the forums you will see that almost half of the users (OK, of the most vocal users) have installed XP but it seems most of them never heard that XP needs 800*600 - if you can read you will find that on the XP starting page so stop whining on how the problem is in XP. (and just as a note - OSX has just the same problem from the very first dialog). That being said the 800*480 screen is still usable in XP once you get the 'virtual 800*600' video driver (but you should always be very frugal with screen space - including tray/taskbar space).

But all the above are just nothing compared to the next huge CoolHints for Ubuntu and Firefox:

a) the next Ubuntu 8.04 is supposed to have Long Term Support and be the next 'gold standard' for Linux distributions - but no matter how much better it will be inside, people will always first see the LAME BROWN - just drop the brown or at least provide 1 OTHER theme (ideally DARK BLUE) that should be ALWAYS available (even on the mini-CD, micro-SD or whatever else); also I know that there are some people there very strict about licenses, but I believe that ndiswrapper and all the 'firmware cutters' are perfectly GPL and SHOULD BE ON THE LIVE CD !!!

b) I understand that FireFox creators were just too eager to get to the 3.x level which somehow is unconsciously associated with the 'first stable/hugely popular release' (thanks to Microsoft of course) but now there is NOTHING else more important left than to JUST FIX THE BAD SINGLE-THREADED MODEL (and whatever else makes JavaScript to suck big time in FireFox) and ADD A SIMPLE WAY TO START MULTIPLE INDEPENDENT FIREFOX PROCESSES !!!


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