Monday, June 15, 2009

Movie popcorn = proprietary software

Today I read this great analogy that inspired the title of this entry. Why is this so? Once you enter the theater you are now part of a captive audience and are expected to part with your hard earned cash. Even in the days of BYOC (bring your own candy) to the movies you don't dare bring your own popcorn.

This is an example of how proprietary SW vendors get customers apart of their ecosystem and get them locked in. In the end it's a package deal. You can bring your own APIs and some tooling but the vast majority of the proprietary SW will be sold in the millions of dollars to customers who have bought their ticket at a theater near you.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Back to the netbook well

This week I found a great deal on refurbished Acer Aspire One netbooks with WXP. Obviously, I prefer and use Linux over Windows but for certain purposes such as tethering and our oldest son needing an XP platform while away at college fits my needs. With all the hoopla of Windows 7 coming out I believe XP to be their best OS to date.

XP is great at PnP, USB support, and with the latest service pack is actually useable. But I will miss the almost instant on/off that Linux gives me but that's OK since I have four netbooks and and only half of them run XP.

The most incredible part is that I found these on TigerDirect for around $200 each for specs such as the ubiquitious Intel Atom proc, 120GB HD and 1GB RAM. That's pretty good horsepower considering I use to configure servers when I first started out with Pentium 180 Pro procs, 256MB RAM, and a single 2.5GB SCSi hard drive.

Moore's Law is alive and well....

Thursday, June 4, 2009

And a little child shall lead them...

As a piggyback off of Matt Asay's recent experience with various Linux distros on netbooks I too have a recent example with our middle son and Ubuntu.

The other day I came across a slightly used Asus Eee 900 netbook on Craigslist for around $125. I was looking for another one anyway for our high school age kids and I was specifically asked to get one with Linux and not XP. While we have both OSes in our house the PC's running Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.04 have quickly become the go-to devices for getting on the web. They are also much easier for me to manage and "deploy" in my home. No defragg'ing, anti-virus, or malware to worry about just make sure the browser can play Flash and java and we're off to the races.

They are just as comfortable in picking up my G1 running Android as they are using a PC with XP, Linux, etc. The key is the interface and how easy it is to get up and running and being productive. Operating systems now need to be "point and click" like an iPhone because that's the PC that our kids are now familiar with. Users are not interested with what's under the hood, just the 0-60 times.