New Jersey-based boutique PC manufacturer Maingear today announced its first mainstream system. In an odd bit of marketing, it claims to be selling the Dash Friends and Family PC so its existing customers have an affordable nongaming PC to recommend to their friends and, yes, family. While the baseline $799.99 is cheap compared with Maingear's high-end systems that it builds for gamers and home theater geeks, I did a quick price comparison to similar models from Dell and HP and found that Maingear's customers' friends and family members will be paying a bit of a premium for … Read more
I will admit to being a Linux desktop nonbeliever. It feels a bit like yesterday's battle fought with the wrong weapons: geekiness rather than ease of use. There's a chance--still a slim one, but a chance nonetheless--that Ubuntu will change that.
In three separate places today I read reviews of Ubuntu's new desktop (7.10). Two were very complimentary, while the third suggested that Ubuntu give up.
Ubuntu upgrades the Linux desktop experience in two ways: user interface and form factor. While Novell continues to be the leader in traditional desktop replacements, Red Hat is reinventing the Linux desktop for new markets with its One Laptop Per Child involvement. Ubuntu is arguably doing the same, but is going one step further in disruption: Changing the notion of the Linux "desktop" completely:… Read more
Shipments of PCs to the saturated U.S. market may be declining somewhat, but the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, Africa) gave the worldwide PC market a big boost in the third quarter, according to figures released Wednesday by IDC.
PC shipments grew 15.5 percent worldwide in the past quarter. Growth in the EMEA regions, led by Hewlett-Packard and Acer, was paced by a strong demand for notebooks and back-to-school promotions, leading to the best growth rates in the region in the past two years.
"The issue is that it continues to be notebooks that are driving strong … Read more
After much speculation, Apple has confirmed that the next version of its Mac OS X operating system, "Leopard," will hit stores on Friday, October 26, at 6 p.m.
Among these are an improved "dock" interface for easy access to applications, more robust parental controls, the Time Machine automatic-backup service and a redesigned Finder interface.
The operating system is set to cost $129 for a single-user license and $… Read more
Sometimes you just have to sing. I read Groklaw's report on a new lawsuit launched by IP Innovation (subsidiary of Acacia) against Novell and Red Hat over Linux desktop infringements of its "a User Interface with Multiple Workspaces for Sharing Display System Objects" patent and just wanted to break out into Stephen Sondheim:
Isn't it rich? Isn't it queer? Losing my timing this late In my career? And where are the clowns? Quick, send in the clowns. Don't bother - they're here.
Why clowns? Well, the more Groklaw digs into this, the more it looks like the ultimate patent troll/clown, Microsoft, may be behind this all. Some might say that Ballmer always sings on cue, and surely his commentary about Red Hat last week may be coincidence or simply poor timing, but Monsieur le Troll must be smiling, regardless.
Groklaw writes:… Read more
Since AMD released its Barcelona server chips last month, PC users have been wondering when that native quad-core goodness might arrive in the form of AMD Phenom desktop CPUs. According to a report on VR-Zone, we'll see the first two quad-core Phenom chips next month. The site reports that the 2.2GHz Phenom X4 9500 and the 2.4GHz Phenom X4 9600 will launch sometime in November. These Phenom 9000-series parts will feature 512KB of L2 cache per core, 2MB of shared L3 cache, a 3.6GHz HyperTransport 3.0 bus, and an 89W power rating. A third chip … Read more
The price of LCD panels for notebooks and desktop monitors has been on the rise since April, though the increase has not yet been passed on to consumers. But that could change very soon, according to a new report from iSuppli.
Though LCD television prices have stabilized, monitor prices are far more volatile right now. As an example, the average price for a 15-inch notebook display has inched up from $90 to $108 between April and September, according to iSuppli. But during that time, monitor prices did not go up even as panels did, severely eating into the margins of … Read more
I already reported that the Mac is on a massive ramp, but what about Linux? Well, according to this note on Slashdot, desktop Linux nearly doubled in the past year (to 0.81%). Nothing to write home about, perhaps, but still significant.
Vista may be cruising, but when you have the Mac and Linux growing at torrid paces, there's serious cause for Microsoft alarm. The world doesn't seem to want its online presence, where most of the action is. Microsoft continues to churn out monopoly rents on Office and Windows, but as the world moves online and open … Read more
While Power Downloader was sifting through criminal case files recently, he received an e-mail from Kitty Kilobyte who had gone back to school. After telling him of her latest "impossible" assignments and new "amazing" friends she had made, Kitty had an interesting software request. Kitty wanted some way to make her computer stand out from the rest of her classmates. She figured, if she's the niece of a famous software superhero, it should show--perhaps even if it's just in her computer's interface.… Read more
Apparently round is the new square.
This sort of guarantees itself as a conversation piece. Displaying this in your living room, office, or where-have-you, is sure to inspire furrowed brows, curiosity or both.
This is one of Suissa's takes on the personal computer, which can be completely customized and built on either Intel or AMD chips. Suissa is a Canadian designer that has a demonstrated history of putting a decidedly different spin on the rectangular box-style PC. They're also not the only company going round--earlier this year Sony debuted the Vaio TP1.
This model, called "Enlighten," … Read more