Full XP in a PPC format - Antelope - Insights? Thoughts?

  • Thread starter Yechezkal Gutfreund
  • Start date


Yechezkal Gutfreund

Full-featured PC fits in pocket

14:20 28 October 03

NewScientist.com news service

A full-featured PC that is small enough to slip into a shirt pocket is
being hailed by its makers as the world's first modular computer. The
machine can perform as both a PC and a handheld computer, but it remains to
be seen if consumers are willing to pay for such a hybrid device.

The Modular Computing Core is being launched on 7 November by Antelope
Technologies, a Colorado-based start-up. The device is a single portable
unit into which all the essential computing components are crammed. At 76 by
127 by 19 millimetres (5 x 3 x 3/4 inches), the MCC is not much bigger than
a deck of cards.

This core unit can then either be slotted into a docking station to be
used with a screen and keyboard as a desktop computer, or into small
portable "shell" with a touch-sensitive screen, turning it into a handheld
computer. "Modular computers will change the way people use their computer,"
claims Kenneth Geyer, president of Antelope Technologies.

Inside the MCC is a 1GHz microprocessor, 256 MB of RAM and a 10 or 15
GB hard drive. It will also run a full version of Microsoft's XP operating
system, instead of the stripped-down operating systems used by handheld

Not cheap

But at almost $4000 the modular system does not come cheap. Initially
it will be marketed at the corporate user, Geyer told New Scientist, and he
hopes the price will drop in time as production increases.

The company has already taken some pre-orders and plans to start off
by producing 1000 units a month.

Geyer argues that even now the MCC is good value for money, as it can
replace a desktop, laptop and PDA and requires only one software platform to
be paid for and supported. He also highlights the time that could be saved
by not having to transfer data between three devices.

Ready or not

"It's a revolutionary concept," says Jason Brotherton a ubiquitous
computing researcher at the University College London Interaction Centre.
"But I'm not sure everyone is ready for it yet."

Indeed users posting to the Slashdot website had mixed views. Some
agreed with Geyer that ability to carry your "home" PC around with you was
an attractive one. Others said the hybrid device offered a poor compromise,
with laptops being more powerful and PDAs being more portable.

Getting all the required components into such a small space relied
upon a design called Meta Pad, patented by IBM and licensed to the Antelope.
Key factors are a very small Toshiba hard drive and a Transmeta low-power
chip designed for specifically for portable devices.

Other companies already sell small PCs, but these are not modular.
This means that they are stuck performing the role of only one device, says
Geyer, be it a portable computer or a desktop unit. A similar concept to
Antelope's is being developed by Seattle-based company OQO, but they have
yet to announce a launch date for their product.


I am wondering what people think? Is the larger screen size, and full XP
services worth it? Obviously not for mass markets, but let's say
you had a industrial client who would not care about the price tag. Does
that make it worthwhile if we ignore the prices, or is the processor speed,
graphics, and battery life really kill the idea?

(I am not a salesperson, I just wanted feedback).




This question is not really for this news group.

Mini portable PCs are not a new idea, in fact in Japan they qre quite
popular for some time.
Whenever someone need the computation power of a PC, one will choose a PC


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