Canola Update Alert! Tuesday, Dec 11 2007 

Remember the iNdT team’s sketches and mock-ups of the next version of Canola? iNdT’s Marcelo Oliveira (aka handful) has just posted an update (video) on the progress of Canola.

Marcelo shows Canola’s new gorgeous Picture Viewer and Music Player interface with kinetic scrolling all around, and their version of cover flow. They intend to benefit from the Internet Tablet’s version of EFL (enlightenment foundation libraries) 16 bit version to provide fluid transitions.

Marcelo also mentioned that YouTube and plug-ins will be included by default but they plan to have other developers extend Canola by creating plug-ins to stream other types of content and connect to other web services. The new version of Canola will have all the settings integrated in the app.

Expect to see the first public beta to be released sometime the first week of December. Marcelo also hinted to watch out for another release in 2008 as they add new features to Canola, having something to do with the Webkit.


8 Predictions for Macworld 2008 Tuesday, Dec 11 2007 

Predictions are fun. I like predictions. I’m not always that great at them, but I like them. In my defense, though, last year everyone thought we were going to be seeing more at Macworld than just two products…and I did get the “one more thing” right…even though it was the main event.

Anyway, in the interest of good fun, I’ve hunkered down, thought about it, and come up with my 8 predictions for Macworld 2008.

1. iTunes Update

Jobs will spin the recent announcement of higher priced titles in a positive way, almost convincing all of us that it’s the greatest addition to iTunes ever. The video quality will be improved to justify the price increase, and several major studios will finally be on board.

In addition to purchasing movies movie rentals will also be added to the iTunes store – with some serious DRM restrictions.

2. AppleTV Update

Higher capacity AppleTVs will be available, with a software update including access to the iTunes store directly on the device.

3. The Strongest Holiday Season Ever

When Jobs gets into the numbers we’ll see that Apple has had their best selling holiday shopping season in their history. iPhone sales will in no way be affected by the fact that we all know a 3G iPhone is coming in 2008, the entire iPod line will have sold more than ever before, and the Mac line will also be at its best holiday sales number ever.

Fanboy dreaming? Doubtful. That’s a continuing trend over 2007 that I expect to fly right on through to 2008.

4. Updated Macbooks

We’re already getting reports that Apple is purchasing 13.3 inch BLUs. Some have speculated that they will be used for a new, long rumored, Apple sub-notebook. Of course, that doesn’t make a lot of sense, because the Macbook is already a 13.3 inch screen device – so how could the same size screen be for a sub-notebook?

Instead we’ll get a full aluminum Macbook with a BLU LED screen and updated specs.

5. No iTablet

The rumored iTablet device will NOT be at Macworld. I am still a firm believer that a device that is the size of a paper back book running Leopard with a mini-DVD drive makes no sense, and I don’t expect to see it at Macworld – or anywhere – ever.

6. iPhone and iPod Touch Software Updates

Jobs will remind us that they are constantly trying to add value to the iPhone and iPod Touch by making great software for it. The update will include several bug fixes, and small new features (like sending SMS messages to more than one person at a time), and a native iChat application.

I know, I know, “Apple won’t make iChat for the iPhone because they want you to send SMS messages”. If that’s true, then why do they show you how to send FREE SMS message on their site. You can click here or here to find direct links to free SMS apps for your iPhone. The only Apps you can’t seem to find on Apple site, are the IM applications. My guess, is because they’d rather you use theirs when it comes out.

7. iPhone SDK

The iPhone SDK will be announced as available to developers at the end of January, and they will demo applications that are already being developed by those who received the kits early.

One More thing…Mac Nano

While the “One More Thing…” hasn’t made an appearance at every Keynote in the last year or so, I think we’ll see it this time, with an all new, completely redesigned, and insanely small, Mac Mini replacement.

So there they are. I’m sure you’ll agree with almost none of them…as always, feel free to write your own predictions in the comments below the article.

VM + Apple = I Car (IBUG) Tuesday, Dec 11 2007 

Verry cool concept —- talks are on hold for now.

Five Things We Don’t Miss About Old-School Computing Tuesday, Dec 11 2007 

Last week, we were waxing nostalgic, thinking about all the things we miss about the early days of computing. This week, we’ve woken up. Let’s face it: Lots of things back then sucked.

At the risk of sounding like crotchety grandfathers, we’ll say it: “These kids today have it soft, dag nab it.” If you were born after the first Star Wars movie, you might not be aware of just how cushy your computing life is. For proof, we offer five examples.

1. The Tower of Babel

Say what you want to about the impressive rise of Linux and the Macintosh, but Microsoft Windows and the PC architecture remain the dominant standards in today’s computing world. Both alternative operating systems read FAT32 disks to maintain some sort of Windows compatibility, and the Mac’s innards resemble those of a PC more and more every year.

Back when Bill Gates was still working on his first billion, though, it was like the Wild West out there: Any given household might have a computer from Commodore, Apple, Texas Instruments or Radio Shack–to name a few–that could share hardware with or read floppy disks from other makes only with the intercession of some kind of kludge or adapter (if you were lucky). Even if you were dealing with two computers from the same company, there was no guarantee that they’d be compatible.

2. Unitasking

It’s 1982. You’ve finally finished your term paper and you’re printing it out, along with the accompanying charts. Good for you. You might as well take a break–not because you’ve earned it, but because you have no choice. As far as the computer’s concerned, any task is all-consuming: While it’s busy churning out the pages, it can’t do anything else. And getting output from a dot-matrix printer takes a while, with printing speeds rated in characters per second. (Pages per minute? That’s crazy talk!) Also, the racket the printer makes is great if you need to drill through a brick wall into the bank vault next door, but otherwise — not so great. The only drawback of the multitasking operating systems that came along later is that they eliminated a great excuse for goofing off.

3. Download Dilemma

Downloading in the Web era is pretty easy: You click a link, and…actually, that’s pretty much it. But in the days before Mosaic hit the scene, you had your choice of download protocols, sporting names like Kermit, Sealink, Punter, XMODEM, YMODEM, and (wait for it) ZMODEM. (Some also included variants, like XMODEM-1k and ZMODEM-90.) Consequently you had to find out which protocol the system you were connected to used, and make sure that your software used the same one. In many cases, you’d have to activate the downloading process manually once the sending computer initiated the transfer. No wonder people didn’t get around to trading music until much later.

4. Weightlifting

True story: Twenty years ago, when I was working at a computer store, it took three people to get an incredibly hefty NEC laser printer up the narrow stairs to the second floor. Not only is the laser printer that now sits on my desk more powerful than that old NEC, but I can carry it under my arm. Electronics in general have gotten smaller and lighter in the interim, but arguably computers and their accessories have been sticking more strictly to the Slim-Fast diet. There are exceptions, of course–the original Macintosh had a built-in handle for easy toting, and the Sinclair ZX80 weighed less than a pound–but overall, you had to eat your Wheaties if you made a regular habit of rearranging your office. Still not convinced? Consider that the “luggable” Osborne-1, the first portable, self-contained computer, weighed nearly 24 pounds…and people considered it a mobile breakthrough.

5. Bickering

Which system had better games, the Apple II or the Commodore 64? Which was better for low-cost desktop publishing, the Amiga or the Atari ST? From half-joking jibes to all-out flame wars, debates over people’s computer preferences sometimes seemed inescapable. RAM, storage, graphics capabilities, expansion options–all were used as ammunition in a seemingly endless and pointless series of battles between computer users seeking to justify the money they’d spent for their particular choice. Fortunately, the sophisticated computer users of today would never waste their time and effort on this type of childish and futile argu– Oh, wait, never mind.

Firefox 3 beta goes portable Tuesday, Dec 11 2007 

Want to test out Firefox 3 beta without messing up all of your precious Firefox 2 settings? Easy, just install the portable version. The Portable Apps developers have been doing a great job of pushing out versions of Firefox that can be run from a flash drive within a few days of every major Firefox release lately. And now that Firefox 3 has hit the beta stage, they’ve started portablizing (is that a word?) it as well.

Because Firefox Portable is self-contained, it will not write any data to your hard drive or registry. That means you can test out Firefox 3’s new features like Places, and improved location bar without messing up your current settings. You don’t have to install Firefox 3 Portable to a flash drive, you can just as easily install it to a folder on your hard drive.

If you want to run Firefox 3 beta while you have a Firefox 2 window open, you’ll need to make one small tweak. Find the FirefoxPortable.ini file in \Other\Sources\ and copy it to the directory that has FirefoxPortable.exe. Edit FirefoxPortable.ini with Notepad, Wordpad, or whatever text editor you prefer, and change AllowMultipleInstances=false so that it says true. Save the file and you can now run Firefox 2 and 3 at the same time.

Apple Ultra-Portable MacBook Rumor Roundup Tuesday, Dec 11 2007 

As rumors start to build for Macworld San Francisco 2008, the most consistent rumor appears to be one of an ultra-portable Apple notebook computer.

These rumors started back in March 2006 by MacScoop who indicated that “very reliable” sources had indicated that Apple was planning on releasing an “ultra-thin 12 inch Mac Book Pro”. More confirmation came from an analyst, Benjamin Reitzes in June, 2006 with expectations that an “ultra-portable” Mac could be delivered as early as Macworld San Francisco 2007. Reitzes also suggested that these new ultra-portables would use NAND flash memory, either in combination with a traditional hard drive or using NAND flash alone.

Indeed, earlier in 2006, Digitimes had first reported that Apple and Intel were researching the use of NAND flash in portables to improve boot time and battery life. MacScoop later detailed the thin-laptop to be a $1700-$1800 12″ MacBook Pro with dual core processor and still retain an optical drive.

Macworld San Francisco 2007, of course, came and went with no new ultra-portable, but in February, more claims emerged from Appleinsider confirming that Apple was working on a mini-MacBook “lighter and more compact than any other Mac portable Apple has put forth in recent years”. These specs claimed that the new laptop would exclude a built-in optical drive and would indeed use NAND flash memory.

9to5mac added a report in September that an aluminum MacBook prototype had been spotted that was “considerably slimmer” than the current MacBook Pros, with a thinner bezel around the screen and “something strange about the touchpad”.

Finally, as we approach 2008’s Macworld, some more confident reports have emerged with Appleinsider now believing that the new ultra-portable laptop will be released at Macworld as a 13″ aluminum notebook with NAND flash, no optical drive, and LED backlit screens. Even CNBC now has their own sources claiming that a 12″ sub-portable MacBook Pro with Flash memory only (no hard drive) would be introduced and retail for around $1500 at Macworld.

Based on the confidence and number of reports, it seem very likely that some sort of ultra-portable laptop will be arriving from Apple in January. To sum up claims:

MacScoop: 12″, Ultra-Thin, Optical Drive, Dual Core, $1700-$1800
Appleinsider: 13″, aluminum, 50% lighter, Slim, NAND Flash, LED backlit, No Optical Drive
CNBC: 12″, 50% Thinner, NAND Flash only (no HDD). $1500
9to5mac: “something strange about the touchpad”

To be fair, MacScoop’s reports were from a year ago, so details may have changed in the interim. It’s also conceivable that Apple may have more than one product in the works that could explain some of the discrepancies.

To give some perspective on what might be possible, readers are reminded of a prototype Intel laptop (Metro) that was revealed in May of this year. The concept design was said to go into production near the end of 2007 and offered the following specs:

– 2.25 lbs
– 0.7 inches thick
– 14 hours battery life
– NAND Flash
– WiMax, Cellular, WiFi support

As a concept design with no regard to cost, all of these features may not be included in a theoretical Mac laptop, but it does provide an idea of what might be possible with current technology.

Nokia to W3C: Ogg is proprietary, we need DRM on the Web Tuesday, Dec 11 2007 

Nokia has filed a submission with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) objecting to the use of Ogg Theora as the baseline video standard for the Web. Ogg is an open encoding scheme (On2, the company that developed it, gave it and a free, perpetual unlimited license to its patents to the nonprofit Xiph foundation), but Nokia called it “proprietary” and argued for the inclusion of standards that can be used in conjunction with DRM, because “from our viewpoint, any DRM-incompatible video related mechanism is a non-starter with the content industry (Hollywood). There is in our opinion no need to make DRM support mandatory, though.”DRM — Digital Rights Management, or Digital Restrictions Management — is technology that prevents you from using some files by taking over part of your computer so that it won’t obey your requests. DRM is always proprietary. Before a DRM is released, it is infected with “Hook IP” — a patent or trade secret that is introduced to the technology so that the only way you can implement the DRM is by licensing the Hook IP. Anyone who licenses the Hook IP is forced to promise to make their DRM behave as intended, preventing uses and taking over computers and devices. Without Hook IP, a company could implement the DRM but leave out the restrictions, shipping products that allow all the uses their competitors’ products deny. Hook IP gives the DRM maker something to sue over if this happens.

So DRM is by definition proprietary. If it’s not proprietary, it can’t be DRM.

And, of course, Ogg Theora is not proprietary. It does have some patents covering it, but those patents have been surrendered, to all intents and purposes.

Most importantly, the W3C is probably the purest anti-proprietary standards body on the planet, having already rejected any kind of licensing conditions or fees for its standards, setting the bar for anyone who wants to add to the Web: such additions have to be as free as the Web itself.

Nokia intervention here is nothing short of bizarre. Ogg is not proprietary, DRM is, and DRM-free may be a “non-starter” for Hollywood today, but that was true of music two years ago and today, most of the labels are lining up to release their catalogs without DRM. The Web, and Web-based video, are bigger than Hollywood. The Web is not a place for proprietary technology or systems that take over your computer. For Nokia (and Apple, who also lobbied hard for DRM inclusion) to get the Web this badly wrong, this many years into the game, is really sad: if you haven’t figured out that the Web is open by 2007, you just haven’t been paying attention.

Some Slashdot commenters have pointed out that they have technical problems with Ogg Theora. That’s a valid discussion to have — if the W3C is going to pick a video codec, its technical merits should be discussed. But remember, that’s not what Nokia is objecting to: they are arguing that Ogg is proprietary (it isn’t) and that DRM should be part of a Web standard (it shouldn’t)

Police Closes Pirate Bay Investigation, Trial Awaits Tuesday, Dec 11 2007 

The police investigation into The Pirate Bay has finally came to an end. Today, the Pirate Bay received over 4,000 pages of legal paperwork. There doesn’t appear to be any evidence that suggests The Pirate Bay is involved in any illegal activities, but that is up to the court to decide now.

pirate bayDuring the Pirate Bay raid in May of last year, the Swedish police confiscated 180 servers, most of which had nothing to do with TPB, and actually belonged to other customers of Pirate Bay’s ISP.

The Pirate Bay was back online only a few days after the raid whilst the police continued the investigation.

The police, and prosecutor Håkan Roswall spent over a year trying to find something they could use against The Pirate Bay crew. Now, after having extended custody several times, they think they have enough evidence to start a case.

Last month prosecutor Roswall announced that he plans to press charges against 5 people involved with The pirate bay, stating that the 5 individuals will be charged with “facilitating copyright infringement” before the end of January next year.

Today there was another milestone as the Pirate Bay crew received all the legal papers, just over a month before they will be charged. Brokep from The Pirate Bay told TorrentFreak that they will ask for an extension. “I’m not going to spend Christmas and New Years eve reading these piles of paper,” he added.

Unhappy with all the paper wasted on the case, Brokep and the “The Pro Piracy Movement” bought 5 trees, to compensate for the environmental losses.

Police Closes Pirate Bay Investigation, Trial Awaits

The evidence consists of reports about files that were found on the servers, and as can be seen from the picture, a lot of top torrent lists. It also reveals personal details on the people who are involved with the Pirate Bay, as well as the alleged money streams. Brokep told TorrentFreak that they don’t have any evidence that The Bay is doing something illegal according to Swedish law.

On a side note, whilst the police may not have found evidence that the BitTorrent tracker was involved in illegal activity, they did find a bug in TPB’s tracker code “Hypercube”. Apparently the number of downloads reported by the software was incorrect because of some counting issues. Apart from that SKL (State Crime Lab) certified it to completely follow the BitTorrent standard.

Unfortunately they found this bug a little late, The Pirate Bay switched to new tracker software a few days ago.

Chevrolet Loc8tor or The Story of The Noisy Parking Lot Tuesday, Dec 11 2007 

Once upon a time, people used to shop for Christmas. And every time they went to the magic shop also known as Mall they had a reaaaallllyyy big problem: they forgot where they put their horses. Or deers. Or ponies. Or whatever dog they used to get there.So, what would a good fairytale hero do? Of course, he (or she, to be politically correct) would teach their animals human language. Yes, they would give them the gift of speaking.

Chevrolet Loc8tor or The Story of The Noisy Parking LotStupid story, right? Well, Chevrolet actually thought a long time about it and invented… K.I.T.T.Y, The Loc8tor!! Not as stupid as the Renault Formula 1 salt and pepper shaker, but still: the device that makes your car speak whatever you want it to speak.
I really don’t think there is anymore to it than that.
One thing is for sure, the hero in our fairytale was clearly a heroine. Who else could call something K.I.T.T.Y. ( it comes from Key Innovation That Talks to You, if you were wondering).

So, for the last 10 minutes I’ve been laughing uncontrollably

Asus Eee 701 vs. Nokia N810 – Linux Fight! Tuesday, Dec 11 2007 

It’s that time. Linux vs. Linux. 800×480 vs. 800×480. Mobile vs. Mobile. Slider slate tablet vs. Clamshell notebook. Fight!

The first thing to address: Are these two devices truly competitors? The answer is yes – but only to consumers who don’t know what they REALLY want. You see – Both are extremely portable 800×480 Internet centric Linux devices in the $400-$470 street price range. However, both have clear cut advantages in certain areas that would only be of benefit to people who knew those advantages beforehand and used them as a basis for a purchasing decision.

At a Glance
I am not going to go over specs like CPU, BogoMIPS, etc. I created the table below to compare specs that actually matter to consumers.

Let’s do some side-by-side shots.

The 2 pound Asus Eee PC, when closed, measures 8.9 × 6.5 × 0.9~1.4 inches (that last dimension allowing for the sloped shape) so is roughly 66 cubic inches. The 8 ounce N810, at 5.04 × 2.83 × 0.55 inches, is just under 8 cubic inches. If size is important – Take the N810.

Internet Applications
Both devices have small, relatively low-resolution screens for Internet use. The 800 pixel wide display is about as small as a device can go without seriously impacting most web pages. Most web pages render nicely but some framed pages, notably Google Maps and Google Reader, have difficulty with the short 480 pixel height. Both sites are nearly unusable on both devices. Flash renders beautifully on both devices but the Eee has more raw horsepower offering greater frame rates. Finally, the Eee’s “real Firefox” browser allows the vast catalog of Firefox extensions. Other applications (Skype, Pidgin Multi-Protocol Instant Messenger, and Internet Radio) work flawless on both, but the N810 has been doing the “internet device” thing for longer and has other dedicated clients available. The Nokia Internet Tablet application catalog includes clients for Jaiku, Blogger, WordPress, Gizmo Project voice/video/IM, and more. There are also more commercial partners on the Internet Tablet side including Rhapsody, Boingo Wireless, Devicescape, There is no clear winner in this category as there are distinct advantages on both sides.

Non-Internet applications
This is one category in which the Eee really shines. The addition of OpenOffice.Org to the standard installation makes the Eee a useful companion even when the device is not connected (which will be more often – see “Connectivity” below.) OpenOffice.Org offers spreadsheets, documents, and presentations. With these, the Eee can be used at length offline. There are a good number of offline applications for the N810 in the Application Catalog, but no Office suite as rich as OpenOffice.Org.

The N810 strikes back to some degree: Nokia’s tablet has an integrated GPS receiver and comes with mapping software. The software can be upgraded with a subscription service for turn-by-turn voice navigation as well. In fact, the N810 even comes with a car mounting kit for just this purpose. While this may not be as essential as an office suite, it can be a lifesaving feature.

Ergonomics and Input Methods
The input methods are vastly different. The Eee gives us a familiar touchpad and keyboard but the surface area of both are so seriously diminished that they are cumbersome to normal adult hands. The N810 offers a touchscreen which actually greatly speeds browsing once the user is acclimated to the interface. The N810’s thumb keyboard is wonderfully handy for instant messages, Email, and light text entry into web forms, but not so good for long articles like this one is becoming. A cramped keyboard is still easier to use than a thumb keyboard for long text sessions. The Eee allows external mice and keyboards over USB and the N810 allows external keyboards over Bluetooth.

The N810 has WiFi and Bluetooth and the Eee has WiFi and Ethernet. There are times I wish I had an Ethernet adapter on my N800/N810 (specifically in hotel rooms with no WiFi) but I find myself frustrated with the Eee’s lack of Bluetooth every day. Many highly mobile technology enthusiasts are buying data plans with “Tethering.” This allows the phone to operate as a modem to the latest EVDO and HSDPA networks. I have that feature on my Nokia N95 and can’t live without it. The N810 has a simple wizard for Bluetooth phone pairing and carrier configuration which automatically starts up during the initial device configuration. The Eee… Well – after five or six tries, I was unable to get the N95 to recognize as a USB modem. The connectivity wizard allowed me to select it as a dial-up modem (not an HSDPA modem) but the dialing scripts were broken. Other users have hacked it to work, but I just gave up. For Hotspot hoppers or wired Ethernet users, the Eee is fine. For users who need their internet access EVERYWHERE, grab the N810.

Now it’s time for the N810 to pull ahead. To use the Eee from “Standby,” the steps are:

  1. Take it out of the pouch, bag, or case.
  2. Set it down and open the lid.
  3. Press the Power button
  4. Wait about 8-10 seconds
  5. Wait for WiFi to reconnect.
  6. Start using it.

On the N810, the same operation is:

  1. Take it out of your pocket.
  2. Slide open the keyboard, automatically taking it out of a suspend state.
  3. Start using it. It maintains WiFi connection to known hotspots while in standby.

Finally, the touchscreen makes it faster to navigate pages than the small track pad and the zoom keys allow for real zoom in/out operation (not just the ctrl+/- that only resizes text.) The Eee’s convenience lies in the USB ports. They’re handy for reading keychain USB drives.

Editorial Comments and Conclusion
Both devices are in this “in between” category. Neither is a Smartphone. Neither is an MP3 player. Neither is a full computer or laptop. What makes them so different?

The Asus Eee PC is made to be the low side of the laptop spectrum. It features the form factor, styling, and general use case scenarios of a laptop and that’s all. Asus did a very good job making the device easy, responsive, and preconfigured for basic laptop functionality. As a result. it’s also very much a “What you see is what you get” device. For non-hackers, it’s not designed to have extra software installed, upgrades performed, or functionality increased. Still – it knows what it does and it does that pretty well. If it were a race of laptops, it’d be a Toyota Yaris: Small, cute, clever, inexpensive, and efficient but with limited potential and without frills.

The Nokia N810 Internet Tablet, on the other hand, is the Phoenix born from the ashes of the dead PDA. Sometimes users want (or need) to have the whole Internet at their fingertips everywhere. The N810 gives them that. While some initial operations (like setting up Bluetooth tethering) are more difficult, the initial slowdown is quickly recovered by the speed of convenience. If we were to call the Asus Eee the “Toyota Yaris of Laptops, ” we’d have to call the N810 the “Rolls Royce of Pocket Devices.” It has a luxury look and feel, a stack of features, and extensive expansion potential through community and commercial software.

Not everyone needs a Rolls, though. For some, the Yaris of Laptops is worth more than the Rolls of Pocket Devices. To them, all the engineering and design in the world cannot get the term paper written comfortably. My own car is a 2007 Yaris Liftback. It’s perfect for me. So who should buy which?

Asus Eee PC 701:

  • Children aged 7-14. They’re not quite ready for full PCs yet, but you want to give them a head start. It’s durable, portable, and VERY hard to break the software. The SSD drive, smaller LCD (with a wide bezel) and light weight make it far less conducive to physical breakage. They can do homework on it, save it to SD card, then bring it over for Mom and Dad to print.
  • Linux Enthusiasts. I have to admit – it’s been some time since I’ve had a Linux workstation. Windows is better for an enterprise/office environment, Mac is better for content creation, and Linux is better for embedded devices and servers. Getting back into “regular PC hardware” running Linux has been fun and I’ve had a LOT of help from forums and wiki articles. If you’re interested in hacking Linux but are just starting out, the Eee community is fantastic.
  • Busy Families. Sometimes Dad wants to check his Email while Bobby is playing World of Warcraft. Sometimes Mom wants to keep her recipes in the kitchen without having to print them off. There are many situations when an extra computer can come in handy to families without having to the bulk or cost of a full laptop.
  • Students – Especially those with Municipal or Campus WiFi. Textbooks are HEAVY. Do you want a five pound laptop weighing you down when all you want to do is lay outside, tap away at your paper, and maybe chat with some friends? You can do the CPU intensive work when you’re in the computer lab anyway.

Nokia N810 Internet Tablet:

  • On-the-Go Professionals. If you make your living online through communication, stock trade, or other connected media, consider how much is done through a web browser or over Email/IM. You may find that you can ditch the laptop. Even systems administrators like myself can go out for a night on the town and (with extra software) maintain SSH, VNC, and RDesktop access to my servers.
  • Experienced Linux Hackers. If you know what a “cross-compiling toolchain” is and how to use it, take the N810. You’ll have a lot more fun.
  • Road Warriors. The GPS, “always available” connection through a mobile phone, and super-small form factor gives the N810 more reasons to go places a laptop or even Eee wouldn’t go.
  • Web 2.0 Fans. If a significant portion of your life is spent on Facebook, Blogger, MySpace, Jaiku, Twitter, Flickr, or other user-created-content sites, the N810 can keep you connected.

As for myself, I’m sticking with the N810 as my favorite “secondary” (non-phone) device. It fits my life much better than the Eee does. However, I am not one to turn away from a well-designed ultraportable. I’m going to have a good deal of fun with the Eee and enjoy it as my secondary home computer, but the N810 will get a lot more use out of the home.

p.s. I wanted to do more side-by-side shots with specific web pages and performance videos, but I am currently without an N810. Those photos were snapped before mine went back across the pond. Expect those photos and videos right here on when I get my hands on an N810 again.

                                                                 Nokia N810    Asue Eee 701


Form Factor Sliding slate laptop


Keyboard thumb-board small QWERTY


Clicking touchscreen small touchpad


USB Client-only Host-only


Bluetooth Yes No


Ethernet No Yes


Card Slot MiniSDHC SDHC


Speakers, Microphone, and Webcam Yes Yes


Storage 2GB 4GB





Size 4.1 inches 7 inches


Resolution 800×480 800×480


Sunlight Readable? Yes (transflective) No (Transmissive)


VGA out No Yes





Pocketable Yes No


GPS Yes No


Car Mounting Included Not Available


Charger Standard Nseries home/car charger 9.5V 2.315A plug – No 3rd party chargers


Battery 4 hours browsing 3.5 hours use





OS Internet Tablet OS2008 Xandros Linux


Mapping Included, with optional voice navigation Not Available


Web Browser Yes (Mozilla powered microb) Yes (Firefox)


Office Productivity None included OpenOffice


PDA/PIM None included KDE Kontact


3rd Party Apps Hundreds, many with one-click install Xandros 4.0 Repositories must be manually added.