Tuesday, 24 November 2009


writing from a position of partial ignorance here - all I've seen are the Google posts - but based on my experiences over the past year or so since I started playing with lightweight, ie old, machines - the newest and most powerful being my Asus netbook - aka the ookygoo.

The lessons learned can be summarised as:

  • you don't need a whole lot of compute power
  • you do need good internet access
  • the operating system is basically just a launcher for the browser
  • you spend most of your time in a browser
in fact you spend almost all your time in a browser. In fact I even find myself using zoho and google docs at work simply because it's easier. Both the Asus eee and Crunchbang linux show that realistically all you need is a reasonable user interface to the host operating system. And a decent display - eg google reader doesnt't display well in the Eee's 7" display - on the other hand this would be less of a problem on the slightly larger 10"/11" displays more common in current netbooks.

ChromeOs apparently uses a debian derived (apparently partly via Canonical/Ubuntu) to provide a fast browser launch - so your browser is the user interface, and as life's about the cloud these days that's all you should need (other than a 3G modem and a decent data contract ...)

The more interesting question is wether we will see ChromeOs bundled on machines to provide an instant-on environment the way Splashtop is on some devices, the instant-on environment providing an alternative to other more heavyweight environments with a marked startup time - the use cases including using the splashtop environment for flight checkins and email checking in snatched moments in a cafe but the heavyweight OS to run a preso ...

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