Open-PC: The Atom-Powered Nettop For Linux Lovers

Open-PC: The Atom-Powered Nettop For Linux Lovers

Windows has long dominated the desktop and notebook scene; even today, the Microsoft-built operating system holds over 90% of the market share for PCs globally. Nearly 9 out of every 10 computers in the entire world run on some form of Windows, which means that there isn't too much space left for the "other guys" to fight it out.

Apple currently holds between 5% and 6% of the share, while a great variety of lesser-known systems hold down the rest. Linux is a big name in the tech enthusiast circle, but outside of that, not too many people give it a fighting chance. Good for you, though, because you're probably in that camp that actually gives a darn about an open source OS that has provided the world with something to tinker with when Windows and OS X have both driven you to the brink.

The Open-PC is a new nettop of sorts that runs on Linux, and everything that ships with the PC works without drivers and without any proprietary software. It is truly designed to be ran on Linux, and it just might be the perfect fit for you if you are into this whole "counter-culture" PC movement. The tiny box is equipped with a 1.6GHz Atom N330 dual-core CPU, 3GB of RAM, an ASRock mainboard, 160GB hard drive, Intel GMA950 integrated graphics, a mini-ITX case, 250-watt power supply and a Linux/KDE-based OS that is pre-installed and pre-configured to work with the given hardware lineup.

It should ship at the end of this month in Europe for 359 Euros, with 10 Euros from each sale benefiting KDE. Talk about supporting the Little Guy!

Open-PC is a completely open computer. Only components with complete technical specifications, as provided by the manufacturers, were used. Everything works with free drivers and no proprietary software is needed.
   
The Open-PC

    * Atom N330 1,6GHz Dual-Core Processor
    * 3GB RAM
    * 160GB Harddisc
    * ASRock Mainboard
    * Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
    * Mini ITX-Case
    * 250watt power supply
    * expandable hardware
    * size: 345mm x 100mm x 425mm
    * Installation support (telephone and email)
    * 10,- EUR of every PC is donated to the KDE project
    * Linux/KDE based operatingsystem installed and preconfigured

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I love this statistic (90%), which mean Apple OS, all versions of Linux/Unix etc share 10 percent. Apple claims 5.5% of the entire PC market and Apple fan boys try to say it has some kind of foot hold on the market. I personally like Linux, but I do not run it as a main OS for one reason, which is why. All Linux and various versions of it and UNIX do is try to emulate what (generally) Windows. Yes Linux/Unix is better from a developer stand point and in security to a good degree. Apple just does it's own thing really the OS is decent. However; I cannot stand proprietary hardware, and I have had it as even many PC's used to be so (Like PC DOS drivers from IBM, Packard Bell, HP, Compaq also used to be proprietary to different amounts and with different components), but it does not work in a large market spectrum. I wish and I know this is a big wish, that Apple would go general hardware. This would help many things, but mainly M$ would have to quit playing around. Yes 7 is good, but Vista was a joke which should have never been released from my viewpoint. As far as it goes Linux could conceivably change the market to. I just don't see it; as basically it is a emulating test and development bed at least more so.

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Its nice to see more complete systems released to run Linux/Unix. It is a step in a good direction to adding different levels to the market.

Linux from what I have played with is a nice operating system, but you have to know many tricks and special commands to get that system to work the way you want it. Plus without major backing from many software developers, Linux/Unix will stay a special OS over fighting to be the home OS. That is what Microsoft has taken and held on to with the windows OS. Until someone can take what Microsoft has done, add something unique to it, and get some major backing , Windows will hold a majority in the OS market.

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Whenever I see a post stating that specialized knowledge is needed for a Linux install

I just shake my head ....Mandriva powerpack is up and running from dead drive to productive in 40 minutes fully customized in an hour.

No special knowledge required updates are automatic drivers included and an inexpensive setup like my M4a785-M coupled with an AMD 9850 an inexpensive Nvidia 250 video card and your flying in 64 bit full screen effects and a better look then Win7 which I find rather juvinile looking. Office aps built in, video editing a mouse click away,

Photo editing software that works, works well and is cost free no need for anti virus or malware scanners as yet but they are available for the paranoid. you are really doing yourself a diservice by writing off Linux as to hard or complex its simply no longer true!

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Man-Driva, hook us up one with of these kits, we'll show the world. :)

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Yeah I agree Man I did a current install of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Mandriva and a couple of others on a CD I got from Linux Power User (I think it had 9). I must say my fave always used to be Mandriva. I don't know now Ubuntu is pretty flawless for an our of box package. I made the mistake of installing there newest update (I think it was 10 don't quote me though) everything seemed to work flawless until then.There are many advantages, but if you wanna go on a UNIX backbone what do you think of leopard. From what I hear it is a straight UNIX shell unlike Linux which is a broke down version of Unix really.

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I'm starting to get into Ubuntu Server and learning command lines. So far so good. I am trying to learn how to run RAID and get it on as a network drive in Virtual Box. It will work good to assist my W7 Rig.

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My experience, which dates back several years, is that Ubuntu runs «out of the box» and is far more hassle-free than corresponding (temporally) Windows OS. I'm typing this message on a 64-bit Ubuntu Karmic (9.10) setup which has given me no trouble since the stable (non-beta) version was released on 29 October....

Henri

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I've used 'Ubuntu' and a lesser known 'Linux Mint' as well. Both are free and full featured, installed easily, and have never crashed. They're beginning to port games to Linux now as well. The only reason I stick with Windows as the main OS in my house is my gaming and the fact that all of my favorite games are still ported ONLY to windows.

Microsoft should understand that if they want loyalty, they should buy a dog, because I'll drop them in a flash if someone ever comes up with a way to game on a Linux box that works as well as my windows 7 boxes do. They really P*I*S*S*E*D me off with Vista.

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My last experience with Linux (and my longer experiences with its grandpappy Unix and uncle Multics) wasn't a good one, and that's made me reluctant to try again. The spotty performance when it comes to games is also a problem for me-- as you know, PCs are used for only five things: Email, music, web browsing, games, and porn. So with games running better on a Windows box, and with many alternatives for the web, music, and email, that leaves only porn as a selling point for Linux.

I believe that Linux should tout its superiority at viewing porn. It's a natural, because most of the OS was written by adolescent hackers, implying raging glands, lack of social experience, and hours of staring into computer screens. I'd be surprised if the developers didn't already have their own ultimate porn applications, which merely require memorizing an obscure set of commands. Oh, sure, it'll be criticized-- as much as Paris Hilton after her sex tape was leaked. Ponder how that affected her career and jump on the Linux For Porn (L4P) bandwagon!

[By the way, since I seem to run into people unused to a dry sense of humor, 95% of the preceding was facetious. Decide for yourself which 5% wasn't. .) ]

If I win one of the Thermaltake "Valentine's Special" systems here, and I'm partial to the one with the pink barcode on the top, I hereby promise to put Linux on it. Not that there's any connection between that and the L4P movement, but y'know, those of us without significant others have to do what we can.

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The last time I tried to put Linux and Windows on the same hardware, Linux recognized everything and Vista could not detect the wireless ethernet. Sure, on some other systems you may have to tweak Linux to get everything working - but it's exactly the same case with Windows.

My Dell Latitude 610 laptop died a few weeks back. I took the hard drive where I had installed Linux on it and put it in a Lenovo R400. COMPLETELY different system: chipsets - video - everything. It booted Linux from the original drive perfectly - and I'm writing from it right now. Try that with Windows and then tell me how easy it is to put it on new hardware.

Anyone that says Linux is hard to install hasn't tried doing it - or they'd realize that sentence makes them look very dumb to anyone who has really installed it.

I think the Intel video in the articles system is a bad idea. They should have gone with AMD - as it's the only one that has an open source driver that actually has decent 3D support.

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