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Another holiday in Melbourne

September 03, 2013 — BarryK
I am "on holiday" in sunny Melbourne -- yep, nice sunny spring day today, not sure what temperature, feels around 25 degrees celsius.

Not doing anything Puppy-related for awhile!


Ubuntu Phone did not reach target

August 22, 2013 — BarryK
At zero hours left, they reach US$12,809,906:

Which is in itself an impressive figure, but of course no where near the very ambitious target.

I am extremely curious to know if there is going to be a "Plan B". I think that Mr Shuttleworth has a personal passion to have such a "superphone", so perhaps something very interesting might still happen.

...I was thinking along the lines of one of the major phone manufacturers doing a "special production run" of their top-of-the-range phone, or one that they have in-the-works for future release. With all of us guys who put up our money getting first option to acquire it.

...just wild speculation!


Lavabit closes

August 16, 2013 — BarryK
This is sad:

The article states that the email service has closed down, rather than comply with the USA Government court order to feed client personal emails to them.


Linux versus OSX versus Windows

August 13, 2013 — BarryK
Recently I was reading a couple of reviews of the iPad Mini, which has the iOS operating system (which is based on the desktop OS-X OS), in which usability was compared with the Nexus-7 and other Android-based 7-inch tablets. What really stood out from those comparisons was the words "faster" and "just works" (or similar) throughout the texts.

The iPad Mini has inferior CPU, less RAM, yet apps are much more "snappy" than the Nexus-7.

On the otherhand, Windows... whenever I have had cause to use Windows, I couldn't get away from it fast enough.

Which leads me to thinking more about the merits/demerits of OS-X (and iOS), Windows, Linux, Android, etc.

Here an article about why Linux is "not ready for the desktop":

Quoting from that article:

If you get an impression that Linux sucks - you are largely wrong. If I had to create a list of Windows problems, it would be almost as long as this one. Intrinsic Windows problems are almost impossible to fix unless Microsoft starts from scratch. Linux problems are indeed approachable.


EOMA68-A20 card arrived

August 11, 2013 — BarryK
Here it is:

The board is described here:

It came with a metal covering, as you can see in the photos in the Rhombus-tech news page, but I removed it.


Ubuntu Edge price drop

August 11, 2013 — BarryK
They have dropped the price to $695, at which it will stay for the rest of the campaign (only 11 days left):

Unfortunately, unless a miracle occurs, they have left it too late. I have been critical of their strategy, ramping up the price too fast, and too much.

The miracle would be if there are about thirty thousand (yes, 30,000!) people out there who earlier declined, and for whom this new lower price will suddenly convince them to buy-in.

There has been one corporate backer buying-in at $80,000. if there are many more of those, perhaps who have been waiting, to build the drama, that could help. They will now receive 115 phones for their $80,000, which is a good deal.


Ubuntu Edge ordered

July 25, 2013 — BarryK
Well, we don't know whether the 32 million dollars target will be reached, but I have put in my order.
For those who don't know what this is about, read my earlier blog post:

I pledged $675 plus $30 postage, and as the Australian Dollar has slipped a bit below parity with the US Dollar, I paid AU$796.79.

I had to wait until my debit card got verified with PayPal, then was able to draw on it.

I would like to thank people who have donated recently. I think that they must have been reading my blog, because there has been a sudden upsurge of donations. I haven't previously published the exact donation record, but I would like to be open about what comes in and goes out. Here is the recent record:

24 AU$96.30 (R Erwin)
24 AU$20 (D Goldstein)
24 AU$25 (J Webster)
21 AU$10.60 (N Bodley)
10 AU$12.93 (A Kroes)
06 AU$20 (A Wilcox)

20 AU$96.30 (lightmob llc)
19 AU$23.85 (A Plazniak)
14 AU$48.00 (W Allen)
10 AU$9.36 (W Hall)

31 AU$4.53 (T Nicholson)
25 AU$48.50 (A Hall)
01 AU$19.02 (D Bruehl)

Money that I have spent from the PayPal account, in June and July:
AU$796.79 for Ubuntu Edge
AU$27.35 tiny motherboard for AEOMA-68 A20 card.
AU$150.80 AEOMA-68 A20 card.

The EOMA-68 A20 card has been shipped. I will report on experiences with it on my blog. I do of course hope to get Puppy running on it, but I purchased it mostly just to offer some support to the project. It's a pre-production run, and only about 20 of us stepped forward to order one.

I still really don't know if the EAOMA-68 pluggable CPU card concept has any future, but for now I am offering some support for the initiative.

Ubuntu Edge
I already mentioned in a previous blog post, that I reckon this initiative well deserves to reach the target, simply because of the price for such high-spec hardware. For example, a Samsung Galaxy S4 unlocked outright purchase is available in a local store for AU$769.

In addition, the Edge would be an open design, designed to be hackable, and will come with Android, so even if you decide not to use Ubuntu Touch, you still have a high-spec Android phone.

...just my thoughts.


Wow, Ubuntu Edge

July 23, 2013 — BarryK
I have got to hand it to Mr Shuttleworth, he has flair. The ambition of this is quite incredible. See the offer here:

An assessment here:

Probably I'm crazy, but I'll go for it. The only thing that has stopped me from committing $860 (830 + 30 postage) right now, is that I only have a tiny fraction of that in my PayPal account, and I first have to verify my credit card, then transfer the money in. Which will take a couple of days (I previously have relied on Puppy-donations only to get some balance into my PayPal account). It is quite a lot of money for me, as I am on a pension.

I have recently paid about $180 for a pre-production EOMA-68 A20 (dual-cpu) board, plus a tiny motherboard. Only about 20 guys committed to this. I did too, mostly just to support the project.
A report on this A20 board is here:

Anyway, back on the Ubuntu Edge. Yeah, lots of hype, and Mr Shuttleworth is a showman. But, if he can pull this one off, it will be really something. A phone with those specs, yes, I would finally commit to buying such a smartphone (I currently own a very dumb and cheap keyboard-driven flip-phone).