[kwlug-disc] Apple Rocks! No linux tablets?

Johnny Ferguson hyperflexed at gmail.com
Fri Jul 16 02:18:17 EDT 2010


I had a hard time forking out 400 for a netbook that I could control, I 
can't imagine how I would ever succumb to the shiny curves the iPad I 
can't control for 800.

I think the big fallacy holding back linux from doing its thing is the 
belief that software is where the game is at. It's not. It's important, 
but the hardware that it runs on is equally (if not more) important.

This is exactly why the open moko died. It was hideous, wasteful, 
clunky, and weak.

When I see the iPad I see so much more than the software. It's the 
hardware in and outside the device. I think apple understands this, and 
that's why they've been tightening up restrictions on development. If 
they were to move in the opposite direction, they'd have to begin 
imposing an "apple tax" on their users much as microsoft has done for 
years with OEM licensing en masse as people began to realize that the 
device could do so much more.

That might sound as though it contradicts my claim that software isn't 
the big picture, but if you think about it, not really. What I'm saying 
is that iPad is like the bread, and apple's os is just the butter. You 
can make better butter, but you always need the bread. If the bread 
sucks, the butter doesn't matter.

So what does apple have that we don't? Control over hardware. 
Accordingly, less time developing for "edge case" hardware.

as far as hardware on our side, the wheels are beginning to turn:
http://www.openhardwaresummit.org/

If I were to compare linux to apple, I'd say linux is like the heavy 
vehicle with the higher top speed, and apple is the lighter car with the 
faster acceleration. Things may look dim now, but in the end the more 
capable system will prevail. Apple is lean and focused, but it will 
never match the breadth, portability, and customization of linux.

regardless of external opinions, I know what I like, I know what gets 
the job done, and I'll get an iPad when I see it as anything more than 
extraneous (mostly in light of the cost per unit satisfaction). If apple 
were to sell it purely as a hardware platform, I'd definitely reconsider.

I want to see more of that in the future. The separation of hardware and 
software. To me it seems as obvious as the separation of church and state :P

-Johnny

ADDENDUM: I'm thinking linux tablets will be a no go for some time. At 
least until the point that open-source developers realize they can't be 
industrial designers as well. There needs to be a coalition between 
hardware and software people before we'll get the organized momentum 
that apple has.

On 07/15/2010 08:52 PM, Insurance Squared Inc. wrote:
> I just bought an  Apple Ipad, and my son put the Apple sticker on the
> back bumper of his ATV. So I guess I'm kicked out of this group now too
> (sigh. kicked out of ANOTHER group).
>
> The Ipad is seriously cool, and has some stuff I love. There's a billion
> apps. 1980's Galaga and Pac Man. I'd have bought it just for that.
> Webmail that works way better than my blackberry. Point it at the sky
> and it'll show you the star map directly in your line of sight behind
> the ipad (this is seriously cool). And I've been trying to get the globe
> and mail delivered in New hamburg for 5 years to no avail - now I get it
> on my ipad every day with breakfast. I'm buying apps by the bucket. I
> was a sceptic (I'm not an early adopter) but now I'm a fan.
>
> But now I owe my soul to the company store - Steve Job's corporate
> Itunes app store. $1.99 here, $4.99 there. (though in their defence,
> they're doing a super job despite being entirely closed with no
> competition).
>
> Is there nothing out yet at this level of tablet computers for linux? I
> know I read somewhere that there's some sort of tablet based linux OS
> but nothing in common use? This technology seems perfect for linux.
> Opensource apps, possibilty of OSS developers making some money, private
> app stores competing for business, the fact that linux's front end is
> discrete from the backend, so it should be relatively easy to get a
> tablet version into production. It's screaming for an open platform.
> Really - who the heck provides a computer with 32gigs, charges $800 for
> it and won't even let you upgrade?
>
> But nothing for linux? Anything coming down the pipes? Or is this still
> a fizzle like it is for MS so far? Am I going to be able to make my next
> tablet computer a linux machine that's as cool as my ipad?
>
>
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