[kwlug-disc] I hereby OSS my business idea

Khalid Baheyeldin kb at 2bits.com
Fri Oct 8 10:54:39 EDT 2010

On Fri, Oct 8, 2010 at 6:52 AM, Chris Bruner <cbruner at quadro.net> wrote:

>  On 10/5/2010 8:25 PM, Khalid Baheyeldin wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 5, 2010 at 8:15 PM, Insurance Squared Inc. <
> gcooke at insurancesquared.com> wrote:
>> I mentioned before on the list that I'd like to see a linux version of the
>> ipad/slate/sony tablet/whatever.  I think one of you folks should find a
>> hardware manufacturer to build one that's full of open components, create an
>> online marketplace like apple has (to sell apps, or just make them available
>> for a small download fee) then go on the dragon's den to get some cash to
>> build it all.
>> I'd do it, but I'm too busy.  You should do it because I want an OSS
>> tablet computer.  that's a good reason right?
> Already happened, or on its way.
> I'm looking to meego which is an open hardware/software system that is a
> combination of intel, nokia(trollteck qt's software) and linux. What I think
> makes the difference is that it's hosted by the Linux Foundation. Which to
> me means that the openness is part of the foundation, not an add on.

Meego has some issues, in my view.

It is the merger of two disparate mobile platforms, one that Nokia created,
called Maemo, which was Debian based, and the other was the Moblin that
Intel created, which is RPM based.

The Maemo platform was really good. It only runs on one phone handset
from Nokia the N900, and I think some older mini-tablets (N810). I don't
it ran on anything else. If there were, then I missed them.

The Moblin platform had no handsets that I am aware of. It was developed
to promote Intel's Atom as an alternative to ARM and other power efficient
CPUs in non-desktop stuff.

Meego is the merger of these two, and decided to go with RPM (which is
a minus for some like me, a plus for others).

What Meego is missing is that it does not have a wide variety of devices
already using it, nor there is a app store that people can download apps
from that do cool stuff.

Note that the Linux Foundation is an industry group, not your regular
run non-profit organization. Intel is a member, and hence the push from the

I saw someone from Toronto use Meego on his netbook to do a presentation
using OpenOffice Impress, and it was pretty functional on that platform.

On the other hand, he had to hunt for RPMs though when he was searching to
install a desktop video capture tool (xvidcap), and had to resort to
from source, with all the dependency hell that this route has.

Those of us who use Debian and rely on a comprehensive repository just
shake their head at this. Nokia had it for Maemo, now it is lost with Meego.

On Android, there is no .deb, and no .rpm. There is .apk, if you want to
install things yourself, using something like ASTRO to do it, or better yet
install only from the market, and you are done.

Will it give Android a run for its money? I am not sure. Android has a lot
for it. It is already established and gaining market share rapidly. It has a
ecosystem (Android Market), it has the support of a variety of handset
manufacturers (HTC, Samsung, Motorola, ...) and a plethora of tablet makers
are on board.

This is one case where choice can be harmful: Linux on the mobile and
tablet area can fragment.

At least this time around, they are not sold as "Linux", the platform or the
technology buzzword, but rather as brands "Android" and "Meego", with
Linux being invisible. This may be a good thing so as not to confuse the
Khalid M. Baheyeldin
2bits.com, Inc.
Drupal optimization, development, customization and consulting.
Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. --  Edsger W.Dijkstra
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. --   Leonardo da Vinci
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