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The Open-PC: one step closer to open-hardware

Jan 22, 2010, 07:34 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ryan Cartwright)

[ Thanks to steve hill for this link. ]

"At the Gran Canaria Open Desktop Summit in July 2009, the Open-PC project was announced. The statement said the project aimed to “cooperatively design a Free Software based computer by and for the community”. Further this PC would use only hardware for which there are free software drivers available. This would be a PC with the minimal compromise required for running a free desktop. In January 2010 the project announced the launch of its first product. Following the announcements appearance on several tech news sites, many commentators were quick to point out its flaws: over-hyped, over-priced (359 Euro), low-spec (Atom/3GB/160GB/Intel Graphics) were among the more popular superlatives I saw. Some also questioned whether such a PC was even necessary. In the days when you can buy a laptop for about the same and given the Open-PC doesn’t even come with a monitor it would seem the pitch of the machine is slightly off-kilter.

"The major design decisions and also things like price and recovery media have been made collectively via on-line polls

"But I think the detractors may have missed the point slightly. This PC is not from a manufacturer looking to cash in on free software and run when the revenue starts picking up (Hello Asus). It’s also not from a big name looking to satisfy some of its more-extreme customer base with a bit of tokenism (Hello Dell). This is a community project set up because parts of “the community” got fed up with having to compromise their free desktops with non-free drivers."

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