Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
HP Linux

How HP Could Turn a Novelty Into a Revolution 353

Posted by kdawson
from the just-the-right-touch dept.
RobotsDinner writes "HP's TouchSmart desktop is cool, but a blogger suggests it could be the beginning of a revolution if HP were to finally make the move of ditching Windows and building a Linux distro around the TouchSmart UI. 'Hello, HP. The UI of your latest TouchSmart computer says something about you. You may not have recognized your own weaving-in of meaning, but it comes across quite clearly if one reads just right: You want out. You want to escape the world of Windows to which Microsoft has sequestered you for the better part of two decades. Ah, but you can. No longer does Bill Gates stand guard outside your cell ... It's time to ditch Windows and build a Linux distro around the TouchSmart UI ... Your captivity of innovation under Microsoft is over. You're free. Free to invent, as you might put it.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

How HP Could Turn a Novelty Into a Revolution

Comments Filter:
  • Slow News Day (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LostCluster (625375) * on Monday September 01, 2008 @10:36PM (#24837999)

    A pure Linux fanboy wrote that blog post that made its way to Slashdot's homepage. He just wants HP to put Linux on the hot new product, when really this is a Windows Tablet with a few new cool apps writen for it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by QuantumG (50515) *

      And it's such a YAWNable product too.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by exley (221867)

        Yawnable? I disagree. Useful? Not so sure. I have a convertible tablet laptop (no touch screen; just the stylus) and I think it is fantastic, but I'm not sure if I could see myself using the touch feature of a 22" size box on a regular basis.

        Still might be cool product once you get your hands on it, though, and this post could end up an unwitting Slashvertisement for some of us, much to the chagrin of those responsible for the latest non-news story to hit the front page.

    • by zonky (1153039)
      Innit. How low can the front page go?
    • Re:Slow News Day (Score:5, Interesting)

      by complete loony (663508) <Jeremy.Lakeman@gma i l . c om> on Monday September 01, 2008 @10:53PM (#24838139)
      Not to mention that a touch screen interface either gives you RSI or neck / back ache depending on the position of the screen.
      • I'm already thinking as a fourth monitor, mounted at a slight (nearly flat) incline behind my keyboard for my AV work as a touch digital slide/jog/shuttle board...

      • Re:Slow News Day (Score:5, Interesting)

        by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @12:11AM (#24838681) Homepage
        I think it is this video: http://www.archive.org/details/AlanKeyD1987 [archive.org]

        In which Douglas Englebart discovered that it was very tiring to use a touch screen display in the 60s. Half a century later, we'll be relearning that.
        • Re:Slow News Day (Score:5, Interesting)

          by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @12:39AM (#24838813) Homepage
          The comment is by Alan Kay at 7:10. And of course, I misspelled "Engelbart". Anyway here's the quote (Sketchpad is from 1962):

          "By the way, Sketchpad was the first system in which it was definitely discovered that the light pen is a very bad input device because the blood runs out of your hand in about 20 seconds and leaves it numb. In spite of that it's been reinvented at least 90 times in the last 25 years." Alan Kay, 1987.
          • by RustinHWright (1304191) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @01:38AM (#24839139) Homepage Journal
            Yeah, that was true with the kind of bulky, heavy tech they had then, mounted with the screen straight up and down. I hear no such complaints from users of Wacoms, including the Cintiqs that are also screens. The key issues are that the pen needs to be very light and the screen should be mounted at the angle a drafting table would be, about thirty degrees from horizontal.
            Also, frankly, most a y'all were never taught how to hold a pen properly. Those of us who took drafting classes back in the pen and ink days were taught to hold a pen in the ways that make it practical to work hour after hour, decade after decade, just as draftsmen, illustrators, and engineers had for generations.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          They had electric cars at beginning of the 20th century too.. A mouse doesn't work to type but we still use a mouse and a keyboard. Why not a mouse, a keyboard, and a touch screen?
          • by anagama (611277)
            If you have your hand up a lot, it is going to get tired. If you only rarely touch things on the screen, why bother with it -- it makes three places for your hands when even two is sometimes inconvenient. A touch screen in a horizontal orientation probably wouldn't be so tiring, but that would take a complete redesign of desks -- a normal desk is simply too high for that purpose. Of course, a lower desk will encourage a forward slouch.
            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              The reason.. most people who use PC's don't type all that much either. I don't. Yet I still have a keyboard and I do type from time to time. Being able to touch and draw directly on the screen is as important ot me as typing if not more important. But I am an artist so maybe I'm not the best person to ask.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Hal_Porter (817932)

            I've always wondered if it's worth having a Microwriter like mouse. From what I've read the Microwriter was a very natural input device. Then again it never took off, so maybe it was only natural to a small number of zealots.

        • by mk2mark (1144731) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @04:06AM (#24839925) Homepage
          Exactly! Who's hair-brained idea was it to decide that touchscreens were a good idea? Not only is it tiring, you have to sit within arms reach of the display, you have to touch the display which strains your arm/hand and gets the screen messy, and you're replacing a mouse and keyboard with something vastly inferior on so many levels! And worst of all they're cool!
      • Re:Slow News Day (Score:4, Interesting)

        by arth1 (260657) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @12:49AM (#24838871) Homepage Journal

        The main problems with touch screens for more than casual use are:

        1: You obscure what you touch. Until we get transparent hands, people will obscure the screen while using it.
        2: Smudges and scratches. If you don't think this is a real problem, look at the pay terminal at the grocery store. And that's casual use.
        3: Gorilla Arm syndrome. This has been the downfall of touch screens for frequent input each and every time they have been re-launched as the next big thing.

        • Don't know what you mean by "gorilla arm syndrome" but using a stylus handles the first two concerns just fine.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by flewp (458359)
            I don't know exactly why, but whenever I use my Wacom, my hand tends to cramp up a lot quicker than if I'm using an actual pen or pencil. I think it has to do with either the fact that I leave my tablet on the desk at all times, which limits the angles and position I'll be holding the stylus at - as opposed to a sketchbook that I may move around as I work. The other thing is maybe the constant light hovering over the tablet with the stylus.
        • by temcat (873475) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @04:02AM (#24839907)

          Until we get transparent hands, people will obscure the screen while using it

          I've heard that there is experimental support for hand transparency in the current X.org git tree. The code is still very much alpha however; in particular, on some hardware, you cannot disable transparent hands after you have enabled them.

    • Re:Slow News Day (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Monday September 01, 2008 @10:54PM (#24838143)

      A pure Linux fanboy wrote that blog post that made its way to Slashdot's homepage. He just wants HP to put Linux on the hot new product, when really this is a Windows Tablet with a few new cool apps writen for it.

      You're right. But he does have a point, although that may not have been intentional. If Linux were to power a nifty device that caught the attention of the masses, that'd certainly be a good first step towards gaining mass acceptance.

      But... well really there's nothing insightful about what I just said. Nothing new, anyway. It's easy for me to say "put Linux on a neat product!", but picking the right product, making it work, and convincing somebody to do it ... well if I could provide a step by step of how to realistically pull that off, I'd deserve more than a +5.

      • Re:Slow News Day (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 01, 2008 @11:08PM (#24838231)

        If Linux were to power a nifty device that caught the attention of the masses, that'd certainly be a good first step towards gaining mass acceptance.

        You mean like the Asus Eee?

        • Re:Slow News Day (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Gewalt (1200451) on Monday September 01, 2008 @11:16PM (#24838293)
          No, more like Tivo
          • Re:Slow News Day (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Hal_Porter (817932) on Monday September 01, 2008 @11:26PM (#24838363)

            Yeah, I bet Tivo are really glad they picked Linux given the reaction to them from the Linux community.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

              One one hand, some people are mad at them.
              On the other hand, they saved millions in development costs.
              I don't see them being unhappy unless it is an existential angst.

              • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

                by Hal_Porter (817932)

                Their 'supplier' has changed its licensing terms specifically to put them out of business. Companies get antsy about that.

                They mentioned GPL3 in their annual report to the SEC

                http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS5304340445.html [linuxdevices.com]

                In addition, the GNU Public License is subject to occasional revision. A proposal for changing the license from its current form (GPLv2) into a newer, more restrictive version called GPLv3 has been proposed and is currently undergoing community review. If the currently proposed version of GPLv3 is widely adopted, we may be unable to incorporate future enhancements to the GNU/Linux operating system into our software, which could adversely affect our business.

                in fact they regard GPL3 as a threat to Linux on the same level as SCO's lawsuit.

                Our TiVo software includes parts of the Linux kernel and the GNU/Linux operating system. The Linux kernel and the GNU/Linux operating system have been developed and licensed under the GNU General Public License, version 2 and similar open source licenses. These licenses state that any program licensed under them may be liberally copied, modified, and distributed. The GNU General Public license is a subject of litigation in the case of The SCO Group, Inc. v. International Business Machines Corp., pending in the United States District Court for the District of Utah. SCO Group, Inc., or SCO, has publicly alleged that certain versions of the Linux kernel contain unauthorized UNIX code or derivative works of UNIX code. Uncertainty concerning SCO's allegations, regardless of their merit, could adversely affect our manufacturing and other customer and supplier relationships. It is possible that a court would hold these open source licenses to be unenforceable in that litigation or that someone could assert a claim for proprietary rights in our TiVo software that runs on a GNU/Linux-based operating system. Any ruling by a court that these licenses are not enforceable, or that GNU/Linux-based operating systems, or significant portions of them, may not be liberally copied, modified or distributed, would have the effect of preventing us from selling or developing our TiVo software and would adversely affect our business.

                I bet they have a Tivo in the works based on an alternate OS just to cover themselves.

                • by Knuckles (8964)

                  Tivo's supplier is the kernel team and they have done nothing of the sort. Anyway, if they are unhappy with the licensing terms they can always write their own code.

                  • Re:Slow News Day (Score:5, Interesting)

                    by Hal_Porter (817932) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @01:17AM (#24839037)

                    Tivo's supplier is the kernel team and they have done nothing of the sort.

                    No, Tivo's supplier is "Linux", not just kernel. Some of the user level stuff they rely on will change license terms. In fact most GPL code is licensed under "version 2 or later", so if they use that their users can just treat it as if it were GPLv3 licensed. or GPLv4 when it comes out, which might have additional anti Tivo clauses.

                    Anyway, if they are unhappy with the licensing terms they can always write their own code.

                    Like I said, I'm sure they're really happy they chose Linux under one set of license terms only to find the terms changed without them agreeing and specifically to put them out of the business. The worst thing is they don't know yet what the impact will be yet - if some crucial user mode piece of code changes to GPLv3 they might need to rewrite it. If they complain they get told to "write their own code".

                    Uncertainty like this makes businesses anxious. That's why they mentioned it in their SEC filing. And why I suspect they're better off migrating away from Linux to reduce the risk of people adding clauses to the GPL designed to destroy them.

                    Face it the FSF and most of the community don't want them to use Linux in the way they do.

                    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                      by Eskarel (565631)
                      That's not actually true. You can distribute code licensed as v2 or later under either the terms of version 2 or the terms of version 3.

                      You can't lose the terms of version 2 unless a new version of the software has a different license and even that doesn't change the license on the code you already have.

                      Of course if the new code under the new license has major improvements you can't use that code and would have to independently modify your own, which would be somewhat expensive.

                      That said, I think what is bo

                    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                      by Svartalf (2997)

                      Actually, you've got it wrong.

                      If you don't distribute, you don't have to "give back" as you've put it.

                      If you distribute, you're explicitly required to "give back" as part of the terms of the licensing. The "giving back" is the royalty payment that is supposed to be given in consideration for being licensed to publish copies of the protected work and to make substantively derivative works of the protected work. If you don't pay those royalties, you're in breach of the ONLY agreement you have to do these

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

                  They mentioned GPL3 in their annual report to the SEC ...
                  in fact they regard GPL3 as a threat to Linux on the same level as SCO's lawsuit.

                  I don't think you have much experience reading SEC filings. They exist to CYA the company from investor lawsuits by covering all their bases. Just because its mentioned doesn't mean they consider it a significant problem.

                  I bet they have a Tivo in the works based on an alternate OS just to cover themselves.

                  I bet they don't. It would be a waste of money.

                  Well, it seems that their current system is still a 2.4.x kernel [dvrpedia.com] which is roughly 8 years old now. I don't see them in a rush to keep current.

                  In other words, since license changes are not retroactive, they don't have much to worry about eve

      • Re:Slow News Day (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Zorque (894011) on Monday September 01, 2008 @11:51PM (#24838555)

        Why do people have to treat devices like this as being nothing more than a stepping stone for the all-powerful Linux? Propagandizing like that is just the thing that keeps people from taking people like you seriously.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mabhatter654 (561290)

          because Microsoft didn't treat the PC that way and Apple's not treating the iPhone that way.... Right.

          • by Zorque (894011)

            They don't claim to have some sort of moral superiority or anything like that, we know for certain they're just in it for the money. If Linux is supposed to be free as in both speech and beer, then why should we be pushing it on people? That's not freedom.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by rohan972 (880586)

              If Linux is supposed to be free as in both speech and beer, then why should we be pushing it on people? That's not freedom.

              An interesting point. Did the US become free as a result of the revolution, or was it non-free because the people loyal to the English monarchy had that freedom forced on them?

              Perhaps there are just a certain amount of people who only take what is forced on them. Some people accepted monarchies because they were forced on them. Some people had democracy forced on them. Is the right to representative government less of a freedom because some people didn't want it?

              My parents, for example, will never exp

        • Why do people have to treat devices like this as being nothing more than a stepping stone for the all-powerful Linux? Propagandizing like that is just the thing that keeps people from taking people like you seriously.

          Nobody takes Linux people seriously because the difference between it and Windows/Mac is, from their perspective anyway, trivial. So, yes, finding a way to get them to notice it is on some people's minds. You gotta better idea? Something a little better than IBM's quickly-evaporating-commercial?

          • by Zorque (894011)

            Maybe just program it the best you can and stop relying on dishonest gimmicks? If it's a good operating system, people will use it, and they'll try to get their friends and family to use it. If it's not a good operating system, it will either improve or die. Linux is just a loosely-associated group of OS's (or technically the kernel they all have in common), and putting it on one device isn't going to make it an overnight success. Go ahead and port it to whatever devices you feel like, but it's going to be

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              "Maybe just program it the best you can and stop relying on dishonest gimmicks? ... People have ported Linux to far more interesting devices before and it really hasn't changed a thing."

              I didn't say anything about dishonest gimmicks. I said put it on a product people like and it'll get the Linux name out there. Like I said, the masses don't care. Linux is invisible to them. Raise that visibility. Look at FireFox. It's starting to gain some mainstream momentum. Why? Because it's good? No, because it

              • The iPhone UI was designed from the ground up as a touch interface, maximizing the use of space and screen real estate in a portable device. All of the applications it uses were redesigned to take advantage of that interface. With that in mind, just what, exactly, is a Linux-based touch-screen desktop computer going to do? What is it going to do differently? More importantly, just how is it going to do it BETTER?

                The disadvantage to the HP is that they've come up with a half-hearted interface with a few appl

      • Re:Slow News Day (Score:4, Insightful)

        by cmacb (547347) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @01:21AM (#24839051) Homepage Journal

        If Linux were to power a nifty device that caught the attention of the masses, that'd certainly be a good first step towards gaining mass acceptance.

        That has happened already to some extent. The Asus EEE PC flew off the shelves and now several companies (including HP) are coming out with similar machines, many of which at least have a Linux option.

        Linux cut Windows off at many top end server spheres and has now started being very competitive at that lowest end for people who primarily use a computer as a web browser and little else. It will probably be a long time before Linux eats into those machines in the mid-range, but on the other hand Google is giving MS fits in other ways independent of which OS people are running.

        The question remains: how will MS adapt to a world in which they no longer call the shots for everyone else but instead have to "play nicely with some of the competition"? Personally I don't think they are going to adjust well to much thinner profit margins that they will experience in advertising, and that consulting work they keep saying they are going after. But we shall see.

    • by ArtistFrmrlyKnwnAsAC (1288796) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @12:18AM (#24838719)

      I'm not trolling at all when I say this anonymous blogger has absolutely no idea what's involved with software development. Anyone familiar with the underlying technologies (.NET, WPF, and the Tablet API) knows that the TouchSmart UI code makes up 1% of the GIGANTIC software stack required to make it possible. Running away from windows? I'd say they're doing exactly the opposite.

      This brings me to my second point: this person also has no sense of history--Windows OEMs have been doing shell replacement since DOS. Remember Geoworks? I'll bet the Compaq half of HP remembers Tabworks. They used it as their Windows shell from 3.1 all the way through their first year of Windows 95 (I supported in 1995 as a Compaq employee). TouchSmart is way more capable than any previous shell replacement, but what this blogger doesn't understand is that he has endless Windows APIs to thank for that.

    • by tsa (15680)

      Thanks for confirming my suspicions. The HP site was too slow to load so I couldn't see what the fuss was about. Moving on...

    • by tigersha (151319)

      I design touch screen UI's for a living. In an industrial setting, the srt of Kiosk and monitoring apps you get for a industrial device.

      Touch screens are overrated except where you quickly have to look at something or want to display something to a gawking public. Even there, the app works well bcause the user only uses it for about 10 minutes at a time.

      Touch screens are not very viable for a desktop for two reasons. first, a mouse is waaaaaaaay more acurate and secondly you definitely do not want to work w

  • Wishful thinking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Merlin42 (148225) * on Monday September 01, 2008 @10:40PM (#24838043) Homepage

    Not sure how this qualifies as Slashdot frontpage worthy. Sure its a neat UI that hides much of the visable portions of windows, but its still windows, with all the good (app. compatibility) and bad (M$) that it brings with it. "Just" switch it to Linux is a hell of a lot harder than this rambling blogger makes it sound.

    • by exley (221867) on Monday September 01, 2008 @11:25PM (#24838359) Homepage

      Apparently any random Linux wet dream is good enough for the front page these days. Random asshole blogger wants Windows-based product to use Linux... Film at 11.

    • by StreetStealth (980200) on Monday September 01, 2008 @11:44PM (#24838497) Journal

      From the way he mentions it offhand, the blogger has probably never done any dev work on Linux. However, I think what he's getting at is that since HP has (ostensibly, I've never used one) built its own UI paradigm that replaces the Windows desktop and windowing system, they should just cut their ties and invest in expanding it into something bigger and more robust.

      I think TFA's real shortcoming is that it doesn't begin to consider what would actually be needed beyond a word processor. Making a new, fully-functional desktop UI (on Linux or anything else for that matter) is a much taller order than just porting the existing photo sharing gimmicks or whatever it is they have.

      Of course, it *is* HP we're talking about; they *could* afford to try this if they really wanted. It just wouldn't be a quick or cheap process.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by shmlco (594907)

        It doesn't "replace" the Windows desktop. There are a few applets that let you play with music, photos, and a few other things. When done playing, you close the pretty application and return to Windows and the "real" world.

        Think of the "Front Row" multi-media application on a Mac... and then what happens when you quit back to desktop.

  • by Frosty Piss (770223) on Monday September 01, 2008 @10:42PM (#24838057)

    ...If HP were to finally make the move of ditching Windows...

    It's hard enough to kick a nasty crack habit, especially when you have to worry about your dealer coming after you for a beat down.

    HP (or any OEM) may not be able to piss off Microsoft, since a significant number of HP's customers demand MS. MS is known to get threatening with the licensing for companies the stray too far from the Microsoft ideal of exclusivity in the consumer market.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Microlith (54737)

      MS is known to get threatening with the licensing for companies the stray too far from the Microsoft ideal of exclusivity in the consumer market.

      Indeed. I recall them threatening their OEM licensees when Be started looking for a box maker who was willing to set up a daul boot option. Microsoft loves abusing its monopoly to keep competitors out of the market.

  • by Barny (103770) <bakadamage-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Monday September 01, 2008 @10:42PM (#24838059) Homepage Journal

    You can love your pc,

    but just don't "love" your pc :P

    A fanboi needs to remember to take his meds imho.

  • Somehow I just don't think that the Hack'n'Pack MBAs/PHBs/Little White Ball Wacking Executive Management types would go for it. Something about risk and grubbing for dollars and doing this would be too risky and wouldn't grub enough dollars for the company. Not to mention I don't think all of them put together would have enough "vision" to pull this off.

  • Gimmick (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vinividivici (919782) on Monday September 01, 2008 @10:45PM (#24838077) Homepage
    From personally using/selling this computer for about a month, I can say it is nothing more than a gimmick. It's nothing more than a glorified tablet with a glossy screen. If HP were serious about trying to revolutionize an industry, chances are, they'd have to partner with Apple to use their patents. As it is now, the screen is uncomfortable, buggy, and horrifically unprecise. Plus, the computer itself is nothing special, being built on the same platform as their DV5 series of laptops. The processor is just a Core2 Duo T5750 which barely clocks at 2.0ghz. They try to make up for the mediocre processor with 4gb of 333mhz DDR2, and fail. The screen has no multi-touch capability, so using an on-screen keyboard is a pain because response time shows as much latency as someone trying to play WoW on a 28.8kbps dial-up connection. HP will never turn novelty into a revolution. These companies do nothing more than market the norm with a little more glitz, and unfortunately, the age of the keyboard and mouse is not yet over. Give me a capacitive multi-touch screen with haptic feedback that runs linux with Enlightenment or one of the other eyecandy desktop environments on a low profile desktop form factor, then we'll see if touch screens are the way of the future.
    • Re:Gimmick (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Iamthecheese (1264298) on Monday September 01, 2008 @11:13PM (#24838269)
      I remember when Hewlett Packard was a trusted name in printing. Their HP 9871A was an industry revolution and every printer they made was build to last. Then some time in the late '90s I bought an HP printer and IT WAS A DOG. The damn thing couldn't print on a straight line, was made of thin, thin plastic, had cartridges that cost more than the damn printer... and all my years of loyalty to the HP name went whooooooooshhhhh. That was about the time they started making computers.
      • by skogs (628589)
        I can't help but second this. I abhor everything HP/Compaq...especially since they merged with Compaq. There is plenty of money to be made in printers...good quality printers. I wish they would have stuck with that and never started making printers with 180Meg drivers.
      • by Zaffle (13798)

        I remember when Hewlett Packard was a trusted name in printing. Their HP 9871A was an industry revolution and every printer they made was build to last. Then some time in the late '90s I bought an HP printer and IT WAS A DOG. The damn thing couldn't print on a straight line, was made of thin, thin plastic, had cartridges that cost more than the damn printer... and all my years of loyalty to the HP name went whooooooooshhhhh. That was about the time they started making computers.

        How much did you pay for the HP 9871A? How much did you pay for the POS in the late 90s?

        If you pay good money, you get good stuff. HPs midrange lasers are good quality.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by iamhigh (1252742) *
          agreed. I currently am in charge of about 60 printers. Mostly HP. Ranging from LaserJet 1xxx up to 4350. We still have several 2100's running strong at almost 200,000 pages.

          But about the worst printer ever was a few HP multifunctions. I also hate HP computers, drivers, software, and their website. If it were not for quality printers I wouldn't ever buy an HP anything. I also feel their quality has gone down, but for the price I can't find a better product.

          I just now realized that my second para
    • Re:Gimmick (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kyle (4392) on Monday September 01, 2008 @11:20PM (#24838321)

      Yeah, thought that the moment I saw it. I think nearly everyone has figured out that holding your arms up to touch the screen for more than a couple of minutes is a no go.

      It's going to be a multi-touch screen that replaces your traditional keyboard that makes multi-touch on a PC work.

      We're already working with the cognitive disassociation of mouse/tablet operation, so on a laptop, just replace the whole keyboard and trackpad with a touchscreen that changes depending on requirements. Standard display would look just like a keyboard and trackpad, with dead areas where your wrists would normally rest, and would give you standard functionality.

      Touch a button located between the trackpad and the keyboard, and all of a sudden the whole area is one big multi-touch track pad.

      Problems with this are cost, if the whole are has to be glass, also weight, heat possibly from the lightsource beneath the display, and additional bulk.

      And of course this will be doomed to fail, like so many other Apple products, because the slashdot crowd are genetically opposed to any keyboard functionality that doesn't have the same feel and *click* of an IBM Model 101 keyboard. :-p

  • by g0dsp33d (849253) on Monday September 01, 2008 @10:46PM (#24838089)
    I'm a huge fan of Linux like a lot of the other people here, but I don't see this happening. Linux has made huge strides to make media work out of the box, but the average user is still either too stupid or lazy to want to install proprietary codecs (for the distros that don't automatically) or not be able to use certain media (CNN streaming videos are Windows only, AFIAK, I'm sure there are plenty of other good examples).

    Most of the issues are now with third parties not releasing specs for drivers or with proprietary codecs, but the end user doesn't care about that. They want to click play and see something shiny, not go to an error page and try to manually install something. Granted a big company like HP can choose hardware carefully or write their own drivers, but they can't fix all the bells and whistles that users want.

    Until there is enough momentum to force Linux compatibility with third party software, HP won't be jumping to Linux only. That's a fanboy pipedream. The best we can hope for is that they continue to make Linux boxes. Hopefully they'll be profitable and that will increase the market share. If HP goes Linux only it won't be to stick it to Microsoft. It will be to make the most money they can. Microsoft did a good job of standardizing software and adding Linux boxes will mean a lot of secondary support overhead. I hope they rapidly continue down that path, But expecting to get there overnight is simply ludicrous.
  • by telbij (465356) on Monday September 01, 2008 @10:51PM (#24838111)

    Free to pay $50 for 2 ounces of ink is more like it.

  • by Z80a (971949) on Monday September 01, 2008 @10:52PM (#24838127)
    Not completely sure about this, but i think the biggest problem with the windows is actually the own windows users.

    They re not exactly OS experts, but they kinda command microsoft with their money, and so far they didnt quite guided it well.

    I imagine what will happen when this userbase starts to commmand linux too.
    • by speedtux (1307149)

      I imagine what will happen when this userbase starts to commmand linux too.

      The nice thing about Linux is that it's much more modular than Windows. So, corporate America may insist on a dull Windows-like desktop, but geeks and innovative companies can do something completely different with the UI while still retaining compatibility with mainstream applications.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by maxume (22995)

        If only it were possible to replace the dull windows like desktop:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_shell_replacement [wikipedia.org]

        And just imagine if GTK and QT worked on Windows! Or if somebody wrote and maintained a POSIX compatibility layer.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by speedtux (1307149)

          Your sarcasm just demonstrates your ignorance: none of the hacks you mention even come close, either in functionality or design, to the modularity of Linux.

          (Mentioning the "POSIX compatibility layer" in Windows is particularly ironic, given that it works like shit.)

  • by east coast (590680) on Monday September 01, 2008 @10:59PM (#24838175)
    You know, there are plenty of really good blogs out there but if we're going to continue to see more and more blog posts represented as legitimate news articles can we please flag them in some way so I can just chose to ignore them?
  • by tekrat (242117) on Monday September 01, 2008 @11:09PM (#24838233) Homepage Journal

    Is it my imagination, or has everyone gone crazy with flash, and now ever web page has to have some element of it that causes your speakers to make embarassing sounds at work? Why can't websites like HP's, which you figure people will look at AT WORK, friggin' WARN people that it's going to start playing music, or give your opportunity to MUTE *before* the msuic starts playing?

    If this keeps up, I'm either going to stop surfing the web entirely, or, pull my speakers out. Unfortunately, these days some machines come with internal speakers (like the iMac), so if you disconnect the external speakers you activate the internal. Guess the volume controls are there onthe computer for a reason but still, when I'm on the web I'm there to read.

    If I want to watch "TV", I'll turn on the goddamned TV, thank you.

    Even Slashdot's front page has started having ads appear that make noise. Can't you just wait until something that's loaded with ads, like say 'Weather.com' starts having multiple ads playing sound simultaneously? Yeah, that'll be pleasant.

    Never mind Web 2.0 -- I'm starting to look fondly on Web 0.2 -- text on a grey background.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Macgrrl (762836)

      My work laptop has been set to mute since the day I got it. The first thing I do when I sit down to a new computer is set the "sounds set" to "none"

      There's enough noise in an open plan office without having my computer squaking at me too.

      Now I just need to find a reasonable compromise for my home machine where I do want sound for some things. :(

    • by Bottlemaster (449635) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @12:03AM (#24838633)

      If this keeps up, I'm either going to stop surfing the web entirely, or, pull my speakers out.

      Your solutions will work fine, but Flashblock [mozdev.org] may be more appropriate. It replaces all embedded Flash objects with buttons which, only when clicked, will download and display them.

    • Or you could, you know, not install Flash to start with. Besides a crazy amount of ads, you don't really miss anything. As for Youtube, that's what youtube-dl [arrakis.es] is for.

  • Speaking of places touchscreen would be useful, I'd love to have a touchscreen in my kitchen, maybe fold up under the cabinet and pop down when I want it. I could hook it up into my home network, maybe even have a wireless keyboard option. Or perhaps even have a keyboard built into the counter - looks like ordinary counter when the keyboard is off. Press a button to activate and a back light underneath the ceramic of the counter pops on and you can see the keyboard.
  • Wow... just wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by east coast (590680) on Monday September 01, 2008 @11:19PM (#24838315)
    You may not have recognized your own weaving-in of meaning, but it comes across quite clearly if one reads just right: You want out. You want to escape the world of Windows to which Microsoft has sequestered you for the better part of two decades. Ah, but you can. No longer does Bill Gates stand guard outside your cell...

    What in the world makes you think that HP so desperately wants to break from MS? This is an enormous assumption. This is the assumption that just about every "year of Linux" article on Slashdot depends on and the blaring truth is that most people don't want to see MS fail. Most people don't see Gates as the evil borg. Most people don't give a damn about the bullshit OS wars. There are an extremely small number of people who have this anti-Microsoft hard on and even fewer who would be willing to buy a product just because Linux is stamped on it. HP knows this. There's a good reason they're making billions as we sit, blog and bicker about technology.

    And I have a hard time taking someone seriously who acts like Bill Gates is the reason that companies offered up Windows or stayed loyal to MS. What kind of oddball reasoning could make someone make that jump in logic?
  • What the hell is the rambling vitriol in the summary? Sounds like a very bad fantasy writer wrote this.

  • by Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) on Monday September 01, 2008 @11:23PM (#24838333)
    I'm 43 years old. I've been futzing around with computers since before the IBM model 5150 was released -- and I had the audacity to scoff at it when it did. Furthermore I shunned Windows for quite a long time, and for the most part still do -- in the form of being ultra-conservative when it comes to Windows releases (my main desktop is still running Win2K SP4). I have programming skills (out-of-date from disuse, but it's like riding a bicycle) and I work electronics for a living for my entire adult life.

    Now that I've established my street cred for you young whippersnappers, let me tell you how it is:

    I'm sure you've noticed how there's nothing new coming out of Hollywood? Just the same old stories, over and over again. They've even resorted to crappy old TV shows, trying to find a new angle. There are only so many ideas out there to build on, and in about 100 years, they've gone through them all at least once.

    Same thing with video games: I used to repair arcade games, so I saw every game imaginable for 15 years. They too started repeating after a while, didn't they?

    The same goes for Operating Systems. There's only so many ways you can engineer a user interface, because Humans are as finite as everything else in this godforsaken Universe we live in -- and what's worse, we're just slightly smarter animals than the rest of the meat on this planet. That's one of the main reasons that Windows has been so succesful (aside from marketing skills): It caters to some of the lowest common denominators of humanity, and it does it well.

    I will assign MacOS as being the second place OS, and all flavors of *NIX as third place. But there is a common thread between all of them, now isn't there? It's just like Hollywood, or video games, or novels for that matter: There are only so many ways you can do a specific thing, and after a while the themes just repeat. At their most basic, all GUIs are basically the same, aren't they? There are specific details that are different, and I'm not taking technical issues like stability into account (because the average end-user doesn't give a damn about that until something goes wrong). In the final analysis, you have icons, you have a desktop, and you have a pointing device and you click on things with it. The rest is all window-dressing (excuse the poor, unintentional pun).

    So: Don't be bringin' your "revolutionary OS" talk around here, laddy-buck. Now be a good boy, and get off my lawn, K?

    • I'm 43 years old. I've been futzing around with computers since before the IBM model 5150 was released -- and I had the audacity to scoff at it when it did. Furthermore I shunned Windows for quite a long time, and for the most part still do -- in the form of being ultra-conservative when it comes to Windows releases (my main desktop is still running Win2K SP4). I have programming skills (out-of-date from disuse, but it's like riding a bicycle) and I work electronics for a living for my entire adult life.

      Con

      • It's not accurate to assess my creative capacities as being incapable of conceptualizing a new, innovative user interface for a modern OS. More accurately, I'm not interested enough in the subject to apply myself to it. This is likely the definitive reason people like myself aren't as rich as Bill Gates. :p Oh, and for the record, I liked using DOS. I liked using CP/M, before that. 64K just wasn't enough after a while though. If I was actually interested enough in computers and writing code anymore (I'd rat
    • by asackett (161377)

      Uh... I'm older than you and still write code every day, so your street cred is shit with me. A UI is not an operating system, and an operating system is not a UI.

      Unix wrawks, period.

      Go back to your blankie and the nice lady will bring you a cookie. Thank you.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TuringTest (533084)

      all GUIs are basically the same, aren't they?

      In the final analysis, you have icons, you have a desktop, and you have a pointing device and you click on things with it.

      No [mozilla.com] and no. [wikipedia.org]

      It's just that we have stuck with the same GUI for 30 years. But that doesn't mean there aren't other possibilities out there.

  • by sleeponthemic (1253494) on Monday September 01, 2008 @11:25PM (#24838351) Homepage

    Anybody else find it amusing that those who take Linux seriously to the point of delusion (often caught posting these idealistic "head-in-the-clouds" diatribes) have become the slashdot equivalent of hippies?

  • Who would have thought all those years ago, when everyone was whining how important it was for a computer to be expandable, and configurable, and upgradable, that laptops sales would achieve parity, on a per unit basis, in 2008. This happened, of course, because most consumer, and many enterprise customers, don't significantly expand their computers. And though internal hard drives and the like might be cheaper, most people will simply choose to plug in these devices, just like a printer. Now that every
  • HP, Dell, et al don't care about selling Linux, they care about selling computers. If linux helps then so be it. So far, Windows has been what helps sell computers given all the application compatibility that's out there. If the OSS proponents would pull their heads out of their asses and listen to the potential customers then perhaps things will change. As long as these developers insist on dictating how things are going to be then the rest of the world is going to ignore them as well.

  • HP could do it (or even hire RedHat or Canonical to do it for them). And yes, it would mean more control for HP.

    The question is: do they want it? Do they want more control, or do they just want to follow where Microsoft is headed and eat the leftovers? ;)

    Of course, it would mean that Windows software, that most PC users just expect to run, wouldn't work anymore. But let's look at this differently: the situation is not going to change. Windows software is not going to run on other OS'es (even with Wine
    • Will it be Dell? They distribute Ubuntu on some PCs, and even ship it with the licensed codecs, but they don't seem to me as willing to take the Apple route and compete with Microsoft frontally. Also, they don't have anything specific to offer, except pretty cheap prices.

      I think you underestimate the power of cheap prices. Witness Wal-Mart, for example.

      However, equating Linux with cheap probably isn't the way to victory, as most people see cheap as poor quality. In contrast, Linux is much better quality tha

  • I doubt at those prices HP is creating a revolution.

    Much more interesting is the EEE Monitor PC, which looks to be around $500, is a whole lot sleeker than that HP thing, and also function as a PC. Given ASUS' history on the EEE, there's a good chance it will run Linux.

    http://www.engadget.com/2008/06/05/asus-intros-the-eee-monitor-all-in-one-pc-says-more-eee-models/ [engadget.com]

  • You could easily just write a mouse driver for any distribution there is. That, and the author of this article is absolutely insane and thinks Linus Torvalds is the second coming of Christ or something. It's not a lifestyle, really. It's just an operating system, and porting it to one device or another isn't going to change the world.

  • Put down the Cool Aid, take a few deep breaths and take a nap.

    Besides, the last thing a PC vendor wants is their own distro (Windows or Linux) to support on their thin profit margins. As for HP, I loved running their high-end hardware and HP-UX 11, but they're not really the "invention" machine they used to be.

  • And it is a big ass table.
  • HP? Software? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DavidD_CA (750156) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @12:32AM (#24838773) Homepage

    This fanboy wants HP to attempt to write *more* software?

    He obviously hasn't ever used an HP interface for scanners, printers, fax machines, or just any other 250 MB download just to send something to a printer.

    Besides, most of the magic on this device is Vista running in Tablet mode, with a few little skins that HP threw together in their typical half-ass fashion. If I got one of these devices, I'd likely format it and just let Vista Ultimate do its thing, running in Media Center mode with a few nifty add-in gadgets.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @12:45AM (#24838859)

    As someone somehow related with the HP MFP development process, I will say that HP is putting more devices on Windows, from setups that were previously HP-UX based. As seen in the Edgeline series of MFPs (really, starting there), HP includes a copy of Windows CE with the firmware. The interface is larger than on other MFPs, but it was designed to mimic the HP-UX setup, which was still perfectly functional, and could have been expanded to the larger screen. HP has ceased development on several products because they aren't using Windows CE now.

    All this is to say, I don't think HP is trying to get away from Microsoft. Microsoft is a large partner and client for HP, and while HP will work on Linux systems as a means of being fairly diverse (but I fear some of managements short sighted ness is stifling/removing some diversity), they do still really like Microsoft, and are using .net C# extensively on the Imaging side of the Business.

    Posted Anonymously because of some NDA papers that I don't think fully apply, but it can't hurt to be safe.

  • "Kill the beast, NOW!"

Never ask two questions in a business letter. The reply will discuss the one you are least interested, and say nothing about the other.

Working...