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Mandriva Businesses Software Linux

Mandriva Linux pre-installed on Intel's Classmate 93

boklm writes "Mandriva announced it will have a version of its Mandriva Linux 2007 pre-installed on Intel's new low-end laptop for students in developing countries, the Classmate PC. This laptop comes with 256MB of RAM, 1 or 2GB of flash memory, 802.11b/g WiFi, 10/100Mbps ethernet, 2 USB ports, a 7-inch LCD display and 4 hours battery. Produced in Brazil, shipping is expected to begin in the second quarter of this year, and will be available to Mexico, India, and developing countries."
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Mandriva Linux pre-installed on Intel's Classmate

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  • OLPC Clone? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Eun-HjZjiNeD ( 1001079 ) on Monday April 02, 2007 @09:30AM (#18572661) Homepage
    Certainly looks like an OLPC Clone to me.

    But what the hell, WHY NOT.

    • Re:OLPC Clone? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cwgmpls ( 853876 ) on Monday April 02, 2007 @09:54AM (#18572915) Journal
      An OLPC clone is exactly what it is. Most analysts give OLPC little chance of long-term success. But if any aspect of the OLPC experiment reveals a previously unknown market for computers, the big players like Intel and Microsoft want to be prepared to move in. The potential upside is huge. Currently computers are only sold to a small fraction of the world's population; finding a way to turn the billions of non-computer users into new computer consumers would be a market far to big for any computer company to ignore.
      • by Cato ( 8296 )
        Who are these "most analysts" exactly? OLPC shows every sign of becoming a long-term success, in the sense of delivering a valuable educational tool supporting independent learning as well as school work. The fact that this tool happens to be an innovative laptop is secondary.
    • by Nullav ( 1053766 )
      Yes, it indeed is a clone. But isn't that a good thing? Granted, Dell's probably approaching this more for potential monetary gain than for charity, but does it matter?
      The OLPC project doesn't have enough financial backing to supply every underprivileged child with a notebook. Do you think those actually only cost $100 to make?
      Even if they can manage it on the first pass, you have to take into account that everything breaks eventually.

      If more companies did the same, it means a few more kids can become inter
  • 256MB RAM? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Erk. Imagine running KDE/Gnome, Firefox and simultaneously on that machine! Not to knock Linux, but it's very weighty on the desktop (although Vista has caught up!) and you really need 512MB if you don't want thrashing.

    And no, you don't end up telling students to use TWM, SIAG Office and Links...
    • by redelm ( 54142 )
      My laptop has 128 MB and runs KDE/FF just fine (no thrashing). One important point: with such a small screen, it's unlikely the users will want to keep too many apps open at once.

      Suites also work well internally to share libs. KDe takes less RAM iff you use Konqueror iso FireFox, and KEdit iso OpenOffice. Mixed suites eats RAM.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cyclop ( 780354 )

        One important point: with such a small screen, it's unlikely the users will want to keep too many apps open at once.

        There are virtual desktops.

        KDe takes less RAM iff you use Konqueror iso FireFox, and KEdit iso OpenOffice. Mixed suites eats RAM.

        Gold truth, but I'd have settled for something XFCE based maybe (Xubuntu comes to mind).

        • by bavarian ( 59962 )
          >> KDe takes less RAM iff you use Konqueror iso FireFox, and KEdit iso OpenOffice. Mixed suites eats RAM.

          > Gold truth, but I'd have settled for something XFCE based maybe (Xubuntu comes to mind).

          As far as I know, KDE with Konqueror is more RAM-efficient than XFCE with FireFox. XFCE and other small footprint window managers need less RAM if you run them without apps, but as soon as you need apps, a single toolkit solution (KDE with KDE/Qt-only apps or, to a lesser extent, GNOME with GTK-only apps) w
          • by cyclop ( 780354 )
            Well, XFCE and Firefox are both GTK based, so it's like KDE+Konqueror. Using GTK apps makes a single toolkit solution under XFCE.
            • by bavarian ( 59962 )
              Firefox is not GTK based in the same sense Konqueror is Qt-based. It has its own graphics toolkit (XUL) under the hood of the GTK UI, and it does not use GNOME infrastructure to extent Konqueror uses KDE infrastructure.

              But I looked up the (somewhat outdated) numbers I remembered, and you are right in the particular case of XFCE + Firefox vs. KDE + Konqueror:

     k.html []

              As soon as we add more applications the picture changes though.
        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          There are virtual desktops.
          And it would be expected that when you switch virtual desktops, the apps on one desktop get swapped out and the apps on the other desktop get swapped in.
    • by MooUK ( 905450 )
      If it's using flash as main storage, rather than a hard drive, then surely disk thrashing would be much less of a problem anyway?
      • Flash tends to wear very quickly when enduring repeated writes. There are usually some spreading algorithme that will try to distribute the write stress accross different sectors.

        But flash tends to be sensitive to writing-intensive softwares.
    • KDE/Konqueror/Koffice?
  • Why is this a "low end" system? Is it because it is targeted at the non-US, non-EU market?

    I'd consider it "efficient" rather than low end. It's efficient because it will not come with a load of hardware that is not needed at a cost that is not needed.

    There are people spending $4K on a system with a 7"-ish monitor who will use it only for email. Perhaps this would be a better system for that market.

    • Re:Low end? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by daeg ( 828071 ) on Monday April 02, 2007 @09:46AM (#18572817)
      Those same people spend $6.00 for a coffee with a fancy, nonsensical "foreign" name and a 500% markup on designer cigarettes that don't even come with designer cancer.

      I doubt you will convince them that a $400 laptop == $4,000 laptop for their purpose. They are impervious to reasoning.
    • I'd consider it "efficient" rather than low end. It's efficient because it will not come with a load of hardware that is not needed at a cost that is not needed.
      Agreed. If they were sold on the U.S. markets, I'd probably buy one myself. I've been looking for a "low end" system for quite a while, but nobody seems to want to sell them. All the smaller notebooks have to have some extra special feature so they can still sell for 800-1200 or so.
      • by ivan256 ( 17499 )
        You'd think some up-start low-ed manufacturer would step in and make a killing in the 7" $400 laptop market then...
    • by smchris ( 464899 )
      Size matters. I'd rather have 7" than a 3" PDA/phone screen.

      Since Mandriva presumably wants to make money instead of "just" being a non-profit charity I seriously think they should go the route of FreePlay radio. Market in the first world and charge at an appropriate sweet spot -- if only to help support the 3rd world effort.

      Just because I have electricity doesn't mean I didn't love my original FreePlay. They probably sold as many in the 1st world as they did in the 3rd.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02, 2007 @09:38AM (#18572729)
    The school day around here is a lot longer than four hours. OLPC paid a lot of attention to the power supply. The spec sheet for this one just shows the battery and mentions an adapter. I'm presuming that the laptop would take the place of text books and as such it would be on all day.

    The spec sheet also shows Windows XP pro as one of the operating systems. What up wit dat? I thought Linux was the os of choice because it could be stripped to just the essentials.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by flyingfsck ( 986395 )
      They should put Vista on it too. It would make an excellent demo for Linux, having two machines side by side - one running Vista/XP (and practically unusable), the other Linux.
    • by ivan256 ( 17499 )
      What school-kids have a textbook open all day?
      • Well, if that notebook is to replace not only textbooks but also (paper) notebooks which you write in, it should last more than 4 hrs... Ofcourse then it'd need some kind of tablet to draw diagrams and sketches with (I can't really imagine someone using only keyboard and a mouse to do all the maths for example... it's much too inconvenient and the kid couldn't keep up with the pace).
    • You can get it with either Linux or Windows XP. And I believe the 1GB version is Linux and the 2GB is Windows XP.
  • I for one, welcome our new acquired-myopia suffering young overlords.
  • by StupidKatz ( 467476 ) on Monday April 02, 2007 @09:47AM (#18572823)
    TPM 1.2 []

    1.2: now with 50% more potentially restrictive evil! :P
  • by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Monday April 02, 2007 @09:48AM (#18572833)
    Heh. Making them use RPM should keep them third world for a long time.
    • by Ankh ( 19084 ) * on Monday April 02, 2007 @10:32AM (#18573507) Homepage
      For what it's worth, Mandriva has for years (OK, from when they were Mandrake) used RPM-format packages, with package management called "urpmi", which you could think of (if you wanted to) as a slightly improved improved apt-get. You can also use apt-get if you like. Or rpmdrake or Smart. All of which, including urpmi, will download packages automatically, including all dependencies.

      On the other hand, they are quickly going to need more Mandriva distribution mirrors in the countries where these new computers are sold, and Mandriva is going to need to work on keeping them reliable.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    When you compare the features and goals of the OLPC with the Intel Classmate PC, it's almost as if Intel is pushing it as an instrument of control. Don't forget that Mandriva Linux is only one of the available options and the unit comes with a TPM as standard, enhanced 'remote surveillance' and censorship software such as 'Teacher Control' and 'Parent Control'. The unit is a complete antithesis to the OLPC and appears to be nothing more than a cost-down PC with 'Big Brother' features. What a shame since I w
  • by abigsmurf ( 919188 ) on Monday April 02, 2007 @09:50AM (#18572867)
    This seems to be a much better system for Western school kids (and geeks). A 900mhz ULV intel opposed to a 350mhz AMD Geode will be a huge huge difference. Also key is the fact it's using a real life OS, either XP or this linux distro. The OLPC uses a highly customised OS which bears little resemblance in terms of usage to anything else and despite being OSS, doesn't have a great deal of compatibility from what the devs are saying.

    I'm sure there are plenty of brits here who used Acorn Archimedes at school and know how useless it can be getting taught on an obscure OS.

    • by Ed Avis ( 5917 )
      Yes, I would so much rather have been using MS-DOS and Windows 3.0... ugh no wait that's what we did have to use.
    • Yep, I'm a Brit that remembers using an Acorn. I'm not sure of the OS - the newer ones loaded and ran Windows Terminal Services (ugh) which may have been on top of Archimedes (sadly I never paid much attention to the OS back then). I'm surprised at your sentiments about being taught on a so-called "obscure OS" though. I think it's a Damn Good Thing(TM). It's often repeated here that most folk don't learn how to use computers; they just learn to repeat steps that achieve the desired result (eg 'reboot to fix

  • So is Win-Tel dead now that Intel is selling Linux? Imaginge the millions of people running Linux and contributing to Open Source. Sourceforge is going to have to innovate fast to keep things running efficiently.

    When will Linux desktop shipments outstrip Mac OSX? Microsoft Windows? I evaluated as of Oct 24 with the release of Fedora Core 6 that the Linux Desktop is on parity with Windows. Novell SUSE, Madriva, and Ubuntu are all great desktops. Some features are superior to Windows. Some need some polish. W
  • No matter what OS comes on this, I will bet that the usual Microsoft Tax is still included.

    We should have broken up Microsoft during the DOJ trial, but I think this could be renewed as soon as the White House switches parties. This time , put some real muscle behind it and break up Microsoft.

    The USA needs to do this to even think of remaining competitive with the rest of the world.

  • One of the screenies has it. Doubles the price though, I suppose. []
  • by bazorg ( 911295 ) on Monday April 02, 2007 @10:19AM (#18573277) Homepage
    If only they'd kill the toy-like design and fitted these 7" screens on grown up laptops, I'd be one happy email/OpenOffice user. And they even used NAND instead of harddrives for longer battery life.. must be a tease...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02, 2007 @10:24AM (#18573347)
    Why can't I get one (or five) of these! This would be perfect for a low end semi-thin client. Get a single powerful server machine for the house, and run CPU intensive tasks from there, and get one of these for each person in the family. It's still powerful enough to use on its own for tasks outside of the house, and it looks small and light enough to actually take places. If it just had a hand crank for power....
    • I agree. It would make a great portable network diagnosis tool and also a good walkabout, semi-stateless notebook for everyday use.
  • What the poster forgot to mention is that Mandriva is one of the possible option available for the Classmate, the other being Windows XP. I wonder given the choice how many kids would opt for Mandriva...
    • by opkool ( 231966 )
      Set WindowsXP on one, Mandriva Linux on the other. Let the kids run both computers, side by side, for a month.

      "The survival of the fitest".

      My prediction: many (if not all) will choose Mandriva Linux.

  • I find it curious that, at the time of my posting anyway, not one person seemed interested in discussing this article from the perspective of Mandriva's future plans. All discussions seem to be based on the value of the OLPC or an OLPC clone, or the value of cheap systems to third world nations, food vs. education, etc, etc ...

    Considering Mandriva has attempted to make inroads into certain African nations recently, and remembering that they still have the easiest to install and maintain system out there f

  • Who is the ignorant insensitive clod who designed this hideous offensive brick?

    Do they not know that you just do not package anything coloured turquoise if you wish to sell it anywhere in the Islamic world?

    Well they do now.

  • WtF does pre-installed mean? They installed it before they installed it? Perhaps they meant "Comes with Mandriva installed". Pre means BEFORE, not ahead of time. The more you know!

Air is water with holes in it.