[LINK] Linux diskless little green computers

Tom Worthington Tom.Worthington at tomw.net.au
Tue Nov 6 10:08:42 AEDT 2007

The <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASUS_Eee_PC>ASUS Eee PC diskless 
Linux subnotebook computer <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASUS_Eee_PC> 
is now being offered for sale, as is the Zonbu Thin Client desktop 
machine <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zonbu>. Such machines have not 
been a success as mainstream products in the past, but these two may 
have more of a chance, as the open source software for them has 
matured, they can be sold and supported via the Internet, and their 
green credentials make them trendy. They offer the option of a 
relatively cheap and trouble free computer which also will use less energy.


Initially only the 7 Inch screen 4 GByte flash drive model of the 
ASUS Eee PC is available. One disappointment is that this supposed 
$US199 computer is now $US399 via Amazon.com: 

A cheaper model with less memory may be available later, but will be 
of little use except as a web terminal (as indicated by the maker 
calling it the "Surf"). A more expensive unit with a 10 inch screen 
is also promised.

The Eee PC is being offered in the UK as the RM Minibook by 
Machines. They are positioning the miniBook as a student computer 
with sales via schools. This may be successful as the UK have a 
history of selling quirky little computers.


The Zonbu  is a thin client Linux computer for $US249.00 
<http://www.zonbu.com/>. The hardware is the MSTI  "eBox mini Green 
PC", essentially a thin client machine. Zonbu offer the hardware with 
online software support and some data storage for consumers. Like a 
mobile phone, the more you pay per month, the less the hardware costs 
(the Zonbu also offers VoIP). The service comes with OpenOffice.com 
and other typical Linux desktop software. The machine is locked to 
only used the supplied software, but the user can replace the 
operating system with a generic Linux.

The Zonbu, if it proves popular with consumers, may popularize the 
idea of thin client computers. Companies could then issue these to 
staff, in place of desktop PCs and phones. No data would be stored on 
the desktop, with office documents securely held on corporate servers 
in document management systems. Custom corporate applications would 
be provided via the web browser.

See also my Blog:

* ASUS Eee PC 
* Zonbu 

Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington at tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd            ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617                      http://www.tomw.net.au/
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, ANU  

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