An Android phone or a Samsung ?

Samsung has a problem : it depends too much on Android

Google has a problem : it depends too much on Samsung

Android accounts now 70% of smartphone sales and Samsung devices accounts 70% of Android. Google is trying to push other manufacturers not to say it is pushing hard its device device arm Motorola.  On the other side, Samsung is not betting on Windows Phone and has dropped its proprietary Bada platform. So what’s cooking? Samsung will apparently launch a few Tizen phones on the marke thi year.

And what is Tizen? Don”t be mistaken, Tizen is not a Samsung proprietary OS like Bada. Tizen is the merge of Intel efforts (previoulsy Meego) and Operators works (LiMo) in a fully open source initiative. Unlike Android, there won’t be one company in the driving seat but Operators (Vodafone, NTT, Orange,…) and Manufacturers (Intel, Samsung, ZTE, …).

> Tizen association website

We can imagine Samsung will customize its Tizen devices with the same Touchwiz UI it is using on Android. Hence consumers will hardly notice the difference.

Tizen screenshots

Tizen screenshots

Samsung with operator backing sounds very promising. Google seems to have now a bigger problem. Now the question will be on the application side. Will Tizen have enough applications to compete with the other platforms?

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My first Raspberry Pi experiments

I bought a Raspberry Pi six months ago and finally I received the product last December.

I’ve tried a few things with it. First I imagined creating an enclosure for the Pi out of a Coke can. Which is quite of a bad idea as this will create short circuits and in the best case will just toast the Pi board. Here is a picture of the concept:

RaspberryPi

A better idea was to install a Quake game on top of Raspbian. And the result is pretty smooth and enjoyable :

WP_20130115_003WP_20130115_006

So if you consider opening a Quake game saloon, it will cost you around 150€ per position :

  • 30€ for a raspberry pi
  • 20€ a keyboard and mouse
  • 100€ for a decent monitor.

Stay tuned for more weird Raspberry Pi experiments.

Reviving an old Inspiron Mini with Lubuntu

I have an old Dell Inspiron Mini 1210 in a cupboard. The performances of the Atom based laptop or netbook have always been really dispointing even with Windows XP. To be precise the performances were OK but when I added an antivirus on top it was too much for this poor fellow.

So I started a quest to find a replacement OS. I’ve tried for a few months Ubuntu but performances were again too poor. Ubuntu is in a race with the latest OS like Windows and MacOS and its unity UI was too heavy.

I just found something interesting in Lubuntu. It is a Ubuntu with a LXDE desktop environment (Light Weight X11 Desktop Environment).

It has been a little tricky to install as when you install Lubuntu from a USB key you get a dark screen because of the GMA500 video card which came along many netbooks.

I had to plug a VGA cable to an external display to get something on half the screen of my Inspiron.

Then the WiFi didn’t work as I needed to download the right proprietary driver from the Internet. So I plugged an Ethernet cable to the netbook. Once the additional pilot and all the updates have been downloaded I had to fix the resolution.

Here it becomes tricky as I needed to enter commands in a terminal window to be able to edit the GRUB file.(I hate this!)

And change the parameters as follow:

Then I needed to come back again to the console and update the configuration with

At the end, I got the following message :

After a reboot, I got a nearly brand new laptop :

Dell Mini 1210 running Lubuntu

The performances are acceptable and it’s a nice desktop environment if not the classiest.

The mobile & the network are the computer

Remember Sun Microsystem motto a few years ago: “The Network Is The Computer” ? Sun vision is what we call today “the cloud”. They envisionned a network centric computing paradigm where the storage and the processing power was in a remote place connected through a network.

I just read an interview of Satchwell in Mobile Today, a Motoral executive stating that their new Atrix device was a “computer phone” :

“(…) put the ATRIX phone into the docking station and it is connected to a Bluetooth keyboard and a monitor. The phone is the computer.”

The device features a dual core processor and 2 OS: Android for the mobile usage and a Linux for the desktop usage.

I share this vision. The new paradigm for computing in the next 10 years is Mobile + Cloud. A very powerfull terminal like a swiss knife connected through a broadband network to an even more powerfull datacenter. The mobile AND the network are the computer.

Meego, a 1st (disappointing) feedback

I just tried to install Meego 1.0 on a netbook, a DELL Inspiron 1210, and it has been a total disaster. I had prepared a bootable USB stick from Ubuntu using UNetbootin.

I just got the 1st screen of Meego offering me to Install / run Meego / start the machine from the hard-disk and then … nothing. I just couldn’t install it or run it.

This is the kind of basics any Linux distribution is now mastering, but apparently not the guys from Intel and Nokia… really disappointing.