TLWIR 32: Open Sparks Fly, FOSS Players Give Open Advice, and FOSS Petition Gets Key Endorsement
Summary: For too long, GNU/Linux has been locked out of the tablet market. That is about to change with the May 2012 arrival of the Open Spark. The Open Spark is a new tablet that will run a variant of GNU/Linux called Mer. A group of 42 Free Software developers have released a wonderful book called Open Advice. It chronicles their lessons learned from working on hundreds of Free Software projects. The Linux Foundation received an esteemed new fellow from SUSE, Mr. Greg Kroah-Hartman. Finally, the Free Software Petition on WhiteHouse.gov received a key endorsement.
The four stories for The Linux Week in Review 32 are:
- The Open Spark: A GNU/Linux Based Tablet That I WOULD Buy!
- Open Advice Delivers Free Software Lessons Learned
- Greg Kroah-Hartman Joins the Linux Foundation
- The Free Software Petition On WhiteHouse.gov Gets a Key Endorsement
The Open Spark: A GNU/Linux Based Tablet That I WOULD Buy!
I recently visited a local Best Buy, and I played around with several of the current generation of tablets. I avoided the one tablet that I knew that there was no chance of me buying: Apple’s Ipad 2. The Ipad 2 is a wonderful device, but it is far too locked down for my tastes. For the most part, this left me with the latest Android tablets as my only option. I played with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Toshiba Thrive, also a 10.1” tablet. I liked the Toshiba Thrive a lot more. Some nice features that made the Thrive much more attractive were its full-sized USB ports, an HDMI port, and an SD card slot. The only minus is the Android OS: I really want a fully FOSS tablet. The upcoming Open Spark tablet fits the bill.
The Open Spark has a smaller screen than the Toshiba Thrive, 7.1” vice 10.1”. However, the advantages of a truly GNU/Linux-based system outweigh the Toshiba Thrive’s larger screen size for me. The Open Spark, a Free Software tablet announced a couple of weeks ago, is VERY exciting. It is based on somewhat older hardware, so its specs are less than the most modern tablets, but it will be released at a great price: about $260. This is one reason that I would buy it. The Galaxy Tab and the Toshiba Thrive are pretty expensive, priced comparably to some pretty decent laptops. The Open Spark comes with the Mer OS installed. Mer is a GNU/Linux OS derived from the defunct Meego OS. The Spark will utilize the Plasma Active Desktop from KDE, and it will be released in May 2012. I cannot wait!
Figure 1: KDE PlasmaOpen Advice Delivers Free Software Lessons Learned
I wouldn't really want a Tablet PC for my Self. I much prefer a keyboard and mouse. And I hate those finger smudges on a Touch Screen. Besides, I just bought a 23 inch LED Backlight LCD Monitor! Why would I want something that I need a Magnifying Glass to Read!:O But, for other people... Like my Buddy, who knows very little about Computers, but gets on, Cough Cough... Face Book, with the tiny little Mobile Phone... I think that a Linux Tablet might be just the thing for him. The Freedom and the Lower Price will Definitely Make a Tablet a much more Appealing Choice. Of course I will have to play with it a while (to get it setup for him to use;)
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