Friday, September 30, 2005

A catflap moment

In the field of Engineering, possibly more so than most, the modest primigravida of simplicity begets the triplets of beauty, completeness and robustness. It takes an extraordinarily rare mind to examine an everyday problem and produce an approach so simple, yet so complete and - with the benefit of hindsight - so apparently obvious, that all previous solutions, many of which will have been in use for some time, are entirely and permanently swept away.

Thus, and fired up by the recent deployment of Occam's Chainsaw, your reductionist Pedant-General was thrilled to be directed toward this. (Enormous, overblown curly bowing and doffing of peacock-feather hat to the Gorse Fox)

AC Adapter embedded in the carrying strap? Why didn't I think of that?
Heavy, power-hungry and delicate hard drives? Replace it with flash memory - it's dirt cheap and you are a fool if you don't back up your data anyway. Brilliant!

But the greatest innovation - the mark of an exceptional leap forward - is the price. Less than $100. £60! 2 seconds-worth of income for this lucky gentleman!

How do they do this? By using an open source OS. Take out the Microsoft component and the cost tumbles. That is pure genius.


Anonymous said...

That batteries-in-the-handle thing isn't new, some old Compaq Armadas had it years ago.

Compaq (RIP!) also experimented with integrated power supplies, but heat dissipation was always a problem - ie, lots of them caught fire.

That said, it looks a really neat little thing.

I'll be interested to hear how the real Aunt Minnies get on with Linux though.

The Pedant-General in Ordinary said...

Hmmm: I remember them: you will see from my next post that I am not stranger to the Armada series (that is an old M700 "cast off" of mine that Lady P-G is using to write her book).

I also remember being very jealous of those little dinky M300s. The battery pack was indeed a cylindrical module at the back which could be turned to mimic raising the keyboard. It was never strong enough to act as a handle though.

And as for the Aunt Minnies. A good point, but then Mac OS X is basically a GUI on top of a fairly straight BSD distribution, so.....