Hi all,
This will be a short update explaining my disappearance from the blogging world, some thoughts on recent events and the way forward.

About 3 months back, my system went kaput. The hdd especially. While I’m trying to source a working 80 GB Samsung it has been proving not a nice experience. I also have a 160 GB Seagate which hasn’t also been able to serve me and going to their outsourced customer care has reduced me to tears. There’s a long story there but maybe next time.

This time would be talking about some of the more recent events which have happened and ideas, thoughts going ahead. The last month I had decided to go for a desktop-based solution after dilly-dallying for long simply due to the fact that laptop hardware drivers (especially graphics) aren’t updated or taken care. Another point also being that laptops you have to sacrifice functionality vis-a-vis a desktop for the same price point. Laptops are good for 1-3 years while desktops have a longer shelf life. My mini-ATX m/b chip solution lasted me for 6 years even though there were occasional issues.

So whlle I decided that and was thinking for going for an AMD based solution Intel dropped the bomb last month by releasing the 32nm based chips and with immediate availability. If one looks at the chip industry, it usually takes a quarter or two for the chips to be made available. This time Intel has beaten that and the availability of the i3 and i5 processors have been within 2 weeks.

AMD though has been quaint in response and they do have a problem as they don’t own foundries anymore. The foundries which has been bought by Abu Dhabi Investments and now known as Global Foundries might not think of retooling the fabs to come to 32 nm as AMD would have. This is expecting of course that AMD has some design samples of its 32 nm ready.

One thing though, AMD’s idea of sub-systems within a single die(wafer) and hypertransport as far as technicalities go has been vindicated with Intel going the same way. While Intel may brand it differently underneath its the same thing. In some ways the world has come full circle.

While that is atm I simply have to wait and watch the next 2-3 months. Both AMD has Intel has got 6 core processors for the desktop market which they hope to launch in 2-3 months. It would be wise to hold till those months so can get some good pricing one the 6-cores are launched. If anybody has any news of AMD shifting to 32nm from the 45nm that it is atm would be nice.

Three more interesting things happened last month.

a. Google Nexus One
b. All-in-One PC’s
c. Apple’s I-pad

Let’s take Google’s Nexus One. From whatever reviews I have read it, it seems to be much more open that Apple’s IPhone. I do hope it does become a hit as the hardware seems to be more hackable,tweakable than IPhone.

In India though, I don’t see it making much of a mark and most probably it would suffer the same fate as IPhone. Couple of reasosns for that.

a. The price puts it out of reach of most of its target audience. At 32k its out of range of the average college-going kidult.

b. They just like apple don’t have a distribution channel. In India people still like to browse,touch and feel products before making a commitment.

c. A part of it is no fast-track consumer courts. The average life of such a device is going to be 3 years. If one has to follow a better part of it arguing and writing letters to people then its better to buy a cheap phone. (This is on basis of experiences with few of my friends and their Nokia phones issues.)

d. Of course with the additional tax in Maharashtra and few other states of any mobile above Rs. 10000/- is going to spoil the broth more as well.

All in all it doesn’t seem it would have much effect in the market. This is the first foray of Google into the hardware business so it would be interesting to see if they bring a strong line-up later on. If they bring something in the middle layers we could have a potential game changer. All it depends upon is Google’s deep pockets and making right business decisions. If one looks in the Indian market out of the 15 odd brands which came in last year more than half of them are out already you know what I mean. If they do succeed however, there may be some gains for Openmoko (maybe)

The other interesting idea has been all-in-one pc’s. Its an interesting concept so the hardware industry becomes more mainstream (just like TV) . While the concept is really good and I’m sure proprietary systems would have a gala time, I do not know how much FOSS lovers would be hack into systems like that. These All-In-Ones would probably be more closed-in systems and it may take quite some time for FOSS hackers to get into it.

The last one though is IPAD . Its not a new idea but what it has done is made people aware that such a solution is promising. While Infibeam is an interesting product there is also Notion Ink .

The second one is much more an interesting product. It would be good to know the pricing and how open they are. If you are able to run GNU/Linux distros. on it then we would be talking.

All in all much more to look forward to 2010 🙂

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