Friday, May 04, 2007

Are the next generation of PC's already here?

I don't mean the latest new technology; I mean existing technology used in more efficient and smarter ways. I think that is what you will find if you look at what a Bangkok company called NorhTec is offering. There is an article about one of their products at Below is a link, with some excerpts:

Tiny, sub-$100 PC runs Puppy Linux
A Bangkok-based company is shipping a tiny, sub-$100 PC capable of running Puppy and other lightweight Linux distributions. NorhTec's MicroClient Jr. measures 4.5 inches square, draws 8 Watts, and has a 166MHz Pentium-compatible processor with three integer units. It targets thin-client, kiosk, and electronic signage applications.

The tiny MicroClient Jr. fits in your hand.

The MicroClient Jr. appears to the smallest of several extremely small, energy efficient PCs and servers offered by NorhTec, which in four years of operation, has supplied PCs to such big-name clients as McDonalds of Canada, according to its founder, Michael C. Barnes. Barnes says he built the company specifically to produce sub-$100 PCs, explaining, "When I founded NorhTec, I knew that in a short period, computers would drop below $100.00 USD. When that happens, it will shake up the industry because none of the major players are set up to afford their infrastructure selling computers at $100 each."

The MicroClient Jr. saves cost in part by booting from CompactFlash, rather than a hard drive. Barnes explains, "We have been selling a product called the MicroServer General Purpose for four years now. The unit was revolutionary when it was introduced, but the price point is a bit too high because of its reliance on hard disks. Most of our customers use very little drive space, and we were spending $80.00 just to boot the system."

Barnes adds, "We also wanted to be able to add components such as WiFi, RS232 ports, and an additional NIC." [...]

NorhTec MicroClient Jr, front and back.

The article goes on to give more details about the units, which have no cooling fan or moving parts. Read the whole article for complete specs and more information about the company.

I've used Puppy Linux, it's an amazing Linux distribution that is small and compact, yet will let you do most of the things people use computers for.

If however, you have greater requirements, NorhTec offers a whole range of products to choose from, including machines with even greater capabilities.

Related Link:

Here is a photo of the French Linutop PC.

There are a whole slew of "Thin Client" PCs that are comming onto the market now. Below is a link to a listing of many of them:

The Linux Thin Client Showcase

No comments: