2007.12.11

Android Software Development Kit

Google along with The Open Handset Alliance has released their very cool software stack for mobile phones. There is a lot of hype behind this project and a lot of people think it will be the next big thing for mobile phones. Personally, I'm very excited for the future of mobile phones as they go away from being a closed and tightly controlled environment to an open one.

Here are a few videos introducing Android:

If you are interested in programming for the Android platform it is very easy to get started. Download the SDK and follow the instructions. I recommend using Eclipse with the Android Plug-in. It comes with some example applications that are interesting to look at.

Here are some videos that give a technical overview and a programming example:

I've mentioned the OpenMoko and Qtopia Greenphone projects before, which have similar goals, but lack the backing and hype that Android has.

I worry about my child and the Internet all the time, even though she's too young to have logged on yet. Here's what I worry about. I worry that 10 or 15 years from now, she will come to me and say "Daddy, where were you when they took freedom of the press away from the Internet?"

- Mike Godwin, Electronic Frontier Foundation


2007.12.25

ASUS EEE Sub-Notebook PC

ASUS makes this pretty cool looking sub-notebook PC called EEE PC. Even though this computer has been out for a while, I just recently learned of its existence. It seems like a good competitor to the OLPC.

It has a 900MHz Intel CPU, either 256MB, 512MB, or 1GB of DDR2 RAM, and either a 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB flash drive depending on the model. They all have a 7 inch screen with 800x480 resolution and built in 802.11g wireless. With no moving parts for the hard disk, this PC should be very quiet.

It comes installed with a customized version of Xandros Linux which can be updated from Debian repositories. It can also run Windows XP, which can be purchased for $40. The default install boots in (a very impressive by today's standards) 15 seconds.

Even though the price range was supposed to be in the $200 to $300 range, it seems that the middle range models are selling for around $400 at Amazon and Best Buy.

WikiPedia has more information and here are some reviews that go into more details about the device:

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

- Bilbo Baggins [J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Fellowship of the Ring"]