Linux iPad for £50?

POSTED BY Kirgy September 13th, 2010 : 0 COMMENTS

Screw the Ipad, my £50 Linux one is so much better!

The whole Apple craze has been an amusement for me for a little too long now. It is common sight to see people walking down the street holding their little iPhones like they are the King of techo-world. Tapping away on their screens, (whilst silently rebuking the desires for a qwerty keypad) they update their facebook and twitter mindlessly with total nonsense – “football & bacon and egg sarnie = good Saturday afternoon.” Where this may be true for a starving child, I cannot say that everyone’s culinary reparations are of interest to me. (No offence anonymous facebook friend).

The worst part of the entire social perplexity is that it is entirely aesthetical. I hate seeing the subtly dropped “updated from my iPhone” under half of these nibbles of nonesense. Why does it matter if its from an iPhone, email or Bin Laden’s Blackberry??

Talking about nonsense, how has the iPad even made a cent in the states not to even mention a pound in the UK? Just a glance at the price tag makes me want to nail-gun my wallet shut. £430 (starting price) to own a glorified iPhone? And I wouldn’t even say that – it doesn’t even have a camera! We wont even talk about the lack of flash on these low-spec systems. What really got me was when I discovered it has not only no USB ports, but no true multi-tasking! My old E71 nokia phone released some 5 years ago could cope with true multitasking, but the new “magical” iPad cant handle that? Mr Jobs, you’ve done it again!

It’s unsurprising when a Linux enthusiast like myself, is confronted with the opportunity to own a product of rivaling design to the iPad, without some of its killer flaws: USB ports, flash and obviously its open-source OS, that I would take hold of such an opportunity.

O2 Joggler - hacked

O2 Joggler - hacked

The O2 joggler, originally manufactured by Open Peak was just what I have been waiting for. Going for as little at £50 on ebay it is such a serious bargain. I actually got mine from a friend of my cusin’s who sold it to me for £50 practically new. It was then a simple case of finding an old USB flash drive, mounting this custom image to it , plugging it in to it’s USB port and thats it! Full, free and legal access to a touch-screen Linux enabled device.

I was really surprised at how well it handled most sites. Considering the entire Operating System is running off a Flash drive I got free from Natwest it runs really really well. And what beats the iPad is the flash, flash games are so much fun on a touch screen!

I’ve adventured a little further since then, I bought a small USB hub so I could attach a web cam, keyboard and mouse (I later plan on buying a blue-tooth keyboard like this or maybe this). I even installed a web server on the device, so I could even host a website from it! Which might be nice for a webcam server, then I could keep an eye on my house whilst away.

I think  its potential market isn’t the same as iPad, and I don’t mean image-focused people. The Joggler-hack would be a brilliant and elegant solution for a media server in your lounge (it’s audio-out jack would love your speaker system).

The downside to the Joggler-hack is that it really doesn’t have the same par of speed the iPad does as it’s running from a flash drive, and the major downside of the power cable (although this guy is seriously on the ball).

Wrapping this rant up, I just wish that some of these Apple lovers would come to realise, that no, Apple products are not actually top of the world. No USB, web cam, flash or multi-tasking to me does not allow it to qualify as magical.  If you want to follow the tatty tweeters of tech or like the ludicrousness of utter laziness be my guest. Just don’t send me an invite.

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