'Jisus' Eee-alike sub-notebook to use Chinese Atom-smasher
Mobile 'miracle', hails supplier
Need a Jesus Laptop to go with your Jesus Phone? Next month you'll be able to get one: a new Eee PC rival dubbed the Jisus [sic]. Dutch supplier Van Der Led is spreading the word.
Jisus' specifications are classic Eee: 8.9in, 800 x 480, LED-backlit display; 512MB of 667MHz DDR 2 memory; 4GB of solid-state storage; 802.11b/g Wi-Fi; two USB ports; 10/100Mb/s Ethernet; VGA output; and audio jacks.
Van Del Led's Jisus: miracle of mobility?
Just like the Asus machine, the Jisus runs Linux, in this case Ubuntu, though Van Der Led said it may offer the machine with other operating systems too. The company claimed the "miracle" sub-notebook has a four-and-a-half hour battery life.
What makes the Jisus stand out is its use of the China-developed Loongson processor, a 64-bit chip clocked at 1GHz. The Loongson - aka 'Dragon Core' - is compatible with the
x86MIPS instruction set, and was developed to ensure Chinese computer makers don't have to rely on foreign chip makers Intel and AMD.
The machine's graphics are handled by a chip listed as the SM712: we assume it's Silicon Motion's ultra low-power 2D graphics controller of the same model number. SM offers a 3D version too, the SM722.
Van Der Led said the Jisus is scheduled to go on sale on 25 May - a Sunday, no less - priced at €300 ($473/£240). It will be available in a choice of white, brown, green, pink and black.
Windows NT ran on x86 and the DEC Alpha 64 bit RISC chip. I never saw one though and few Windows apps were cross-compiled for it.
No porting involved
Unbelievable as it may sound, there is *no* "porting" of software involved. Just cross-compile the software for MIPS architecture instead of i686, and it will work. Once you have a kernel, compiler and toolchain ready to run on the target architecture,
I'm surprised they went with MIPS, though ..... ARM patents will begin expiring soon.
My mistake with the Motorola processors, they are definitely CISC. As for x86 being RISC with added layers, I wouldn't go as far as a flame icon but the 'reduced' part isn't anything like as usable as in a chip that clearly fits the RISC description, and as far as I know it doesn't match the one instruction per cycle definition of RISC.
I would go as far as a flame icon for the 'windows runs on RISC' part though. CE maybe but as far as I know there are no 'real' versions of windows that will run on anything other than x86. If I have got this wrong I'll be upset as this has been my biggest gripe with MS due to the damage it has done to hardware development.
Apologies for my mistake on the m68k processors, I seem to be getting a lot of bad blocks as time goes by :) They where better than IBM compatibles for multimedia though. (no, I'm not a fanboy. Anyone stupid enough to buy a mac just 'cos its a mac should be taken out and shot before they get to piss in the genepool).
As for this little laptop thing, hope it does well but if we keep getting more things like this then the 'cheap tack' label will get stuck on anything PC-like coming out china and some folks may try sticking them on linux too. Seem's a bit like the cheap tack 'jap crap' cars and motorcycles that japan broke into the market with, the easily affordable ones that did their job very well for many years (until the tinworm got them) and put down the foundations for the world dominant force that is the modern japanese motor industry...
(BTW, Complex Instruction Set Computer and Reduced Instruction Set Computer)
"Why would I pay £240 for a small laptop with tiny screen, limited storage, mini keyboard and some odd operating system when I can buy a pretty good spec proper laptop for £299?"
The clues are in your question ... "small" ... "tiny" ... "mini". It's, well, small. I have a couple of real laptops as well - my trust old R40 Thinkpad and a dreadful one-year-old Toshiba (when did they start making flimsy rubbish?) but the Eee is still very useful.
Sure, it's harder to do some stuff on it. But I can use it in an economy airline seat, or on a non-table train seat, and afterwards it fits in a pocket of my coat or a small corner of a small bag.
I'll probably look for an excuse to get the larger-screen 900 model soon, but I'm not really that bothered.
The screen format is wide-screen, slightly taller than 16:9 ratio, which would give a larger possible text size with fewer lines.
Porting Linux software to MIPS might be a bit of a barrier, there's a big x86 bias, but if the Eee can sell, so can this. How many people are going to care what's in the box, as long as they can write letters, browse the web, watch a DivX movie, and add naughty speech bubbles to the pjotographs on their cellphone?